Welcome to my World

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?


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Why?

"Why?" has to be the most fundamental human question of all time.  Was there ever a person who, at one time or another, didn't shout out to the cosmos and ask, "WHY?"  My personal "Why?" is why do I have to struggle so constantly with my mood?  Why do my actions, no matter how ideal, have so little bearing on the way I feel inside and the conditions of my life?  Like all those before me, through the unifying thread of humanity, the only answer I get is silence from the "benign indifference of the Universe."

http://www.sothisisfitness.com/2015/02/why.html
(*Click for a link to an inspiring weight-loss blog.)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Space & Time

Lost in thought on open seas
Let the currents carry me
If I could would I remain
Another life or another dream
No turning back, face the fact
I am lost in space & time
{VNV Nation, "Space & Time"}

A good friend of mine turned me onto the song "Space & Time" by VNV Nation, and it has officially become my new favorite song.  The music is right up the alley of my northern European sensibilities, and the lyrics spark avenues of wonder within my awareness.  We are all just consciousnesses cast adrift on the currents of space-time.  Are we pulled along forever—life after life—on its never-changing course?  Or are we ever free from its grip through ascendance or oblivion?

 
It's Too Late, Baby, It's Too Late
 
Last night as I was trying to fall asleep, it suddenly hit me just how old I am.  That may sound strange, but I think most people see themselves in their own heads as being younger than they are.  I'm 45 years old, not ancient, but no longer able to see "young" in my rearview mirror with my faltering eyes.  In five years—which is nothing to someone my age—I'll be 50 years old.  In my youth, I had no concept of what my life would be like at this point because I'd assumed I would have achieved all of my grandiose dreams by now, as opposed to absolutely none of them.
 
It's hard to express how deeply this angst has cut me.  Of course, it didn't help that I was feeling low and emotional all day yesterday.  I had well-laid plans but actually got very little done.  I burst into tears as I was putting Pfeiffer's bowl in the dishwasher one last time.  Hell, I was tearing up over The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, and it isn't even that great of a movie.  I keep excusing my continued lapses in mood as part of my protracted sobriety, and maybe they are, but when do I actually get to feel better and reap the benefits of self-control?

Too Much Baggage
 
Last week I purged hundreds of e-mails from my personal account.  I'm something of an intellectual hoarder: I find so many different things interesting and try to keep them all on my radar in order to eventually process them and perhaps incorporate them into my life in some way.  I had over 500 e-mails that I'd kept "unread" and well over 1000 e-mails in all.  Many of those were news and science articles that I'd e-mailed to myself.  But I'm tired of the accumulation from my past blocking my future growth, so I went through with a merciless resolve and paired things down to 55 "unread" e-mails and a couple hundred total.  (Rome wasn't built in a day.)

Unfortunately, my defeatist brain won't let me enjoy even such a cathartic personal victory for very long.  How many times in the past have I been convinced that I was on the threshold of turning my life around, just as I tell myself that I'm on that threshold now.  But 30 years of false starts doesn't make me overly optimistic, and I get quickly overwhelmed by monumental nature of the task.  In fact, I became a raging, binge-drinking alcoholic so late in life because I'd basically given up on my dreams, and that was my solution for getting through my evenings after work in order to do it all again the next day, day after day until days turned to years.  I remember another good friend of mine talking about one of his professors in college and his making the facetious, sardonic comment that said professor "probably drinks a fifth of scotch just to make it through the day."  And oh the irony of my 20-year-old self's disdain and smug confidence that such a fate could never happen to him.

I doubt anyone's life really turns out how they planned.  And if it does, then our contrary human nature makes us question if that's what we really wanted.  What can any of us do but press ahead and make the most with what we have?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

H.A.L.T.ing Progress

There are many other areas in my life that I'm trying to improve upon, in addition to staying sober, but I always seem to be playing existential Whack-A-Mole and can never sort them all out at once.  I've been doing well with my sobriety (lately), but I've also been spending a lot of money eating take-out and renting movies as a crutch to keep my mood stable enough to avoid relapse.  (My mood is a hole with no bottom, and I will throw anything at it in blind panic to keep it from getting too deep.)  So my credit card debt continues to pile up.  This has also frequently included gut-busting poor food choices.  So I haven't gained any traction with my weight.  And so on...
 
Part of this intersects with trying to keep myself from H.A.L.T. (i.e. not letting myself get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired), but at any given time, I can almost guarantee that I'm at least one of those things, if not all four simultaneously.  Life is never perfect, and life is a journey blah blah blah.  So I suppose I should just appreciate what I have and let the struggle towards the heights fill my heart.
 
I love you, man!
 
Speaking of appreciation, one of the guys I work for shouted out that he loved me after I sorted something out on his behalf.  It gave me pause, not from hearing it from the straight and married source, but from the realization that I couldn't remember the last time anyone other than my parents said it to me.  Wah, wah...poor me.  I should instead be thankful that my parents are still around to say it to me and are good parents who would say it.  Of course, that line of thinking just eventually leads me around to the entropic nature of existence, but c'est la vie.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Pfeiffer R.I.P.

This past Saturday I had to have my remaining cat Pfeiffer euthanized.  She was about seventeen and four months, and she'd been with me for over sixteen years.  She could barely walk and had mostly stopped going to the bathroom, and the vet told me that it was time to let her go.  I went by myself, and it was very hard.  Everyone at my veterinary clinic was wonderful, just like last time.  They gave Pfeiffer a sedative, and I held her in my arms until she fell asleep.  They then took her away to administer the euthanizing agent, and she was gone in just a few minutes.
 
Good night, Princess...
 
I've cried much over her, even though she had a good life.  Grief is hard when, like me, you don't have much of a social support network, which is also an added challenge to my attempts at sobriety.  I'm lucky enough to still have my parents, and I do have wonderful friends, and all that is a comfort to me.  But I don't have a social network to buoy me when I  need it, a fact that has always been noted by mental health professionals I've seen.  Mostly it's the fault of my obtuse, poorly-developed social skills, and it's in my nature to isolate myself.  My father even volunteered to go to Pfeiffer's appointment with me, but I didn't feel that was a good idea.
 
Personal Roundup
 
It's been a hellish, hellish, hellish five month as I've navigated through the symptoms of post-acute withdrawal syndrome while holding down an often-stressful job with the aforementioned lack of social support.  I've clung to my sobriety like flotsam through a stormy sea and have somehow managed to stay afloat.
 
In fact, I'm writing this now to stave off the thirst that has descended upon me like a sudden squall this afternoon.  I'm in an emotional "perfect storm" that has sunk my sobriety on occasions too numerous to count:  I'm feeling low and lonely but also feeling deserving of a reward for my good behavior.  My addict's brain keeps whispering about how much fun it would be to fall off the wagon, how deliciously naughty and how one little relapse won't matter in the Grand Scheme of Things.  (Trying to find perspective in the Grand Scheme of Things is always a bad idea!)
 
Anyway, it's all lies, lies, lies.  (Yeah!)  I'll just have to limp through this evening like I've limped through the past five months, constantly telling myself that—one day—I'll come through to a calmer, brighter ocean of possibilities.
 
Days Sober: 5 months, 4 days
Weight: 253 pounds {i.e. still hella fat}

Debt: Currently in denial...

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

All the Rage


he knows that something somewhere has to break...
{The Police, "Synchronicity II"}

http://www.deviantart.com/art/Rage-Demon-349937496

I was just trying to help my mother with her new computer.  But between the piece of shit that is Windows 8 (how many fucking updates for how fucking long does it take?!?) and my father once again telling me my feelings were wrong*, I was boiling over with rage.  I'm four weeks sober now, and I've been grasping at the hope that soon soon SOON! I would finally have a rosier outlook on things.  That hope was the animation in my dead flesh that kept me putting one foot in front of the other.  But I'm just SO ANGRY all of the time and at the slightest provocation that I have to wonder if I'm headed for yet another nervous breakdown and truly fearful of what form it will take as it finally spills over and manifests.
 
(*I am in my 40's, and my parents are in their 70's.  And I have no excuse as why I still expect or seek their validation.)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Zombie

What's in your head?
In your head?
Zombie, zombie, zombie

{The Cranberries, "Zombie"}

I'm just so depressed that I can barely shuffle myself forward, navigating the responsibilities of my day through sheer force of will.  (No joy...only obligations, only the expectations of others.)  After a long weekend of lonely depression...two relatively productive days in spite of it all until I abandoned all pretense of giving a shit yesterday.
 
How does anyone see life (animus pinned within decaying flesh) as anything but a curse?
 
www.dragonage.com


Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Mirror Darkly


The good fortune of someone I know, the obtaining of something I've long wanted, has left me bitterly jealous, which is a pisspoor reflection on my character.  But then I hate myself, and I firmly believe that, unless I rigidly reign in my behavior, everyone else will hate me, too.  As it is, I see myself through the eyes of others as pathetic, ridiculous, scatty, incompetent, toxic, annoying and absurd.
 
I'm just so desperately unhappy, and I don't even want to be alive.  Everything I do—the pantomime of normality, the stumbling through my life like a zombie—is done for the benefit of others.  There is nothing for me but transient pleasure and the anticipation of oblivion.

http://www.dragonage.com/#!/en_US/home/

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sisyphus Lives

Hoo boy, another crappy day at work as I desperately try to put one foot in front of the other under the crushing weight of my depression.  (Being a powerless, underappreciated wage slave doesn't help.)  At least I didn't drink last night and reset the clock once again.

But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night-filled mountain, in itself, forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.
{Albert Camus, "The Myth of Sisyphus"}

Monday, August 25, 2014

Temptation, Frustration

So bad it makes him cry...
{The Police, "Don't Stand So Close To Me"}

In spite of my best intentions, last night I let myself get over tired again, resulting in an unproductive day and a powerful desire to drink.  Just yesterday I was thinking about how I didn't want to keep going on this exhausting emotional roller coaster of binging and sobering.  But still I wanted to drink so bad this afternoon, to squeeze just a little bit of pleasure out of my evening.  To not worry about anything, including getting to sleep, which often feels like dying to me.

So it's all come back round to
Breaking apart again
Breaking apart like I'm made up of glass again
Making it up behind my back again
Holding my breath for the fear of sleep again
{The Cure, "Disintegration"}

When you have the brain of an addict, you binge on anything that gives you pleasure (e.g. booze, drugs, sex, video games, TV shows, etc.).  You're loathe to stop because you're so scared—with a blind, unreasoning panic—that you will never find anything enjoyable or engaging again, that the misery you're so familiar with will be your permanent lot in life.  This is why the most successful recovering addicts are those who are able to fill that void with some other positive thing and see the horizon beyond the pit of their emotions.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Magical Thinking

http://www.peanuts.com/

I have a superstitious dread of making positive changes and plans for the future.  I'm trying to chart the course of my weight loss and dig myself out financially, but I'm hindered by the fact that I fear some unspecified calamity will happen if I plan ahead.  A pervasive fear of things that might happen—horrible scenarios that could possibly play out—haunts my mind, especially when I'm trying to make beneficial changes, and derails my efforts to better myself.  I'm also afraid and suspicious of being happy because that's when something bad happens in books and movies and because of memories from my own experiences that have had an impact way out of context.  Apparently I'm not alone in feeling this way.

Worshipping at the Altar of Consumerism

Like a good American, I did give my life a lift out of the doldrums by making a big-ticket purchase.  (On credit, I might add.)  I bought a shiny new laptop.  My old computer is only three years old, but some of the keys are wearing out.  And its lagging behind in the high-powered specs needed to play PC video game, including the video game I'm eagerly awaiting to give meaning to my life.  In my defense, I did get an amazing deal on a machine that can hold its own against other models $500 or more.  I also got 12-month no-interest financing, so I've devised an aggressive budget to pay for the thing.


Personal Roundup

I'm in a weird place with my sobriety (16 days and counting), though one I've been in many times before.  I've recovered enough to give a shit about getting myself organized, but not enough to have any energy to actually do anything about it.  So I have all of these notes to myself and piles of half-started projects strewn about my apartment.

My anger issues aren't much improved, either.  I'm still working myself up into a rage over stupid, pointless stuff (which is everything).