Sunday, August 25, 2013

Former Lovers (and Near Lovers):

I was insincere, or at least a bit too emotional, when I wrote previously about former lovers.  They occupy a strange place in my mind.  And for clarity, they're not all former lovers; they're former "intimates," some of whom I had relations with that were never physically manifested, though I am sure that these were intimate relations nevertheless.  Anyway, the point.  The point is that getting sober, or getting older and getting sober, had for a long time possessed me by cycling back intense and crystal clear memories, memories that I felt, at least, were sharp and accurate and intensely vivid, so much so that they sucked me from my present state and overcame me at times, entrancing as they were--to relive the past without reliving the past.  To examine all angles of a series of events without having the weight of decision-making in real time.

Except.  Except that I never had these types of reshuffling snapshot live-feeds into the past when with any lovers/former lovers/intimates.  And so you see that this group of relatively select people, people who I felt a vulnerability I cannot try to write, except to say that I ceased to feel a separation vis-a-vis my body and the world and the other person, such was our connection, also happens to be the same people I cannot access in my new found sobriety.  And I look back at those times now with a fresh layer of nostalgia for the child-like innocence that those times represent, and also, I wonder: why don't I cycle through these memories as well?  What is it about incredibly close compatriots that keeps me separate from them now?  Why can't I taste at least the memory of their sweet elixir, and at least get my shit straight about our interactions?

I can force myself to remember the objective specifics, but it is not the same.

Odd phenomenon, I thought, or didn't think.  And this was really want I mean to detail in the previous post.  And instead of actually working to describe it (yes, it is work), I simply did what came much easier (and resulted in a much cheaper post, though it still stings to get a rebuke in the comments like that--almost like a former lover scorned that he/she is not remembered appropriately).

To be clear: it isn't as if I don't remember these people.  I can tell you about all of our interactions.  I can tell you where we went, how we went, what we talked about, generally, etc.  It is more about the energy or mood of our interactions.  I don't think it means that I have forgotten.  I have a sneaking suspicion that it is more about my own inability to {insert appropriate verb here},.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sobriety = Revamp Entire LIfe

I know, I know, it sounds dramatic, but sobriety really triggers a bit of re-engineering, if you will, regarding almost every aspect of life.  To wit: it isn't just the cessation of drinking that changes.  It is everything else.

Friends, family, social relations general, exercise routines, nutrition, worldview (potentially), and more.

And I'm not talking about religious conversion, i.e. the need to talk to everybody about one's sobriety.  God help us if that were the case.  I know far too many office-mates who already like to vocalize their self-help routines daily, as if to compare and contrast (and be better than others).

I'm talking about the fine stuff, the granular small bits around the edges that slowly permeate the whole.

Enough said for now.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Certain Comments Not Allowed

Comments that say you're currently drinking, for instance.

Plans to get sober, but present boozing, do not qualify you for writing about sobriety, or getting any of the support from sober people.  Sorry.  I'm just going to delete them.  If you've been sober for even one day, fine, comment all you like.

Nothing is Pre-Determined

I like the idea that we can "do" anything we want to do. I also have entirely mixed feelings about it. While life is certainly not akin to prison for me and millions like me, there are limitations, and I have a feeling that for most of my childhood, and early adulthood, I was told implicitly that almost anything is possible. And it isn't.  And there's a lot of hard work between the dots of intense pleasure and clarity that, mind you, actually do exist.  But nobody said that, or I didn't want to hear it.   Which isn't a complaint.  It is just a ramification of dreaming for too long.  Fantasy is good as fantasy.  When fantasy becomes reality, there's a lot of crap to deal with that sort of detracts from the fantasy part.  I still feel that, despite knowing the substance of the last sentence, all of us get drugged into feeling like potential decisions we are about to make carry less weight than similar decisions we made in the past.  

Friday, August 16, 2013

Former Lovers

What space do they occupy in our minds?  How does it work?

I have one in mind.  I have this anesthetized feeling toward her, that, I'm sure, isn't somehow my real accurate feeling.  And yet, it persists, a hammer wrapped in cloth.  It will still break the window, wont' it, if I swing?  It will still hurt its owner?  Won't it?  I don't know.  I've wrapped it up with a lot of cloth, mind you, quite thick, in woolens and sheets and strips and shards of those things best left to whimsy of nostalgic meandering, and I find it sick and both convenient and repulsive now, the way it is, and yet.

I can't quite touch it.

Damn it.

I want to touch it.

I mean that sincerely.  I want the crystal clean memories of yesteryear, to live through them at times in a way that won't be wholly cathartic, in a way that won't be fully punishing, but instead fractionally cathartic and punishing, and unlike a walk in the park, it will reach into me and tell me that I am alive because I know what mistakes mean and that I'm alive because I know where I was and where I was, it was fundamentally flawed in a way that is irreparable now, and so, must be wrapped every so tightly, except that I long to flail flawed markers around and just relish in it, you know, the imperfection, the subtlety and the numerosity of imperfect existence, crystallized and sweet on a sunny day just like any other.

Yearn for Creativity, Curiosity, and Imagination

I've been mired in a rivet of negativity for a tad long, no?  I'm relentless, with this over-arching need to reformat and drop a drape of darkness over perfectly merciless alliteration!

The point is this.  It is much harder to be curious and imaginative than it is to be negative and disillusioned.  They're selling disillusionment on the street, man, all you have to do is consume some entertainment for a while and you'll feel it settled into the corner of your spine like a cement nail that's been glued there specifically to keep you from relaxing.  

And so.

And so.

And so.

There is a rubber ducky in my pool, and he needs a-feedin'!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

I Fucked Up Thoroughly and Regret It Deeply.

I'm flogged by regret, an almost nonstop ribbon of internal discourse that flavors everything I filter and process, almost all interactions, and most certainly, how I view my current position in life on a more macro level.  My default is self-blame, assumption of inadequacy, and intense disassociation.  It is difficult to embed myself, find meaning, and feel excited in a way that is not put on, manufactured, or that doesn't immediately collapse into meandering highly self-critical metaphorical lashings of self.

It is impossible to shake completely, coming back at moments when I feel like I've shed it, finally, and making its way into the crevices that I was too slipshod to fill completely with consistency.  See, I can't do anything about it--my years of being ridiculously self-absorbed, unknowingly gorging myself on all sorts of somewhat evil consumptive pastimes, and being an asshole, even and especially when I thought of myself as completely garrulous, hugely social, and friendly to the tee, well--those years cannot be undone.  I cannot choose to make better decisions. They won't unfold.  . I changed the course of something that had promise and allowed open and authentic possibility, and turned it into something else; something with walls.

Not that I'm really terribly unhappy with where things are! Although I know it doesn't seem so when re-reading the above. Or that I don't feel, even, that my sense of regret is really an insidious sense of wanting to have more, do better, and generally feed the old selfish self that lurks never-ending in the sewer pipes of my daily dreams, the self who desires power for power's sake.  And yes, I'm entirely too hard on myself, almost all the time, and yes, I can see this behavior in others and absolutely give them solid real advice when I tell them not to be too hard on themselves.  And so. There is no conclusion here.  Sorry.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Comments By Anonymous- "Help a Man Out?"

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "What Happens When You Stop Drinking. How Long to ...": 

hey now...been at this 'trying to get sober' thing for a while now...I am, I guess, what could be considered as a highly functional alcoholic. Professional employment, good family life, dogs...blah blah least 12 beers a day for the past 10 years, but now over the whole's just that I simply cannot...I quit for about 5 months and thought I had it licked...hell, even did an iron distance triathlon in the interim (exercise has been huge all my life). Now, as you can probably figure out, the wheels have fallen off...Naltrexone is in the house, but i'll be damned if I want to do it that way....needing a bit of strength, and would like to find a source to keep up with folks on a consistent basis (accountability works well for me). Did the AA thing but, even after months of meetings, never got comfortable with the whole thing....can somebody help a man out?? 

Hey, Man:

Here's me, someone who has been sober for over 3 years, helping you out. Are you ready?   If you sense a bit of bewilderment in my tone, I'm sorry.  You did a triathlon in the interim?  Great!  I'm happy for you. You've been doing triathlons with 12 packs for years, so good to switch out one for another in some respects. 

1. Get your nutrition right.  That's first.  Are you eating enough protein?

2. Don't expect the world to bow down at your efforts.  This is a big one.  You're not a model of ideal behavior because you've gotten sober.  You've simply corrected a major character flaw that most people don't have.  Don't pat yourself on the back for that.  You're basically just getting up to speed.

3. Don't expect bliss and perfection.  Bliss and perfection only happen when you're too drunk to know the difference

4.  Be sober now and expect that it won't be ideal.  The world has lots of details and stuff has been happening when you've been out drinking (not everyone has been out drinking like you).

5. Time to grow up, emotionally-speaking.  What they say about being "stuck" at the emotional age of when you started drinking is true.  You may have even gone backwards.  How do you "repair the dissonance?"  Time and effort and maddening amounts of self-doubt, and time and effort and not giving up.   

6. Stop thinking in terms of your whole life or everything, or everyone, or anything so blandly opaque and abstract.  

7.  Drop all your previous principles, in other words.  Expect to remold them slowly.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Levels of Abstraction

There's an increasing transition occurring in my life: to wit, I desire to signal to others less than I desire pleasure inducing behaviors for myself.  Those pleasure inducing behaviors are not basic, and I don't need audience to show my selective taste.  I don't need audience anymore at all.

I wonder whether I need anybody at all?

I do, I know.  I need my wife!  Without her I'd surely be in a gutter somewhere, writing this blog as if it were my only saving grace, and trying very hard to impress all of you all the time.  See, I try so much less to impress than I've ever tried, and my standards are so much higher!  It is a reverse relationship than you might intuit, but true!

Anyway, all the principles I used to hold I have almost completely let go of, and I feel much freer for it.  And all of those principles were abstract.  I.e. how they could become actualized/practical was open to interpretation.  And.  Because of that I could do whatever I wanted.