Tuesday, September 23, 2008

radical upswing

There is a reason why people seek professional help, and I think it's to avoid posting horribly depressing things like the post I put up yesterday! I don't know what compelled me to do that. Wait, yes I do. I was picturing people's reactions when they'd heard I'd gone completely fucken insane and thinking, "She did what? I didn't know she was feeling like that." I just didn't want there to be any surprises. You've been warned. And thank you for your love anyhow. I love that you love me, even if I'm a finicky little bitch. I'm sorry to worry people. Sometimes I want people to worry about me, and sometimes I don't. But don't worry. If I need you, I will call. Just pick up the damn phone!

I'm feeling a lot better today. I woke up and still couldn't really breathe, but I did sleep, and in my mind I told myself that I would not die, that even though mental instability does not feel good, it will not kill me, at least not directly. I am working through things. I just need tranquilizers in the meanwhile, or to wait until the pendulum swings in the opposite direction and I can think about more serious things, like why the Wall Street bailout makes me so angry and why I can't concentrate on school and why I want to be in a relationship if I can't seem to commit to anything at all. I read a piece of iFluff today about OCD dating. Bwahaha! That's totally me. Anyhow all the little pieces of ecstasy flooding my brain feel good today instead of bad, and this is good news. I have to take advantage of my good moods and try to get things done.

Tonight I am going to try a radical experiment in my NYC dating spree, which is to basically tell John that I have no idea what is going on, but that he can't expect anything of me, really. I don't know what I mean by that because the whole creation of any kind of relationship is managing expectations. Maybe it's saying that I don't want to be in a relationship at all? But I don't want to just continue having casual sex. What if I go celibate for a year? Now I'm just talking crazy. Okay, so I haven't figured out what I'm going to say to him at all. I'm just going to wing it. This is how it's probably going to start, though:

Me: So....
J: So...
Me: I want to say something but I'm not sure what.
J: Okay...
Me: Hm, maybe I should have another drink.
(20 minutes later)
Me: Let's fuck!

Just kidding. Jesus Christ, I'm just kidding. FYI, I haven't had more than six drinks in one night in a week! It's this new thing they call "moderation."

Me: So....
J: So...
Me: I want to say something but I'm not sure what.
J: Okay...
Me: Look, I don't want to dwell on the intense exchange we had last weekend, but it's got me thinking that maybe I've led you to believe certain things that aren't true. I've been accused of leading people on before, and if that's the case, I'm sorry that my actions are misleading. So let's just clear shit up right now. I am not looking to dive headfirst into anything serious right now. I know we had sex within a few hours of meeting each other, which doesn't typically equate to anything serious, so let's just stick with that for now. Maybe in a couple months after seeing each other weekly, I'll ask you what your last name is. If that is going to cause more scenes like the one we had the other night, though, we better have a couple of cocktails and call it a night.

Monday, September 22, 2008

up to no good

So...shit has been crazy lately, and not in a good way. Went to the CP and read to her. I read to my doctors when I feel like I am just going to go in a blather on unproductively because there's so much on my mind that I want to explode...

This is what I read to her:

I feel fucking terrible, tweaky, horrible, and I am just sitting here waiting to leave to go speak to the CP and tell her yes, I want to see a psychiatrist, I want drugs drugs drugs drugs drugs! I want Xanax; I want tranquilizers; I want to beat my head against the wall so I can pass out and dream about unicorns and oceans and clouds. It is bizarre. I have been on the verge of tears since I woke up this morning. There was a moment when I swore I could feel all these tiny pieces of ecstasy flooding my skull and soaking my brain tissue, and then I got the chills and felt very cold. I couldn’t believe it, but I wanted coffee and cigarettes despite feeling so tweaky tweaky tweaky and I had both and felt a little better. Maybe it’s just the force of habit that I find calming.

Yesterday I was a tweakfest. I could hardly sleep and when I woke up I felt like I was so awake that I could hardly breathe. Neighbor popped in and I think I scared her but I cooked her food and ranted about my borough tour the previous night where I somehow went from Williamsburg to Hell’s Kitchen to Park Slope and then to the East Village and still made it home by five. I was so tired and all I wanted to do was sleep but I woke up at nine. I tried to read boring things to sleep, but I was so tweaky that I had to go outside and run up the hills in Fort Tryon to try and burn it out of my system. Thank god Friend appeared on the scene and we talked about all our issues and lay on the floor of the Elifur Oliasson exhibit at PS1 and giggled at the mirror on the ceiling spinning around and around. Friend asked me what my deepest dark fear was and I thought about it for a long time and said that I fear that my mind will turn against me and destroy me. He said the same thing. Then we lay and laughed so hard that I cried. I felt so high and beautiful and happy.

It’s funny because if you ask me about my weekend I’d say it was great fun. I got some shit done at Strong and Whisper’s and I felt calm, good. Strong has a calming effect on me. I feel like my thoughts are in order when she is around, maybe it’s because she thinks she’s crazy and out of control. It’s when I’m alone that I feel the worst and most desperate. This morning I had the old feeling of wanting to jump into traffic and that’s when I thought I must see a psychiatrist and he must give me drugs and I must take them. I can’t shake the feeling that something terrible is about to happen. I know that it’s coming. Once again I think of K and that infamous line of his as he comes out of meth hell and probation: "It’s okay. I knew it was going to happen.”

The boys are driving me crazy, and I am letting them. John texted me Saturday and we are going out on Tuesday. Fucking JOE called me last night and I was drunk and didn’t know who it was and we are going out on Wednesday. Today Sohji, the beautiful Caribbean boy I met Saturday night texted me and left me a voicemail which I am scared to pick up, because I told him he could take me out on Thursday and I know I’m going to go and I hate myself for it and I don’t know why. Last night I found myself at Black Betty dancing with Model and Red and Red’s Brother and Curly, who makes me delirious with desire. I went outside and sat on the curb, all drunk and stoned and wondered what the fuck I was doing there, if Friend was right, and if I’m about to start hurting people, hurting boys by playing with them too hard. John has already been hurt by me. But it’s not my fault. As I was leaving, Model grabbed me and asked me what my deal was, why I don’t call him. I don’t understand why we are like this, why these boys think they can claim me, and they get angry when I tell them they can’t, and they still want me and I still hang out with them. It’s bad for everyone. I think this is what Friend was talking about. I feel like I’m about to destroy someone, and they are going to destroy me right back and I will have deserved it.

My mother is coming on Friday for the weekend. I am terrified for her to see me like this. The thing is, she doesn’t have to. I can spend all weekend with her walking and reading and eating and telling her about cute boys and parties and my thesis and my novel and take her out with friends and never talk about anything. I don’t want her to worry about me. But more than that, I don’t want her to see that I’ve failed to recover from what worried her so much so long ago. I don’t want her to know, but I do. I don’t know if I should tell her what’s going on. I think she would want to know, but what would that accomplish? If she could have done something, she would have.

Monday, September 8, 2008

S.A.D. x2

This afternoon I went to Counseling and Psychological Services. I made the appointment last week when I started freaking out about my adventures in sobriety. My nerves felt really shot; they still kind of do even though I have been drinking for the last three nights. I have also been largely unable to sleep. I popped awake this morning at seven and went for a jog even though (a) I don't have class today and (b) I didn't get to sleep until around 3 a.m.

My Clinical Psychologist is young. I almost think she is younger than me, but is that possible? Can you be a CP by the age of twenty-eight? I wonder.

Anyhow I laid out my whole history for her, which I actually read to her from a document I'd written last night at 2 a.m. because I was losing my voice to the extent that I thought I'd be unable to speak when I got to the appointment. I could speak, but I figured I might as well read what had taken me almost an hour to write.

CP told me some interesting things that I'd never really considered. She said my withdrawal symptoms were normal but that it wasn't a good idea for me to quit drinking cold turkey due to the amount that I drink. She said I could have had a seizure! and that it would probably be in my best interests to continue to drink, but to try and moderate it down a bit. Instead of twelve drinks, she said, try to have eight.

After some time she said I would "definitely qualify" for Substance Abuse Disorder by the standards of the DSM. And I thought Seasonal Affective Disorder was enough! Now I'm twice as SAD! (that was a crazy joke! laugh!) Apparently people with Substance Abuse Disorder can get some bomb free treatment here in New York. She doesn't know why, but people who are this SAD are taken very seriously. I'm not quite clear how this SAD is different than, say, alcoholism, or what have you, but there it is. Next week we will try to talk about Abuse versus Dependence. This is why I hate this kind of shit. What you call it doesn't really matter. All I know is that when I don't drink continuously I feel fucked up. Isn't it so weird that you can have withdrawal from The Booze? You can have heart failure and shit. She also said it's normal that I got sick. But not good. It's kind of funny because I don't think I can have a drinking problem, it's just that I drink so much that my body wants it now. I was mentally okay without drinking, it's just that my body felt like shit. That's what happens when you spend 4-10 hours a night drinking for a many many years at a time.

I'm glad I can go back to drinking. I didn't think my nerves were going to last. 

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Soaking It

Being dry at muffin and papa's boozefest was actually okay. I was just sick of thinking/talking about sobriety, so when I met up with John and he suggested getting a drink, I just went along with it. I didn't feel like explaining again why the hell I find it necessary to extend a few days of detox into a month-long test of my sanity. So we boozed.

He took me to a bunch of sweet spots in the Lower East Side, including Home Sweet Home at Delancey and Chrystie, and Black and White, where I actually ran into someone I used to work with in San Francisco. The other two bars I'd been to before.

John insisted on paying for everything, which threw me off. We ended the night with a bottle of nice champagne and tequila shots at the same bar where my accidental date had ended badly with papa the day after his birthday. It was kind of funny. John also happens to work in the same office as Boy, the young'un I dated for a hot minute last year.

I felt like absolute shit this morning, but my sore throat/swollen lymph nodes were completely cleared up. I don't understand why not drinking makes me sick. Honest to god, I'd been downing ibuprofen since Monday because my throat was killing me. This morning I had a horrible dream after John and I had sex; I dreamt that he had to get up to go to a beer festival and he put his fictitious roommate in bed with me in his underwear and I thought to myself, "oh god, I'm too hungover to fuck this guy too." I think I have a really messed up relationship with sex. When I checked my messages I had a text from Curly timestamped at a quarter past two in the morning.

What the shit? He is driving me crazy! How can I take a guy seriously when he only texts me late night? I hope he gets a firm grasp of his balls soon and fucken calls me sometime. Then again he might be trying to post me up for another bait-and-switch with Red, whom apparently EVERYONE hates. I just never got that vibe of evil and insecurity that everyone else picked up on. These Williamsburg boys! Maybe I should embrace the NYC dating protocol of only dating guys who live within a seven-block radius of me. However, the last time that happened, I couldn't even vomit the next day. But I would really love to go out with Curly sometime. Boy juggling is a necessary distraction right now.

John and I are going out again Wednesday, and I am climbing my boozed ass back on the wagon today.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sober September

I am not a happy camper this week. Sobriety has left me in a cold, unstable place, and this morning when I woke up, I coughed up blood. It's not like I'm mentally fiending for alcohol, it's just that I don't understand why I feel so much better when I'm allowed to drink 3-15 drinks each evening.

Oh wait, yes I do understand why I feel so much better. I guess what I don't understand is why it's so bad for me.

The day before yesterday I received an email from a friend who disappeared six years ago from San Francisco. I'd heard he'd rejoined the world and was looking for me, so the email wasn't a total-total surprise, but let's just say that there was a lot in that three-paragraph email. It was the kind of email you can write when you hit rock bottom and completely lose: any sense of shame, any desire to embellish/entertain with your stories, the ability to restrain yourself from telling every single person how much you love them.

Aside from the bare facts and indicators of having crawled out of hell but still being on all fours, one of his last sentences really got to me. He said, "It's okay--I knew it was going to happen." The first "it" referring to life, oneself, the general state of affairs, and the second "it" referring to all the bleak allusions to hell. This simple statement really got to me. It makes perfect sense that we should drive ourselves through shit like this, knowing full well where it will take us. It doesn't make any sense, but we do it.

And, I suppose, this is what drove me back to seek some psych services this week for the first time in more than eight years. I don't want to say this statement to myself, that it is okay, that I knew it was going to happen. I don't want that to resonate with me the way it did. I know where things are going. They have been going there for the past few years, and they are progressing in a way that seems manageable and socially acceptable. I also know that I'm really good at (a) coping via self-medication, (b)going through extreme work-reward cycles, (c) spacing out my social engagements so that few people see how hard I'm hitting it every single night. I'm one of those girls that thinks to herself, "What was I wearing the last time I saw this person?" Only these days I think in terms of how fucked up I was the last time.

It's my September regression, and it scares me. I am too old for this shit.