After being slightly more than a couple months sober, I assumed any/all influence of alcohol on my mind and thinking would be gone. Yesterday’s overly depressive whine demonstrates that my thinking isn’t good and that it’s not healthy for me at all. Today, I wake up with a couple of things on my mind – my mind and sex (but not quite the way you might think). I feel like there are some things I need to utterly change about myself to ever feel better, my mind being the primary thing that needs an adjustment. Sex is bothering me today and I have some negative feelings and attitudes about it today.
I thought about my attitude yesterday and how much of a defeatist I was acting like. I don’t like it. I don’t want to give up and I don’t want to think of myself as a failure, but I always feel like my thoughts are a kazillion different places and no longer has a grasp of prioritizing the most important things. I have this inherent sense of panic that if I don’t manage everything with which I am associated, that everything will come tumbling down. I feel like there is this tight rope I’m walking all of the time and it’s exhausting, and then when the stress becomes too much, I devolve into the sniveling mess I was yesterday. It doesn’t serve me to think like this and it doesn’t serve me to feel like a complete failure and horrible human being. But I do. I feel like I’m failing myself, but worse I feel like I’m failing those that depend on me.
As I think about this, I think about a fear I have. I fear disappointing people that love me or that I love. I grew up, constantly worrying about disappointing my parents, and I extended that to school and worried about disappointing my teachers. Of course, I took that into college and eventually the work place. And finally, getting married and having kids, it horrifies me to think I could ever be a disappointment to my family. And then, when I feel like I have failed, I feel like I’ve disappointed myself and I become somewhat (that’s a lie…I’m really self-destructive, I’m an alcoholic, remember?) self-destructive.
I’ve always struggled with being “okay” with myself. There was a time, when I felt “bigly” (bad joke?) confident and thought my self-esteem was healthy. I felt like I knew how to handle life and I knew how to achieve and I knew how to achieve and so on and so forth; but, that now seems so foreign and so distant in my past. Someplace, I began to self-ridicule and criticize myself in unhealthy ways – I refer to this self-chastising voice as Hilda. I try and keep her at bay, but she has a habit of coming out when I don’t like it. I know yesterday’s depressive episode was a fluke, but it’s a fluke in its display and not in its existence. Hilda seems to be a part of me, a part of me that doesn’t leave. I don’t like her.
Sometimes, however, I hear a different voice (okay…let me stop a moment: I don’t ACTUALLY hear voices, I’ve decided to personify some of my personality traits, because they become easier to understand when I do that. Please don’t think I’m looking down upon people who do hear voices, but I felt the need to clarify this). This other voice is constructively critical . A voice that tells me how to correct myself in a way that is beneficial to me and others. But I can’t always tell the difference between Hilda and this voice. This is the case today as I contemplate sex, my sexuality and the sexual things I’ve done in my past.
Today, I feel almost disgusted with myself for having started down the path of explaining all of my sexual activities again. I mean, on the one hand, I feel like understanding it for myself is important, but on the other hand, I think it has the quality of exploitation of me and putting the most intimate parts of myself on display for the world to see. I think about the ways I might be influencing someone else in a negative way – what impact will my words have on another human being. I begin to wonder if my sexuality has been self-serving – was I seeking my own pleasure or was I trying to engage in a loving act of sharing between myself and another person. I have done things that I am not proud of doing. I have done things that might seem to lessen my human dignity to some and I have done things that I’m not sure are okay or not. Of course, as I begin to become more sober and engage in a relationship with a God of my understanding, I begin to contemplate if I am acting or behaving in a way that is conducive to God’s supposed plan for all of us. And ultimately, does any of it really matter? I don’t know if I can answer any of these questions, I don’t understand right nor wrong when it comes to sexuality and I realize there is a wide view in society on the matter where it goes from one extreme to the other and the overwhelming majority of people are somewhere in between.
These are my thoughts on this 67th day of sobriety…