Thanks to The Bubble Hour episode interviewing the director and daughter of the documentary My Name Was Bette: The Life And Death Of An Alcoholic, Sherri VandenAkker.
I have it slowly downloading to my iPhone so I can watch it during my commute. I've decided I'm comfortable with potentially being a "fucking commute crier." I sometimes savor having these very personal internal struggles that make emotions bubble up in a public sphere...as long as no one notices. Sounds like a fetish, right?.
Anyway, I plan to enter in a film phase for my recovery, starting with My Name Was Bette, The Anonymous People, and Lipstick and Liquor: Secrets In the Suburbs.
Maybe this will ward off the routine. I have to remember drinking didn't really relieve my cycles of boredom with life. My fear of facing boredom and doing something about it is one of the many reasons I drank, drinking made it possible to not to make any other decisions about what to do. Drinking lacks imagination. Drinking reduces problem solving. Drinking is lazy.
Dabble. Sample. Flit. Jack-of-all-trades. Short term commitments. Experiment. Chameleon. Flirt. Superficial.
The above is how I describe my connection to activities, focus, jobs and sometime relationships. But I swear I have discipline, like routines and setting limits, like I stated in yesterday's blog. I'm not always proud of my fleeting interests, but I can do a many of things reasonable well, but nothing as an expert besides to try out something new.
Even with exercise I struggle with the continual routine of it, I can't check it off the list for good and move on. It has to keep happening! And I carry on with the routine even when I find it painfully boring.
This brings me to the non drinking me. The blogging me about the non drinking me. Three months is a long time to dabble in this. It is sticking, but I'm weary about my commitment levels in both blogging and sobriety. Ho hum, I've stopped drinking, isn't everyone in the blogosphere tiring of my aches and pains? I guess you could look away, and that thought makes me sad too; to be left alone again with my thoughts, my demons, my addiction.
I'm in a bored, blah, meh state. Nothing much feels pressing, stirring, exciting. I'm irritable. Wanting an exciting escape from my routine life, which is ironically the day after I talk about discipline and integrity...but I'm not deleting this post and starting over.
I'm fucking ridiculous. And so is auto correct-why does fucking autocorrect to ducking? Who is pretending that fucking isn't a word that is frequently used?
Back to me being ridiculous. Maybe I shouldn't blog at 7am on my way to work when I'm hungry, wanting more coffee and going through sugar withdrawals. That could taint anyone's outlook and make them crave something more glorious than sobriety and cutting out sugar..
Tuesday. Let's do this! (Internal mock cheerleader voice)
I think I've gotten past the phase where I feel like my own hero for quitting the booze. I quit something that was bad for me. I continue to show discipline and resourcefulness to stay sober. It's positive, yes, but it is time to stop rewarding myself with substitute sweet treats or other things. The rewards from not drinking come naturally from the act of not drinking. I don't need to double up the reward system with unhealthy snacking.
Vanity: I used to drink a lot and then eat bad food that night and the next day AND skip the gym. I haven't done that for 100 days. Why haven't I lost weight, damn it? I think it is the substitute sweet rewards that I would never allow myself when I was drinking. I had discipline in areas outside of my drinking. You know, to balance out the extreme undisciplined drinking habits.
I find rules helpful. I live by principles. I function well within limits.
Sobriety is opening a continuously growing space for me to practice being the best version of myself. And that version wants to live by principles and with integrity.
Does that sound boring to you? Rigid? Self-righteous? It's not. Depends on one's principles, right? Stayed tuned to my upcoming week-end get-away to Paris that I spontaneously booked when my friend said she was going to be there and I should join her. See??? Not rigid!
Back to the vanity, the discipline. I'm joining my friend on a 30-Day Paleo-Style diet. A reset to cook and eat wholesome foods-taking a break from sugars and food groups that cause me to bloat or are found in junk food. A discipline challenge. And maybe I will get back to my year-ago weight as a bonus.
I'm officially in the triple digits of sobriety. It was a completely different season when I started this challenge and here I am soon to enter summer a healthier version of myself. Hello World!
This week-end I was reminded how much money I used to spend on drinking. Husband and I went with staff social week-end to a hotel on the Red Sea to sit around the pool and beach to relax. Drank bottled water and a couple of lemonades that were a bit too sweet, while each bad Egyptian beer was $5. I didn't see our bill for the week-end, but I would have doubled our expenses, making our trip $100+ more just in shitty beer.
I've re-appropriated a lot of money to healthy activities: tennis lessons and yoga classes, and technically I'm still saving money. Where that is going is not quite clear yet, it's hard to account for it because I have hundreds of dollars out in therapy costs until I'm reimbursed. But I know the savings are there. I'm saving in so many ways by not drinking: money, time, heartache, health to name just a few.
I am proud of the work I've done to address my ghosts since becoming an adult, even while I was drinking I did some of this work. I may not have seen how my alcoholic-laced childhood, my own drinking, my perfectionism and anxiety were all connected, but I did work on pieces of the puzzle independently since my twenties. Now I'm trying out my newest lens: effects of addiction.
Starting as early as 2005, I had goals to end being a "yes girl" at work. Later I learned the term "work place martyr" and realized I was one of those too. First one in to work and last one to leave fueling my resentment of everyone who didn't work as hard as me. The cross I would bare was to do the jobs of others because they "incompetent" or "lazy" in my eyes.
It is still a work in progress to have balance in my professional life. I'm better now than ever, but I still have a lot of work to do in my mindset. Personal work that will help keep my stress levels in check, my professional relationships positive and keep my hours manageable.
One thing I've really gotten the hang of is not working unnecessary hours. This year I hardly ever take work home. Yay me!
One thing that I really need to keep present in my mind is doing only my job. I can't take on other people's jobs or create jobs for myself as I see the need. A quote from "After The Tears" sums up some of the current issues I want to focus on under the umbrella of team player:
Learn to Trust and Become a Team Player: Many of us who grew up in alcoholic families gained some sense of self-worth through learning the tasks necessary to run the family or take care of siblings. We felt it was our job to make things work, and sometimes to make the alcoholic better. We became a one-person show, never trusting that anyone was there to help. As a result, we are often uncomfortable if we are not attending to every detail, project, or activity at work, and we often double-check the work of others. We feel out of control if not in charge. Sometimes we train others to be dependent by taking on more and more of the load ourselves—then becoming angry when we are alone at work at 10:00 PM. We train others to be dependent when we take on the responsibility of others’ feelings and behaviors and continually “fix” things. Learning to be a team player will take discipline and a certain amount of discomfort as you experience feeling out of control and you develop tolerance for feelings of powerlessness while allowing others to make mistakes and be successful.
A major problem I have is the fix things that seem broken, even when not officially under my job title. I stand by that many things need a fixing but I'm been on a rampage this year:
To name a few.....and I have a mental list of things to fix too. I stand by many things that have been neglected at our school and need attention, but I do get resentful that they haven't already been fixed or that other leaders don't find systematic fixes a priority in the same way I do.
2015-Learn to be a team player by not taking on others' jobs, asking for help, and actually accepting help when offered.
I used to drink with the best of them, but I don't anymore. I like myself better for it and have a full life because of it.
-Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp