Urgent Frustration

Urgent Frustration. That’s the name of the game tonight. I couldn’t get my laptop turned on and logged in fast enough. My fingers are moving at a twitchy, irritating, pulsing pace. My back fucking ACHES. My shoulders feel tight as fuck. My throat is closing because of the lump of unexpressed emotion I am holding back. Frustration.

Ok, fine. If that’s the flavor of the evening; let’s explore it. Frustration traditionally means: the feeling of being upset or annoyed, especially because of inability to change or achieve something. Well, isn’t that the fucking shock of the millennium? Annie has been unable to change. Such a surprise.

I am still drinking. Yes. I am.

I am not drinking the shocking amounts I was before I started writing here. I stopped for a handful of days after I began this Blog O’Mine, while on vacation from work. During that time I was able to slow down. I focused solely on myself. I tended the fragile soil of my soul and it was excellent. Then I went back to work, my attention shifted. I started putting focus into the people I take care of 42 hours a week. And wouldn’t you know, before long my habit slowly, inevitably started to creep back onto the stage of my life. So far, it’s merely skulking in the corner – downstage left – but it’s beginning to inch its’ way forward. I think. Blech.

I feel so desperate right now. So deeply unsatisfied. I feel disappointed in myself and tired. Pull my hair out tired.

I want to write more. I want to go fucking OFF right now. But I’m not going to feed the beast of Urgent Frustration because I know this feeling is temporary. As uncomfortable….wait, Fuck that….as unbearable as it feels right now, I know it will pass.

This ability to know that I won’t feel pain or anger or discomfort on my own forever is infinitely comforting.

Whooooooo boy. Did I just have myself a moment or what?

This woman needs some sleep. That always helps to lift the veil of ‘This feels bigger than me and it will never end. EVER.’

Thanks for reading my bullshit – whoever y’all are!

 

 

Security Blanket

I have so many thoughts and emotions skittering around in my head today, so hang in there with me if this post turns out to be really scattered and/or emotional as fuck.

I sit here, in a blissfully air conditioned Starbucks eavesdropping on a couple behind me who are clearly on a first date after connecting on an online site and while I’m amused and inwardly smiling at their banter and completely feel their awkward pain, I’m also feeling incredibly adrift in a sea of emotions. Most of the things I’m feeling are familiar. Most are old hat. I know them well, I have walked these halls before; I know what the fuck I am doing in them. But there’s so many offshoots in the halls and I can’t decide where to go. I’m feeling lost today. That’s what I don’t know what to do with. I’m basically overwhelmed. And triggered. Triggered like whoa.

I’ve been reading up a lot on other women’s journeys through their drinking days and how they proceeded bravely into sobriety. I am deeply envious of these women. I am truly inspired by their courage and dedication to living again. I read their words, feelings and experiences and I am in awe. How do they do it? How did they dig deep enough? How?

I know it’s coming – my own sobriety. I know it’s going to happen for me, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to write the way I have been. I would avoid the subject of my drinking like the plague that it is. Also, I would still be going out all the time, drinking myself blind and making out with married men. Yup, I’ve done that a few times. Get me drunk enough and I have no regard for another woman’s vows or security in her marriage. I want what I want in the moment. Consequences be damned. Her husband is the one out late with a strange woman. The problem lies in his decisions, not mine. Right? Right?

Obviously, I am wrong to think this way. However, that’s usually the booze talking. It’s not really who I am at my core. If I was sober I wouldn’t think or do things like I just described. I am a good person. I have things to contribute to this life. I want to do more than drink and think and bemoan and drink and overthink and lose myself. I want to do more than numb and actively avoid feeling anything and wonder why it’s so fucking hard for me to simply live and be. I don’t want to stay drowning in the stew of my emotions. I don’t. I don’t. I don’t.

Why isn’t the fucking fact that I don’t want this to be my life enough to make me stop? Why can’t I just let go? I suppose the answer to that is simple; I’m holding on to it. This habit that helps me not feel. I’m holding onto it like a little girl with her security blanket who is spending the night away from home for the first time. Terrified to let go. I’m still holding onto the lies the booze tells me. I’m still adhering to the horrible and sometimes horrifying inner dialogue of my overtired mind and living according to what it says (You’re too FAT. You’re worthless. You’re disgusting. You’ll never be able to get through this. Your life is meaningless. Even your friends hate you now. You’ve pushed them away and you have No One. You should just fucking end it.)

Mostly I’m scared. That’s basically the bottom of the barrel. I’m scared. The fear makes me think these things. The fear keeps me in the bubble of not wanting to live without alcohol. It’s quite the cycle I have going for myself. Quite.

But that’s ok. I’m not upset with myself for being scared as I normally would be. I’m adjusting to the fear. I’m trying to settle down with it, to go with it. The energy it takes to go against it is tremendously draining. So, more and more I’m looking at my fear. The more I do that, the more I see that letting fear run the show is the silliest solution I could have ever come up with. C’mon woman! Get your head in the game. You matter. You are important to everyone but yourself. Stop that! Stop devaluing yourself because of your past! Just stop. Change your ways, change your thinking, change your life. Let’s fucking go!

Yes.

My sobriety is on its’ way. I feel deeply and I think too much. These two things have always been my downfall. I’ve always allowed the things that have happened to me to write my story. I’ve let the hard times design the landscape of my life. I can’t allow that to happen anymore. I have to get on my team. I have to be on my side. I have to take care of myself first. If I don’t, I will be – and, sadly, have started to become – absolutely no good for anyone.

*deep breath*

I fucking got this. I got this. I got this.

Yes.

 

Turtle Power

‘Wherever you go, there you are.’

So simple. So wise. My therapist asked me to really think about this quote. She offered the further examination of thinking of it as if I were a turtle; my home always on my back wherever I go. My home always with me. Or better yet, my home always within me. This is something I have struggled with since I can remember. The feeling of home for me was always with my family when I was little. But as I grew and matured and experienced I began to feel that my home wasn’t with them – these biological strangers. If my home wasn’t with the people who raised me, where was it?

When I was 23 I thought my home would be out in California. I followed a man I barely knew out there who was 13 years my senior. I made an impulsive decision and waited for the West Coast to feel like home. It didn’t. A year later, I was back in the home I grew up in and it had never felt less like my home; the misery was palpable.

Fast forward to the age of 25. I thought my home would be with a 30 year old man who made me laugh, took me to Fenway for the first time in my adult life and loved to get a good buzz on. I moved my life in with this man – impulsively – because I was so in love. We adopted cats together and went to the gym and walked around Boston laughed and lived. We drank and made plans for our future. I was thrilled. I thought ‘my life is about to finally begin’. But the drinking for him never stopped. The anger appeared soon after I moved in along with the blackouts and broken furniture. I lasted 4 years in that home. Approximately 2 and a half years longer than I should have stayed.

At 30 I was living alone for the first time in my life. I loved it. I still do. No one to bother me. No one to clean up after. No one to avoid if I just don’t want to talk. I could come and go whenever I wanted with whomever I wanted. And I could drink alone. I loved that too. It was a freedom unlike anything I had ever experienced, but it didn’t satisfy me. I still longed for companionship.

At 33, I fell in love again and asked ex #3 to move in with me. Patterns repeated themselves and as with the drinker, I loved someone broken and lost, someone who made bad decisions and painted himself into corners. I tried to save him and make it easier for him. In turn he got more and more comfortable and accustomed to not having to take responsibility. I didn’t let him drown until he was pulling me under the water with him. I had no choice but to kick him out.

At 34 and 35 and 36 my home has become mine again. I have reclaimed my space and vowed never to stray into a relationship impulsively again. I have dated here and there, but I remain alone. Unattached. Willing but unable to find the home within the home of myself. My home nowadays is in the bottle. I don’t feel the creeping need for it as I did before my Big Reveal – you know, the actual birth of my blog and sharing my secret to some dear friends, both new and old – now it’s just a staple. An unbreakable habit that both comforts me and isolates me.

How often do I feel unsatisfied or confused or irrelevant or troubled by where I am? Almost every day.

The quote at the beginning has some real truth to it. How do I find satisfaction in the home within me without looking for that same satisfaction elsewhere? How do I stop looking for a home with a man? Or a home with my birth family? How do I look within myself and be sated? How will I ever be enough?

I strangely find a lot of comfort in these questions.

 

No choice

As I mentioned, I am adopted. In 2014 I decided to find my birth parents. I was 34. I found them, met them, fell in love with them and then lost their affections 5 months later. I started writing the story of my life immediately after I met them. I didn’t have a choice. The need to write it was immense. Much like the need to start this blog. Maybe I really am a writer?

I tentatively named my memoir ‘Pandora’s Box’.

I started out with how happy I was to know my biological beginnings – and oh my GOD, was I over the moon to know where my nose came from, to learn that I have FOUR half siblings (!!!) and that my birth parents were always, always, always thinking about me. That was just the tip of the iceberg. I will revisit this topic and talk about it in more posts to come. Don’t you worry.

For now, I just want to share a small excerpt. The beginning of the passage is recalling how I couldn’t save my brother from himself and his inevitable death. Since then, I have always tried to find someone to love who also needs to be saved. Ever the caretaker am I.

I’m nervous about sharing this…but here goes —

‘My mind gave up on trying to reach him at an early age, but my heart. Oh, my heart. She never gave up trying to find someone just like him to love. Relationships. That word carries a lot of weight in anyone’s life. Relationships are complicated. Involved. They take work. Investment. Relationships can be difficult. Beautiful. Fulfilling. Exquisite. They can ruin you. Devastate you. You can completely lose yourself and any sense of who you are in an unhealthy one. Or, you can plant a seed with someone and grow little healthy versions of yourselves that eventually turn into generations of love and memories. It’s always a gamble. A risk.

To commit to someone and say, ‘I am yours, as you are mine, no matter where the course of our lives takes us.’ ‘I am yours’ has fucking consequences. Having someone to call mine has been the biggest thrill of my life. That singularly enveloping notion of ‘belonging’ is my adrenaline rush, my joy, my drug, my biggest challenge, my biggest downfall and my biggest failure. I tend to put far too much energy and emphasis into my relationships. I’m not talking about friendships, or family. I do not mean co-workers, acquaintances or buddies. I’m speaking of boyfriends, potential partners and lovers, all of which have never been able to win me over completely. Not a one. They each ran out of steam in their own way. Blew their load of bullshit all over my gorgeous face. My first boyfriend, with his needy tendencies. The guy in California, with his gaming, physical and emotional absence. The angry alcoholic, with his drinking, anger and mother issues. And finally, my most recent ex, with his immaturity and refusal to grow up. I saw all of these imperfections and flaws. I knew I would be sucked dry by each of them so I was forced to throw in the towel before I was entirely ready to. I certainly loved each of them and they loved me back. The love I shared with each of them just wasn’t enough.

It wasn’t enough because deep down, I really didn’t love myself. I never learned how. I learned many lessons on how to hate myself; not understanding why I couldn’t talk about adoption, not feeling like an important part of my family, hearing my brother belittle me because I didn’t tie my shoes the same way he did, being overweight and finally, at age 15 I was judged 100% on my appearance by someone I thought I was in love with. So, complacent and confused soul that I can be, I continued down the path of least resistance and stayed trapped in my self-hatred. I was too young to see how destructive the easy way would be. And in all honesty, I didn’t think I deserved anything better.’

 

Again and again…thank you for reading.

No Bargain

When did it all get so difficult?

I’ve been alone for most of my life. Of my 36 years on this plane of existence I have been single for approximately 29. I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with this number. In fact, most days I’m proud of myself for having the stones to be on my own for so long.

It’s no bargain folks. It takes serious independence and strength to forge your own way when the choices you have made haven’t ever panned out the way your sweet, overloaded and hopeful heart hoped. It takes guts and soul to pick yourself up after major breakup number 3 explodes in front of your pretty little face. It’s Not Easy to walk this walk. It’s Not Easy to know that when you are ready to burst at the seams from sheer overwhelmed exhaustion there’s no one waiting for you at home. No one there to offer a comforting shoulder or ear, specifically promised to you.

Please don’t take my stumbling, bungling attempt at explaining myself that I’m saying I don’t have friends or any kind of support system in my life. That is so far from the truth. I have friend upon friend who would answer my call if I said I needed to talk or vent. My mother would never turn a deaf ear to my rantings. Ever.

But those same staples of my younger years aren’t doing it for me the way they used to. I’ve just been noticing that the older I get the less I want to ‘bother’ or ‘interrupt’ my tried and true friends. All of them are coupled off or married, most with a couple of kiddos. And that’s lovely. Beautiful. They made great choices and life blessed each of them. They all deserve the good things in life.

Does that mean that I don’t feel blessed or that I don’t think I made good choices? No. I know I am blessed. I Know in my bones that it could always, always be worse. I know that I have many, many wonderful people and experiences in my life. I know my choices belong to me and I don’t regret any of them.

Does it mean that I don’t think I deserve the good things in life? You’re Goddamn right I don’t. My worth is all wrapped up in being adopted/abandoned/FAT/alone. My drinking pattern has been cumulative over many years. Remember, addiction is progressive. It creeps. It sneaks. It waits.

Life has dealt me some difficult times. I saw grief and utter desolation at 17. My troubled big brother – dead at 21. We didn’t have a good or even existing relationship when he died and I blamed him for that. I loathed him actually. I thought he was a leech and that he didn’t deserve my parents’ love. He made everything in our home difficult and angry and violent. I never forgave him for that. I cried for my parents when he died. I knew they were absolutely shattered. I didn’t feel anything, except disgust. And the guilt I feel typing that, even now – 19 years later….it’s brutal.

I can’t help but wonder why my path has been ever laced with pain – my brother was one of the early notches in my belt. I also wonder why I can’t shake it off and feel grateful and happy for what I have.

I need to reason out my emotions because they’re HUGE. I could walk all day down the corridor of one of those fuckers and still not be able to fully absorb it. I take on others’ emotions and don’t realize that my own stuff isn’t only mine anymore. It’s a mixture of his or hers and mine. It doesn’t separate like oil and water, it’s not fluid. The mixing I’m talking about is Thick; peanut butter and chocolate swirled together. It’s delicious at first, and makes harmony on your taste buds. It can initially taste so intoxicating that you get lost and consume too much and before you know it you’re addicted. This emotional mixing pushes me to the point of wanting to drink every. single. day.

I’m in a low place. I fully acknowledge and own that.

But nothing lasts forever.

This blog O’Mine is helping. I’m still drinking. I’m still overwhelmed. I’m still crippled with my Fears and Old Pain, but I’m offering it to the masses. It’s not remaining inside me any longer. Take what you want and leave the rest.