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.


Anonymous said...

i think what you perceive as regression is quite possibly the opposite. you are stronger than you think. see you tonight.

sami^raced said...

Fall is a natural time to reflect on the year ... or seasons ... that have passed.

You are incredibly strong. You are also wise. You know what's right for you -- own it.

And on another note, he did crawl out of the crypt. It's validating, to help someone who's held a moment of your life and lift them out of the depths. And you are very selfless in that regard :) love.

Papagayo said...

you can do it! love you!