Thursday, January 31, 2013

Rushing Completion

I've basically rushed through everything in my life.  Everything has been a hack job, even though I've defended myself, even internally to myself, all the while, that I'm doing the most competent and thorough work imaginable.  It isn't true.  I've been a bit of a hack.

I know, I know, don't be hard on yourself and whatnot.  But seriously.   I know I have been.  I know a lot of people are.  We sort of seek comfort and we sort of don't want to indulge in hard work for the sake of hard work without a bigger reason.  And even with a bigger reason, it is easy enough to free ride in a lot of contexts.

But one thing that sobriety has birthed in me is the need to actually accomplish something worthy and semi-sacred.  It doesn't have to be religious.  But I want to work on a project and see it through to its logical end, and that logical end might be years away.  And since I've been trying to work on such projects, I've realized that I'm basically a hack, and that if I want to "really" accomplish these things I have to slow down and be mindful and work like a grazer, a meanderer, and not a machine built for a specific goal of x.   Because even though goal itself, of x, is something I fabricated from a hacker mindset, from the anxious quick fix mindset, from a mindset that told me to fill my life up, but do it quick already and get back to .... you know, everyone.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Push Against Your Instinct (Gently Please)

Getting sober requires a certain re-calibration.

Hell, doing anything requires a certain re-calibration.  We're tough riding gun-toting machines of pure self-destructive asseveration and verve, and we don't like to go slow.

Hear me?

Since everything matters and the saturation of meaning is dripping to the point of slip-slide funny house parody, it is paramount to run out there and fall down, right away, too.  Don't forget to wear a condom!


Instead, let's slow down and try to be meaningful and aware.   Welcome to earth.  We have longed to understand your species.

Me too.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Let's Find Positive Incentives

If we can.  I know we're almost all of us backwards and twisted and all melancholic inside at heart, or we strike when we feel most sensitive or we get in needless fights and find ourselves saying hurtful things we don't mean, even during the exact moment we say it.  Why is it that we are so wedded to the first positions we take?  Why is it that changing positions is seen as a weakness?  Shouldn't it be the case that updating one's beliefs based on new evidence is the very standard we should hold ourselves to in an ideal world?  I know it is far easier to come up with complicated and sophisticated reasons to feel bad, to change the objectives if one is settled, to find harm and abuse and righteousness.  The question is exactly the opposite, though, the goal, about unification and inter-subjective friendship.  Not everyone can be a friend, that is true, but for those of us who remain, why not look past differences even if the other person wins, just once?  What's the difference at the end of it all, if you win and make someone else miserable, anyway.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Hesitancy and Caution -

It strikes me that we as people are often not very hesitant or cautious in our thinking about other people.  This makes sense, on one hand, because when we judge others, we basically align ourselves with others who judge those others similarly--i.e. team-formation.  And teams are pretty much the most important single adaptation that humans have over all other species.  Teams with specified roles.

And so. One fallout from this evolutionary cognitive quirk is that it is easy to get into a brabble with others.  And it is even easier to judge others, especially when we've already aligned their team mentally.  Once this happens (i.e. you're a boston red sox and i'm a yankee), pretty much everything you do is because you're a boston red sox.  For me.  In your head, everything I do is because of my team affiliation. Naturally sports are like a "light" setting for this, but we're talking about assumptions that can:

--> Ruin Friendships
--> Pull marriages apart
--> Estrange lovers/sisters/brothers
--> Allow hate justification

And on and on.

Which is why hesitancy and caution are two extraordinarily under-rated emotional controls.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Hear me, lovers of forlorn flotsam fantasy.  I pronounce necessary items toward the transgression of self, herewithin sublimated to a higher purpose, remaining undefinable.

No talking about it.  Not even to other people who get it.  Not even to parents. Especially dead ones. Hold the pressure to speak in.  Speaking need not be the release, the promise of glory and communal allure, twisting as it might around smokey mystical edges that are just about the purest form of near clarity possible.  No. It need not solve problems.

Observe the delicate balance of bodily response toward nutrition.  Always dance into a situation uncommitted.  Do not fitfully devour.  Embrace your carnality in quiet restraint.  Come to grow hungry for discipline and want.  Understand your want by standing behind the first layer of desire and throwing pebbles at the window.  Show it who is running the show.

Consume plenty of written materials, making sure to shirk the need to impress upon others one's daily quota.

Come to terms with the need to please others by pushing yourself downward.  Refrain from abject compromise.  Do it politely, with as much steely eye contact as possible.

Come to terms with the temerity of hero-worship that you swallowed as a child.  Digest what it valuable and find a toilet for the rest.

Become obedient and proportional.  Don't complain.  Don't find complicated sophisticated reasons to complain.  Understand that no matter what level of intelligence you've been told you have, even while flagging behind others, you must work hard to maintain, not for them, and not for a reason.  Just because.  It is what we do.  We can call it patience if you'd like.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Living Two Lives?

Ever get the feeling that the life you're leading--your job, family, hometown, school attended, etc.--is not your real life?  As in, those are just "temporary" indicia, bound to change upon a future event (*however opaque)?

Here I am, telling us all to wake up.  Neglecting people in your life for the sake of fantasy people, or a fantasy life, or something "real" that is not actually real and directly contradicts observable reality from a third person's perspective, can actually make us quite sociopathic.

Problem is, it is the exact same thing that can lead to fame and fortune and general high standing.

The capacity to endure one's current experience and "see" in "almost real terms" a future that is not like the present.

Really hard to splice these.

Combine the above with our never-ending need to be on a team of some sort, to be a total in-group player and to ostracize and beat the other team, and it starts to become clear that "sociopaths" are "heros" depending on your team, or, conversely, "heros" are "sociopaths"--either way.  And the idea that we update our beliefs according to evidence is laughably false.  We update them according to what we believed in the first place.

Makes reforming oneself darn difficult.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Accomplishment, Requirements

Lots of hard work.  The willingness to keep going "all in" over and over and over again, even when numbed. To be able to wake up an go back in to the exclusion of all else.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Flipping Out

As an alcoholic, it is more than highly probable that you (and I) also have other, ahem--cough--latent issues.

Anxiety would be one of them.  That'd be a major one for me.  I really...lose my breath even trying to write this to a room full of anonymity.  I really dislike more than 1 or 2 people to be around me at a time.  I like my company small, in other words.  "Every since I was small," parties were a problem. I mostly avoided them.  I had excuses.  I worked a job waiting tables when I wasn't in school.   The job was hard too, but it was also mostly a series of one-on-one or one-on-two conversations, and when translated thusly, I found it much more palatable.

And so.  I was sort of, you know, limited.  I kept only 1 good friend at a time.  It wasn't a place where one could express oneself.

And then I hit college, and I found a place to express myself.  Academics.  It was a revelation to me, I'll admit, and this sounds really stupid, because it is true, but like a lot of true things, conceptual understanding and practical understanding are far apart. And anyway, I could express myself through my work.  I'm actually a creative person who likes to, ahem, create stuff.  I found that out.   And nobody really argues with stellar grades like they do with other excuses.  So grades became my mantra.

And then, something else happened, toward the end of college, before grad school..  That thing was booze.  I had abstained mostly for three years.  But I found a way to express myself yet again, through this vicious drink.  And it felt grand.  I had very little inhibitions.  I realized I could manipulate situations with my words, that I had power over other people's thoughts.  That I could make them laugh.  A lot.  Mostly I realized that.  It was, again, a revelation, and I tried, hard, I realized, but also quite effortlessly, if that makes sense, to bring humor everywhere like a freakin' shield.  And I liked to go to parties.  And I liked to see people and feel important.

Except that the academic part of me sort of got, um, submerged.  Which was bad.  Because I'm basically still digging out of it.  And I have a lot of "regret issues," you know, the kind that make me metaphorically bang my head against the wall thousands of times and fucking hate myself for fucking up.  Those.    Now things seem much much harder.  And.  They are.  And there's nothing I can do about that.  I am, in a sweeping grand bullshit narrative, paying for my indiscretions, my flirtations, my general lasciviousness with all things.

And it hurts.

Because now that I've stopped drinking.  And I have stopped drinking.  Now that it has stopped, that monster of social fluff that I was feeding.  Well.  Now the anxiety is back.  Damn if it didn't just hang out and wait about 10 years like that.  I have anxiety problems.  You can see them as a constellation of responses to environmental stimuli and place them on a spectrum of anxiety disorders if you'd like.  If that helps digest it.  Maybe it will help.

Here's my biggest regret, anyway.  Both of my parents were psychologists.  I wanted to be one too, at some point in time.  And I am not.  I didn't decide to go that way, at some point half way through college.  And I regret that.  A lot.  And I'm not sure I can change it.

I regret the fact that everything feels so stuck now.  I regret the way I am.   It hurts to regret your very being.  Fuck, if I could chose not to, I wouldn't. Trust me.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Always So Serious?

Odd thing is that I don't think I'm serious, in my head.  This is almost an autistically removed answer because it might seem rabidly literal.  On the other hand, it is utterly true.  I do tend to stray toward the intense, or whatever.  Whatever in that I don't take the label so seriously, knowing the level of intensity that others I've been exposed to subscribe and act accordingly.

How to respond, then, while not making the questioner uncomfortable?

See, side note necessary here.  [insert]  I'm trying to figure this out as I write.  I don't have it pre-figured and ready for writing.  There's a bit of a difference between the two.  During the first, I actually am exposing myself in a kind of thorough way that's frightening. And exhausting.

Here's a separate side note, to myself, from myself: folks don't really care.  It isn't worth actually being vulnerable.  Every possible stimuli out there, exterior-side, screams toward the pedestrian, the strategy, that is, to be utterly fake and impulsive-driven and vaingloriously self-obsessed, mannequin-like when listening to other viewpoints, lioness-like when pouncing down the throats of non-interlocutors--non-interlocutors, I'll remind thee,  self, that are fundamentally hard to identify.  Damnit.  It isn't a puzzle.  It is a fucking diaphanous piece of opacity, of dual layered glass, that I/you can see through and see a reflection in, and I am reduced to measuring geometrical approaches to understand the angle of others, whether they are, as it were, in the reflection, or on the other side.  And either option is not heartening.

Another side-note.  If you don't know who is on your side, it doesn't make sense to jump down random throats.  It also doesn't necessarily make sense to have sides, except that they increase cooperation exponentially, because they offer psychological buy-in, which is a precious commodity, one that, shucks, can't just be produced by sheer will, but is the by-product of a series of emotional compromises and mutual reckoning.  Also, there's the issue that if you tell yourself that folks don't care, and act accordingly, they certainly won't care, but if you are sincere, and act accordingly, perhaps you'll find a commonality out there, one that can ring true and whatnot.  The question is of weighing the possible nuclear size harm of being hyper-sincere all the time, and of the problem, of course, that when you're sincere and interested in things, people are always asking you things like, "why are you so serious?" and that's fucking annoying, and makes you not want to be so sincere all time, and basically revert to a kind of nihilistic solipsism that's carnally gratifying and totally empty.  Which is the problem, isn't it?

So, there's a blindness.  That's what it is.  A blindness to taking action.   And there's a blindness in speaking (or writing on a blog); one that manifests itself in the incapacity to produce cocked and ready-to-consume pithy titty-pinchers of humorous content.  Mostly because we don't know who we're interacting with, not that easily, anyway, and certainly in a large anonymous place like the internet.  And, worse, perhaps, there's no guarantee, even in that space, of other like-minded souls to find their way together, even if I'm as sincere-as-is-possible.  There are no monitors of companionship, after all.  There's no assurances, no guarantees 

There's only you/me, our looking glass butane-filled science experiment of piecing it together, pretending that, once we get there, to the end of the journey, we'll have been successful getting some message across to one another about our experiences, so that we can breath a sigh of relief, and die knowing that: we weren't alone after all.  That would be a feeling of relief worth dying over, don't you think?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Saturday is the worst day. Alcoholic Ego.

It isn't Monday.  Or Sunday.  Or even "hump day."  It is saturday.


Only because it is relentless.

Only because it used to be the most hungover day of the week.

Because I only knew how to relax by being hungover.

Because I only knew how to not keep propelling myself forward into something, whatever, by drinking fiendishly.

Because I was obsessively egotistical, and Saturday was a test to my ego.  Which friends would call? Who would deem me important?  Who would I deem?

There's a cure to friends calling, or not calling.  Either way.  Drink.

See how easy?

And what else?  Only this: Alcoholics are manically self-absorbed, or depressingly self-absorbed, or both.  Almost everyone is, so this isn't a huge lift, but alcoholics more so, because we've purposefully stopped emotional growth, deciding how we want to live with every sip.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Hard Truth of Life (The Sin of Time)

I'm having a bit of trouble coping with the fact that I'm aging.  I know that, objectively, it occurs, or is occurring, all the time, and that it doesn't stop.  It's a constant stream.  But it doesn't feel that way.

It feels like it happens in chunks, hunks really, or increments that aren't linear, that don't match my subjective insistence on whomever it is that I'm frolicking around with inside, and that often occur in moments of grotesque self-analysis and realistic perception of my, ya know, BODY.   Yeah, that fallible carnal reality of withering decay!  I mean, take care of it and it will be better, no doubt, and I'm trying with all my might to do so, but still.  Still, gasp, isn't it sort of impossible, "in the end" that we fully take care of our bodies?   Not to provide some excuse to rush the process.  But query with me, ladies and gents, the delicate fact that once we know what kind of life we've led (assuming, and bit of a large assumption, that we're sort of honest about these things and/or update our beliefs on some regular basis that isn't linked to a grand self-deluding narrative), we're too old to change that life, and so are stuck with an emotional reality that isn't zen-buddhist in nature, but more, oh, how do you say it, along the road to death.

Does the possibility for one's happiness increase as one ages?  Is time spent happy more dense, more pleasurable, more rewarding, somehow, so that we can peel back the grimy layers that have become our less-than-pliable skin, and sort of relish in the fact that our experience has allowed us some tidbit, some morsel, of satiation, knowing that?

I want to tell you there's a truth buried in the above, so basic and beautiful and light-hearted that it will make you float with glee.  I want to tell you a lot of things, actually.  I want.

Monday, January 7, 2013

If You're Sober, Good. -

I don't mean to denigrate folks who are a few days sober.  That's good.  I've been reading through the flood of recent comments and I realize a lot of hard drinkers are making an honest decision to try to get off the sauce.  For that I commend you.  All of you.  Please keep it up.

A Month of Sobriety? Guess again.

At first I thought, because I'm a selfish prude who is overly optimistic, that maybe, hey, more folks are checking out my blog because of the blog itself . . . then I realized, hey, wait, it is 2013!  2013 folks, that year that you never thought would come.

More important, the time when everyone decides to diet or stop drinking for some amount of time.

Listen folks who want to stop for a month: I'm not really feeling you.  A month is a good plan.  I like it.  I used to sing that song myself.  But if you've got the inclination to go for a month, perhaps you should ask youselves why?  I mean, what is your average daily intake of alcoholic drinks?   Myself, I used to drink at least 5 a day, on average, see.  That's a lot.  I didn't think it was so much.  On friday and saturday it was 10-15 each day, so that's let's say 21 for easy division.  That's already an average of 3 drinks a day.  That's a lot right there.  Don't believe me?  Think it is normal?

The CDC, the chronicler of all things DEATH RELATED, puts "heavy drinking" in the average of 2 a day category.

Anyway, either you want to stop a month for relatively shallow reasons, in which case I have very little empathy for you, or you have a real problem, and it is bad enough to get into the motto of a day at a time, but since you don't know that yet, it is a month, for one time.

Either way, it is good to abstain for any amount of time.

I tried for a year.  Now it has been over 2.5.  I realized I can't drink.  Everyone is different.  How many months do you want to stop to see whether you're the exception?  I mean, we're all so fucking exceptional, aren't we, that we can play the month-to-month game and "just try it out" sort of like something that's popular and trendy and something to be talked about with colleagues and whatnot.

Listen, for those hard core drinkers out there.  When you get sober, do not talk to your colleagues at work.  Don't tell them you're trying some fancy experiment.  Don't tell them anything.  Just another normal day.  They don't need to have the dirt.

Sobriety isn't a cleanse.  It isn't a fucking enema (as wonderful as they might be).  It isn't spiritual enlightenment.  Most days it is alienating.  It is hard.  It is not fun and dandy.  Fun and dandy can go fuck themselves.  I'm sober, and I'm sticking to it.  If you want to do something for  a month, eliminate sugar from your diet.  Try being nice to your parents every day.  Talk to them instead of treating them like chores to be accomplished.  Try not to think lewd thoughts about your neighbors.  Eliminate all pornography from your lives.

Discipline does bring freedom, but most people don't want freedom.  They want to go into the office on a monday morning and gossip, and pat themselves on the back for being better than their peers.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

From Cool to Contempt

When I was about 15, I wanted to be cool.  I adorned myself with a leather michael jackson style jacket, full of zippers, and pranced about the house, perfecting my look before I'd make my debut as a star, I thought.

Little did I know that teenage awkwardness would castigate me and mock me enough to force a dramatic stumble: even before my ascent into the echelon of avant-guardistic trend setting yogic explorer, I was an outcast, a loner.  

I wanted to finish writing this post, but it will have to come in a second installment at a later date.