08.12.17

I thought I had posted this last week, turns out it saved as a draft. Silly Lana!

Sometimes you know your day will be hard and you have to let it happen anyway and you smile through it, knowing you were smart enough to prep for it, and at the end of it you’re glad you didn’t chicken out of existence just to avoid it. Sometimes you have no fucking idea what category of hurricane is blowing your way and you can’t fight with it or run away from it once it’s arrived so you grit your teeth and let it whip your hair around real good and just hope to god it passes fast. That was how Thursday and Friday went for me, respectively. Both were overwhelming but in completely different ways.

I woke up Thursday morning (my Saturday) feeling anxious and poorly rested and generally unwell. I knew the time to expose my insides was 3:15 pm. The countdown began when the clock struck midnight and I was still awake staring at it. I dreamt about therapy, the blurry face of the woman I was to bare all to. I thought about it all day at work on Wednesday. I lied to Roomie and said I was looking forward to it, but in reality I was just plain ol’ annoyed that I had to go to fucking therapy, again.

The smart girl who lives inside me realized there are many hours between the time I wake up (7:30-8ish usually) and 3:15 so I planned on doing all the good things beforehand. A friend and I planned a bit of a ‘girl’s day’, we’ll call her Y, so I hopped on a bus to meet her in Kits just before 11am. We got our nails done at some fancy place. When I go bananas on the mani/pedi train you can be sure I’m having a bit of a time. I believe this habit comes from my father smacking mine and Mother Dearest’s fingers out of our respective mouths. We both bit our nails extensively, to which he constantly commented on our swollen cuticles/brittle little stubs. He loves jewelry and we used to be showered with it on birthdays and holidays until the nail-biting got really noticeable. He would say quietly that he’d never buy us shiny things again as long as we continued, MD and I squawking uncomfortably like the magpies we are. What an odd little memory. Anyway, the point of that digression was that I make my fingers look spectacular to avoid biting them clean off when shit hits the fan. And all of the shit is hitting all of the fans, at least in my head.

After said pampering, we dawdled around and poked into some kitschy home decor/antique type places where I finally bought some wall hangings/posters and Y bought a super cute drop-leaf desk that even MD would approve of. I then noticed hunger pangs (which, by the way, is a huge win for me, I’m a human again!) and we stopped at the world’s tackiest 50’s diner for some pre-therapy eats. The food was shockingly good, as was the coffee, I also fondly noted that a picture of Roy Orbison hung on the wall beside our table and as I’m named after one of his songs I smiled at it. Lots of dad reminders this week. Anyway, we talked about quitting shitty habits and what it means when you take the leap into Sober Land. Y has been struggling with the idea of total abstinence for a while, she’s no stranger to addiction or the wily ways us ladies can convince ourselves ‘everything’s fine’. She is simultaneously going through a break up which means mandatory personal transformation, as we all are familiar with. I was so humbled and grateful for her honesty/willingness to share these insecurities with me. Peoples stories can be so incredible. The bravery, the heartbreak, the resilience. I resisted the urge to fold her up and put her in my pocket, I wanted to protect her and console her and be the security blanket that she is without, but I know it much more important to let her fight her way through this with support, not protection. But it is nice to feel less alone, I think, for the two of us. She and I both suffer from depression, anxiety and lack of direction and similarly tried to shut these demons up with the same poisons/solutions. We share the knack of self-sabotage. But at least we have each other to help navigate this uncharted territory!

I adore my new therapist, Jeannine. She is seemingly the perfect fit for my needs, I felt heard and understood and safe while I was talking to her. So much so that within the hour I was moved to tears… something that never happened in my last counselling experience. She said that she would be honoured to guide me through the journey of getting healthy mentally and physically. She was sympathetic to the clusterfuck of the NB situation, and I was 100% honest with her about my drinking habits/how I got sober. I’m actually looking forward to seeing her again. After our time was up, I met Y down the road and we had coffee in her beautiful backyard. We talked for hours about our lives, about our pasts, about our hopes for the future. She came back to my house afterward and we ordered pizza and watched comedy specials. Adult slumber party! It was lovely.

I woke up yesterday (Friday) with zero residual good vibes from Thursday. I felt like I’d been run over. I was spent. I cried for most of the day, god knows why. I missed NB to the point it was physically paining me to think of him, I was angry at myself for not being more productive with my weekend, frustrated with my co-workers for being lazy and unable to fix problems for themselves (especially on my day off). It was a shitty fucking day. Such contrast from how I felt on Thursday, which, in short, can only be described as hopeful. Yesterday was dismal. My work week has now begun and I no longer have the energy to fight with or over think my moods.  All I can say to myself is let it be, Lana.

Advertisements

The Only Way Out Is In.

Tons-o-tears this week. In my very early sobriety I cried quite a bit, but for different reasons. I felt humbled and scared and loved but I cried because I couldn’t believe all of the work I had ahead of me. I knew it meant consistent pain, loss, and ‘moving on’ from so many things I wasn’t ready to let go of. These are exhausting thoughts, especially when they’re relentless. I’ve cried at least once every day this week, for much of the same reasons, but less because of disbelief/shock. I haven’t broken down at work or in public (not intentionally or anything, it’s just how it’s been), but they have been still kind of unexpected and authentic, these mighty tears. They feel good. I remember people talking about the release of crying being cathartic as something I never really understood. It always gave me a headache, I always felt foggier after. I get it now. Now that I’m crying for the right reasons. Better reasons. Honest reasons.

It’s funny how it works, isn’t it? I cry because my heart is broken that my person left without a goodbye, seemingly without looking back. I cry because my best friend/Roomie forgave me for all the shameless shit I did while I was drinking and because I didn’t have to ask her to, she just did. I cry because my friends remember my tiny silent victories and shower me with praise and love when I least expect them to. I cry because I miss NB and have so much I wish I could talk about with him and there’s just no way it will happen. I cry because he hasn’t come back, and he probably never will. (I cry because I still had to put ‘probably’ in that last sentence). I cry because I’m starting to like myself and it’s terrifying and new and raw and it comes up at the moments when I was used to feeling the most ugly and disgusting and unlovable. I cry because I gave up the crutch that forever sheltered me while simultaneously scaring the shit out of me, and because I don’t really miss it all that much. I cry because not missing it is reassuring. I cry because of the many nights I can’t remember and equally too because of the nights I can. I cry because it’s uncomfortable to let things, feelings and people in, but I know it’s critical that I do it anyway.

I cried the other night because I felt homesick for the first time, ever. I’m not joking. I’ve never felt that way before and I kept tearing up because I didn’t know how to describe it. Until I explained it to Roomie, sitting outside in the alley, I didn’t understand what homesickness was. I realized that it has nothing to do with the where or when, it’s the feeling we miss. That blanketing love. That illusion of safety that our families somehow give us, even when there’s no way it could be true or lasting. That unwavering faith that I could never be abandoned or feel alone as long as I stayed in that same place. I felt the pull to return to the house that I don’t particularly miss and never really loved. The physical urge to lie on the beige leather couch while my dad sat in his burgundy leather chair. Both of which were in the den that always smelled like cigarettes and sometimes Bell’s scotch, but had the perfect combination of home-y comfort and tasteful interior design. My mom was noticeably absent on these evenings, which meant freedom. It meant putting my feet up. Not having to sit as far away from the other side of the couch as possible to avoid contact with her. My dad and I would shoot the shit about our days and watch mindless TV, we did this often. I would light up like I had some delicious secret when we both laughed at unremarkable sitcom jokes because it confirmed that somehow we were on the same wavelength and that meant we could never be disconnected, not in a million years. It also meant that we couldn’t possibly disagree about the big things, which ultimately led me to believe my father hated my mother just as much as I did (I was wrong about this, it turns out).  I think on summer evenings where I’d be reading and he’d be playing golf on his PlayStation, and he’d pause the game so I could read him a line or two from whatever book I was living in that day. Perpetually saying, “hold on, peanut… okay, go ahead”. I would excitedly dictate what I had just found and wait for his eyes to widen. This rarely happened. More often than not his responses were dismissive of the epiphanies that the words held for me. I resented him for this. I would sulk and sigh and clam up, a bit disheartened, and continue to read to myself. When I would get the guts to revisit said revelatory line(s) hours/days/years later, I often realized I had interpreted them wrong, which to this day can make me wince at my silent anger towards him.

All of the early moments were so reassuring and wonderful until I got older and the distance widened between us. It widened until it became almost 4500 kilometres. I think more on our relationship in my sobriety. The realization that he loved my mother even though she was/is a fuck of an alcoholic who terrorized my sister and I, and that my loathing of her didn’t change that, took me many years to accept. I don’t know if I’m even there yet. I’m just shy of 4 months sober and these jagged little pills are still making their way down my gullet (shout out to Alanis Morissette, the first voice of my teenage angst).

These small moments aren’t daydreams, they are memories, some more coloured than others. These tiny rituals became safety blankets for my young self, so I suppose it doesn’t take a famous German psychoanalyst to presume I would wax nostalgic about them given my current turmoil. What it comes down to is that I miss that connection, plain and simple. I miss having unshakeable trust in someone to stick around, love me, push me and hold me when the time called for it. I miss feeling special and irreplaceable. Everyday I grow with the knowledge that this feeling is trying to teach me something that can only be learned from my decision to take this path.

A little while ago I had a longer-than-usual conversation with a brunch regular at the restaurant. He’s cute and I’ve certainly noticed him, but I’m not (and wasn’t when I met him) in the place where I’m looking or interested. Anyway, he seems like a nice guy. He’s around my age, looks like he’s in shape, always half asleep and smiley and most of what he says is quite endearing. He isn’t trying too hard, or at all. He tells me his name, what he does for a living, we both quietly confess our leaning toward introversion and then he asks me what I like to do for fun, and I can’t believe I don’t have anything remotely interesting or witty to say to him! 6 months ago my answer would have been straightforward, I drink. I like wine, Jameson and beer and I like to slam it, sip it and savour it. Now that is no longer in my vocabulary and luckily I mentioned this at some point previous to this conversation, I stammer something along the lines of ‘uhhh… I don’t really know how to answer that… I like to read. And I sit at the park a lot. Oh! I just bought a telescope.’ and he laughs because I’m a bumbling idiot. Sober Lana gots no game. He proceeds to ask me out, at least that’s what it felt like. Says he’d like to go on a hike/take me fishing. I kind of imply that I’m going through some shit but vaguely commit. ‘That sounds great, one day.’ I love to fish. I love the outdoors. I didn’t really mention this but he seems to recognize that in me anyway. He doesn’t push for my number or hand me his, leaving the ball entirely in my court. He continues to come in sporadically after this. Cut to a few weeks later (today), he drops in for breakfast, ever so sluggishly, smiling sweetly and I find myself jittery. I haven’t even approached my second cup of coffee at this point and the idea that HE was having this effect on me made me laugh out loud. I idle near his table taking a payment at another and ask him if he wants more water, as I do so, I confidently put my hand on his shoulder. Strange of me to do, but it happens. And lemme just say FUCK, guys, those shoulders though. I realize that when he said in passing that he’s an active person it was a sneaky way of saying, ‘I’m fucking jacked. I live for the gym. I will forever be in better shape than you but am too humble to say this aloud’. Meeee-ow.

I immediately find my friend/co-worker in the bussing station and tell her I will 150% let this guy bench press me with his dick (???). Exact words. This makes no sense, but I bet you know what I’m getting at regardless. I go to print his bill as I see him grabbing his backpack, he says that he’s left something on the table for me but I can’t look until he leaves, something for ‘all those lonely nights at the park’. I assume that it’s his number (and hopefully some cash, or else he’s leaving without paying me). I was right about the cash. But what he left for me was two books. Both of which are about astronomy, sky-watching. They are old and used and absolutely perfect. Swoon. I scan the first few pages of each for numerical scrawl and there’s zilch. Smooth move, dude. Ball is still in my court. I know I’m not ready for anything serious, but also can’t stop thinking of different ways to get this guy my number. So, maybe I shouldn’t write off the idea of dating. If it gets that far, I plan on being honest about what’s going on in my heart and head just for the sake of transparency. I don’t know whether it’ll matter or not, but I’m not starting a friendship/relationship/anything with anybody under false pretences. I have no idea what the fuck I want or what the fuck I’m even ready for, and I probably won’t for a while. Now, to actually somehow get him my number or get his (something I’ve never done in the history of my life, not ever). EEK.

I went from tearing up finishing Sarah Hepola’s book Blackout, to thinking about how I missed my dad, to smiling stupidly realizing that I not only potentially want to flirt/hang out/fuck some dude that isn’t NB, that I actually went through all of these motions/feelings/strange desires sober. Is this what growing up looks like?

I forgot to mention: I’m meeting a new therapist tomorrow! Her name is Jeannine and I don’t know what spawned me to continue on my hunt for yet another ear, but I’m willing to bet $185 dollars an hour can buy some damn fine wisdom, advice, or at the very least an unbiased viewpoint. We shall see either way! OH AND I quit smoking last week. After I hit my 100 days of sobriety I decided it was time to ditch the sticks, too.

So much change! It feels right even though it’s all really fucking hard and confusing. I’m just forever repeating to myself that this is all worth it and big beautiful things will come out of this stinking shit sandwich, even if it isn’t the case. Wanna know my biggest secret as of late? More and more I truly believe it is.

100 Days: Part 2.

20616760_10155359369681041_5527833334891740297_o

Sometimes you wake up anxious and lonely and scared about the future and you don’t understand how something that’s supposed to be good can feel so awful and isolating… and then someone takes the time to remind you of why you chose this path and that it’s not always going to be sunshine and rainbows but it certainly will be worthwhile (even if it takes for fucking ever). I am so grateful for these kind of days. Today marks one hundred days of sobriety, days which included many tears and ugly heartbreak and also so. much. love.

I shared this on instagram/facebook today. Guess I’m out of the closet so to speak! Feels good. Feels right.

100 days.

I wanted to lie, you know, when I was asked the other day how I was doing. I was asked if I was ‘seeing someone’ to keep my body/mind distracted. Pssh. That’s cute, isn’t it? I wanted to lie when I was asked if it felt fair, this loss as punishment/consequence for my behaviour. I didn’t lie because I’m not going to give in to that wily cunt that lives deep inside me.

The lying bitch that kept trying to silence the truth when it whispered for years ‘you have a drinking problem’. The liar that shushed me so many times when I said that something felt off. Something’s wrong, Lana. Run, don’t walk. I let this voice dictate most of my life. She’s a part of me, I can’t get rid of her. But I allowed her to have her way with me, this I know. Most of my problems were minimized or dismissed. Most of my pain was diminished or laughed away. This liar is not just cruel, she is smart. She is ugly. But she can be oh-so-comforting. I now have to tell her to fuck off daily. I am doing it as I type this.

No, I’m not okay, and no I’m not fucking anybody AND NO, I DON’T THINK THAT THIS IS FUCKING FAIR. I’m empty, guys. I’m alone and I’m confused and I’m working too hard because it’s easier than sitting at home. I’m freaking out over changes in my body/mind/life because it’s easier than letting the real-er shit take over.

I’m not fucking okay, and that in itself is okay. I say this repeatedly. My mantra.

The past few days I’ve decided not to fight any of this. I’ve decided that even though I’m terrified of what’s coming, letting the liar take over is the more horrifying of my options. I have to give myself up to this process. It’s trying to teach me something, I can feel it. It’s saying more than ‘I hope you learned your lesson’. It’s trying to show me a part of myself I’ve been avoiding. The alone me. The lonely me.

I’ve done a lot of whining on this blog and I haven’t meant to, I’ve been experiencing intense conflict and loss and haven’t found an outlet for it. I think that the more time that passes the more insight I will gain, even some may come from the angry, needy girl who shares my brain space. I am trying to open myself a bit more to this part of the journey each morning. I do so without the help of him or anybody else. I sit with myself no matter how uncomfortable and even though I experience mostly deafening silence, I know this too is a lesson. I just don’t know what exactly I’m being taught yet.

I’m trying to get all of the women that live inside me to say the same thing until I can’t do a thing but listen to them. A few have quietly begun and the chorus gets louder every moment.

Surrender. Surrender. Surrender.

S.O.B.

Obsess. Scream. Pull my hair out. Wail like the shitty little puke that sat at table 45 did today when his waffles didn’t get put in front of him as soon as he sat down. That’s what the past few days have been like. Context is important but I’ll spare the play-by-play for now. The short version is that NB subliminally (no, I’m not crazy, he really did) reached out to me, because of course he fucking did. So I then wrote him a calm and collected message to tell him I thought it was unfair/cruel and that he had until mid-August to speak actual words to me before I blocked/deleted his number and changed my own. I guess She got ahold of his phone and somehow my address, and we had a lovely impromptu chat outside of my house. I didn’t try to correct her or fight her or compete against her or plead with her. I listened, apologized sincerely and answered any question she had honestly.  She had plenty to say, obviously, most of which I anticipated and took as dignified as the Other Woman can in this situation. Apparently I am delusional and manipulative, and with my wily witchy ways, wooed him into my web. Like that alliteration or what?  So, basically, I’m a sorceress with a magic vagina who eats people’s partners for funsies. Yep. There’s the short version. 

Here’s how I’m not handling things. I’m still sober. That’s all I’ve got. I think a lot. I spend much of my time on the couch staring off into space. That’s it. Tonight I was thinking about feelings and how we describe them (or choose not to). I have a lot of opinions on what’s gone down lately, but I have a hard time expressing myself honestly. Sometimes we say things because we think we’re supposed to. They fit. They make people more comfortable. They sound better out loud to us, to them.

I say, ‘I’m working on acceptance. I want to get to the place where I can forgive him’. I’m really saying, ‘how could he do this to me? How could he not protect me? I was the only one on his side’.

I laugh at work and a friend says, ‘I haven’t heard that in a long time, you must be doing better!’ I say, “Yeah! Today’s an okay day actually”. I’m really saying, ‘the absurdity of what just happened to my heart makes me burst into laughter because there is nothing left to do’.

I say, ‘I guess it could always be worse, right?’ I’m really saying, ‘what is happening is far worse than anything I’ve ever imagined’.

These small conversations make me laugh and cry and rage. How do you handle the fact that the person that you held in such high esteem betrayed your confidence, privacy, and love without saying a word? You don’t. I don’t know how. Is it even possible?

I sit in my house, I go to work, I run errands, I watch TV and am learning to ignore the questions cycling through my head throughout the day. I try not to look over my shoulder at work and at home (I’ve been told I won’t be left alone unless I leave my job, and Vancouver).

I ask myself a hundred more times, ‘how could he do this to me?’
I say, ‘guess he wasn’t who I thought he was, that pile of garbage’.
I’m really saying ‘he owed me more than this.’
Ask another hundred times, ‘how could he fucking do this to me?’.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Betrayal, what a bitch. I’m an idiot, a naive little girl.

P.S. Rot in hell, you piece of shit.

Accept and Let Go.

I am meditating on acceptance. I don’t really know where to start. I guess I could go with ‘I can’t change a decision that was made by somebody else‘. So I’ll say that again.
I can’t change that NB chose to remove himself from my life. Whether it was by force, by choice, by blackmail, by whatever! I can’t do anything about it. The circumstances that surround it do not matter. It is what it is. There is nothing to do except embrace the facts of the situation. He chose a different life, and now that means things must change in mine. Just writing that make me feel a bit better.

I don’t have to mope or mourn if it doesn’t feel natural.
I don’t have to laugh and pretend nothing is wrong if it doesn’t feel natural.
I just have to be true to how I’m feeling and wait for it to pass.
That’s it. I think I can handle that.

When I was still drinking, I (vaguely) remember being shit-faced and crying because I hated what the NB situation was doing to me. I was lying on my kitchen floor sobbing into his lap. Snot everywhere (über attractive). He stroked my hair and told me honest but comforting things while I cried it all out. I remember saying that I didn’t care what choice he made but he had to make one. I said that frequently. Part of me did mean it, but the bigger, uglier part wanted him to choose me. So there it is, the thing that hurts the most to admit.

He chose to let me go, which means I have to let him go, even though I don’t want to. I didn’t want any of this. But realizing that I don’t want to let him go, and that I would have done anything to prevent it from happening doesn’t fucking change anything. It’s still the way it is, against my wishes sure, but that also doesn’t change a thing. The only thing I can do from here is keep living my life, albeit a little differently now.

No more making extra coffee on the days he’d pop by mid morning.
No more waiting to hear when he’s free, changing my day around to spend an hour or two together.
No more monitoring how much perfume I wear so he doesn’t leave the house smelling like another woman.
No more lonely evenings waiting to hear back from him.
No more staying up later than I should to see if he can steal away on the motorcycle.
No more secrets.
No more guilt.
No more waiting.

I anticipate feeling relieved someday soon. The confusion and struggles I’ve been facing in all of this makes me think of my first two weeks of sobriety. I was fucking terrified when I made the decision to never drink again. Firstly, I didn’t think I could do it and secondly, I didn’t think I would be the same person if I did (in a bad way). I didn’t know myself without the poison that kept me numb. I wasn’t sure I wanted to. I didn’t realize I would wake up one day not long after making said choice, feeling that a huge weight had been lifted off of me, feeling like a more authentic me. It was the best decision I’ve made to date, I have no true regrets even on my worst days.

Perhaps a similar epiphany is on the other side of this pain? I really hope so.

What Is Left To Do.

It’s my Sunday. It’s overcast and spitting rain which means I won’t be able to zone out at the park today. I have little errands to run and some house stuff to attend to but it’s been a productive weekend for me so I’m procrastinating a bit. I went and got a physical yesterday, glad it’s done with. It was uncomfortable but quick, as they usually are. In-and-out in 10 minutes (hardy-har). I’d like to meet someone who really enjoys being probed by a stranger… Anyway!

I sent NB a message the other night before bed, after debating for some time whether I needed to or not. Turns out I felt the need to apologize for how things ended and to clarify a couple of things about our final conversation. I feel like it was the right call. Perhaps I was apologizing on behalf of him, knowing I won’t ever get the apology I feel I deserve. I’m creating my own closure here. Whether he responds or not is irrelevant, I said what I had to. I meticulously thought out what exactly I was feeling and pressed send once I knew I didn’t have ulterior motives in doing so. So here we are, over two weeks without communication at all. The days are passing painfully slow. I feel different than I did in the first week. I’m exhausted. And the sadness is now coming in waves. I crave even more alone time, and I’m sensitive to every kind of stimulus around me. I guess this is normal for a break up? I’m getting smacked with insignificant memories which hurt regardless of how ridiculous/unimportant they were. Swallowing how much I miss him is no easy feat. I feel like I’m drinking poison.

All that is left to do is start moving on, I suppose. Is progress measurable when it comes to break ups? I don’t feel like I’m making any. I’m still in shock. I’m still angry. I’m still wondering how I will ever get close to another person in that way. I’m not going to go on dating sites. I’m not going to be able to have rebound sex. I just won’t. I know myself. I can’t drink this away. I can’t fuck this away. I can’t work this away. I just have to feel it, I guess? How long is it going to hurt like this? How many more hours do I have to jolt myself back to reality and remind myself he isn’t coming back?

In other news, I’m booking my flights back to Onterrible for the holidays. I’m being forced to visit, as my sister is having a baby in October and apparently family members are supposed to care about that sort of thing. Last trip home I took was an awful time, so I’m hellbent on making this one better. I won’t be staying with my parents, which was part of the reason everything went to shit during my previous visit, and I’ll be sober! I hope the sobriety makes dealing with my insane mother a bit more manageable (although intuition tells me the opposite).

Speaking of sobriety, July 25th is my 3 month mark. Feels like it’s been years.