This Is A Clusterfuck.

It’s fucking SNOWING and my skin is so dry it’s cracked and bloody no matter what I do to prevent it. It’s cold as fuck at work and cold as fuck at home. The roads are slippery disasters for drivers and pedestrians alike. I missed therapy today because the bus I was on LITERALLY STOPPED IN THE MIDDLE OF AN INTERSECTION and made us get off because it couldn’t continue. Vancouver is NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THIS WAY. AGHHHHH. Okay. Alright. Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest.

So here’s where I’m at. I feel shitty that I live across the country from my dying father. I feel guilty that I’m not around to be moral support for my mom or my sister and her family. I feel ashamed that I am so far away. I have been finding it difficult to keep my headspace positive in wake of everything that past year has thrown at me. Most days it feels like I’m getting it from all angles. Love life/work life/home life/family life. My brain often tries to convince me to give up.

Have a drink, Lana. Buy some cigarettes and smoke them all today. Hurt yourself. Hurt somebody you love. Anything to keep the pain from swallowing you whole. It’s all kinds of fucked up and somehow I’m used to it being this way. Luckily I have an incredible support system at home and at work and they manage to talk me down when I’m unable to do so for myself. I am grateful for them, for you. Things can be so overwhelming, guys. We’re all familiar with that feeling. I do have a sense of relief being able to use social media/writing as an outlet, so thank you all for giving me the space to do so (even if you never read what’s written, haha).

I am still sober. Smoke-free. Single. Sad. Scared. Soft. All the s-words you can fit in one description. I am vulnerable. I feel weak and terrified of what’s to come. But my carefully curated toolbox is keeping me on the straight and narrow, even if I’m chattering my teeth the entire way. I am waking up early and doing yoga, eating breakfast, taking my time getting ready for work. I am doing my best to make healthy food/drink choices and nurturing my body in whatever way is necessary for me to feel strong and capable. Reading as much as I can. Exercising. Drinking a copious amount of tea. Snuggling with the kitties. Crying when everything hurts. Laughing when things get downright ridiculous. I don’t know what else to do. I’m trying to truly connect wth the people I love. I take deep breaths to appreciate my working body, my beautiful eyes-wide-open life. I really do feel grateful that I came out on the other side of my dark and shaky past. But I still do feel angry, jealous, envious, judgmental, alienated, and alone. I feel ALL THE THINGS. Sometimes all in the same day, the same hour even. I’m 99% mess. 

With that, I’ve been thinking a lot this week about envy and greed, and about wanting what we can’t have. Or yearning for a fuller life and not doing anything about it. The subtle way we convince ourselves that ‘if only things were just a bit different’ we’d be happier/successful/better. It’s all bullshit. I’ve always been a grass-is-greener kind of gal and all it has done for me is set me up for disappointment. I (naively) hope that once I find the secret ingredient/piece to the puzzle, things will lock into place and I’ll discover the sweet spot where I’m able to maintain equilibrium, or balance things perfectly.

I rarely blame other people for my inability to achieve whatever it is that I’ve set my sights on, but I often blame circumstance. I usually say something like the timing is off or that I’m not in the right place to succeed, whatever. It’s ridiculous. If you can’t find your centre, your balance, your sanity (ha ha), it’s because it requires constant practice and vigilance. And most importantly, it comes and goes. It isn’t static or permanent. There are so many self-help books and blurbs floating around that remind us to ride the good waves like the bad because both come and go, but nobody gains any insight from simply reading a quote, lesson learned.

We have to fuck up. We have to envy and want and gain and lose. We have no choice but to be disappointed and adjust our desires, make our goals more authentic. We find ourselves in shitty situations and we must digest the things they are trying to teach us. Learning these lessons can be very uncomfortable and ugly. It can simultaneously be awesome and inspiring. But most importantly, this learning, this growth, continues forever. Whether we like it or not. We had better get used to it, make our peace with it, invite it in to muss up our lives whenever it knocks. We have no choice in this, it just is how it is.

So I guess I’ll invite my guilt, shame, and fear in to sit down and enjoy a cup of tea with me? I have no idea what else to do with it, and I’m fucking done letting it have it’s way.

Sending you all love and light and all the good things xo


Checking In: Part 1

I thought I should check in with the WordPress world, I keep meaning to post more than once a month, but life gets away from me, and I’m sure you can all relate!  But here I am, in all my exhausted glory…

My dad finished round 2 of chemotherapy on Friday. He has lost his hair, his beard, and his well-known and respected handlebar moustache, too. None of us (including Mother Dearest; his partner of 42 years) have ever seen his face bare. It must be jarring for him to look in the mirror. He has four more rounds of poison to get through before they will amputate his leg from the pelvis down. This is a non-negotiable surgery that he will endure if the cancer responds to treatment. I’ve known this news since his first round but haven’t had much of an opinion. Obviously our family is attempting to get prepared for the challenges this will bring, but honestly I feel like we’re all just holding our breath. Awed and terrified and hoping he makes it through this ugly fucking nightmare. We can deal with the leg thing once we’re out of the woods. I don’t know how MD is managing but she seems okay. I’m not going to poke and prod for deeper conversation when everybody is fucking exhausted from this ordeal. All I can do is be here and keep my phone close by in case somebody decides to update me. My sister is in the same province as them if help is needed, and I suppose I’m just a 5 hour flight away.

Otherwise I am doing my best to keep my head above water, thanks to yoga, 5-HTP and the sun gracing us with it’s presence for the first time in forever. I am frayed, folks. Emotionally I am so raw I can barely interact with Roomie let alone the rest of the world. I have been crying, A LOT. I have been raging, A LOT. However, I have been ignoring my brain and keeping with my routine. I think it’s helping although I still feel volatile most mornings… I force a change in perspective when I can manage to, and write gratitude lists. They often go like this, off the top of my head-

  • I am grateful to be sober.
  • I am grateful to be cared for.
  • I am grateful to have a home.
  • I am grateful to have a working body.
  • I am grateful to have 2 fuzzy kitties who seem to sleep more than I thought was possible.
  • I am grateful for ice cream.
  • I am grateful for chai and earl grey tea.
  • I am grateful for clean sheets.
  • I am grateful for the sunshine.
  • I am grateful to have a broken heart.

That last one isn’t true, but I try to put one thing in there that I hope to be grateful for someday. I ain’t there yet. I know you guys don’t need me to prattle on about how cool gratitude lists are and how much they actually force you to shut up and be humble and all that good stuff… all I’ll say is that spreading love is a lot harder when things are bleak, but spreading hate will suck the fucking life out of you and everything you love. I try to find a way to be thankful when I am on the verge of collapse, and I find my lows a lot less suffocating when I do.

That’s all for now, it’s time to appreciate my quiet house while it lasts. Drink some tea. Meditate. Read one of the many books I have scattered at my feet.


To be continued…


Happy post-holidays and happy 2018 to all of you lovely people!

I’ll start with the fact that I stayed sober through all of the awkward, wonderful, and not-so-wonderful experiences I had over my 2 week holiday in Ontario! I hit my 8 month mark on Christmas Day, hooray! Not only did I shut down the bar I spent much of my drinking life at, I stayed up all night with an old flame and had a magical evening reconnecting (I was 150% sober). It had its (very brief) weird moments but it was definitely worth the tiny discomforts I felt. I went to a few bars on this trip, actually, and either drank sparkling water or a fancy coffee. It felt natural and I didn’t question myself at all. No hesitation whatsoever. What a reassuring feeling, that confidence.

I saw my (other) best friend C, and his high-energy partner, J. They have a handsome 2-year-old who I adore. I met my niece for the first time, too. She is a radiant little thing at 3 months old. I ran into a few people (and more old flames) from my past, all of whom I love and respect and covet time with. God, it was such an eye-opening trip. Even the less exciting parts were just beautiful. It was all new and shiny and not bogged down by the heavy news my family received just before the holidays.

I used to remind myself that people have real problems whenever life was holding me under water. I also used to tell friends that just because their problems don’t seem important doesn’t take away from the fact that they have them, and that they are real and big and scary nonetheless. Spot the inconsistency? I was certain that my problems were in no way worth the distress they caused me, but everybody else’s were worth using all the mental super powers I had. That’s flawed logic and not a healthy way to approach life’s ugly stuff, but it did help put some perspective on things that are also known as ‘first world problems’. Anyway, it’s no secret that life is draining and exhausting and as you get older things get more complicated and the weight we carry forward with us only gets heavier. The trick is to prioritize what’s worth testing our mental abilities (I’m terrible at this).

We found out that my wise and wonderful father has cancer. They found a mass on his pelvis and he’s currently in the hospital getting treatment. The outlook isn’t great. 10% survival rate at 5 years. The numbers from the first year of this type of cancer are even scarier. Fuck statistics though, right?

This has put a lot of things into perspective for me and I don’t really know if I’m ready to explore the vast ocean of ‘what ifs’ just yet. All I know is that this is real. And that this is a priority. A worthy use of my time; my dad. Letting go of what fell apart between us the past few years. Enjoying the time we have left. Realizing what is important when the foundation starts to crumble. I am terrified. However I won’t let my fear be as strong-willed as my courage. I have to go through this (most people do at some point) and I will face it as best as I can. I will not numb myself out in any way to avoid this reality.

I’d love to say that this news slapped me into a rational head space in terms of my heartbreak, but it didn’t. It helped quiet the obsessive idiot in me a bit, but I’m sad that NB isn’t here to help me through this. How silly, right? I remind myself daily that if he wanted to be here, he would be. Period. End of story. More importantly, I have Roomie and my work family and my actual family by my side. These are the people who matter.

This life matters the most as it’s the only one I’ve got.

Musings At 6 Months Sober

On April 24th of this year, I took my last drink. I didn’t know it at the time, but something had shifted in me while I finished the last of a 6 pack at home. I was surprise picked up from a local bar after imbibing heavily. I was shitfaced. I pretended I wasn’t but NB knew. I suppose it happened during my drunken crusade against everything I love that night, although I don’t remember a damn thing. The following morning it was there waiting for me even though I didn’t expect it to be. The echo of a click that I was unfamiliar with. This feeling took me a long time to name. I still don’t have one word for it. It was kind of a throbbing ache and kind of a sharp stabbing. It was kind of a relief and kind of my worst fucking nightmare.

It was different because I didn’t have a hangover that day, yet I still didn’t remember the majority of my night. The dread I felt is indescribable. The discomfort I felt was palpable. The knowledge that I was not living up to the person I knew I could be was lying in front of me, writhing around. It was the truth that had been waiting for me for years. With every sip, every shot and every morning after, it remained the same. I had kept my eyes so tightly shut in fear of how hard it would be to execute what I knew in my head and heart I absolutely had to do. I had to stop drinking. Forever. The truth is that every hour I spent drinking I spiralled further into oblivion. I was leaning in to my pain but not in the way I needed to be, not in a healthy or productive way. I was leaning in to wanting to die. I have always struggled with depression and more recently have been working on it in an honest way, but when I was drinking all my attempts at self-love/self-improvement were a fucking joke. I wanted to die because I thought it would be easier than what I was going through. I was leaning in to self-pity and self-sabotage because I wasn’t getting ‘my way’. I wanted it to stop, or for someone to save me, or for something to distract me long enough that I could find a new life and start all over again. The good news is all those things did happen, just not in the way I expected them to.

It did stop. The relentless cycle of being hurt, drinking to forget/numb out, waking up apologetic/filled with shame and then starting back at the beginning (whether it was the morning after or the weekend after). It stopped when I realized I was in a hamster wheel with all my regret and missed opportunity and until I ceased running I would never get free. It stopped when I admitted (out loud) that I hated myself and I hated being drunk and that I had to fucking change. It stopped when I accepted that alcohol was prohibiting me from moving forward. Alcohol was prohibiting me from growing up. It stopped when I admitted I was done blaming my problems on life/work/boys/girls/Mother Dearest/whatever else. It stopped when I admitted I was living a big fat lie.

I was saved. Not by any version of a god or Jesus. Not even by a cute boy who kinda looks like Jesus. Not by rehab or medication or AA. I don’t do the god thing, I don’t have faith in a HP and I don’t feel like less-than without one, but my recovery has certainly looked different because of it. I was in love with a man when I got sober and he played a huge part in this path but he didn’t do this for me, either. I wanted to go to rehab because I thought it would make my problem seem more real (whatever the fuck that means) and I didn’t go because of money and the idea of taking a month off work. I’m kinda glad I didn’t in the end. I’m proud that I was able to do this the way I have. I found a lovely therapist in recovery, but she didn’t save me either (she certainly helps, though). I am on no medication and I don’t swear by a program or a system. I wasn’t saved by anything specific, rather by everything all at once. I saved myself somehow. I dug deep and stopped being a fucking brat; that’s what it came down to for me. I had to stop acting like the world owed me an easy way out. I had to stop acting like I was the only person who was in pain. This is just what my journey looked like, although I know everyone’s is different.

I did find a new life. It is incredibly full but with holes of who I used to be punched through it. These holes are in the shapes of lost loves; cigarettes, alcohol, NB, my depression. It is exhausting and scary. It is also ridiculous and hilarious. I am so filled with gratitude that I’m 100% certain most of my friends now want to puke whenever I start talking about it, but I don’t give a shit! I am thankful and humbled and terrified and all the good/bad things. It can be non-stop which is when it gets taxing. It has two no-longer-tiny kittens in it that make me want to scream from cuteness and frustration. It has a best friend/Roomie that I actually get to be there for and with whom I share a one-in-a-million connection. It has a 1 month old niece that I can get to know and love and who will be in my life forever. This life has meaning even though it fucking hurts sometimes. This life has purpose even though I don’t always know what it is. This life is honest even when my once-addicted brain tries to lie to me.

I had to start all over again. I had no choice. Roomie calls this the ‘overhaul’. I had to reset my brain; all my coping mechanisms, all my misdirected love, all my not-good-enough thoughts. It wasn’t easy and it still isn’t. I think for the first few months I was so awed by my rawness that I just went along with whatever my brain was doing. I cried a lot, I ate a lot, I slept a lot. Now that it’s less fresh, my brain has begun to fight back; which can be alarming at times. My depression has resurged in a floating/looming way but hasn’t touched down fully yet. I’m anticipating this and it petrifies me. I have started eating regularly and running every other day and with that my self-esteem has plummeted from the weight gain; even though I’m told I look fantastic I still feel fat and unattractive. I guess it comes with the territory, all this change can be uncomfortable. I work on these new insecurities daily.

I’ve just begun to recognize the woman I am, as me. I’m starting to know what I like and what I don’t like. I’m learning what is too much for me and what is not enough. I laugh so much now that I can’t control it; this was a foreign thing to me 6 months ago. I feel like I have so much more to learn about myself and the world around me AND the acceptance of that undertaking genuinely excites me. I do get sad often; about my lost life, about Mother Dearest, about NB, about the time I spent pushing this life away from me, but I can’t explain how incredible it feels to also know that I am so fucking lucky to be where I am today.

Ultimately all I can do is take this life as it happens. Sounds overly simplistic doesn’t it? It isn’t. It’s fucking hard. It’s hard to surrender to it all, every day. Let things humble me, every day. Let people in with the knowledge they will probably hurt me, every day. Let the bad and the good wash over me and then trickle away, every day. It’s hard but it’s worth it and that’s why I do it. That’s why we all do it. Everybody following this path knows that we’re ‘on to something’.  We may be green and raw, we may be scared and lost, but we are warriors and we are unfuckwithable. 

This. Fucking. Week.

Man oh man.

I’ve had my ass kicked a few times this year by Life. She can be a real cunt. When you’re certain you can’t possibly handle any more feels she will knock on your door with heartbreak and a bottle of Jameson and a tall dark stranger. She will test you and watch your edges fray while panic sets in and she will enjoy it (She will also try to kill one of your 6 month old kittens). So here I am, it’s my Saturday and I’ve survived This Week.

We almost lost one of our fuzzy idiots to acute kidney failure. Work was annoyingly busy and demanding. Miscommunications caused problems in every area of my life. I couldn’t sleep most nights, and on evenings that I did manage to get a few hours rest, I had assaulting vivid dreams. My stupid fucking less-than-a-year-old phone constantly dies if I remove it from the charge, so I missed important messages and calls. My body was sore from pushing it at work and pushing it on my evening runs. My appetite was non-existent from all the stress. My anxiety and depression have been playing hopscotch in my head every single day. An unexpected visit at work from NB’s partner caught me off guard and stirred up 500 things that I’ve been trying to handle internally for months and I just don’t fucking know how to deal with any of it. I feel burnt out and overstimulated so much so that our finicky front door lock reduced me to tears yesterday when I couldn’t jimmy it open on my first try. So yeah, that’s where I’m at. Needless to say, this week can kiss my ass.

But then there’s the other side to this messy life… Spock is now home and back to his old antics. Work being so crazy helped foot the bill for his vet care. I had some deep clarifying conversations with people that I respect and love and now feel closer to. My dreams brought up four or five things I hadn’t considered about my recovery and are encouraging me to think harder about the type of person I want to become, even though the idea makes me squirm. I will get a new phone soon because mine is still under warranty and is clearly a dud, but honestly I’ve enjoyed not hanging off of every ding and vibration. I’m running again and that means my smoke-free (47 days), alcohol-free (150 days) body is getting one step closer to being happy. My brain can’t always be my friend but I’m now able to fight back when it’s attacking me, which is something I never was able to do even 6 months ago. Uncomfortable situations continue teach me about myself and about the people around me and how much has changed in such a short amount of time. And yet my heart still really hurts and I’m even more lost. I get fucking angry when things are thrown at me and I can’t fix them or will them away with all the good intentions in the world. I am learning that the person I want to be is waiting patiently at the end of every awful day. The person I want to be realizes that the universe is not out to get her, but that sometimes it will feel that way. She is keeping her mouth shut instead of provoking needless confrontation. She is meditating in the mornings, instead of popping Advil and frantically searching through her phone to make sure she didn’t do anything stupid the night before. She is hurting for all the people affected by weeks like this one. She feels sorry for hurting anyone even if they aren’t the most savoury of people. She is hugging her close friends and missing the far away ones. She is reaching out to her family and telling them her story. She is so damn excited to be an Aunt, really REALLY soon. She is not changing her plans even though she wants to burrito in bed until things get easier. She is writing down cheesy inspirational things and posting them around her house to make her feel like a warrior. She is comfortable telling an entire group of co-workers/friends/regulars that if she doesn’t leave right this second, she will absolutely have a drink and that is not a fucking option.

This person is having a hard time with these things but is trying to do them anyway, because that’s what being brave is alllllll about, right? Doing the thing, even though your legs are shaking and you feel like you’re gonna puke and it sucks the goddamn breath right out of you. You don’t drink or smoke even though you’re furious that Life is fucking with you and you’re convinced you’ve earned the right to numb it out. You don’t lash out at the people around you because they are not the ones who made your decisions for you and they don’t fucking deserve it and somehow they love you in spite of all the shitty things you’ve done. You don’t bitch about the cost of saving your pet’s life because what would you prefer, having a healthy pet or commas in your bank account? You bite your tongue and count to ten and if you still feel like exploding, you continue to bite your tongue and count to twenty instead. If all else fails, yesterday taught me that taking a moment in the walk-in fridge at work does wonders with chilling insane overwhelming emotions. Sometimes you gotta take what you can get.

So Many Things.

I had a big talk with Roomie the other night about my sobriety (real surprise there, I know) I give her an enormous shout-out for always having ears for this subject, anyway, it was a goodie. I tried (and failed) to explain to her the feeling I have after another day of not drinking. This is the best I can do to describe it.

I feel like I have a huge secret. I feel like I won the goddamn lottery. Every night before I fall asleep I do some version of Yoga Nidra, and when it comes time to ruminate on whatever I’m grateful for before I set my sankalpaI immediately think of only one thing; I am so fucking lucky that I’m sober. I can’t explain it properly. I won’t tell you that every second of everyday is filled with misty eyed wonder, that’s just not how it is. But I will tell you that it’s worth it anyway. My days still include an alarming number of miserable and sad minutes. There are hours filled with general disdain for everyone and everything. Yet hiding in every day are moments where I am stupefied at how quickly things are falling into place for me.

I remember waking up the morning after I had my last drink and wanting an immediate fix. I wanted to erase the damage I had inflicted on myself and the man I love (but couldn’t remember what exactly I did or said). I wanted to erase the crippling shame of not knowing what happened. I wanted to erase the tears and the snot pouring out of my face and teleport anywhere else, to a time where I wasn’t a huge fuck-up drunk failure. I wanted to erase myself. I didn’t want to do the work, I just wanted it to happen. I quickly came to the reality of it all; that changing my life meant changing this one thing. This thing would change everything else. It seemed simple and impossible all at once, but I knew it was the only way. So I said to Roomie ‘this is it’ and that I might need help and that I might stumble and cry and suck at it, but I was going to do it anyway. This thing held a few big truths and a million little truths in it and I hated myself for having to accept all of them simultaneously.

The one thing was obviously that I couldn’t fucking drink anymore. I had to quit. Not moderate or take it easy. Fucking quit. Forever. Roomie sat with me and chain-smoked and told me she loved me no matter how many awful things I had done and didn’t remember doing, but that if I continued down the path I was on I would lose everything and everyone around me and I would regret it for the rest of my pickled life. I hated that day. I hated every wide awake hungover minute. I hated the talking to NB gave me in bed later that afternoon. I hated the spotlight that followed me around my house. I hated that I couldn’t take any of it back and that I would carry all of it with me for the rest of my life.

I look back on the whole day with tenderness, strangely enough. I want to give the ugly, hungover, shame-filled Lana a fucking hug. I want to tell her how funny life is going to get and how much it is going to hurt. I want to explain that things won’t really make anymore sense than they did before but they will also make the most sense. I want to tell her that in a few short months her drinking life will feel like a book she’s read about somebody else.

I kept hearing about how once you make the choice to quit boozing/drugging/whatever-ing that your life opens up; things happen that you can’t even fathom while actively addicted. It all sounds like bullshit, I know. I rolled my eyes at everything I read about sobriety. It was ridiculous to think that I, someone who will be forever fucked up, could possibly stoop to a level where meditation and saying no were in my list of daily to-do’s. How trite! How mundane! How yucky! I know, I know. What I didn’t (and you probably don’t) know was that the whole ‘journey being a gift’ spiel everybody parrots starts to ring true.

My first sobers days arrived and I quickly realized that I knew absolute dick about myself. I knew dick about recovering from addiction, even a secret/insidious/do-I-really-have-a-problem one. I knew dick about honesty or surrender or building a healthy environment. I knew dick about life. More specifically I knew dick about my life. And that’s the only truth I’ve still got some days; I won’t bullshit you. I still wake up certain mornings and feel like I’ve been run over by a freight train. I still wake up exhausted and frustrated and weepy for no reason. I still wake up lost and confused and questioning. It’s different now, though, because I feel all those things without a safety blanket (and without a hangover). That’s the real thing all the sober people are constantly talking about, guys, you have to live your life 150% present. Which means you have to be heartbroken and not drink it away. You have to talk about (and have) sex without booze to remove your inhibitions. You have to figure out how to fall asleep without a nightcap. You have to plan dates and get-togethers and weekends away without a stocked bar. Sounds awful, doesn’t it? I feel you. But maybe I should have written that differently… instead of ‘you have to’ do those things it really should say you get to do those things. You get to live out your life without blinders and bubblewrap on.

You Get To Live Every Fucking Second.

I know that also sounds terrible to you, right? It isn’t. I promise. It’s raw and beautiful and definitely intimidating. So I guess it is terrible while also not being terrible. Confusing, I know. I will say this; it’s mostly a fucking privilege and a gift and a god damned miracle. Especially for me, for us, the ones who have craters in our memories from years of drinking ourselves into oblivion. You have conversations late at night that hold the truest, quietest epiphanies and you wake up the following day remembering all of them and they are still real and you aren’t cringing remembering how your voice sounded! The entire experience of a sober life feels like one giant holy shit moment. The kind of moment we talk about with only our closest friends, with our lovers, with our mentors, with our shrinks. And yes, sometimes those moments are fucked up and ugly. But sometimes they are perfect and spectacular. You get to be present for every single second of every single one of them. 

Sobriety is the key that opened (and continues to open) every lock that exists inside of me, and I can’t fucking explain how wonderful that is. Not fully the way that I feel it, not ever. I will keep trying to though, because it is impossible to keep all this beauty to myself. Quitting the sauce was the most magical, preposterous, petrifying thing I have ever done. It continues to be all of those things. I thought this feeling would go away after a few weeks, but it hasn’t. Not yet, and hopefully not ever. I’ve put over four months of sober time together and I am fucking flabbergasted at how awesome I feel when I realize that I never have to do all of that again. Wait, sorry, I literally get to Never Drink Again. This is huge, guys, it’s fucking enormous. Without a doubt I can say that sobriety is the biggest, most incredible gift that I’ve ever given myself and it’s also undoubtedly the most important thing I’ll ever have. 

Huh? When Did September Get Here?

I’m struck with the ‘holy shit’s thinking about what I was doing on this day last year, what we were doing. NB, myself and a few other friends. We were drinking to Roomie and Whatshisnuts’ demise (her included). More accurately, we were using the break up as an excuse to drink a stupid amount on a random Thursday afternoon. We went to the restaurant and played card games, as we chugged plenty-o-beers. We definitely had some Jameson, too.

NB and I had an entire night to spend together, magically, somehow. Maybe even an entire weekend, I can’t really remember. I was giddy that we didn’t have to keep looking at the clock that night. I watched as he beat everybody (including me and Roomie) at Golf, the game he taught the entire crew the previous summer. I always loved watching him play. I loved watching him, period. He had a way about him. I was a moth, he was a lamp. No, it’s more like he was the god-damned sun, anyhow, we went bowling down the road from the restaurant and somehow ended up shitfaced (quelle surprise), downing gin and tonics at a karaoke bar that I wouldn’t be able to find again with a gun to my head. We sang the Moody Blues together and I remember not giving a single fuck if we kissed in front of the people we were with, mind you I was usually the one who didn’t care about such things. Why would I? I then remember clumsily falling into bed together that night and having sex for the first time. And the second time. And the third. We were 3am drunk at 10:30pm. Waking up every hour somehow drunk and hung over all at once, somehow beside him and thinking I was dreaming the whole thing up, something I frequently did. Anyway, it’s been a whole year since that night.

How much can happen in such a short (long) time! It feels like a decade ago, not one measly year. That’s kinda how I feel about sobriety, too. Has it seriously only been 4 months? Yesterday in therapy I had this creeping feeling that I was getting somewhere. I felt like I found the one thread that holds the entire sweater together. I didn’t have the guts to yank on it just yet, but instead began to tug gently to try to reveal the naked thing underneath without running screaming in the other direction. I even said to Roomie and Y that I was ‘on to something’, whatever the fuck that means. The bus ride home from kits (which takes an hour at least) was relaxing even though it was jam-packed. I felt blissful, hopeful. I felt the promise of being free in the future, a rare emotion for me.

This afternoon I watched a sci-fi movie that was entertaining and heavy and that got me thinking deeply. After it was over and I felt I needed to clear my head, I decided to do the dishes and tidy up a bit. I find cleaning to be the number one thing that helps me realign on a bad day. Anyway, mid rinse, I’m floored with emotion. Literally. I sat in the middle of my kitchen floor with soapy wet hands and sobbed. Hot tears ran down my face for 45 minutes; I don’t get it! I felt okay-ish. I felt neutral for the most part of today. Lazy even! I read a whole book and lounged in my brand new teal velvet reading chair (it is a magnificent thing). I still can’t make sense of it. Is it because so much has changed in one tiny year? It’s an anniversary of sorts, I suppose. Is it because MD is in rehab? Apparently she’s doing well. Is it because I kept hoping he’d show up at my door today? This is the sad truth, for more days than I’d like to admit. Is it because I feel alone and overwhelmed and lonely? I don’t know anymore. Maybe it’s all of the above.

I got a message soon thereafter from Y. I had told her how crazy emotional I felt and her response was something along the lines of “well at least you aren’t me right now, driving home half drunk”. So, I guess she relapsed this afternoon. She’s home safe currently but I was fucking frantic, stuck between not wanting to distract her further by calling and wanting to chase her down and pull her screaming out of the car. I’m disappointed, naturally, but it’s not my place to give her any more shit. It’s her life. I don’t care if she drinks or drugs or stays sober, it’s the fact that doing the former things makes her want to die. That’s the problem with all of us drunks, addicts, whatever we are. We do these things to stop us from feeling the scary things.  We do these things even though they make us feel the scariest things. We do these things to the point that we don’t give a shit whether it kills us or not. We do these things to a degree that eventually we hope it will put us out of our misery, for good. I won’t sit back and watch her kill herself, but I also can’t/won’t be her conscience. I know she’ll get there on her own, I just hope she doesn’t have to bottom out before it happens.