28 Jun 2009

better living through abstinence

made it two months sober – i’ve mentioned it to some people today - maybe i feel like i need something, accolades, to keep me going - but when i get them, i feel embarrassed and stupid - they don't really do much for me - well, they're SOMETHING, maybe it's just fretting about looking like i'm fishing for compliments - i was going to go to AA and get my 60 day chip, but it turns out that both weekend meetings are in the mornings, when i work - can't milk it till monday

lately, i wonder why i'm doing this abstinence thing - yeah, my life is different now, i'm not getting high all the time, and throwing my money away - and i was gonna say, i'm not "wrecking my life", but then i thought, that's too dramatic, i wasn't doing that before -- but now i'm looking back with rosy glasses, thinking about all the fun times - forgetting the horror - thinking, well, when i finally do relapse, i'll at least plan better, make sure i'm well supplied, for the high, and for the downer - save up money for a bender, make sure i have a safe landing space, and money to spare

yeah sure - it's not that easy to con myself - about the money to spare, i've learned that doesn't happen when drugs i really like are involved - but the pharmaceutical equations - oh, those are still alluring, the self-experimenter in me does NOT want to give up, he wants to tinker a bit and find the perfect recipe, the right drugs in the right order at the right doses, to make it more enjoyable and less destructive, to have his cake and eat it too - yeah, evil still, but a better evil, like modern life, BLTC, the hedonic imperative, or a telepathic device built in the garage by idle hands on a boring afternoon during summer vacation

i hung out at the bar all night, not drinking, not smoking, not really talking much, playing three sets with Heddy Acclaim, coming soon to a Finley's near you (actually, we're opening for SNFU tomorrow, that's pretty cool in my book). I probably would have broke my streak of one week off tobacco and bummed a cigarette, except I'm on champax, and I knew it wouldn't have much if any effect, because champax blocks nicotine. That's the point - so the champax is doing what it's supposed to do, stopping me from smoking. I guess I'll keep taking the week's supply I got left.

I was tired, and kind of depressed, except when playing music, which went well. Tired and kind of depressed - that's been my mood for the last two weeks, I think. I thought about getting drunk many times. If I wanted to, though, I would have. I did want to, but not enough to fuck up my life again. And I guess the streak is sacred. If I break the streak, I start from zero, and it would be so discouraging.

Tired and kind of depressed. Well, there's too many potential causes to diagnose the problem. Post acute withdrawal symptoms, still missing the high? Feeling like I can't live without drugs and the lifestyle, like I'm just a shell of myself, the real me was the drugged me? That really is a feeling I get a lot, even though when I write it down, it sounds obviously insane. But it feels sane.

Then there's my reduced dosage of anti-depressants - during a less-depressed moment, I thought I'd ween myself off the zoloft, go full bore with this getting clean thing, because I feel dirty with SSRIs in my system. So I cut my dosage from 100mg to 75 a couple weeks ago, planning to ween myself off over a few months. So I could blame that for feeling low, but I'm not sure the effects would be noticed that soon, it's a downstream type of med, isn't it?

And then there's the champax, I've heard it flattens you out, makes you dull and sleepy. That would describe me - I'm getting a few things done, but i don’t feel all that fulfilled. I’ve completed some music and writing projects, and the results i think of as good, but even so, it feels compulsory and empty. I don’t take satisfaction in these “good” results. Good by the standards of some sloughed off self, yeah, who I wouldn’t argue with, why bother?

And then there's my caffeine addiction, which is getting stupid. I'm drinking four doubleshots to get me through the first half of the day, then coffee and energy drinks, and it doesn't do shit - it's like when I was a coke and K whore before rehab - my tolerance was crazy and the dope wouldn't work anymore - so depressing, and i'd just take more - maybe i need to kick coffee to get my energy back.

And then there's the novelty of being back home, and sober, yay, wearing off. It's just regular life now - and it's my job, which I'm finding harder and harder to endure - it's the boredom. I'm working less days with less hours, and it feels harder. How did I ever do full time? I'm supposed to get harder, stronger, but I just feel weaker and softer. People say, I admire you for staying sober, you're strong. I dunno.

If I wanted to go do drugs again, I would. I haven't yet because it hasn't felt like the right time. I'm thinking like, well I'll get my 60 day chip for sure, I'll bask in that, maybe that will remind me, of why I'm doing this. Then there's july to get through - then I get a 90 day chip, that would be pretty cool of me, I'd be the fucking Iron Man, to do 90 days. Then august, the cool thing about august is I could stay home from shambhala, which i don't really want to do this year anyway, and feel really good about myself, and feel smugly separated from the wastoid partier group, and maybe begin to carve out some new identity for myself that i actually like. So maybe I could make it past shambhala, that would be a good chunk of time, then i could relapse. But I’d still feel awful, cause that’s not that long. That’s not much of a return on the investment my parents made in me, when they paid for me to go to rehab. I’m supposed to be leaving that druggie bullshit behind, getting and staying healthy, growing, doing something with my life – not taking a 3 or 4 month “sobriety vacation” – that would trivialize it. So for Christ’s sake, make it to at least, sigh, the end of august. And don’t go to bars too much in the interum. When I go to bars, I feel good about myself, watching my friends drink, thinking there’s a 98% change i won’t relapse. Which means if I go out to the bar fifty times, the odds are I will relapse.

Anyway, I’m supposed to be saving money, by not spending it on drugs, so I can re-learn my old habits of financial responsibility, and pay back debts, and go to montreal with party on high street - that’s part of the whole point of this change of lifestyle thing. A relapse would fuck that up royally, even if it doesn’t turn into an epic bender. So be straight for september, then you can go to montreal with four months, maybe by then you’d be actually stronger instead of just going through the motions, maybe you’d be an AA cultist by then, and have what they have – yeah, i’d need to be clean in mind and body if i was to go there, and fat in wallet too, cause being poor and addicted on my own in the big city, that doesn’t sound like a good time really – but montreal, man, that would be a test alright, even for this theoretical future superself, being there for the purpose of playing music with my party friends, fuck – i could see myself rewarding my four months of sobriety with a big blowout in the big city...

anyway, if i got back with a clear head, holy shit, that would be something to be proud of, for real...

but at what cost? how much will i have endured, having to face awkward social situations, language barriers, loneliness, sexual frustration – how much boredom will i have endured without my beloved drugs? It would have been so much time wasted not getting high, with the coolest people, in the coolest place – it would be like the perfect steak with no gravy, The Sopranos without Tony, sex without an orgasm – i know this is fucked up, but it’s how i think sometimes, often really, i’m documenting. Boredom, laziness, tiredness, what is it that plagues me, that’s so much more apparent when the drug haze lifts?

I find it hard to tolerate boredom, and sitting around doing nothing, when I don't have a smoke or a drink in my hand, or a head full of chemicals - when I'm high, I can just chill and shoot the shit and be happy with that. When I'm abstinent, my patience is short. So, you'd think that would have a good aspect to it - instead of being bored, I’d get busy - but really, all I do is sleep. I'm so fucking tired all the time these days. Drugs used to get me up out of bed. Now, nothing does, except that I have to be at work. I have some music and writing things on the go, but it's rarely enough to rouse me.

Funny how I’m throwing around the word “depression” now, finally, after holding it back for so long. I’ve been reserved about using that word for a long time now, actually, since I started taking zoloft. Once I felt it actually working, I was genuinely grateful – it seemed to work on a physical, chemical level, so it was REAL, but it also had a placebo effect, or the psychological effect of improving my attitude – like: “i’m not depressed – i’m on anti-depressants now – i still get down at times, yeah, but i’m getting the medication i need, and i’ll pull through – no need to mope, i can get on with life” – i remember, i used to get deep into moping, before the zoloft – for all my flaws, and the wallowing in drugs and decadence i’ve done since, i didn’t mope all that much, and play the “depression” card every other day, like i did before the zoloft – now i’m reducing my dose – and i feel depressed – coincidence? i dunno – but already, i feel inclined to pull that depression card out again – maybe that’s a sign it really is a chemical thing – which means withdrawal, which isn’t so bad, cause it’s transient – or the more scary prospect: that apathy and sloth are my psychological baseline, when the medication isn’t there

when i was a using addict, i would get into deep chasms of despair many times a week, much worse pain than i’ve felt since rehab, but things were always in motion – there was always that next high around the corner, there wasn’t the prospect of having to slog through life without those crutches, and be rigid, and abstinent, and always on my guard – there was a new scheme for today, something to get out of bed for, a mission, a tweak mission, or if there wasn’t that, there was at least a beer, and a smoke, and palling around with my fellow users

If I wanted to do drugs, I would. I haven't, because the perceived negatives outweigh the perceived benefits any time I get close to seriously considering it, which is rare. I do value what I have - what being at crossroads kickstarted. It was a good thing. But the last 2 weeks I've been tired and depressed. It seems like it's a face saving thing at this point, I can't relapse too soon, it would look bad. I mean, fuck, I enjoy the benefits of sobriety. But I still think about drugs all the fucking time. It's so in my head. I can be abstinent on a day by day basis. I knew for 98% sure I wasn't gonna relapse tonight at the bar. But it's discouraging to think that I will, some night, some where. I'll crack.

So, if I do, is it such a big deal? Well fuck, yeah, but, that doesn't mean I would be obligated, by this failure, to resume my downward spiral. Relapse would be demoralizing, humiliating, disappointing, a crushing blow to the self esteem - but I could still pick myself up and take another run at sobriety. I will have already sullied my "turning over a new leaf" chapter, and it would be just another half-assed scramble back up the ladder, but it would be the right thing to do.

Heh - so now I'm planning my next recovery and I haven't even relapsed yet.

Obsessed with drugs, fuck. Oh well, there are other things in the world than these.

Fuck, playing classic rock covers with Heddy Acclaim. Novelty for me, to play in a new band, songs I've never played. Vince disappointed with the crowd, like band leaders almost always are. Kind of harshing whatever buzz I had, which was miniscule, but we had fun when we were on stage. Past last call, drunk idiots shouting "freebird", glazed people, dancing to our music because they're drunk and we can play competently. Now I'm up late, writing. And I have to wake up at 8 for another shift at work. My last day for this week, but even my Fridays are no consolation, I don't know how I'll get myself out of bed in the morning, but I will somehow. Fuck.

I'm really bitching tonight. And what of it? I hardly ever bitch to people, I mainly just bitch on my blog, this is my outlet. This blog is my bitch. So take it, bitch.

I'll discuss the good things tomorrow, I'll write a gratitude list, like the 12 step people say I should.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm proud of you!

I think part of the trick for happiness is to have a job/career that you really enjoy.

~t

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