Out for all that I can get

211872_overflowing_glass_1It all needs to be timed just so.  Over- or under-estimating any element during the day will result in getting less of it into my body than is needed.  How much is needed?  All that I can get.

I look at the clock more than I look at anything else on this earth.  I have 3 hours before I have to go to bed.  How much vodka do I have stashed behind the spare bedroom’s door?  If I overestimate how much is left, I won’t realize that I’ve run out until after the liquor stores are closed.  I can’t let that happen.

That would mean elevated anxiety, knowing that I will have to go more than 12 hours without alcohol.  That would mean feeling nauseous and irritable for hours before I can reasonably excuse myself from the office for an “early lunch” and race to a bank machine and then to the store.  I can’t let that happen.

There is a minimum level of vodka to blood ratio that must be maintained.  Otherwise my body will begin to rebel.  I have to make sure that there’s enough stashed around the house and in the car to get me through, because I’m out for all that I can get and truthfully, no amount will ever be enough.

Daily Prompt: Can’t Drive 55

Take the third line of the last song you heard, make it your post title, and write for a maximum of 15 minutes. GO!

Personal Escape

Baseball Cap with LEDI’ve been thinking about taking a couple of days off work and going out of town for a little getaway. There is a provincial park nearby that feels like a second home and I think I’d like to take a little tent, a bike, an eReader and my new hat with a brim light and just slide away on my own for a couple of nights.

I’m dreaming of riding every day, sitting by the river reading a good mystery and maybe even renting a kayak for a couple of hours. And naturally, a nightly campfire.

Campfire

I camp at this park a couple of times every year with my mom, sister and nephew. Those trips are always great fun, but they take a lot of planning and prep on my behalf. The thought of just being responsible for myself in those surroundings is exciting.

This isn’t the first year I’ve dreamed of this lone camping trip. However, in summers past, I wanted to get away so that I could drink openly for consecutive days. It was a drinking getaway that I was desiring. How sad in retrospect.

But this isn’t about being sober. In fact I want this to be a break from everything, including the mental drain that comes with staying sober.  I’m 169 days sober and I haven’t taken more than a couple of scattered days off from work during this time.  I think I need a little time off, both as a reward and a reboot.

My rollercoaster of emotions have been especially bumpy these past few weeks.  Depression has been hitting me harder and more frequently.  While I believe my medication needs some tweaking, I’m also just naive enough to believe that some fresh air, exercise and time to myself will do me a world of good.  At the very least, it will be fun to entertain the idea for a little while.

 

 

Lonely

Cloudy DayLonely. Tonight I was at my home AA meeting in a church filled with like-minded people and I was alone in a pew. Very lonely. I typed this post instead of making eye contact. Very lonely. Nervously waited for the meeting to start so I could look up without fear of making small talk. Very lonely. Very unapproachable. Shit I made eye contact with the woman I want to ask to sponsor me. I’m lonely and afraid. I’m mostly afraid that she’ll say no.

I don’t know if it’s because I’m tired, but I was tearing up throughout the entire meeting. I was 5 paces from my car when the tears started streaming.

I have an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness. This is my life. This is it. For the rest of my living days, this is fucking it. There’s nothing new to love or experience. There’s no new life coming into mine. All that’s left to experience is loss. I don’t think my heart can bear this. I know my mind can’t.

What’s worse for my family: losing me to death or losing me to a lingering life of alcoholism and despair? They will just have to understand that I’m not capable of continuing like this. I can’t be expected to.

I’m a fucking coward that should have killed myself 2 decades ago. So many people would have been spared.

I am so fucking lonely but I don’t want to be around anyone.

I need a full nights’ sleep and to stop living on chocolate and Red Bull. But for what? To string together a couple of days of normalcy? Why fucking bother? The hopelessness is always right there, under the surface. It’s never far enough away.

Comments are closed because I’m having a shitty night and can’t bear to read encouragements.  If it sounds crazy, it is.  I am.  Tomorrow will be better, but for tonight I just need to spill my unpopular feelings.

Day 167: Recovery and Reflections

In a non-judgmental, truly inquisitive tone, she asked “So you don’t drink at all?”

“No.”

“Like, at all, at all?”

“No, not at all anymore.”

“Just because?”

“Because I am completely irresponsible with it and can’t do it at all.”

“And you realize that about yourself?”

“Oh yeah, there’s no question.”

Second friend says “She learned from highschool and beyond.”

“Oh fuck yeah, I learned.”

It’s been a summer of reunions for me and it feels like a reward for being sober 167 days.  I saw Matchbox 20 in concert last night.  I last saw them 13 years ago with friends I haven’t seen in almost as long.  We reunited last month for a Tom Petty concert and it was truly amazing to be with friends after such a long time.  Last night we danced, we sang, we hugged and we laughed a lot.

In AA rooms, the concept of isolation comes up often and it’s something I fully identify with.  I’ve always shied away from people.  Early in life it was because of social anxiety; later, it was because of (and for) alcohol.

I don’t like to think of the years I spent drinking in isolation as “the years I lost,” because it’ll depress the fuck out of me.  I’m not convinced I would have done anything meaningful with those years anyways – even without the alcohol, I don’t think I would have cured cancer.  But I do feel a twinge of regret for isolating myself from these friendships that were always available to me, had I just reached out.

I am tremendously lucky to have reunited with these women, even if just for a couple of concerts this summer.  These reunions would likely have happened whether I was sober or not, but I am certain that I enjoyed them 100 times more than I would have, had I been drinking.

So yesterday, on Day 166, in a new world that’s filled with firsts, I experienced another one: telling a friend the truth as to why I’m not drinking.  I’m proud of how I answered her curiosity.  I’m proud that I was able to recently pick up my 5 month coin. And I’m proud to be sober on Day 167.

5 Month Coin

Frazzled. Love the Word, Hate the Feeling.

I’m frazzled.  I’m overwhelmingly tired and self-medicating with a metric shit-tonne of Red Bull (metric, because I’m Canadian).  Energy drinks just aren’t cutting it.  I want to flat out ask my doctor for stimulants.  That, or find an alternative to the Seroquel, because it’s kicking my ass.

I haven’t drank in 163 days, but I’ve been feeling drunk for 2 weeks since Seroquel was added to my diet.

This shitty combo of exhaustion and fake energy is making it impossible to focus and finish anything.  There are 1000 things I want to do but I can’t organize the logistics to even start most.

I’ve been sitting at my desk for 5 hours and haven’t completed anything of significance.  I have documents open with tasks in varying states of progress.  I know that today’s going to pass without getting anything done.  I have no focus or ability to stay with one task longer than a few minutes.

Fuck.  This is not the person I want to be.  This is not the worker I want to be.

When a coworker comes to my desk for an impromptu conversation, I can’t get out of it fast enough.  It’s like I have a squirrel in my head digging furiously to get under the fence and escape.  I just want to escape back to my swirling thoughts; trying to follow a conversation and organize intelligent responses is too much work.

There’s not much time left in this work day.  I’m going to close the internet browser and keep it closed for the remainder of the day.  I’ll avoid any work tasks that require it, minimizing my risk of being distracted like the digging vermin that’s in my head.

I’ll make a list of 3 tasks to complete before the whistle blows.  And I’ll finish them.

Forced focus starts in 3, 2, ….

It’s a Balancing Act

Juggling Mental StabilityI’m juggling a lot of balls in my mind.  There’s a ball each for bipolar, anxiety, ADHD, and sobriety.  If I allow one ball to stray, then all will fall.  If I allow the bipolar ball to dip too low, I will sink into depression, which threatens sobriety.  It’s all a balancing act.

I’m constantly tweaking the strategy to maintain the balance in my brain.  It’s an interconnecting puzzle of medication, therapy, bike riding, comedies, blogging and reading.  The one piece that keeps everything together is therapy.  There is no question that without working with a therapist (one who is an excellent fit for me), I would not be the person I am today.

I have a lot of personality quirks, let’s call them quirks, that need work, but overall I’m a much better functioning person than I was before therapy began 5 months ago.  It’s the motor that keeps the juggling at an even keeled pace.

Bargaining With The Clock

Bargaining with the clockThere are 7 urgent items waiting for me at work on Monday.  Things that should have been done days or weeks ago.

My car’s license plates expired 2 weeks ago.  Last year, when I let this happen, I also put off paying the ticket I received for said expired plates.  So much so, that my license was suspended and I wound up in court bargaining with the prosecutor to allow me to keep it.  That was a $1,000 clusterfuck of procrastinations.

My home has been my home for 11 years.  There are unpacked boxes in the basement.

There is an unfinished needlepoint in a closet that hasn’t been touched in 15 years.

I put off everything.  I am always watching the clock and begging it to pause, just for a little while.  Just long enough to finish whatever task I’ve put off far too long.  I bargain with the clock.  I have to leave in 15 minutes; I can play Candy Crush for 10 more minutes, because it’ll only take 5 minutes to do my hair and makeup and pack my lunch, right?

I work a desk job and I’ll often look at the clock and realize I’ve done nothing productive for hours, and there’s not enough time left to do what must be done.  I end up working late and on weekends when there’s a hard deadline.

My doctors say that’s ADHD.  Perhaps.  That’s easier to digest than “you’re just a shitty, lazy person.”

I should be making dinner right now.  Looking at the clock, I think: fuck it, I can blog for another 20 minutes.  

Daily Prompt: Procrastination

Similar Read: Why Isn’t There More time To Do What I’ve Put Off?