Thursday, June 16, 2011

Change Of Pace

I forgot to take my anxiety pill this morning.  At work, I realized that I haven't been taking my meds for at least a week or so, so when I got home I checked my supply- it was almost untouched. I guess I'll leave them be for now, I don't feel unsettled enough to warrant needing medication right now. (Note the use of the qualifier right now. I'm happy, not delusional.)

At the grocer's this evening I made the impulsive decision  to wheel my cart into an actual , honest-to-Godzilla full service check-out lane, which had no line and two attendants, two young black girls, one to ring the register and one to bag the items. The bagging girl asked me if wanted paper or plastic and was humorously  admonished by the cashier for not calling me 'sir'.

"Please, whatever you don't call me 'sir'. When the pretty girls start calling me sir, I know I'm done for." They thought this was hilarious and they started joking about texting me because I was so sweet. At least I hope they were joking.

In any case, mine is not the sort of personality that naturally lights up a room or even  enlivens a supermarket checkout line. Or is it? I'm not sure, exactly.  I've spent so much of my life wasted in one way or another that it is sorta hard to define what a 'baseline normal' for me is in the first place. But I'm giving it another go.

And there have been some times lately when I've been really, really nervous- like dating, for instance- but I don't want to be a medicated date. Nervousness, within limits, is actually acceptable, even expected on a date-and  if it isn't , you need to dump your date and find someone more empathetic.

One thing I do know is that I've got some pretty serious fortifications built around myself, and the  person who built those moats and walls did a pretty thorough job- but there are still a few weak spots where an intruder with enough moxie could sneak in, for good or ill.

I spent a lifetime building those walls and pits and it took me by surprise  when someone I'd never met before saw directly through all of those carefully-erected defense. She didn't sneak through them, she did acknowledge they existed, but she chose to ignore them and got right into the core of me. The raw, hurt part of me that not everyone gets to see.

You've been hurt really badly. Really, really badly. Don't know who did it, but you need to let that shit go forever if you want a new relationship. Are you sure you are ready to date?


I could tell that lying wasn't going to work, so out came the short version of a long story best left off this blog. My date listened to this story and I was afraid she was going to leave, but instead she told me a story of her own. It was like my own, but worse. And when she was done, she looked at me like I was going to get up and leave, because this is probably some pretty heavy shit for a first date, but I didn't leave. I was already hooked by this point. An addict needs a partner who can see right through them...most addicts avoid people who can tell when they are lying, but I find it refreshing and attractive. And need to worry about what to say and how to say it, for instance, since the truth seems acceptable.

But mostly it was laughter. And more of the same the following weekend and the mutual feeling seems to see each other again soon, so that is good. As good as it has been for a long, long time.

But if it doesn't work out, I won't be destroyed, not like last time. After last time I really did want to shut myself off from anything and anyone good. At the time it felt like I wanted to blot it all out it forever, but I found that I can't maintain that level of despair without alcohol or certain drugs, and I'm just not willing to drink or use those drugs again.

Without alcohol  and drugs, I'll never enjoy the nihilistic misery I've longed for all these decades.

I really did want to give up about six months ago, just give up and die, thinking no one would miss me and it would all be for the better if I just vanished from the planet.
Can you believe that?

Probably you can, at least if you ever drank alcoholically or used hard drugs. This particular case of The Zero was woman-induced, but the feeling came from the same unutterably bleak place that the alcoholic part of me lives. Being sober doesn't keep you from being happy, but it doesn't keep me from being sad either. It just makes me normal, or closer to it anyway.

But I didn't drink or start sniffing shit again,  and after a period of emotional mourning, I started dating. Getting strung-out on hard drugs is actually a whole lot easier than dating , but I stayed with it and maybe, just maybe something good has come of it, something real and lasting- something I've never really had.

Or not. I did manage to give up hope for months, and nothing is set in stone, I know something horrible could happen again.  And if it does, I'll mope for a while and then I'll get up and try again. But I know that I won't self-destruct over it. 

I can trust myself.

I never thought I'd say that.

Whatever happens, I know that I won't spiral out of control and back into the gutter. That knowledge was certainly  worth a broken heart.
Or two.
Or as many it takes.



Angel said...

Well if that isn't a step forward then I dunno what is!


I'm with Angel on this one.