Sunday, July 28, 2013

We're All Victims

Excuses are easy.  I'm not saying they're not valid, or warranted, or heartfelt, or that they matter.  Or that excuses function only as excuses.  I'm not saying that they should be wiped away and disregarded.  But.  They also shouldn't have the power of God, be capable, in other words, to diminish one's sense of necessary responsibility and, yes, if necessary, shame.  We are all victims in some way, some of us much more so than others.  And it is often the case that the true victims (of child abuse, for instance), are incredibly hard on themselves and not very forgiving, whereas those who live sheltered lives have learned to manufacture outrage and build in excuses that manifest as victimhood, but are in reality simply privileged excuses to feel outrage, blame others, and generally not work to self-correct.

Self-correction is necessarily difficult.  Perhaps the most difficult.  Parents would at times rather lose sons, would rather commit suicide, would rather take the cost of almost anything over and above self-correcting.  

Sobriety = self-correction.  It isn't easy, and it isn't about being nice, playing games, or making people like you.  It is about desiring honesty and trying not to let the first few inchoate thoughts that float into your mind find a way to solidify as irretrievable fact, forever immovable.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Alcoholics are Sugar Addicts, Too -

Alcohol is a super carb.   When you're drinking it, it is also as if you've switched over to eating highly refined carbs, which seriously mess with insulin levels, amongst other things.  Therefore, to get clean and sober, you must think hard about nutrition, and how you'll deal with cravings, which are often the sign of low blood sugar, not a maligned psychopathic need to drink booze, per se.  Just that booze offers the kind of warm fuzzy sugar rush that we all get quite used to.  So, for one, you can supplement with amino acids.  L-Glutamine will control sugar in yer blood--and your brain can use it instead of glucose to run.

Eat more protein (but not too much, but include some at each meal), and try to eat regularly, in general.  You're not a misanthropic heretic because you've succumbed to a craving or two (or 20k).  You don't need to denigrate yourself endlessly because you drank when you didn't know better.  But now that you know better...

Monday, July 22, 2013

Reliving The Past -

Struggling with regret is normal.

But living in a world where previous mistakes infiltrate almost every living moment is not as normal.
A second version of this is when all current events get filtered through old mistakes.

A third version exists when we basically are reacting to old mistakes without knowing it, and simultaneously trying to "prove" ourselves (mostly to ourselves).  The academic would be star is not exempt from this as much as the high school nerd who is now a sports jock is reacting to previous real or perceived social opprobrium.

We don't like it when our egos, finely tuned and attenuated as they may be, in relatively fragile state either way, are hit down.  And depending on our character, how we react (depression, or digging in deep, or ignoring previous slights), is vital and reflects our self-image.  Naturally, I can run away, across the country, and become sensitive, and cower in the corner with the best of them!

I used to think it was important to be careful with everything I said, to make sure the person who I was talking to was flattered, to always be aware of social etiquette (unless drunk, in which case I would change my "audience" to a new crew of crazies in my head and act all sorts of out of tune).  Etiquette and niceties are quaint and excellent, and being polite is important.  I respect hierarchy and authority, much more these days than ever before, and in a deeper way, too, but I also recognize that my specific actions and words are much less important than ever before, and while that is a bit depressing, it is freeing, too.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sigh... Life is Practical Not Dreamy


It took me about 15 years to say that to myself in a way that was felt and honest and not a put on and not a fake way of asserting some sort of falsified notion of how to act.


And even now I dream in a way that is barely containable.


While my life has drastically changed and mostly in good positive ways!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Compacted Dreams

Dream big, right? Well, there are a few versions to this in practice.

First is the adolescent version: dream that "things can change" without taking any steps to make those changes.  Imagine instantaneous revival and incarnate redemption.  This is the dream of lottery-winning and dancing with the stars or what have you.  This is the American dream, that "anything" can happen, and damn the probabilities all to hell, those things will happen to you/me/us, the exceptional ones.

Second is the twenties-something career climber: dreams have solidified inside of a track; parameters are increasingly set and education and hard work will yield the path to the bigger adolescent dream buried deeper within the twenties-something psyche.   Fuck and suck and don't imagine turning thirty, because it won't happen and nothing is real, yet, i.e. only my ambition matters.

Third: Thirties.  Figuring out that life is not infinitely long.  Taking stock of past record of events and actions.  Accumulation of regrets and victories.  Trying hard to become someone practical and worthy.   The longer adolescent dreams hang on here the less progress is made.

Forties: Work out.  Get that aging body in shape.   Career work is embedded, entrenched, dreams regarding work are a laugh.  Cynicism has set in, and aerobics has come to combat it.

More soon.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Who Says You Can't Reinvent Yourself?

The coda; the pause and hum.  The instant recognition. The survivor instinct; spotlight drenched megalomania; infant death syndrome; blinding searing insight with too many adjectives;

fashionista sipping java on ledge of portent, mildly congruent with former selves, constantly aware of onlookers;

The depressive mindset lifted and expanded into antitheticals and recursive institutional bureaucratic jism; spread wide enough to dry and fly kite like in park, elicit comments from on-lookers about diaphanous transparency and willingness to achieve and strive higher.  Commitment to principles, you respond, starting to get the feeling in your fingers, the rhythm of the day fills the negative space around you, as it was lost a few moments earlier.

Pause and hums and nips and tucks,.

A conversation, it is, however dire, however superfluous; easy excuses are too easy for me now, however sexy they look;

dance in air vent air like cotton candy; prance along windowpanes like spanish guitar; trill into the dense edge of evening, the undulations of my corduroy, in the all night long good will basket, soaking in community-minded fungus of a thousand crotches and ready to be recycled again into another person's enigmatic livelihood.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Apprehension about Sobriety -

I get a lot of emails from folks who are either about to try to get sober, or who have gotten sober recently, and are concerned about anxiety: they've never experienced this much of it, namely, or they don't know how to act in social situations anymore, or they dread going out.

While anxiety is a constant enemy for me, I won't pretend like it can be conquered. I've probably talked about this before, but I want to be clear that when you decide to get sober, you must be prepared to deal with increased levels of anxiety.  That anxiety might get triggered for a lot of different reasons--reasons that you can work out with a therapist, or slowly, piecemeal on your own, so long as you remember that "knowing" why anxiety exists doesn't necessarily stop the anxiety from existing.  Repeated exposure to triggers with increasing severity is the core of cognitive behavioral therapy and can help. Just like pronouncing foreign words becomes easier with practice.

In fact, practice is at the heart of what it means to get sober because you will realize that you're simply not as good at things as you thought you were, and that, well, if you want to improve, for a variety of reasons, you need practice. Hopefully the ideal of practice will wear into what you do on an everyday basis, and you will stop seeking mastery in the sense of actual accomplishment, and see mastery instead as more abstract, i.e. unattainable, which will yield to more practice and betterment of self, and the knowledge that apprehension, worry, doubt, and fear, all presuppose a certain type of attainment, an expectation of mastery, that is not evident in anyone, i.e. is unrealistic, and at that point some sense of dread will dissipate.  Trying to figure out how to relax and have fun without being dogmatic and regimented will be quite valuable.  Good luck!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Fighting and Love

When fighting about a relationship (or really, any kind of talk about the relationship) constitutes a larger portion of time of the relationship than the relationship part of the relationship, it may be time to find some new relations.