Friday, April 18, 2014

Finding Meaning and Sobriety

So the hardest part of getting sober beyond the whole physical thing and readjusting to live part and finding basically a somewhat new set of friends and basically sort of relearning how to do a lot of stuff, is this: relearning how to enjoy yourself.  For, shall I say it explicitly?, the problem with people like me, who can have one hell of a time when drinking is that, well, drying up the source of booze also dries up a lot of the outward affected personality.  And the willingness to engage.

And basically queue a kind of new dry period of stoned realization that life isn't just going to get easier, i.e. social situations and anxiety will not just go away because there isn't any booze greasing the hinges.

And anyway this is apropos of nothing, as per the usual.  Now play it again, Johnny.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Haunting Past Is Misnomer

Easy for me to think that the past is back there, frozen, both in time, somehow, and geography.  I don't go near my indiscretions, physically, that is, for fear that somehow I'll find myself there, stuck in some endless loop, and the only true solution to such a mercurial discovery would be both murder and suicide.  I'd have to kill that version of me, thereby committing a kind of suicide.

Which is intrinsically sad, no?  Thinking not of suicide, but that the past is somehow frozen back there, and that the place and people inhabiting that place are also locked in--that is: locked into your egocentric perambulations of shame!  Because so long as "you" left the past, then, well, that past can't possibly move about, grow, change, frolic, or even whither up and die on its own, even without your overwhelming urge to go and kill it!  It might already be dead without your constant semi-nostalgic-semi-religious treatment of it all these years.

So I do have a few words that are not designed for the faint of heart.

And they hurt.  But once the hurt dissipates, there is an ultimate freedom in smallness and regularity, and a spirit in the everyday that can actually overcome wildly dramatic fits and starts to one's life.  So let's try to live small for a bit.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Letting Go -

The need to control is at times (for some of us) quite strong: social situations, other people's thoughts, patterns of activity throughout the day, and what have you.  Flexibility, in other words, can be quite low, even and especially for people who profess verbally to be quite open to new experiences, people, things, places, or ideas.  In fact, I'd wager that most of us are a lot more rigid than we allow.  Just think of the list of things that pisses you off, for instance, about other people, particularly in regards to politics or social policy or any other idea based conception.  Why would it be that normal living standards, habits, norms, and routines, run counter to this base intuition--that "I" am fundamentally correct in what I do, and others are basically, to the extent that they differ, incorrect.

Anyway, there's ways to break this a bit.  One is to try really hard not to come to conclusions based purely on intuition, or even if you have, to try to understand that others have come to conclusions based on their own sense of intuition, what is right, and what they think should be.  It is difficult, it is said, to reason with someone who hasn't reasoned to get to the place they are, wherever they have been.  It is doubly difficult to see your own blindspots.  And not always necessary, either, but crucially important at times.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Club

Wherever you wish.  Film it, if you can, and we'll pawn it later, to fund our first house, raise kids on the royalties, and denounce the puritans who rarefy all that is bad with everything we don't like.  How sweet it could be--can't you see?  At least they'll know where they came from, right?  No more wondering about it.

Slither into my energy, my peacekeeper, and find a hollowed out grave for safe keeping for your valuables, where we might appreciate them through the process of fermentation, make them sweet like kombucha and honey.

Filter out the rinky dinky little thoughts of panagyric fantasy, blessing yourself with a smite bit of delusion and, shall we indulge? - ecstasy.

I loved you, once upon a time, in a world that we inhabited.  I loved you, and you were more than just a drug.  I promise you that much.  There are no conclusions when worlds slowly shift, disintegrate in such a fuzz of synth.

So much for the tears.  So much for these long and wasted years.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Dramatic Change

Personal self-induced dramatic change (say, from the cessation of using alcohol), is probably a self-fulfilling prophecy.  I wish it wasn't, naturally.  This doesn't preclude change, it just means that we don't become entirely new people just because we put down the bottle.

In fact, we alcoholics are probably so self-centered that we think the change that occurs from not drinking is equivalent to something more than it is, simply because it happened to us.

I'm not trying to take away the somewhat amazing accomplishment of sobriety from anyone who has achieved it.  That's not my aim at all.  I'm just saying, in short, that being sober is a necessary condition for certain people to live relatively normal and non-horrible catastrophic lives, but it is not a sufficient condition, alone, for those same people to excel.

It is nice, but it is not everything, see?  A foundation of sorts.  If we don't wear clothes (and often times specific clothes), we can't go to work.  See, but if we don't wear any clothes, we can't really go to work (and be allowed to keep going).  Simple as that.  Wearing clothes by itself isn't special, but it is for us, people who have a problem conforming, perhaps, to the "uniform" of whatever it is that normal consists of, or to carry the analogy off the deep end, people who just love to be naked no matter the costs.

We, the naked ones, who pretend so hard to be vulnerable, exposed, groomed, and otherwise mature, and yet, can't manage to just keep our clothes on!

I'll tell you this much, and I won't tell you no more.  Not today.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Bad Stuff Happening - The Game.

Let's play a game.

Let's only deal with bad stuff happening when it is actually, really, happening.

If it isn't happening, in defined, concrete and objective ways, ways that are somehow actually impactful, and not purely mental (including gossip), let's just not deal with it.  Since, well, there's honestly no it to deal with.

Let's try that for a few days.  All the bad stuff on the registry, ready to occur?  You know the stuff I'm talking about.  Let's only deal with it if it is real.  I have a feeling it might make life a little more enjoyable.

Happiness In Life -- It Happens Only Now

Would you be happy with your life if nothing changed--that is, if from now, from whatever present circumstances you have (job, family, et al), nothing substantially different happened/changed?  That is, you didn't get to "win" any of your myriad fantasies?

Could you force yourself to be happy, to be content and sated?

I'm asking because I have a deep suspicion that true happiness will only occur if the answer to that question is yes.

In other words: happiness cannot be predicated on changing any of the fundamental attributes of life.  That is the challenge of happiness.  It is not, in other words, to necessarily work hard to obtain the types of things that most of us think signify happiness.  It is to let go of those things so utterly and completely that you're naked, and in that nakedness, that fundamental vulnerability, feel totally content.

This is it, folks.  Get used to it, adjust, and find a way to see your life that is not ensconced in the fluff of impossibility and innuendo at more important lurking events/places/things on the horizon.  '

Now, just imagine getting to this mindset, and then obtaining something that really matters.  Instead of feeling like you deserved it, and it is just one thing that you have, you might actually value it as something incredibly special and totally unique, and feel a deep sense of humility.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Normal Ain't So Bad -

In fact, for us addicts, it is downright difficult, and that's probably why we think it is so pathetic, prosaic, and just plain stupid/boring--because we have trouble being it.  Normal, that is.  For goodness sake, what's wrong with it again?  Stability.  Peace of mind.  Expected routine.  Habit.

And so, let's stop thinking we're so damn exceptional all the time, okay?

That doesn't mean it has to be depressing or banal or clinically registered.  It just means we can get joys and not go to extremes.

Blah blah blah, self, takes a lot of learning to get there.

yes, it does, self.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Hard To Get Hold/Firm Grasp/Purchase

In a way, the only "grasp" we can have is self-induced.  If we don't intrinsically feel grounded, well, we won't be grounded.  It is really as simple as that.  There is no reference, no person, and no place/event that can define us beyond the meaning we apply to those references, people, and/or events, no matter the permutations, the complexity, the layering, all of the aching meaning we WANT there to be.  And still, at times, we know when meaning "is" there and we know when it "isn't" even when we want it.  So wanting it does not seem to be the actual variable that determines what is--that is, whether we ourselves are grounded or not.  We can't just want to be grounded and make it happen.

Which is to say sometimes we have to be lost.

And sometimes, we have to be very lost.

And that is quite scary.  Way scarier than I can write in words.  Because if you know the lost/scare I reference, then you know it already, and I will not be able to show it or not show it.  You've got it by reference of sorts, and so.  Perhaps I disprove my earlier point in a way, or maybe prove it.  Whatever.

The point is that being scared and seeking stable ground is intrinsic to our existence, and we might not be able to get rid of it--period.  Ever.   This is the whole faith issue, in general, the capacity to have faith that there is something worthwhile, that life has meaning, and that the meaning we impute on things is somewhat accurate to the intrinsic meaning, or even the meaning we really have in relation to those things--i.e. that we're not lying to ourselves.

It can get quite scary, again, when we're totally unsure whether the thoughts we have are in fact relevant in any way to reality, and yet: thoughts that we have are the only way to get back to reality, to reconnect.

Thoughts, or experiences, rather.  Sometimes the funnel-cloud of thoughts, swirling while listening to music, for instance, or riding a train, in a somewhat opaque cloud that isn't distilled, on purpose, and isn't distillable.

And to bridge that chasm, yes, we need a little faith, not always in all the grand stuff that "is" out there, but just straight up in other people--that they care about us, for instance, and that we care about them and that our mutual caring is intrinsically good, and not, for example, just a way for genes to reproduce successfully.  And I think that it is good and not just vessel-like, and I hope it is.  And I feel enough beauty still, in my life, to maintain a flicker of hope in all of the tremendous confusion, but I know that I don't have the answers and I've grown a deep humility along the way.  And that is not a fun process.  But it is a solid one, that, ironically, allows me to feel slightly more solid with myself, too.

This is like the incompleteness theorem.  I have to feel insecure to feel secure.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Owning Up, Releasing Shame

This one is hard to do, but hey, let's give it a shot.  Instead of holding on to the shame, bitterness, and the outrage that has settled into grooves around our collective eyes, let's instead find a way to own up to our past(s) and be at peace with those pasts, such that they do not negatively impact our current and future selves.

It is easy, especially after partaken in tremendous amounts of shame inducing activities, to NOT LEARN from those activities, but instead let the lead blanket of shame that came from those activities cover up current life.  But that's really no way to live.  Nor is the other extreme, simply forgetting about the past completely.  But there is a sweet spot here, one that is highly idiosyncratic, that you cannot learn from others necessarily, but must endeavor to find on your own pace and intensity.

Which is to say that you don't need to hold on so desperately to all of the bad stuff, even or especially because it is familiar and routine.  It is possible not to be defensive and insecure and to live into the future on a level plane of curiosity, neutrality, and relative engagement.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Trying New Things [and] Killing What You Love

I know you think you know what I'm going to say, that there's a way to abscond from our base desires, to heighten our meditational stance against the warring forces within and without, and just climb over past blights as if rock solid foundations, reaching new heights and then, well, the zen-buddhist stance goes on into a beautiful cycle of constant renovation through dismissal and letting go and all that, and it is all true.  I mean, it is all as true as you want to make it.  But it is not what I'm going to say.

I just tossed the header together, since I think there's a serious tension between trying new things and trying to hold on to what it is you know you love.  And here I don't mean people, not explicitly anyway, although there's nothing quite as sour as the obvious reality of a relationship going south and the awareness that it is occurring, all the while both parties try to preserve it in a weird way that makes me think more of paternal suburban inauthentic cliches than it does about (actual paternal instincts or suburbia), and so what/  The point is more about trying to get into words a little bit of a lived experience, a reality that we know and one that we, individually, and mostly to ourselves, have trouble totally coherently talking about.

See, that's the thing, really, some sort of accuracy, that's the thing I like, or want, or think I want even as I really want what I really want instead anyway, like all of us.  And yes, there's a bit of me smeared all over the highway there and you too, because we're dancing this accident out, in a kind of slow-mo booty call late into the night when we should be back in suburbia, living remote lives, buying creamy drinks, falling into patterns, and habituation of interactions and all the rest that yes, I admit, drives me in a way that also disgusts me.  And that simultaneous understanding, when truly understood is indeed enough to crack better men than me, i.e. it is enough to crack me, and i.e. by the way, I have all sorts of cracks, for better or worse, and microscopic or relatively major, and life sober is not easy because it is very hard to stay sane without alcohol, no?  And yet.  And yet.  Life with alcohol is not exactly manageable.

See the thread of impossibility runs through so many currents that it is impossible for me to walk away from this place.  Basically everything I think is related to alcohol or something about alcohol, or something about alcohol is related to everything I think or experience, and that's fucking scary, and not because I'm an addict or alcoholic, or obsessive in a genuine almost need to be medicated way, but also more importantly, in the way that thoughts can merge and form synergy and find a way into brand new not just version2 thoughts, and realizations and insights, and what's simultaneously happening is that these great new insights are working on themselves, too, like bleach left on the counter, working to disabuse themselves, finding a way to crack, and fling mud and over-modulate right into the rough texture of incoherence, again, at the same time that they find a way toward foundational stability.  And that's what it is, really, a live wire, one that is in constant tension, just balanced there with a lot of energy on either end, in all directions, and that's it, right, the thing I mean to get out here, and with that, I will go and eat a delicious baked in a slight layer of coconut oil sweet potato and go on trying to believe in myself, because I need to, for the base fact of going on.

Monday, January 20, 2014

I Can't Stop -

I guess I just can't stop posting here.  I thought I was done, but every now and then a thought pops into my head, and I'm obliged to follow it through, and then, well, there's only one place for it, a place unfettered by the dogma of mindless social anxiety or forced interaction, or all of the filters and layers and endless sputtering that one must put up with to actually try to have a decent conversation; and that place, well, it turns out, is right here.

So I'm not quite back, but I'm not quite leaving, either, and that means I won't try to stick to a rigid schedule; I'll just post what and when I feel like (um, that's not quite different or anything, but a re-affirmation never hurt).

Because this is a bit of my identity, whether I like it (or want to walk away from it) or not, and I can't quite deny it anymore, even though I've sort of aggressively embraced it, I underestimated the need to stay strong in a low-volume way, and in a consistent way.

Yours always and truly, constantly striving to make headway into the nether regions of our collective addictions,

Offbooze (and off everything else).