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Where else can you get a really good look at a train wreck of emotional dysfunction and not be right in the middle of the thing?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

One Foot In Front of the Other

My failure at sobriety necessarily makes me an emotional basket case due to alcohol withdrawal, which in turn makes me want to use just to avoid having to deal with it.  I last drink two days ago on Friday evening.  I've let my desk at work get out of hand, which causes me further stress.

It's impossible to make up for wasted time and wasted opportunity.  To me, my life is one failure after another, which explains why I have no faith in turning things around.  However, all I can do is do what I can do right now.  Today that means coming into the office to organize my work.  Tomorrow it means sticking to my diet and budget.  Hopefully I'll have the strength to keep a calm face while the storm rages inside my head and to move one step at a time through the days of this week.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Failed Again

Well, I failed once again and drank last night.  I felt so run down yesterday that I couldn't resist the temptation to steal a few hours of contentment.  Psychologically, I'm like a sprinter: able to manage short bursts of self-improvement and positive change but useless for the long haul.  How do I become a marathoner able to keep focused on my distant goal?

About three beers in I started to feel nauseated, and I'd had a mild headache all day.  My symptoms became so bad that I stopped my drinking and smoking.  I'm guessing a touch of cold or flu is what was making me so run down and feeling so bad.  (My mood doesn't handle being ill well at all.)  Regardless of this understanding and regardless of physical illness, I'll probably end up drinking again tonight since I have beer and cigarettes at home.  I wish I had a fraction of self-discipline and self-control that everyone else seems able to exert over their own behavior.  Am I doomed to dream large and yet fail at every turn?

Ever tried.  Ever failed.  No matter.  Try again.  Fail Again. 
Fail better.
{Samuel Beckett}

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Snow Day

Yesterday the streets of Memphis were covered in ice due to cold temperatures and winter precipitation.  As such, I had a nice "snow day" home from work for the first time in at least a couple of decades.  (Ten years in Los Angeles = no snow days!)  My first inclination was to play video games all day.  However, instead I cleaned my bedroom, my bathroom, my kitchen and the downstairs bathroom and even put a dent in the boxes upon boxes of clutter that weigh me down like an albatross around my neck.  It was exhausting, and I had a period of intense desire to drink and smoke and play the aforementioned video game.  But I resisted, and I think my sobriety and self-improvement will be the better for a tidier environment.

Personal Roundup

I've still been feeling vaguely anxious for no particular reason on a consistent basis, and I'm hoping it's just the residual effects of alcohol withdrawal.  On the plus side, I've managed to get myself to the gym the past several days.

Days sober: 12
Weight: 257 pounds
Debt: A shitload and then some

Friday, February 28, 2014

Lost In All of Our Vices

I've been on a roller coaster of relapse and recovery since I fell off the wagon last November after four months of sobriety.  Giving into the temptation of pleasure has farther reaching ramifications.  Like most people, I don't have the luxury of going into an inpatient detox facility or even just taking time off of work to dry out.  (Besides, I used up all of my chances years ago.)  Anyway, alcohol withdrawal causes anxiety and makes me emotional, overly tired and uninterested in anything.  As such, it seems easier just to drink again, but then the whole process repeats itself.
I've got a week of sobriety under my belt, but—damn the cliché—I just have to take it one day at a time.  I've spent a few hundred dollars pampering myself (mostly with eating out) this past week, but now I need to buckle down and return to my budget and my diet.  I've returned to the gym, and I'll just have to see how it goes.  I'm so tired of chemicals causing up and downs in my mood, though I'm not quite ready to let caffeine go; however, it's next on my list in a week or two.

How Am I Going To Be an Optimist About This?

My new favorite song is "Pompeii" by Bastille.  I honestly don't know what the singer is trying to say exactly, but the lyrics remind me of a sort of "feeling out of time" thought I described in a previous post.  You can see the official YouTube video below.

May the Road Rise with You

Anger may be an energy, but I feel as if I am constantly consumed by rage over everything in my life, real and imagined.  It seems only a matter of time before I have a road rage incident or a meltdown at work.  I've swallowed too much negativity in my life without dealing with it properly, and it's left its mark on my psyche.  Last night I grew enraged over the actions of a character in an audiobook, and I got so angry at being unavoidably late for my A.A. group's potluck that I almost decided to cast off my sobriety.  One benefit that I'm hoping for from an even keel of diet, exercise and sobriety is a better handle on my mood in general and anger in specific.

Luke Skywalker:  How am I to know the good side from the bad?

Master Yoda:  You will know when you are calm, at peace.  Passive.  A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.

{The Empire Strikes Back}

Monday, November 18, 2013

Adiós, Carro...

The strain of familial and workplace stress finally got to me and caused me to break my sobriety last Friday night, though I suppose I should say that I chose to break my sobriety as a way of taking personal responsibility.  Regardless, there goes four months of sobriety down the U-bend.  I finally just said "fuck it" and drank and smoked and played my video games.  I spent all day Saturday in bed (with a wicked hangover) being too depressed to get up until 6 p.m.  I didn't stay up very long before going back to bed.  Sunday I managed to drag myself out of bed sometime around noon and then ran around doing a lot of dreary chores.
The real problem is that my relapse has returned my thirst, which continued sobriety had kept at bay, and now I want to take refuge from my feelings and worries by running to the shelter of mother's beer and hard cider.  For example, today I can find little enthusiasm for being any kind of responsible adult and can hear the voice of temptation whispering in my ear...

Less Than Zero (Assuming 0 = 250)

On a more positive note, I have gotten my weight back down below 250 pounds.  I bit the bullet and weighed myself the other day.  My previous histrionics aside, my dragging myself out of bed at 6 a.m. hasn't been totally in vain.  I've added some strength training, which I hate, but the best way to get into shape is to do both cardio and weights.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Don't Ask Me Why

I had a total breakdown in my mood this afternoon.  I was actually crying on the drive home from work.  I had all but given up on my sobriety and then, inevitably, was shadowed by darker impulses that haunt me still.
When I used to share these moods with others, they invariably asked "Why?" and "What's wrong?"  But those questions rarely have any meaning for me.  That's the problem.  I have to constantly distract myself in order to see life as anything but unmitigated suffering—for myself and every other living thing, and my mood is constantly in danger of drowning in a sea of emotion.  It's no wonder I have the personality of an impulsive, insatiable addict.  I must constantly infuse my psyche with hits of pleasure to keep from disintegrating into worry and despair.  I run around in a constant, desperate flurry of effort to pique my interest and find enjoyment in something, anything.  Besides, it's not as if you have to look very far for things to make you unhappy, with all the indignities of life and the ceaseless burden of conscious existence.
Personal Roundup
I am frustrated by my attempts at weight loss.  I've been doing all the right things as far as my exercise program, but I wonder if I undo it all at the 11th hour with my evening binge eating.  I'm not sure if I've lost weight; I'm too scared to weigh myself.  If the scales tell me I'm just the same after almost three weeks of intensive effort, I'm pretty sure I'd give up completely.  When I look in the mirror, all I see is literally a disgusting sack of fat.  It hasn't given me hope that my hard work is being rewarded by positive change.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Mr. Roboto

"I just work here.  This is just a job."
This is the second week of implementing my new policy of keeping my private life out of work.  The more I think about it, the more convinced I am of my error in using my job as a social outlet.  So I've been strictly "all business" while going about my day.  I'm not a dickhole about it or anything.  I'm still polite and friendly and say pleasantries like, "Good morning."  But I don't initiate personal conversation, and I self-disclose very little or not at all.  I'm not even sure anyone's noticed, which is just fine by me.  {Redacted}, and I have made brief small talk when initiated by someone else so as not to be rude.  But I mostly keep my eyes open and my mouth shut.

Personal Roundup

I've been doing fantastic with my exercise regime and pretty good with everything else.  My eating has been flawless during the day, but then I freak out and eat everything I can fit in my mouth at night.  The time change and early dark is really hard on me.  I've been feeling low when I get home, so I eat to fill my time and the hole in my heart.  I've also spent money I shouldn't have on non-necessities, but I've managed to keep a closer eye on my finances.  I've planned out a budget to carry me through the end of the year and January of next, factoring in all the expenses for the upcoming holidays.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Just Won't Die

The whole situation has stressed me out to know end.  I'm feeling some distance with my family, and I don't really feel there's anyone I can call to commiserate with.  I spent the entire weekend busting my hump trying to clean up my apartment to make my environment more conducive to positive change on top of continuing to hit the gym Saturday, Sunday and today before work.  I gave serious thought about breaking my sobriety today.  I thought about doing worse.  But it would just be "I'll show you!" acting out, and I'm better than that.  As it is, I'm going to take my meds and just go to bed.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

All In the Family

There's nothing like family to make one's barely-contained neuroses spill over the sides.  I'm amazed at how such a short interaction can awaken so many dormant unresolved feelings.  It's no wonder to me that I'm grinding my teeth down to stubs in my sleep.  Basically, I'm annoyed with every single person I'm related to, but that's what unconditional love gets you.  I love my family, and I'm incredibly blessed to have them in my life.  But the fissures in our relationships run deep, and it's not always easy to keep the proper perspective.
Shake That Booty
I've managed to get myself to the gym five times out of the last six days, which is like working out twice a day for a year for a normal person.  Considering how poorly I treat my body, I have surprisingly unrealistic expectations of my workouts.  If I stick to my diet and exercise for a couple of days, I expect to see Hugh Jackman staring out at me from the mirror and am continually shocked to see Jabba the Hutt instead.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Blabby McOvershare

Looking to Myself
One of the most valuable things I learned in therapy was that I have no control over people's opinions or reactions.  The only thing I can control is my behavior.  Because I'm socially isolated and just plain lonely, I think I have made the mistake of trying to fulfill my need for social connection at my place of employment.  With someone like me, that is asking for trouble.  I'm going to try very hard to switch off my personality at work and adopt an entirely neutral persona.  Always polite, always friendly, always helpful, but never revealing anything but superficial charm.  In my private world, I am focused on moving my life in a more positive direction, and I should keep chanting my professionalism for poets mantra in my head:  "I just work here.  This is just a job."