SOBER CITY:TR – Day 9

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One week. Really? That’s it? Jesus. I was kind of hoping to make it at least a month or two before getting disenchanted and discouraged…yet here I am. I feel like I’ve been putting a lot of positive thinking and feel good, motivational speaking out there in the blogosphere and not really fully hearing any of it myself. I know It’s incredibly early in this journey but I don’t want to give the impression that after making the choice to take control of my life and turn things around, I was able to just automatically do it. For the record, I still feel pretty shitty and anything resembling a light at the end of this proverbial tunnel is still too far away or too obstructed with hurdles and roadblocks to see. I’m not trying to be depressing or sound like a defeatist, I’m just being honest. Change is hard and it’s hard from day one.
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But as I write this, it’s becoming clear to me that I’m completely missing the point. I’m realizing that this entire blog might be focusing on the wrong issues and that alcohol really isn’t my main problem. Sure it doesn’t help me in any way or make things any easier but it’s just not the crux of my unhappiness. Giving it up isn’t a bad idea in general (and it’s really not that hard for me to do at the end of the day) but it’s really just a fraction of the bigger issues. Now it is true that every day without a hangover has a way better chance of being a productive/happy one and that any chance at losing weight and staying fit is amplified 10 fold without those added calories, but my real problem lies not in my ability to lose weight or quit drinking, my real problem lies completely in my inability to be happy with who I am right now. I’ve lived a lot of years in a happy productive balance (drinking, working, creating, living) and I know a lot of people who still do. So what changed for me? What set me off on this recent path of unbalanced living and all or nothing attitude? When exactly did I get so insecure and unsure of myself? What made me so scared of living life all of a sudden? It isn’t drinking too much or gaining too much weight that’s the problem. The problem is me, not liking me, RIGHT NOW.
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I’ve become so obsessed with how I used to be or how I will be one day that the only thing that actually matters, who I am now, is getting completely ignored. If we only attach happiness and success to things we used to have or have yet to attain then how will we ever be happy with who we are today? We won’t. It’s a problem. “We’ll feel better when…”.”We’ll be happy if…”. It’s not real. It’s misleading at best and completely destructive at worst. It’s not a recipe for anything but depression and anxiety and it’s not how I want to live my life anymore. No more waiting. I want to start being happy now and loving who I am today, unconditionally and the only thing standing in my way is my stupid brain telling me I’m not good enough yet. What a bunch of donkey shit. I know on some deep level that’s just not true and I need to start owning that belief again and stop trying to point the finger at everything else. That’s why it’s time to redefine Sober City.
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Sober City isn’t a place where no alcohol or no drugs should be the focus, it’s a place where the sobering truth of reality reigns and honest self analysis and growth should thrive. I’m not alone in this. We’ve all had moments of clarity where life made sense for a fraction of a second and everything felt perfectly aligned and good. That’s Sober City. We’ve all been surrounded by friends or family, deep in meaningful conversation and comfortable laughter, losing all sense of time and place, even if only for a couple of minutes. That’s Sober City. It’s the feeling of being in exactly the right place at exactly the right time, with no foot in the past and no fear for the future. Happiness now without conditions for later. That’s Sober City. It isn’t about getting somewhere else, it’s about being exactly where you are, and thriving there. My solution isn’t doing something to make myself a better person tomorrow, it’s being that better person today.
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So from now on these posts will probably have less and less to do with alcohol and more to do with trying to truly live in the present and learn to completely love who and where I am right now, today. It’s probably going to get even more personal (and possibly more preachy and pretentious) so I might lose a lot of you along the way, but I’m going to keep pushing forward regardless and hope that honesty and courage will lead me to clarity and truth. Living for today, one day at a time, without waiting to be someone else. The only hard part is actually doing it…
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JM

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One thought on “SOBER CITY:TR – Day 9”

  1. I read an article just this morning about the benefits of depression. I’ve experienced enough pain, hatred, and anger attributable to this affliction that I’m not about to extol it as my defining virtue, but the article’s focus on embracing the condition really hit me in my core. A blow to the solar plexus that, quite literally, stole my breath for a moment. I typically require presentation of data collected from sound scientific experiments before I buy into new theory. Particularly psychological, voo-doo theory. But in this case, the (not very impressive) studies were irrelevant and unnecessary; the article described me so well, I was my own evidence. I’ll summarize (with my own insight and interpretations thrown in for good measure).

    Article: Depressed people are ruminators. They tend to over-focus. While this can spiral into feeling trapped in a deep well or dark tunnel, it can also contribute to “breakthrough” discoveries. Darwin was a ruminator.
    Me: Over-focus on failures of the past and the well gets deeper, the tunnel longer, and the tears uncontrollable. But over-focus is not a curse in itself; over-focus on art, math, health, or science in the present, and something excellent will emerge. Maybe you’ve already seen this happen. You lost weight, gained vigor, and wrote more. Maybe you were over-focusing for good.

    Article: Depressed people are creative and attentive to detail. Combined, they write thoughtful, well-articulated sentences.
    Me: You’re a wonderful writer. That’s all I can say.

    I could go on, but my phone is relentlessly reminding me of my overdue tasks, and I realize that I may be over-focusing on composing well-articulated sentences to you instead of tending to the daily essentials. So, what am I really trying to say? Don’t let depression turn you into a sluggish, suicidal pile of flesh writhing in tears and agony. It will try again and again, but you can be a focused, brilliantly creative warrior instead. Right here, in the present, and certainly not alone in the fight. Long live Sober City.

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