So, as of Halloween – roughly a week ago, I crossed a full year of continuous sobriety. And I am thrilled by that, especially because I had expressed some doubt and concern, but I am happy and joyful that it has happened. I can tell you, without a doubt, that a couple of years ago I had absolutely no ability to sober up and stop drinking. In fact, I really wanted to die and it was my intention to drink myself to death. I hated everything about my life. I hated my God, I hated my faith, I hated my marriage, I hated my failed career, I hated my health, I hated my sexuality, I hated other relationships, I hated my existence. And I’m not saying that light heartedly or flippantly either.
And I’ve probably mentioned it before, but beyond the hatred, I became apathetic about my life. I simply could not even muster the energy to hate it anymore. The apathy was bad…so, so, so bad. Not only was I drinking to hopefully kill myself, but there were times I wouldn’t take my insulin. You see, I’m a type 1 diabetic and it is absolutely, 100% essential, that I take insulin – without it, I will die. That’s not to be taken lightly either – it’s literal. But during this apathetic (anyone else notice the word “pathetic” in “apathetic”? Weird, huh?) time, I would experimentally remove my insulin pump to see what would happen. Needless to say, I would feel like absolute shit. So, it was counter to what I really wanted – a painless death. I wanted to not feel my own demise. To go in a state of abandoned and numb existence.
But, I didn’t really want that.
I knew it, deep down.
Alcoholism is weird like that. It’ll deceive me and convince me that something is true even if it wasn’t. And that is the interesting part of all of this – the reality is that I wanted to live. I just couldn’t find a way to do that. I mentioned in the title of this blog various aspects of my life – God, relationship, career, health, sexuality, etc. And just from that, I hope to express that there is plenty to me that expresses some sort of complexity in my being. I had lost all joy in my life, and it was evidenced by all of the ways I was challenged in the various aspects of who I was.
I knew I believed in God, but I didn’t trust Him (or Her…I’m not totally convinced He isn’t a She). I knew I wanted a good relationship, but I knew it completely felt lost and toxic. I knew I wanted to have a career or vocation that would put me in some sort of financial security in a way I felt personally fulfilled and happy, but I lost the career I had, and I felt a total lack of purpose and my financial “strength” was a fallacy – I almost became destitute. My health was utterly atrocious (and still is, honestly); I had gone from being an extremely fit person to an absolute lump of gelatinous goo. I had once thought I was an attractive, energetic, sexy person to someone I can’t stand to look at in a mirror. And I can’t even begin to explain the craziness of my sexuality, but I can tell you that the drinking helped me hide from how I felt about myself – I literally despised that I had had sex with guys in my past. In fact, I felt like I couldn’t even properly enjoy it, because I despised myself for having done it. I don’t want to go in a lot of detail but suffice it to say that it did little for my self-esteem to think about it. There are so many things that felt wrong about my life.
Actually, a lot of these things were the point of starting to blog in the first place. I felt like I had no outlet to my feelings, no way of expressing how I felt nor how I could handle the problems in my life. Even when I began my first blog (this isn’t my first), I was desperately trying to find something I liked about myself, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t find positive feelings for myself. I couldn’t look in a mirror for either my looks or my emotions. I was an emotional trainwreck for sure. And my drinking had already been occurring.
I just couldn’t realize it until it was too late.
And by too late, I mean apathetically so…
My sobriety story is somewhat lengthy, so, there is no reason to go through it on this particular post, but I am finding that I have let go of discussing all of the things that caused me emotional pain and hurt. With that being said, I don’t blog as much as I used to. I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t want to face the pains of my life or if it is because going through my recovery program, I have learned to let go of those things. I do realize that there is a part of me not wanting to revisit the pass and stir up old emotions – those emotions are dark, deep and like a friggin’ morass that will trap me into that murkiness; but I also feel a need to continue to share what I went through. I have this hope that others might gain some solace or that my story somehow is relevant. Or maybe it’s somewhat narcissistic to assume anyone wants to know anything about me?
What I do know is that change is good. And I have changed in the last year. I do have a God I trust and I am allowing myself to be more open to what He (or She) might have in store for me. My relationship is far from perfect, but I have noticed that I am in much better control of my own emotions – even if my partner is not. I am actually back to the career I formerly lost, but I will be honest and express my passion for it is no longer there; so, I am treating this like a steppingstone to further vocational discovery for myself (even at age 50!). I do need to work on my health. There is no doubt about the need for change there. I’m not sure how yet, but I do want to feel comfortable looking at myself in a mirror again. My sexuality? Hmmm… well, I’m not sure what needs to change or if anything does need to change. The God of my understanding may not like certain behaviors, but I haven’t really come to terms with that. I guess, for a place of principle, since I am in a relationship, then it might be irrelevant on some level. Truthfully, however, I am also coming to terms with the idea that maybe I’ll never have it reconciled within my own being – sometimes, I like certain things and sometimes I do not, but if I’m not hurting anyone else (or even myself), then maybe I don’t need to worry as much as I used to worry.
I am who I am.
I’m on a more positive path than I used to be.