Welcome to my World

Where else can you get a really good look at a train wreck of emotional dysfunction
and not be right in the middle of the thing?


Thursday, April 23, 2015

What A Drag It Is

I realize that I'm not going to get much sympathy from anyone who's had to wear glasses most of their lives, but I was bummed to have to buy a pair of reading glasses this evening.  I can see far away just fine, and I can still read a computer screen.  But my near vision is too poor to read anything close up, such as when I try to read in bed.  The main reason I've loathed getting any kind of eye wear is that I tremendously dislike the idea of keeping up with a pair of glasses and having to take them on and off throughout the day.  But, after not needing them for the first forty odd years of my life, I also feel that they're a slap in the face with the reality of aging and the general physical decline that goes with it.  Unfortunately, I've made the decision to not seek the shelter of mother's little helper, so I have to face the facts soberly.
 
 
Rubbing One Out
 
I got a massage at a walk-in place after work.  (Fuck you, budget!)  I justified the expense as complementing the strength training I've been adding to my cardio routine.  The guy did a great job, even if I feel as if I'd been hit by a truck.  It hurt like hell while he worked on me, but I'm sure a lot of knots got taken care of.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Best 2 Out of 3

I have mounds and mounds of baggage—accumulated over a lifetime—to wade through in order to uncover the spark of hope I've managed to keep alive that something of my dreams might one day actually come true.  But irrespective of that, I have three major practical areas that I am trying to improve:
  1. Sobriety
  2. Money/Debt
  3. Weight/Diet
My sobriety has to take primacy because, if it falls, nothing else can be sustained.  Experience has shown me that I can do an incredible amount of damage in a very short time.  It seems to me that, on a good day, the best I can hope for is two out of the three.  I'm either eating well but spending money on nothing or tightening the purse strings but pigging out with wild abandon, if not blowing both things simultaneously.  (Just yesterday, one bad vibe at work had me bag the gym, overeat and spend money on frozen yoghurt.)


Eating things I enjoy is one of the few things I get pleasure out of since quitting smoking and drinking last time, and my food selections so often include sugary treats.  Even though I don't go to particularly expensive restaurants, eating take-out all the time adds up very quickly.  Of course, whenever I begin to get a handle on money, something seems to come along to set me back.  A couple of years ago, I tried seeing a therapist for some help.  But it turned out she was the only one in her practice who didn't accept my health insurance, and those five or six sessions ended up costing me over $1,200.  A couple of weeks ago, I dropped over $1,500 in less than 24 hours keeping a momma cat and four newborn kittens alive.  But frankly it's the day-to-day, nickel-and-diming that tanks my finances.  I make decent money and have no obligations except for myself.  I should be rolling in cash, not living paycheck to paycheck.  Still, shoulda woulda coulda...

Monday, April 20, 2015

When You Follow Your Dreams

Once again I want so badly to drink tonight: have a six or two of beer, smoke a couple of packs of cigarettes, play some video games.  (You'd think I could just play video games alone, but my anxiety and poor mood have to be artificially smoothed out to open the pathways of pleasure.)  I'm not going to, but I gave it a few seconds serious consideration on the drive home.  It hasn't even been a bad day.  I got a lot done at work, but it was a long day and a challenging day.  And then I come home to nothing but a seemingly endless stream of more shit that needs to get done.

As good as I've been on all fronts, I have to resign myself to the fact that the progress I'm making with all of my current challenges is necessarily small and incremental.  I'm so programmed by books and movies into thinking that I'm one montage away from a perfect existence.  But I'm not going to lose all of this weight...or get out of my massive debt...or sort my fucking life out (mate) overnight.  It will take continuous positive steps and strides—day after day after day—with no great reward, no crashing cymbals, not even anyone else to acknowledge it.  That's what I have to wrap my head around. The dramatic alcohol-down-the-drain / flushing-the-pills / cutting-up-the-credit-cards / pitching-the-cake-and-donuts moments are the easy part, the gratifying part.  That's why I've done them over and over again 10,000 times in the past 30 years.  It's the follow-through that is the hard bit, and that which remains undiscovered country for me, even well into middle age.

You turn to find the light has faded
You wonder what it was you were reaching for
How quickly you have lost your way
It's always when you think you've got it made

You take one step after the other
At times you may not know which way to go
You open one door just to find another
Someday you will begin, begin to know
{Missing Persons, "The Closer That You Get"}

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Master Plan

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
{Albert Einstein}
 
I have a master plan for my life.  I've always had one for these pipe dreams that I've nurtured and kept alive for over 30 years of bitterness and disappointment (as not a single one has come true).  As battered as my hopes are, if I give them up, what reason do I have to soldier on?  I feel as if I'm moving in the right direction because, for the first time in forever, I've been able to sustain month after month where I'm not undermining or sabotaging my own progress in some way.

But I'm so damn tired of dealing with my mood.  I so often feel I'm at the breaking point, the same breaking point that has derailed me again and again in a pattern of failure over a lifetime.  I'm still amazed at how many emotional crises I've weathered without trashing my sobriety, but my mood problems predate my addiction problems.  They caused my addiction problems.  I honestly can't offer any rational basis for a belief that, if I only stay the course a little longer, I will one day wake up to a mythical promised land where my perspective is sanguine and my life is in control.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Erstwhile

My erstwhile cat Fiona had her litter of kittens, but she and they are no longer with me.  Since 99% of people won't understand where I'm coming from (or perhaps, more accurately, that I'm not up to the task of making clear my perspective), I won't bother to explain what happened.  The short version is that there were some health issues, but now everything has been resolved.  Fiona and her four kittens are being fostered by a dedicated volunteer until all five of them can be eventually re-homed.

I thought that a new cat and the new life of kittens—life I had no responsibility in creating but could nevertheless nurture and take care of—would energize and enrich me as I enter a phase of protracted sobriety.  It was simply my fault for thinking existence could be something other than cruel, ignominious and worthless by nature of its endemic suffer.  I once again descended into realms of emotion that I had never wanted to see again.  I try so hard to deceive myself, like everybody does, but the cold, hard facts of reality are always there lurking in the background.

The State of Things

Even though I started the day feeling better after finally getting some sleep, I spontaneously burst into tears at work yesterday afternoon.  No one saw me, but that's less than optimal professional behavior.  It happened again at home last night.  But tears are useless, as is grief.  The only thing that astounds me is that I managed to get through with my sobriety intact.  It certainly wasn't my intent at the time.  I had every notion of drinking as soon as humanly possible once the dust settled.  But for some reason I didn't.  I can't really credit good judgment or strength of character, but I'm glad of it all the same.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Mind Fuck

Just in case you were accidentally feeling happy, content and secure...

Much as I've enjoyed my recent discovery of VNV Nation, the video below really kind of freaked me out, between the philosophically-heavy, melancholically-downbeat song and the depressing, bizarre, uncanny-valley animation:

 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Tenderhearted

http://www.peanuts.com/

I'm feeling emotionally fragile, not surprising after spending seven hours at work on Easter Sunday trying to get shit sorted.  It's not so much that I have an inordinate amount of stress in my life as I am spectacularly ill-equipped to handle it.
 
The caffeine thing hasn't worked out, but I did manage to make it two and a half days.  (Have I mentioned that I've gone over six months without alcohol?)

Friday, April 3, 2015

Six Months Sober

For the first time in a long time, I've managed to remain sober for six whole months.

It's non-alcoholic champagne...
I definitely wasn't sure I was going to make it, however, especially when I was almost black flagged on the last lap.  On Tuesday, after the second shitty day at work in a row, I was cycling through impulses of self-destruction, breaking my sobriety and/or telling my employers to go fuck themselves.  My job is fairly demanding, and work has been tricky during my latest effort at sobriety because the depression and cognitive deficits of my post-acute withdrawal syndrome have put me so far behind and let so many things slip through the cracks.  Even though my symptoms are much milder now, they're still present, and it's been daunting to catch up and manage everything.

Presenting Miss Fiona

I had intended to wait awhile before adopting another cat after losing my last one.  But then one dropped in my lap through a friend of mine.  She's an absolute sweetie, and we've become fast friends.  I named her Fiona after a character from my favorite video game series, who is the mother of my favorite character.  I chose a mother because my new kitty is pregnant.  (Plus, her markings make her look like she's wearing a mask.)  Even though I'd never breed an animal (or create a life myself), I'm nervously excited about some kittens running around.  Hopefully I am up to the task of finding good homes for the ones I don't keep.

Fiona and her namesake
Jumping Off the Horse

I am trying to give up caffeine in an effort to rid myself of everything affecting my arousal and mood after alcohol and drugs.  (My three daily prescribed psychotropics, notwithstanding.)  I want to see what my life can be entirely devoid of recreational chemicals.  However, I don't know if it will last since caffeine was kind of my last crutch, and I'm not sure I'm strong enough to live without it.  It's been over two days, and the withdrawal has been a lot less severe than I expected, given my previous habit.  Mainly, I just feel tired, lethargic and unmotivated.  That's so close to my default state that I've hardly noticed.