Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dangerously Close to 2 Years Sober.

Never thought I'd achieve it, actually.  Twelve years ago, I stopped for eight months.  That was my first 'getting sober' session.  I thought then that I wouldn't drink again.  But I was wrong.

Then, in 2009, I went for 6 months.  Heavy duty, I thought at the time, patting myself on the back.

Six month after getting unsober, I realized how far I'd fallen from my glory high of sobriety, and decided I needed to stop for at least a year this time.  Which I did.  On June 25, 2010.  Soon I'll cross over the two year mark.  I'm not trying to experience emotion about it.  But that rarely has anything to do with it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Labeling Something "Rare" -

My gut tells me this is idiotic.

My hand says: buy this!

My wife accuses me of cheating on her.

My cat finds an enormous roach.

The strange man touches my hand.

The hamburger meat talks back.

John Fahey delights.

We Don't Know So Much

I find it shocking in this respect that we might feel as if there were no beauty, or that beauty couldn't be discovered, or that, also, there might be a reason not to continue to live.  Maybe beauty can't be compared against suffering, or maybe there's too long to wait.  Or maybe a lot of things.  I'm not talking delusional whipper-snapping drooling type laconic-removal-of-self-from-reality daydreaming, but about finding some hard work, a steady rhythm, if a bit slow moving and hard to change direction, and settling down into that groove for a while, only to find that you've misplaced the entire dimension of the room in your minds eye, and that the reality around you has been moving and shifting in ways subtle and large enough to birth tendrils of fear it is so grand, but soothing, too, in the way that it seems to cradle the thin spindle of saliva that is, well, what it is: your life.

Monday, May 28, 2012

When Will I Have a Drink?

Never.  Motherfucker.  Stop fucking asking me already.  I'm done.

Is that hard to digest?  If so, you may have a drinking problem.

Where Is This All Going?

I used to be a sucker for "destiny" talk, as in, your efforts are futile because your life is guided by something unseen, and you'll get what you are meant to get.

I think this amounts to assuming some macro level universal zero sum game that is fundamentally flawed.  There's no reason to believe that I'll get everything I need to get.  While there is a reason to believe that everyone thinks they are exceptional, and that what they think are needs are really wants, there is not a reason to believe that my life will be okay--i.e. that I'll be happy--if I just stop thinking about being happy, or what it means to have multiple conflicting preferences within one place: my brain.

Optimism, though, is physically beneficial, apparently (excuse the lack of link).  Self-delusion, in short, can work to help us.  So maybe destiny-type thinking is more helpful.

But it seems that it eliminates for me too strongly the incentive to take steps toward my own goals, and allows as well justification for laziness.

I'm still wildly lazy.  But I'm incrementally less lazy than I was a year ago.  And that's progress.  Amen to sobriety.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Chose and Deny

We like to chose particular moments in time to define ourselves, and disregard or weigh less the other moments.  It is a much harder lift to think about who we are through many moments without shifting back to the singular moment that allows us a bit of wiggle room and romance.

In other words, we protect our egos viciously.  They are all we have, in a way, and also they are paradoxically, less than the totality of who we are in the same way that a moment defines us.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Outrage Bias

I don't know if this is an actual thing, but I wanted to say that I think there's nothing quite equal to outrage to instill irrational conclusion drawing, lopsided narrative creation, and generally divide and screw people.  If we all learned to be a little less outraged, and respond less to outrage . . . well, I'd be a hell of a lot less annoyed.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Self-Deceit and IQ

Consider the very real possibility that the smarter you are, the better you are at deceiving others, precisely because you are very good at deciphering other people's deception.

Consider that, given the above, you are probably an expert at deceiving yourself, especially if you're the megalomanic type of boozer that I think you are.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Everybody's Drunk

It struck me the other night (admittedly, it was 3am early saturday morning), that almost everyone riding the train was stoned drunk.  Like dropping their bags and half passing out drunk.

And I couldn't help but think it: what makes people get so out of control that they lack the capacity to ride the train home?  Like, are the benefits worth the costs?  I can't remember them being such.  In fact, I'd say to my old self that justifying hangovers is all about distorted self-perception and fantasy self-narrative.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

We're 90% Urge and 10% Narrative

Most of our behavioral patterns aren't controlled.  We think we control them, but what we do is justify them, mentally rectify them, and move on.  We'd like to think we're in control of ourselves, but unfortunately, maybe we're not so much.  (We're especially not in control of other people).

Last night I went out to a proper bar/club/lounge in one of the trendiest spots of NYC.  I don't like these places, and I didn't want to go there.  I wouldn't chose to go without familiar bonds that dragged me there.  I didn't have a bad time, though, dancing a bit, and generally observing and laughing.

One thing I noticed was the amount of conflict between friends that I can't control, or feel bad about.  I also can't try to solve conflict that isn't mine to solve.

The other thing I noticed folks, is just how drunk everybody got.  Not just at the club, but also on the train going home.  Seemed like a pretty miserable scene.  Everybody was exhausted and just trying to survive the ride, half stoned, half drunk, vomiting in plastic bags, dropping things, falling asleep (passing out), kissing strangers, all that shit.  I'm feeling pretty good about my sobriety about now. Not because I am morally pure, but because I'm about to go on a run and enjoy the splendid whether and the "others" in my entourage are firmly into the grips of a hangover that will probably last all day.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

You Could Be Drastically Wrong

About a lot of things.  And by you I mean me.  Or us.  Or whomever.

In fact, you could be wrong about almost everything.  Worse, you might seek friends based on how much they agree with you, how they, that is,  support your ego.

(Goes without saying that the best friend in this regard is the bottle, no?).

((I'm not above saying that I could be wrong that you're wrong.))

But about fundamental assumptions and foundational worldviews--how people should act, for instance.  What situation we're in at any given moment.  Our positions.  Our longevity.  Our fallibility.

The bottom could fall out endlessly, is the point.  And there may be no way to find a bottom, worse yet.

So there is, perhaps, a balance, somewhere, between having faith and building certainty into our descriptive and prescriptive diagnoses, on one hand, and maintaining a certain intimate skepticism, on the other.

I'm struck that one of our fundamental attributes, and one that consistently makes us suffer (perhaps needlessly), is that we consistently tell ourselves that our strategic and emotional needs dictate descriptive reality, but by doing so, we choke out the possibility of fulfilling those needs.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


I was reminded by a recent comment that not-drinking is also equivalent to something else: eating.  Note, mood and mental stability is to a large part determined by nutrition.  Further note to develop this in the future.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I Care, I Care --

I should have just re-titled the post "constantly fighting the urge not to be overwhelmed by caring so damn much," which is more accurate.

And I know I haven't meant to care so much, but it turns out that I do care, and that some things are drastically important, even though it also turns out that those things aren't the same things that I wanted them to be, and that I'm not the best at articulating what they are, I know they exist.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Constantly Fighting the Urge Not To Care.

Sounds like depression.  You know they make pills for that these days?  And they work, too, so says all of the somewhat hopeful but still depressed people subscribing daily to an intake regiment of inhibitors, uptakers and soothers.

The idea is that depression exists in some fundamental way like bacteria exists.  I'm not entirely convinced.  I am convinced that taking prozac has helped a lot of people--taking it.   The act.  Because it is relatively easy.  It empowers us against something that we don't fully understand.

I'm generally pissed at the idea that we can understand everything, and that such understanding will matter.  I admit I'm partially pissed at it because working to understand things is hard.  Taking pills and assumptions is easier.  I admit that.  I admit it and get on the train every day like millions of others.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Flying Through The Past - Delusional Bonanza

Getting sober allows me access to my past.  As if I've got a video/dvd collection of everything.  As if I've got FLAC files of every emotional tremor.  As if I've got a hand on my own previous shoulder.  I can almost seamlessly drift or float through these experiential memories.  Every day of sobriety adds a level of precision that I didn't know could exist previously.  As if I just got prescription glasses for the first time and realized that words exist.  As if everything is written out.  And accessible.  And I'm not inured from experiencing it because I don't have to protect my own narrative about my previous self.  Not that I have no ego.  Just that I've found a way to experience the past without defending previous interpretations.  Like listening to old albums with new ears.  I used to think that certain conceptions could only be experienced in one way, and I protected--viciously--those precise experiences, and tried to show others how I experienced them.  And I wasn't wrong so much as trying to get my head around my own experiences at the time, and not quite okay with what it was they were.  And by extension. Who it was that I was.

Which consequently allowed me to fake into my own identity depending on circumstance, audience, and perceived possible reception.  And segregate different identities.  And try to keep them away from each other.  And try to keep myself away from myself.  Which, I realized, when I took the time to look around the abstraction of my brain and piece myself together, to assemble and organize as it were, meant that I was, actually, existent in one self, and not many, and that schizophrenia, for all of the romantic allure and dystopic fervor, actually is on a whole quite negative and costly, and stability was always something that I'd consistently under-rated as important.  At the same time I had a penchant for risk that might enamor me to myself, if I had the courage to look.  As if a precursor to looking. I had to impress myself with myself before I could look at myself.  Which meant that I never, ever, wanted to try.  Which meant that I was never, ever, impressive.  Instead I was vain and puny and weak and hopelessly inured.  To the possibility that I might be alright, deep down, if I found a way to settle the fragments I'd so carefully placed around the room.  As if they could float in the air there, where I placed them.   As if they didn't come down on their own.  As if the powder and shards that were left weren't already cutting into the soles of my feet. As if.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Finding Bliss in Unexpected Solitude - Hunker Down

That's the game, folks, if you want to call it a game.  Find yourself a nice quiet corner and come to grips with the torments.  And then smarten up. We, individually, are quite small.  That's a tremendously freeing note, in its own quiet way.  The stores of knowledge, for instance, available to us for our own decision making, make any one individual's life very small by comparison of contribution, but help any one individual willing to plunge his/her way through exponentially better.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Inner Life/ Exterior Life Matching Potential

Is it normal to live an interior life that is vastly different from the exterior life presented to the world on a daily basis?  Is it possible that the mom of the two children named Clifton and Ashton is in fact a rock star punk mom, one who does not see herself as a mother so much as as a rebel who also happens, by circumstance, to be a mother?  Is it possible that more people are more like this, telling themselves, that is, who they are separately from who it is they are, than not?  If that's the case, how are we to reliably find predictable behaviors or modes of conversation with common roots, without sort of "outing" people's inner identity?

Or maybe that's the ploy.  Maybe we should appeal to everyone as if they are duplicitous in self, and see what they tell us when we recognize their true selves?

And I wonder how long the true self goes on?  Is the retired high school science teacher really a Bodhisattva?

We play with secret identities all the time.  Don't we?

Or are there a cadre of people out there who are uniquely concurrently themselves both internally and externally?  If the exist, do they know they exist?  If they know they exist, do they know that the other ones, the discordant ones, also exist?  If so, do they feel superior?  If not, why not?  Or is it always the discordant ones who feel superior?

It is strange to think that two people might interact, over the purchase of coffee lets say, and find themselves signaling information about their internally viewed selves (and the internally viewed self's superiority) at the same time, information which may not even land perceptibly on the brain it was intended to land on.  And that's even more frightening, because it means that we--the discordant ones at least--are appealing to a group who either doesn't get us, or that we purposefully keep our appeals shrouded so much so as to become illogically non-communicative.