( this weeks conclusions and thoughts)
Some of you have read my recent stories, and this isn’t a repeat of all that but rather just a brain summary for the week. i am now not only relieved of the burden i have carried for so long, but am feeling finally a sense of who i am( less scared about that!) and more importantly, understanding WHY i allowed alcohol to become the addiction it did in my life. I certainly haven’t suddenly become “cured” but i have a deeper sense of about why i tend to turn towards a substance to drown out things.
It was like, all those years i kept looking for and finding a space to bury things inside. I would dig deeper and deeper until one day i couldn’t find any space at all. Then , i found a different one. It was at the bottom of a bottle. Year after year, binge after binge, i would secretly stash all of those insecurities, fears, and anything i wanted to avoid thinking about in those bottles. The side effect of all of that eventually became waking up to those empty bottles- on the counter, on the floor, in the trash- glaring at me- screaming out their names and causing me endless anxiety, dread and depression. It seemed as if the more i threw them out, the louder they would call to me until i was unable to sleep from the roaring nightmares and waking in cold sweats. And no matter how hard i pressed my fingers into my ears and tried to scream back louder to stop them, they would persist. I had no more space left inside, and now i had nowhere to shove them away outside of myself either . I had no choice but to round up and face the demons, listen to their taunts, try to decipher their meaning, and figure out what to do. There would be no more hiding. There was nowhere left to hide.
The recovery started with realizing that the type of men who were now pursuing me were only the worst of the worst type. The predators, the misogynists , the wounded birds, the Peter Pans.THIS is what i was attracting- and that impact of that discovery was like a ton of bricks falling on my head. I started then seeing the other people i had surrounded myself with- the emotional vampires, the soul thieves, the users and takers, the eternal “victims of life”. I started looking at family and how my mother and father had affected me, as well as my mothers choices of partners. I even looked at my feelings towards my own children- my need to protect them from my life long secrets , while at the same time , being ashamed of being myself , lest they be embarrassed or worse yet- reject me and not speak to me again. I started looking at my “community” and how i viewed myself through their eyes to the point that many of my decisions were based on what i thought they thought of me, wanted from me, or at least what i assumed they did. And i realized- i had never made any decisions solely on what “I” wanted, what was good for “me” and what i actually needed. Only on what others needed or wanted for me.. MY WHOLE LIFE!!!! Like a bolt of lightning, i realized i no longer needed anyones approval or permission for ANYTHING. Much less, permission to be myself, make my own decisions, and live my life for ME.
But before i even realized the DEPTH of it all and really started processing my past, i knew i had to take some drastic actions to separate myself from the toxicity.First, i worked on getting and staying sober. After a few months, i knew i also had to break it off with my current boyfriend and remain single to focus on that goal and others.Next, I decided i no longer wanted a venue in my own personal space, and we made an announcement , followed by a decision to do our events at an outside venue. Then i decided to move physically away from the city and the people who had consumed my life for so many years. I bought a house in the suburbs. At the same time, i separated myself from the social media community of Facebook, delving back into blogging instead. A month after i moved , being close to a year sober, i quit smoking cigarettes. And finally, i decided to do an overhaul of my physical self, including losing some of the weight i had gained in the last year. In December, i decided to finally start the process of changing nursing agencies in order to gain better insurance , some PTO time , and other benefits despite taking a pay cut.
In between all of these larger goals however, the person i had been began changing in smaller ways as well. I gave up tanning, doing my make up and hair daily( deciding to go back to my natural color over the next few months), wearing “body flattering” outfits for anything, choosing comfort instead. I stopped attending some events, limited others and forcing myself to go to artistic get togethers which had become more of an obligation than anything i enjoyed. I stopped putting my work in shows i really wasn’t interested in. I stopped hosting extra events or participating in most that i had only done because i felt i “should”. I stopped forcing myself to do art at work every night, and just took time away. I cancelled my gym membership and began walking outside, mostly alone.While all of these things were necessary, the immediate effects were not pleasant.
Basically, the co component of all of this was isolation. I went through deep depression, anxiety and loneliness. I felt a lack of purpose, and after several rejections from men in one years time, i had such low self esteem it felt hopeless.I was also in debt with my new home. I was in the throes of perimenopause as well,and all that comes with it- most of which i hadn’t expected and it was devastating.
Throughout all of it, i have been learning though.
Even in the darkest moments. I still have no idea where i will end up, or how many things will play out. Will i ever get my debt resolved? Will i ever again have a partner and more specifically , one that will share my life and values equally ? Will we be happy together? Will “I” ever be happy? Every day i still get through on a wing and a prayer. I take lots deep breaths- so many are needed just to keep going. The best i can say at this point is that even though i may not be through the worst of it, i have made it through so far. And if there is worse to come, i will have to just take it one breath at a time as well. I put one foot in front of the other, suck it up, and move forward.