Another pattern emerged as I thought about what to write about for today. I planned to start with all my fun, sober, healthy activities for the week-end and paused to do some reading. And surprise, I read about addictions that go beyond the obvious drugs, food, gambling, workaholism, etc. The authors of After the Tears even mentioned addiction to activities. "All addiction is self-medication. The question we ask is not, 'why addiction' but 'why the pain that is being soothed.'"
So my To-Do List on my days off might not be healthy? Add it to the list! But I refuse to see my productivity as an addiction, I'm Type A but not to the extreme... (shit: just like....I have a drinking problem but I'm not as bad as that guy). NOT EVERYTHING IS A CONDITION OR UNHEALTHY OR ADDICTION. My working and accomplishing and checking-off-of-lists, productivity highs until I'm too tired to do anything but sit down with a drink isn't the way to go for a good life? Feh.
One step at a time people, I need an endorphin/dopamine high somehow: jogging, a completed to-do list and an occasional yoga-high is what I have left after the drinking stopped. I do miss drinking. It did simplified things, it slowed down my manic. But not really at all when I pull it apart.
What to do? Well my productive self will make an appointment with a professional and I will seek support. Maybe she will give me a to-do list of things to fix about myself! I'll have that done in no time and then I can check that off another list. Man, I'm feeling snarky about this.
I want to throw a mini-tantrum: it's not fair, I'm trying hard, I'm doing the right things to make this better and it hard and isn't ever enough. As I turn another corner of growth there is another thing to battle. It too much. And this is probably why I like to drink. Do some hard work: mental, emotional or physical and my reward for that is a soothing drink to turn off my annoying brain, suspend time, connect easily to people, have access to the emotions I want and want to share, and can shelf the things I can do later on my emotional growth to do list after my hangover clears.
Maybe I'm angry about this development. Angry that I got stuff to deal with, while others seem to be "la la la-ing" through their happy life at a happy hour right now. I'm wading through this garbage instead. Not fair!
And then I hear my dad's voice: "stop whining." And then I feel stupid, that I'm making a big deal out of nothing, making up problems because I don't have any real problems. There was no complaining in my house growing up. Deal with it, don't burden others with petty problems and carry on because talking about it won't change anything anyways. "Smiles everyone!"
Another message from childhood: No downtime. No naps. No sitting around (outside of drinking). "You bored? Here, I'll give you a job to do..." My mom obsessively cleaned the house and organized all day and my dad worked long hours too. Naps were for lazy people. Boredom was for boring people. My brother, dad and I never missed a day of school or work. Even this year, I have yet to call in sick to work.
Enough for today. At the end of this blog at least I have dug up that: my conflicting feelings of all of this being too much verses a whinny-made-up-problem rooted back to how I grew up. Now what? No lists, it's just another manifestation of addiction
I used to drink with the best of them, but I don't anymore. My life is so much better for it.
-Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp