Here and there

Published June 3, 2013 by Johanna

I never was the sitting for hours on a bar stool type. My drinking happened behind closed doors. At home, at the office, in my car even. I chugged vodka and scotch out of empty water bottles. The drunk never lasted long enough. I chased the first high I felt when young that truly made me whole. I’ve never reached that level of pure bliss all those years after. Finishing bottles doesn’t make me fly anymore. Yet, I drank my life away because scotch had become my best friend. Isolated from the rest of the world, I waged war on my own. I thought I could beat everyone with my willfulness. I am strong. I always achieved everything on my own so why not continue now? But I got defeated. Despite my best efforts, I lost the battle against myself. And accepting that defeat is the best thing that could happen to me.

Yes, I hate AA but not because of AA itself. I hate the people there. The preachers. The sinners turned saints overnight.

My eyes are closed. Taking a slow inhale of cigarette smoke, I hold onto the cancer stick like a lifeline. I never understood why former alcoholics and addicts usually develop an addiction to smoking. Now I get it. One addiction is being replaced by another. If it isn’t booze or drugs, it’s food. Sex. Exercise. Work. Art. Writing away until my brain is mush, and then writing some more. Words have become my therapy.

Words draw magic back into my life. Expand my imagination. Help me reach worlds I never believed existed but only inside an insane mind. And I’m insane. I made peace with myself, realized there is no way backwards. Returning to booze is like signing my death certificate. I thought I wanted to die at thirty. But I only wanted to find a way out of the pain. Booze takes me back to the dread. Writing allows me to escape. Anywhere I want to go. Travel through my mind to unknown destinations, that exist only in my dreams. I don’t need alcohol to help me stop thinking. I can only think more and break boundaries. The rest is trivial. The only obsession that keeps me alive is my own thirst for love. Love for life, love for words, love for myself.

Writing. Thinking and writing some more. I can’t stop. My mind explodes and I breathe in the creation – my creation – every thought I touch with a word runs freely on paper. Freedom at last. Acceptance of the past. Understanding of my future. Living in the now.

I don’t believe in God because I don’t believe in a deity who lets mankind die and kill out of greed or for pleasure. Evil means nothing when innocent children are murdered. Why would a god allow blood to be spilled if he’s so good and forgiving? Why should I let go of all the control to God? How will letting go of that control help me stay sober? I can drink whenever I want. Ruin my life whenever I want. God has no say in my sobriety. John tries to convince me God has everything to do with who I am, but is it really the case?

I doubt. Question everything. Putting my thoughts in words helps me understand better why I started the journey.

Here and there, I see why I’m better off clean and sober. A few weeks of not drinking gave me acute self-awareness.

Maybe too acute. I feel raw emotions and I don’t know how to deal with them. Can’t shut them down anymore. Need to deal with them. How? I can deal with hate, but how do I deal with love? Am I even capable of loving anyone? I despise myself for all the wrong I caused. My dead marriage, my ex, feelings drowning me under more pain with every memory. John – the cute twenty two year old I have a crush on – do I love him?

Nonsense. I don’t love anyone. I can’t love anyone. John means nothing to me. He’s just a friend. Former alcoholic friend. Probably in his kindness is acting like a sponsor too. I’m a good guinea pig to test his knowledge on. Do service. John doesn’t love me like I love him.

Argh! I don’t love him! Stop trying to love and be loved. Romance never took me very far. Only crushed my heart a million times! Ha, fuck romance! I don’t want to feel any love. Ever. Can’t deal with sadness, can’t deal with happiness. Just want to be numb. Feelings are poison. They torture my mind, and prevent me from sleeping.

Look at what you’re doing to yourself? You still live in denial. Feelings aren’t toxic. Your state of mind is. Change your vision and things will appear smooth. It doesn’t matter if you feel love or hatred, what you need to find is a happy medium that won’t push you into the ground.

Deep breath. Here and there. Look for peace. Easy to look for peace when you don’t have a clue what peace feels like! But I gotta go on. Here and there. Grab the pieces and keep them together. Just like a puzzle. The puzzle of your life. You’ll see the big picture when the time is right. Water, an oak tree, and a chair facing the platitude of the lake of your emotions. The storm shall pass. You will vanquish and become one with yourself again.

Learn to forgive. Learn to pray. Meditate. Breathe in and out, live in the moment. Here and there you’ll understand why you made certain choices and you’ll accept the consequences of such decisions. Not all of them were wrong. Not all of them  were unwise. Some belong to the realm of mistakes you’re supposed to make in order to grow up. Just don’t be scared anymore. Take a leap of faith. Stop listening to the voices inside your head – too much ruckus. Silence is key.

Here and there – get a grip. Follow the road and don’t panic. Life has much to offer. And John will get a slap next time I hear him speak about a higher power. And God. And how late he’s on his assignment due tomorrow. Being sober doesn’t excuse laziness dammit.

Being sober doesn’t stop me from living my life the way I choose to do. My free will is all I got. All I’ve ever had.

To be continued…

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