December 9th, 2018 (2:30 pm-10:50pm)
I’m still very fresh into this, about 50 or so hours. I feel pretty anxious and nervous today. I slept like absolute crap, which is expected. From what I’ve read, I can presume this to be fairly constant for up to a few weeks. You don’t have to be going through some kind of personal battle to know what happens when you can’t sleep.
You think. A lot, especially when the brain is being presented with a massive change, both chemically and emotionally.
Many hours were spent wondering what’s going to happen following my decision to beat alcohol and improve my life. Who won’t I see anymore? Are my co-workers going to resent me for taking leave to reset and get my head right? Will people understand why I’m doing this? There’s a lot of cognition, however there are just as many unknowns.
It doesn’t matter. What I’m doing is right for me, whoever I keep in my life, and whoever may enter it throughout. Self-care is and has been nonexistent for what seems to be eons, so much so that I’ve stifled what it is completely. Consequently, I’ve also lost touch on how to properly love other people. The saying that “you can’t learn to love others until you love yourself” is cliché as hell, but it’s proving to sound truer and truer as the hours go by. Acquaintances of mine probably haven’t noticed, mostly because I was in my “element” with them and they expected nothing but a drinking pal, or somebody to ignore reality with. The close ones though, they all knew it. It had to be heartbreaking and maddening to witness. That’s what seems to be setting in though, reality, and my brain is going bonkers. Sensibility in acknowledging that many things are going to change drastically drives thousands of reactions. Some sound great, others not to much. I am starting to comprehend that my “element” is only what I was making it, which was sheer convenience and justification.
Now that I’ve (for about long 11 hours yesterday) noted and recounted how I’ve gotten here, it’s both eye-opening and crushing. One of those sit and stare for minutes, in some sort of paralyzed state, astonished as to how much time has been spent being so self-deceiving and depriving. Self-deluded I was, thinking life was going end up a different way with the behaviors I was displaying. It’s an idiotic thought process, but when you’re so f***** up all the time, the mind becomes completely narrow. Deplorable, yet uncomplicated for me, choosing that ugly comfort zone was facile. Still being brand new to a life without alcohol, it is still remarkable how quickly the mind begin to “clear.” It is a beautiful, yet unrelentingly powerful phenomenon.
Foggy, as so many others have used to describe it, is an impeccable word to describe the thought processes throughout a drunk episode, or a hungover day. Simple tasks were stupidly difficult, so much as getting my things together for a day of work. Stuff like cooking dinner required too much work, so I spent asinine amounts of money on food that would be delivered to my house. Mixed with anxiety, the blocks that alcohol created for transparent decision making and task execution were so evident on a constant basis. Doing simple shit was hard, to put it plainly. When it came to difficult things, the first thought was to blow it off, which I did time and time again. When I was under the influence, it was easy to forget about them. On the hungover days, the anxiety, panic, and utter lack of confidence scared me away. My brain NEVER really got a break, which makes much more sense now. The poor organ(s) were tirelessly trying to level me out, and could never catch up, transpiring to my fairly miserable form of survival.
I’ve probably had some form of anxiety for a long time. I’ve also had an irrational sense of pride for as long as I can remember. Being a Leo, a fire sign, and all the typical tendencies that could have both been helpful and not throughout my lifetime. These things combined have deterred me from going to see anybody for help, as I’ve always held the ideology of “I can do it myself!” Being proud did not necessarily mean that it was helping me, and in fact it was most likely wounding my ability to seek any sort of assistance. I’m the oldest of three, usually the leader of pack, and people have looked up to me for a long time. Why the hell would I want to admit that maybe I wasn’t as strong as I came off? That I was as happy and confident that my personality portrays? I’d give it up to a couple people who were very close to me, and that I care about very much, but the hindrance of ever doing anything about it had to have simply tired them out, and made them sick of hearing about it.
Frustration and borderline embarrassment that my body and mind may have changed was a significant factor in my decisions to self-medicate and put on a face. To drink myself back into confidence, temporarily (or so I thought) hiding the individual that I have yet to figure out. Why not take care of everybody else and not myself? It allowed me to ignore what was going on, and in the long run, it did much more harm than good. Self-care was out the window, it was getting taken away by an extremely audible recycling can. A constant focus on others silently, but surely dragged me from any idea of what that was.
Maybe you never fully do figure it all out though, and that’s part of the beauty of life. It’s a constant learning process that I was worried about beginning. The comfort zone I had become so accustomed to wasn’t and isn’t alright, but the thought of discovering things outside of that area were scary as hell. Worrying about everybody else (as selfish as I was really being) is the easiest way to neglect yourself, in my opinion.
Focus and staying focused has always been a struggle for me. In the fourth grade, my parents got the “I think your son may have ADHD” comment from my teacher…this was after she told me she was going to put Velcro on my seat. Guess I couldn’t ever sit still, and to be honest I still really can’t. Am I a doctor, absolutely not, but being labeled as somebody who has some sort of “disorder” as they like to call it, probably took more effect on me in my later years than it did when I was too young to know what the hell Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder was. In a very juvenile search to discover a new, beneficial, and fulfilling life, I still don’t really have any idea what it means. All I know is that it’s very tough for me to retain focus on things, especially the ones that aren’t instantly gratifying.
Oh, look at what is INSTANTLY GRATIFYING! Well, there are thousands of things, a few examples being exercising, cleaning a room or look at that, having a drink. This country has been so enveloped in the infatuation of not having to wait for things. Look at smart phones. 15 years ago, you had to go and look something up if you didn’t have the solution or answer. Now, all you have to do is ask your Google machine and beep-boop, there’s your answer.
The relevancy of that to me is that alcohol was constantly gratifying, and it did the job almost immediately. Whether it being that I felt antsy, anxious, sad, angry, whatever, the drink was there to alleviate the issue. Did it really? Of course not, but with so much brain activity all the time, and not knowing how to harness it in productive ways, it slowed me down. Hellbent on having things not unfold my way the first time is a trivial ordeal for me. It has been for a long time. Discouragement from “failure” has often hindered my drive to push forward, but instead just move along to something else until success is imminent. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s about channeling the activity that is distinct to me. Taking one thing at a time and discovering solutions is something I’m hoping to look forward too, with the help of people who understand the human brain much, much better than I do.
It may seem that I’m preemptively trying to “diagnose” myself in a way however it is rather utilizing something I know I’m good at, which is writing. Putting it down on paper allows me to spill things out as they come, since my brain is constantly all over the place. Apologies if it seems like a babble fest of brain puke, but for the most par it is and I’m not sorry about it. Someday, and it’ll never be perfect as nothing ever really is, I look forward to binding all of my attributes together in a combination that continually pushes for a better life. Figuring that out will be a haul, but the worth outweighs anything else.