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The Agony and The (lack of) Ecstasy

I’ve been doing step 4 of AA this week, and getting pretty bummed as I take a hard look at myself and see some realities I was in denial of or had willfully forgotten about. I’m bottoming out with depression seeing how all my various habits contribute to the hand I am dealt. The more I learn about mental-health hygiene, the more mortified I am about all my own habits and ways of life, always focused on a quick fix, so rarely choosing hard work and discomfort for long term happiness.

It’s enough to make me give up, not really, but I keep wondering what the point of not drinking is, anyways. If it’s all going to go to shit anyways, if I’m inherently a worthless slob, I may as well get drunk right?

Tonight at AA a fellow told me not to beat myself up. That sitting around beating yourself up isn’t healing, it’s not getting better, it’s not helping anyone. She suggested a helpful mantra, “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.”

I talked about how it’s true, I can still hit emotional rock bottom, my depths of self loathing can still no know bounds, just like when I was drinking. Only now, instead of hundreds of fair-weather friends telling me to have another, I have a handful of meaningful, reality-based friendships with steady people who remind me of all the things I can do to feel better, like exercise and singing. Now I have AA, with dozens of role models, people who have been sober for 1 day or 10 years with love for me and pearls of wisdom that help me so much. I have an inner voice, my own lil Jimini Cricket, slowly becoming audible to me as I become more quiet. Telling me how I can get through this. Telling me to listen and learn and endure and question and love. Reminding me I do not KNOW, I can never KNOW, all the where’s and why’s and the biggest pictures and the smallest fragments.

I walk. I sing. I clean. I make lists. I help others. I make art. I try new things. I spend time alone. I spend time trying to be present. I try, then I stop trying, then I try again.


2 comments on “The Agony and The (lack of) Ecstasy

  1. jennydevildoll
    May 22, 2013

    It’s ok I think, to acknowledge that not all depression or troubles or whatever stem out of drinking too much, though that’s also no reason to give up on becoming the person you want to be. Has your intent been to quit altogether? I have some substance abuse counseling in my mental health program, it’s not the “official” 112-step model, but there’s also a lot of looking at other things one can do instead. One guy suggested I learn to play a drum! (Which luckily, I have access to drums).
    A lot of people seem to get big into exercise.

    • tatianagill
      May 22, 2013

      It was not my original intent to quit forever. But when I quit, the tangible benefits of increased mental health, my life drastically improving, and finally seeing what a trainwreck I had been while drinking, made me decide I should quit forever. Now I do wonder if I really should quit forever or not, since I feel like I’m back to mental health problems and wonder if I’m still a trainwreck despite quitting. But ultimately I can’t do anything moderately – if I have a quick fix that makes me feel better, be it booze, pot, or chocolate, I gotta have too much all the time. In the case of booze however that has more drastic and unmitigable consequences. I keep thinking I could just try it and see, but just one too many and I’m blackout, saying mean things I don’t actually believe, trying to hook up with people I don’t like, and generally creeping sober people out. It wouldn’t be hard to tarnish many good things I’ve worked hard for in my life with just one relapse.

      Exercise is kind of a drug. You do get a super rush when you’re done. I’m too lazy/depressive to motivate enough to get the big rewards, heh. But there are other things. A drum sounds therapeutic, you get to hit something.

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This entry was posted on May 22, 2013 by in Alcohol Recovery, Anxiety, boundaries, Discovering Tats, Health, love!, Spirit.
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