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

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Checking In: Part 2

I’ve been in a bit of a funk this past little while. I know that breaking from my routine makes me feel like shit, yet I couldn’t motivate myself for a couple days and voila- that’s all it takes to backslide into a depression pit. In order to pull myself out of this rut I have to force myself to do the things that make me feel better. This is no easy feat. Try making yourself a nutritious dinner when you could literally eat the pizza that’s sitting in front of you (having a roommate is a blessing and a curse). Try waking up at 430 to do yoga before work when you could easily just sleep until your alarm yells at you. Try meditating when you get big and possibly important news and your brain is firing 5000 times faster than it usually does. Man, I suppose this is the shit that everyone talks about. Doing the work when it’s the hardest.

This rut that I’m in may have to do with the plethora of noise in my personal life, or it could just be me losing steam in my high-energy days of late, but either way, it’s time to get back to it. I’ve been feeling off-centre because NB decided that it would be okay to drive by the restaurant a whole lot since the beginning of January. It bothered me quite a bit but I tried my very best to take it in stride and brush it off. It happened when I was at work on one of my usual days off. I told myself it was a coincidence and to let it go. Then it started happening on the days I’ve ALWAYS worked. Right around closing time. When he knows I’ll be there. He did it last week, coming towards the restaurant with his window down. Face to face. I couldn’t believe it. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. I started to shake, feel weak. I got angry. I was visibly hurting. A friend of ours was in the restaurant while I was locking up, as he always is on Tuesdays, and he saw him too. I tried my best to hold it together but I couldn’t help it, I started to rage about the nerve it takes to do that to me. How cruel and inconsiderate. It wasn’t enough to abandon me, now he’s going to rub our proximity in my face? Show me that he could very well still be in my life but instead is dancing on the outside of it? What a flat out mean thing to do. I went on for a long time, crying and shaking my fist. I felt silly but I couldn’t help it. These things claw at me until I give in to them.

Anyways, as I had every other time this happened, I contemplated sending him and his partner a message. The only difference this time around was that I sent it. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to say. I edited it probably 5 times. I waited until the next day to send it, you know, to ‘sleep on it’. I don’t regret it. I felt freer than I have all year. Instead of going with ‘MY DAD IS DYING, YOU PIECE OF SHIT. STOP TORMENTING ME’, I went with a cooler, calmer approach that asked him to take another route to wherever he is going. He and I both know there is absolutely zero reason to drive by my restaurant, nothing in that block could be one of his destinations, so he’s passively just trying to insert himself in my periphery. Which is infuriating and cowardly. Ugh.

Anyway, two days after I sent the message a mutual friend of ours came to visit and crashed on my couch. He dropped some news on me about NB that I wasn’t anticipating and I’m uncertain how to feel about it. Apparently he took off that day, in a motor home, by himself. Driving somewhere far away to get in touch with himself? Our mutual friend, S, has always been clear that he will not pick sides and wants to remain friends with all of us. Because of his willingness to stick around, I don’t ply him for information about NB, nor do I ask for tidbits (even on the days I desperately want to). He offered this as response to me admitting my anger and frustration re: the drive-bys. Again, I don’t know what to say or how to feel, or the context of him taking off. It could mean something, it could mean nothing. I resisted the urge to smoke an entire pack of cigarettes (it’s been over 6 months since I’ve had one).

I went back to work the next day, glad to have caught up with some friends that Friday night, and this time I received news from my family. My uncle had died over night. My Dad’s brother. He had cancer. They were estranged from years of family drama. I always liked him. He had a wicked sense of humour and a soft spot for me. I’m sad I didn’t get to see him. My dad is barely out of another round of chemo and his mother (my Nan) is devastated that she’s lost her oldest son. She does not yet know that my father is sick. He thinks it would kill her, she’s 94. It’s a fair concern, but she’s a tough lady. I hate lying to her. I hate lying in general. I’ve been avoiding speaking to her because of this. I can’t get it off my mind.

The rest of the week passed in a blur.

Yesterday was my Saturday and all I wanted to do was take it easy. But instead of dicking around in the void (my brain) I ran all my errands. I went to get my license renewed, picked up groceries, dropped off dry cleaning, and bought some books/organized them into my bookshelves (alphabetically, cause that’s how I roll). I did still manage to get caught in my head a few times, but whatever, nobody’s perfect! I woke up this morning and did yoga, made my smoothie, took my supplements, ate breakfast. I’m already starting feel back to myself. I have therapy at 1 which means I will be forced to unload the weight I’m carrying and hopefully create a positive outlet for whatever the hell is going on inside me. I am hopeful that March will bring good news even if there’s more bad alongside it. I just need something to remind me that I can handle whatever is coming.

So there it is; my 2018 thus far. Kind of dark and kind of light. I’m still here and I’m still sober, 10 months next week! That’s the most important thing. I’ve overhauled my life and my brain and hopefully sometime soon I’ll be able to do the same for my heart.

The Things I’d Say

I often think about what I’d do if I were to see you walking down one of our shared roads, while I wait for the bus to therapy or while I’m on my way to work. 

Some days I’m certain I would scream and cry and maybe even spit in your face. I would beg you to explain to me how you could do this and go on living with yourself, without me. I would ask you if you actually loved me or if you used me solely as an escape. 

Other days I’m certain I would shake my head and walk away, without so much as a word to you.

Today I’m certain I would hug you very tightly and tell you that I think you’re pathetic but that I understand and forgive you anyway. I would cry and admit that at least that I’m trying to forgive you. The honourable way. The way that lets us all be free. However the fuck that works.

I would want you to know that you did this in the most. backwards. way. The opposite of what would have been thoughtful and respectful and dignified. I would tell you how much I miss you, every fucking day. How much I don’t want you to come back while also yearning for you to. How full my days are now that I don’t wait on you, but how much fuller I think we’d both be if we had each other. How much care I take of myself even though you aren’t around to police me. How much I wish you were.

I would thank you for encouraging me to get sober and for telling me you’d love me anyway even if I started drinking again. For being gentle. For being honest. For being patient. I would tell you that I am, in fact, sober and that I did quit smoking and that I’m working out. That I would never let you take my new life away from me because it is mine and only mine.

I would then tell you that you humiliated me. You made me feel like this time would be different, that this time we got it right. That the years we spent with the wrong people were for one purpose, because we found each other at the end of them. This is both of our faults; you for asking for me back after I left, and me for believing you meant what you said. I see the red flags now that we’ve been separated for so long. You weren’t who I thought you were. I wasn’t either. You turned out worse, I turned out better. I’d tell you that saying that made my skin crawl. I’d apologize for being cruel.

I would tell you that I scold myself daily for being the stereotype of ‘the other woman’. That I still find myself seeing you in every stranger, every truck, every guest that walks in to the restaurant. I see her and the kids, too, in everyone else.

I would tell you that I’m not attracted to anyone that has expressed interest in me, no matter how sweet, kind, or wonderful they are. I would tell you that I don’t think I can have sex with anybody for a very, very long time and that it infuriates me. I blame you for this. 

I would tell you that letting you go is supposed to be freeing but I fucking suck at it. I’m not going to give up trying, though. Clearly this is what you wanted and it is what I’m supposed to do. I would tell you how many people comment on how well I’m doing and how great I look, as if I’m in remission from some terrible disease. I resist the urge to bite their heads off with each word. I would smile comparing you to cancer and then feel guilty for it. I would also admit that I don’t feel as sexy or as confident as I did when you were around and this new insecurity makes me bitter and fragile. I would also express my disdain that my self esteem is wrapped up in someone else. I would yell that I never thought I was that kind of person. 

I would want you to know that I am fiercely protective of my sobriety, my heart, my home and my sanity since you left. My life is my own and I refuse to give it up to anyone or anything. Not even you. I would tell you that I’m fucking angry at you for not sticking around to see the person I’m becoming. That you’d rather stay numb and asleep and repeat the same mistake instead of blossoming into the wonderful person I know you are. 

I would tell you that I still defend you even though you never once protected or sheltered me from the fallout of the affair. That of course I didn’t need protection but I only wanted you to be beside me through the mess. I would tell you I don’t understand what you’re going through day-to-day, how bad it must be, or how you are managing to justify what’s happened between you, her and I.

I would ask you if you actually wanted (and tried) to leave or if that’s just something you told me to soften the blow of your departure.

I would ask you if your new life is better or worse than the one that had me in it.

I would tell you that I love you, even though it hurts and even though I don’t get to anymore.

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. 

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.

Nothing To Report/Wah-Wah-Wah.

No epiphanies while trekking home from work. No ‘thank fuck I’m sober’ seconds while pouring beers for my friends. No ‘grateful for the pain’ moments. I’ve had a lot of shit running through my head and heart this week. I’ve had tidal waves of ‘oh fuck’s all day. That’s not the kind of emotion I’d like to be swimming in. But that’s what I got anyway, so I’m here to bitch about it because I feel god damned defeated by it.

I yelled at Y at work today. I signed out 2 hours before I realized I was still ‘finishing up’ the schedule. I sat with three people I quite enjoy and poured them beers while obsessing over my fight with Y, the schedule for Sept 11th-17th, and the fact that if I wasn’t careful I could just as easily pour myself a beer. I could even drink it. It’s not that I wanted a drink necessarily. I wasn’t even tempted, not really. It was that I could have been lost in my thoughts, poured a beer and sipped it without thinking twice. Something I have done many-a-times in that exact same seat. It was that I would probably sigh with relief after ‘accidentally’ doing so. I would probably say something like ‘oh man, what difference could one drink make’? And that would be the beginning of a dark chapter. Maybe (probably) the final chapter. One drink could turn into one night, one night into one week, and one week into one lifetime; however long it would last. I am certain of that. I despise that. Yet I know how easy it is to get back to that.

Those are the minutes that make me realize the addict is still very much awake in me. She’ll probably never go to sleep again. She’s got one eye open waiting for Sober Lana to give in and pass the fuck out. It’s horrifying to accept this, especially when I feel so good about the time I’ve clocked. Especially when I feel like I deserve a pat on the back. A ‘go me!’ day. Some recognition that staying clean/sober/honest will probably be my life’s work. Some acknowledgment of how terrifying and difficult and brave that undertaking is. But instead I get shitty demanding guests to placate and fawn over. I get the normally totally sweet regulars being pervy and weird. I get the support system I adore and rely on being cunty and unavailable. Such is life, friends, I had better get used to it, right?

Wrong. I can’t get used to the idea that I can never drink again. I can’t get used to how lucky I am I stopped when I did. I can’t get used to the fact that life dealt me a hand I don’t quite know how to play. I can’t get used to any of this. Not ever. I can’t get used to how much trust my bosses and co-workers have put in me to run the restaurant. I can’t get used to the outpouring of love and support I get from the community I’ve found myself in. I also can’t get used to the gaping hole in my chest that NB left. I can’t get used to the shocking cold of rejection and abandonment that washes over me whenever I’m reminded that what I once had will never be, again.

Maybe I’m not supposed to get used to any of this. It’s all supposed to sting like fifty-thousand tiny fucking paper cuts whenever it gets brought up, right? I’m supposed to cry every time I face the reality that things aren’t fair and nothing feels real or good or fine or welcoming, right? What am I supposed to be doing with all these internal WTFs? Somebody fucking tell me, cause I’m fed up. I wanted to have a life affirming chat with MD before she got shipped off to celebrity rehab and instead I got a superficial convo about her mink smoking jacket being hemmed (not kidding). I got my sister informing me not to tell any of the family about MD’s little ‘trip’. Sure, universe, whatever you think is relevant. I wanted to have a light work day that ended early and went by quickly and instead I got a day that passed like a visit to the fucking dentist. A day that ended 3 hours after it should have which meant that I missed my meeting (Sober Agnostics). I got home from my hell day feeling insecure and crying only to deal with SATAN’S KITTENS all bloody night. And to top it off, I can’t sleep. Alright, universe, whatever you fucking want. As long as this is how it’s supposed to be I’ll accept it. Wait a second, no, FUCK THAT. Fuck all of this.

Fuck today.
Fuck work.
Fuck beer.
Fuck MD.
Fuck NB.
Fuck the cats.
Fuck insomnia.
Fuck.
Fuck.
Fuck.

You win, universe. Give me a fucking break now, kay?

123 Days

I am four months sober, as of this week. Aren’t you proud of me? I’m proud of myself, most of the time. Well, some of the time. Okay, so I was proud of myself for a few minutes and then felt like an ugly naked dying thing all over again. I’m also at 3 weeks without cigarettes, which I don’t seem to miss nearly as much as I thought I would. I guess giving up my two great loves (booze and Not-Boyfriend) made giving up a third no big deal. Anyhow, I’m a wreck. I don’t know what’s going on, or maybe I do? I just finished reading Augusten Burroughs’ memoir, Dry. Jeez Louise it’s a doozy! I cried like a little bitch. It got me thinking about NB, and about my mother, and about Roomie and Y and all these people who I love/hate/love, who saw me drunk and who saw me sober. It got me thinking about what inside me is really hurting. It got me thinking about AA and about sobriety toolboxes and about relapse. It got me to wake Spock and Squid from their post-neutering slumber and kiss them both with the stupid cones of shame still around their necks. I’m still congested from the tears. I don’t know how to articulate most of this so I’m going to write whatever comes up and see how it reads another day…

Mother Dearest is going to rehab. She is being admitted this coming Tuesday. This means she’ll be in treatment for her birthday, September 9th. There’s something wildly depressing with that realization. This is her first time doing anything of this sort. This is her first time speaking (somewhat) openly about her addiction. This is the first time I’ve ever felt any strong emotion other than hatred/resentment/disgust towards her. I feel like my sobriety may have impacted her decision. I wonder every day if that is a conceited and ugly thing to think. I ache for my dad to comfort me on my strange shaky days, although I’m sure he has his hands full with her, something he would never let on either way. I want to know MD, as a sober person (not just as a mom), but I also fear that she won’t be able to do this. I want her to feel all of the floaty feelings I felt in my first 90 days but also know that her struggle was lengthy and completely different from mine. I want her to have hope. I keep saying this to her, as if somehow it’ll magically make what’s about to happen less terrifying. I have no idea what’s about to happen to her insides, physically or emotionally. She’s been drunk every time I’ve spoken to her since she sent the email to us about her decision. I haven’t berated or ignored her, although that would have been my instinct before. I just listen and respond when necessary, in neither a good nor bad way. I want to know that she’ll get through this, and be better for it. Some hidden corner of my psyche worries that she’ll kill herself once she’s sober, realizing how much of her life has been wasted or how much damage drinking has done to herself and to us. She was always the drama queen of our family. I’m happy for her though, too. Quitting drinking has been the most transformative decision I’ve ever made, I know it will be for her as well, if she lets it.

I went out with that guy, the super fit one from work. 3 times. He’s sweet. We’ll call him M. He’s my age. He’s friendly. He’s honest. He’s single. We went to the art gallery had some lunch and then took his dog for a walk on our first date, went to a baseball game on our second, and went to the park on our third. He waited until the third to kiss me, and it was fine. I say fine with a solemn shrug. He’s so lovely and open and happy. It’s fucking creepy how happy he is. Like wakes-up-in-the-morning-smiling happy. Weird right? It’s refreshing, but I think I knew it would be the downfall of whatever went on between us, I’m quite certain (as of how I’ve felt for the past 48 hours) that nothing will continue from this point forward. Maybe not for any other reason than it being too soon. It’s too much. Too much pressure. Too much pretending that my heart isn’t in 1500 pieces. I went from finally finding some solid ground in my sobriety to realizing that introducing even one new thing/person/whatever could bring my recovery to a screeching halt. I looked at my sobriety clock(s) every single day this week, that can’t be a coincidence. I did it to remind myself of how far I’ve come and that one slip up will cost me so SO much. I’ve also looked up AA meetings in my area everyday since I gave him my number. Probably not a coincidence either, right? Also, let me be clear, none of this is on him. He isn’t a drinker or an enabler, nor has he done anything wrong. He’s wonderful, I’m just not ready. That’s all it comes down to.

I’m also kidding myself if I think I’ve done all the work necessary to heal the trauma from the end of the relationship with NB. I literally flinch when I think about him, I’d say that’s nowhere near ‘over it’. I bailed on some fancy dinner/date plans with M last night because I felt overwhelmed by the whole week and that made me certain that I’m going to have to tell him how I’m feeling and cut him off romantically. Now I understand why all the programs (12 steps or not) tell you no big life changes for your first year of sobriety. I mean, I still haven’t been to a meeting, but I keep reading about them! I do plan on going on Tuesday (how funny that it’s the same day MD is being carted off) to a Sober Agnostics meeting. I’m nervous but also looking forward to it in a way. I want to find my tribe. I’m beginning to understand the importance of having a support system.

I feel more connected than ever to Roomie, who is going through a mind fuck of a time too, so I’m trying my best to be present and available for her. I’m actually happy to drop what I’m doing to sit outside and listen attentively while she chain smokes through her life’s problems. Yesterday after I bailed on M’s mysterious fancy plans I felt like a total sack of shit and wanted nothing more than to lie on the couch and drink coffee and mope into my book. Instead I got sucked into the house cleaning party of 2017. We cleaned out our closets, literally. I threw over 50% of my wardrobe into a donation bin. Even some newer/much-loved items got tossed solely because just looking at them salted NB wounds. I scrubbed the bathroom from floor to ceiling with vinegar and bleach. I swept and mopped upstairs and vacuumed downstairs. I gave Roomie my ill-fitting and much hated dressers and vowed to shop for better ones this coming week. I washed my sheets, my towels, and all my dirty clothes. I purged everything that served no purpose to me. I purged the shit I’ve been holding on to that no longer does anything but make me fucking sad. Roomie did the same, all through which we drank non-alcoholic beers/many flavours of LaCroix, blasted stadium country and crappy dance music, and sweat through our ratty t-shirts. It was tiresome work but it felt fucking fantastic.

Here’s the short list of all the other things I’ve been doing that are really really helping me through the not-so-great days,

  • Therapy as much as possible, which is, at best, once a week.
  • Sleeping, as early or as late as I want.
  • Meditating, absolutely without a doubt every damn day.
  • Laughing, at myself and others, but in a nice way.
  • Hugging, everyone I love that is available.
  • Finishing my to-do list, even when I feel like being a hermit.
  • All the mani/pedis a girl can get, cause who doesn’t love pampering?
  • Quality coffee drinking, duh.
  • Quality pastry eating, double duh.
  • Kitsilano roaming/window shopping.
  • Clay face masking, every other day.
  • Purchasing upwards of 10 (kitten safe) plants, happily staying up too late repotting/rehoming.
  • Intense reading marathons.
  • Watching god awful movies with Roomie every Wednesday night.
  • Eating unapologetic amounts of whatever-the-fuck I-want. Coconut Bliss ice cream is like crack in this house.
  • Fancy tea buying/drinking.
  • Crossword/sudoku hoarding.
  • Lingerie buying.
  • Book ordering via Amazon Prime.
  • Instagramming.

Basically I just do whatever the fuck I feel like doing as long as it isn’t harmful to me or my sobriety. It’s foolproof in my worst spells of the blues. I’m exhausted and it’s bed time, but I wanted to check in and send my love and gratitude and awkward-and-weird-everything-is-nuts vibes out into the WordPress world. Be well, all of you xo