Mostly, I spoke to Dick like this because I was impressed by the insanity of his answers and I wanted to hear him repeat them. He’d say something like, “I can imagine who you are and what you’re like when you’re sober, and that’s the woman I love.” This guy didn’t have a creative imaginative bone in his body. I could only imagine who this mystery woman might be.
It’s important to note here that Dick was not an alcoholic. He was a diabetic, and if he hadn’t been, at the very least, he would have, in my opinion, been a very heavy drinker. He loved his expensive vodka and there was always a bottle in our house. While this came in very hand on the occasions that I’d run out of my own alcohol, I never did polish off his vodka. I preferred wine.
About a month into our new living arrangement – the one where I moved in with him at his house – I decided Dick needed to make some changes. For all the wine I drank before he got in from work, I was never drunk enough to muster the patience to listen to him complain about his job, which he did, without fail, every miserable night. I finally told him to quit his job and to find a new one in Seattle, Washington. So he did. And maybe four weeks later – we moved…
Ever tell someone to do that? Ever say to yourself “I just need to let go.” and then wonder why – after two months – you’re still hurting over it/her/him/whatever? Jeez. How mysteriously annoying!
I’ve said it and had it said to me numerous times. It is a mystery – the pain that refuses to leave. And we’re supposed to go about our days like everything’s fine when it’s not. Why is this so hard for so many people – to ‘let go’?
I think I figured it out – all this ‘letting go’ that we’re supposed to do doesn’t just happen. All this attachment – these feelings we have surrounding the issue – are just sitting inside of us with nowhere to go. So we have to create some kind of an outlet for them. When we do let something go – it has to GO somewhere, right? Feelings don’t just dissolve or drift off like smoke from a chimney.
We can do lots of things to try to assuage these feelings that we’re supposed to be letting go of; we can exercise, overeat, have lots of sex, sleep, sink into depression, relocate, shop, and the list goes on.
We could also cry, scream into a pillow, write letters and set them on fire, and finally accept that healing from anything takes time. When we get the flu, we don’t get better overnight. When we break a bone, it doesn’t heal the next day. So it is with our hearts and emotions. Time is necessary in addition to being gentle with ourselves while we ‘let go’ – of whatever needs to be released.
I could be wrong, but like love – I’m beginning to think that pain wants to be expressed. Not that it knows this – but our emotions might as well be alive for all the power they seem to have over us at times.
Oh LORD, does it get much worse? Yes, it can – but I won’t go there in this post.
Knowing that I had sex with someone and don’t remember anything about the experience except for his face is truly the most shameful and self-loathing feeling – ever.
Not only is it disgraceful, it’s beyond dangerous.
I just read a post from a forum member who wrote about a girl he lives with who frequently has blackout sex with strangers. While I’m no expert in that area, I do have experience with it. That this girl does this repeatedly is akin to her throwing herself, repeatedly, into shark infested waters while hoping to make it out unscathed.
It saddens me to read things like this. I’m reminded of some extremely unflattering parts of my own history. And we can’t be saved! We have to save ourselves. I sure hope she gets sober – soon – before it’s too late.
Okay, this doesn’t always happen – just occasionally. There are plenty of times when I do the right thing, and I feel fantastic and groovy in every way about it. Those feelings arise nearly all of the time, but not yesterday and not this morning. Yesterday I did something that made me feel nervous and this morning I did something I really didn’t want to do, but it was still the right thing to do so I did it. And now I’m feeling sulky.
I’m not at 100% this morning – woke up with a headache which is rare for me. Not the waking up part – the headache part. Maybe this was coming on yesterday and I just didn’t notice, and my health is playing a role in how I feel after I do something right. But that doesn’t make any sense!
Emotional Distance. If only I’d employed a little of that at the beginning of my alcoholic career, I might never have become an alcoholic in the first place. I might never have developed my emotional attachment to alcohol.
Oh well. I didn’t think to put those two words right next to each other 27 years ago.
Does Emotional Distance require the assertion of boundaries? YES – healthy ones. Does it require an arena of space and time? YES, but not indefinite. Does it require an ability to separate from? YES, but not to the point that It gets lost. So – who gets to define all these things? The people or the person involved.
I can use those words together in plenty of other areas of my life; relationships (with people or things), experiences, situations…etc. When I forcemyself to allow for some emotional distance between me and that – I can see it more clearly – whatever IT is. When I can see things more clearly, I’m better able to respond to or apply myself toward them more logically and appropriately.
Emotional Distance also allows me to react to something or someone without the reaction being saturated with feeling. That’s never appropriate. I believe that a solid mix of thought and emotion is the appropriate recipe for a well constructed presentation.
Isn’t that what we do in life? Present ourselves to the world? That’s what I’m doing here. I’m presenting a position.
To prevent myself from smelling and tasting my leftover warm wine in the mornings, I would pinch the lower part of my nose until I’d swallowed my sip. By the time I’d moved into the nose pinch of my drinking career, I was also NEVER throwing out alcohol – no matter how long it’d been sitting around. I learned when I was young that pinching my nose closed would allow me to eat nasty food. Sometimes, our stepmother would feed us disgusting meals for dinner, like French Onion soup. I was so disgusted by this stuff, I would actually gag. Remember those days? Gagging on nasty food? Good God almighty it was vile.
As an adult, I employed this practice of pinching off my nose so that I could swallow any leftover wine from the night before. I usually only did this when my withdrawals were so bad, I felt too uncomfortable to walk into the kitchen for some ice. Ice makes every liquid go down better (unless it’s supposed to be hot) – just for the record.
The days of having to pinch off my nose arrived during the later stage of my alcoholic career. By then, I needed to consume at least two entire (small) bottles of wine before I could feel “normal” enough to do much of anything except visit the bathroom, I’d learned long before this the value of keeping a television in the bedroom. Wine and cable = the perfect distraction from withdrawal until a coping BAC of .2 was attained.
When I remember how I used to start my days, it feels like a bad dream. Today, I’m sitting at my desk, drinking coffee, listening to my kittens play, and watching the sun make it’s way up into the sky through the trees in my backyard. It’s glorious.
There is NOTHING holding this leaf in midair. It’s not falling. It’s magic.
I don’t care what anybody says – this leaf is suspended in midair by more magic. I was bestot by magical events yesterday. Suspended leaves hanging by nothing approximately three feet above the ground happened upon me nearly everywhere I looked.
I passed this guy on my walk near the river the other day. He hadn’t even bothered to move his bike off the path. When I approached him, I noticed he was only sleeping – not wounded or dying. My guess – he was lucky enough to pass out on the grass rather than falling onto the pavement.
I wondered if I should call the police, but decided against it because they would have only taken him to the drunk tank. I’ve been to the drunk tank. There’s not a lot to be learned in there. It’s a cement cell with a cement door – worse than jail.
Interestingly enough, the day after I passed this guy, I encountered a young woman sitting in the exact same spot. I couldn’t take her picture though because she was alert. She was crying, smoking a cigarette, and rummaging through all the items from her purse that she’d spread out around her in the grass. She was sitting next to two bikes even though she was alone.
I wondered what was so special about this spot that it would attract the likes of these two folks. There had to be some attraction to it, but for the life of me I couldn’t detect what that might be. The spot was just a bunch of dry prickly grass next to the bike trail. It wasn’t even shadowed by a tree.
That spot has been unoccupied since I passed the woman, but the bike path runs through the city of Eugene, which is notorious for it’s massive homeless and drugged up population. The path is always a source of strange entertainment and it runs the length of the Willamette River through town.
I had to kill a snake the other day. I had to do it or it would have died slowly and painfully. It was on the bike path and I think someone had ridden over its head with their bicycle. When I walked up to it I noticed blood on the pavement that was coming from its mouth. I flipped it over to see if it would slither off into the grass and it just lay there on its side, flipping its tail.
Ugh. It’s tiny head was so – – – – – – – tiny. About half the size of the tip of my pinky finger. For some reason it made me think of my little girl kitten and how small and vulnerable she is. So I stomped on the snakes head to put it out of its misery. I felt horrible about it (I save bugs and stuff) but I couldn’t just leave it there to suffer. But then I wondered how it might feel if something stomped on my head. Crap! I even asked another walker what she thought about the situation, and she suggested I flick the snake into the grass (it was a smaller garden snake). I couldn’t DO THAT and just walk off as though the poor thing didn’t even exist. JEEZ.
So – what is it to be alive and human? I realized that I had power in that moment of killing the snake. I removed its life from its body. I thought about it before I did it. I considered the consequences (there really weren’t any except that I might get sent to hell). I wondered where the snake’s life went once it left its body. I hoped God and the snake weren’t pissed off with me for what I’d done. I envisioned it hiding under a warm leaf somewhere in snake heaven with water and crickets nearby and some other snakes for company.
What are we doing on this planet instead of another livable planet? Why mehere? You know? It’s just all very odd. When I was drinking I couldn’t have cared less about such a question. Today, I care. And I’m glad I do. Caring and asking questions and hoping for the best and being curious feels good. Feeling good feels good.