2015-12-18

So Yeah


Where indeed?

From 2004-2014 is a drunken stupor...my lost decade.

2014 nearly killed me* and then...

Here's 2015 in my world:

Jan 2:  7:30 AM.  Arrive at work.  It's been 18 hours since the last time I smoked weed, and I'm hung over, as usual.   I spent the previous night watching How I Met Your Mother (I'm only in season 3 at this point), and something in me snaps.

Jan 2: 8:00 AM.  I check myself into Ellis Hospital for mental issues.  I'm feeling suicidal.

Jan 2: 10:00 AM. The nurse determines I'm not actually going to kill myself if I'm released, and so I am.  My parents come down from Willsboro, and the illusion that I've got it together is shattered.

Jan 2: 11:00 AM. I arrive home, and empty 3 bottles of very good German beer in the sink.  I now have no consumable alcohol in the house.

Jan 2.  I call various psychiatrists, trying to make an appointment.  I'm not suicidal at this point, so it's technically not an emergency, so nobody has room to pencil me in.  Granted, I'm a mess, and at the end of my chain, none of this is good news.

Jan 2: I find someone.

Jan 3: Extinction burst.  I get shitfaced on a bottle of Ouzo and destroy the 2 bedroom doors (since replaced).  Concurrently, our Big Computer crashes, and I'm in no condition to help (in fact,  the escalation calls fail to waken me from my alcohol-induced coma).

I stop drinking.  Skip ahead a while and I'm finally seeing the shrink.  He diagnoses me with depression (natch) and anxiety disorder.  Zoloft is perscribed.

I spend the next 2 weeks in a fog, as the SSRI pounds away at my system.   At the same time, I begin Slaughtering My Demons.

In the ensuing months, I've come to terms, more or less, with my anxiety, repaired my professional relationships, played an essential role in the successful datacenter relocation and supercomputer expansion of Evil Conglomerate Customer (TM), and was rewarded with a promotion in my annual review this past October.

From my point of view, so far, I've got nothing to apologize for.

And now we're in mid-November, and I begin looking to the next phase of my life.  I've finally conquered my demons, and it's time to start a family...

I try online dating.  Match.com sucks.  okcupid sucks.  eHarmony isn't much better, but in order to get anything out of it, the upfront cost is around $250 (and it doesn't matter how long you sign up for, 2 years is actually cheaper than 3 months).

And then I meet a wonderful girl**.

And then I blow it.

Frankly, I'm ahead.  It was a good year.  I suck at people.  I'm learning.  And honestly, while the impression I gave about my attitude toward money was horrifying, I'm sure the way I explain my thinking in the Money and Happiness post isn't so much.

And when the time came to finally meet the wonderful girl in person, I'm so concerned about seeming optimistic that I say I'm having a great day (which I am) and that nothing could bring it down, because of the bonus.

Missing, of course, was the context.  The struggle with anxiety, depression and alcoholism.  The seeking of help, of turning my life around, and how the promotion was an affirmation of my effort, and the bonus a reminder of my success in turning my life around.   OF COURSE I was happy about that.

And yet, I was too proud, or too embarrassed about where I came from to put my optimism in the truthful context.  And that's how I blew it.  Shame begets anxiety and anxiety begets regret. But this time regret won't beget shame, as it has in the past, because this time, I actually tried.   I recognize where I went wrong, and I'm hoping the various virtual particle interactions that occur in the void between matter compel her to read this post, because I think it will explain a lot.

And she told me not to contact her.  So I won't.

So geht die Welt.

(To be completely truthful, I wish I had a few practice dates before this one to learn this kind of lesson, because this girl** is really special, and I don't think I'll find anyone like her).

*And by 2014, I mean "I" and by "me" I mean "myself."

**And by girl, I respectfully mean woman. 

4 comments:

  1. ok, so as the girl**, who found her way through particle interactions to here let me say a few things.
    1) being honest about your self with yourself is an important part of recovery. I wish you continued success there.
    2) Being in recovery for less than a year should give one pause on a lot of things. For the sake of yourself and those you get entangled with romantically, do the AA thing, and for god's sake don't even think about starting a family until you hit some serious sobriety-marks.
    3) Thank you for respecting my wishes and not contacting me.
    4) Context (read: above) changes nothing about how I read our different attitudes. I would strongly suggest AA meetings (or more therapy) in lieu of practice dates. My last relationship was with someone in recovery. He said so on the first date. I liked that he was far enough along in it that it was part of his identity, and he also wanted me to know what challenges he was facing. Get comfortable in your own skin. If one isn't healty it is going to come out pretty dang fast. Get yourself healthy for the sake of you.
    5) can't stress this enough--get healthy, and spend a significant amount of time being healthy. Then decided it's time to start a family. A year aint shit. As a woman I know this. We're all old enough to know that.

    I wish you continued growth, health and sobriety. And leave the doors alone. They were only doing their jobs.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the kind words. You really didn't have to comment, or out yourself. I certainly wasn't going to do it.

      We do have different approaches. For one, my main problem is anxiety, and left untreated, it was debilitating. This is what I'm recovering from, and I'm at a point where I really need to venture out of my comfort zone and confront it. Human interaction, outside of a professional setting, was essentially impossible.

      Sobriety isn't even really an issue at this point. I was never a teetotaler, and find that I'm able to moderate when I'm not fixating on every imagined faux pas I made over the course of the previous 24 hours. I like relaxing with a bottle of wine and a movie to unwind at the end of the week. That's a very different thing from daily self-medication.

      So when was this going to come out? The next time we met.

      And for the record, the doors never hung right. I did a much better job with the replacements. They actually swing and close smoothly now. Silver lining: I now know how to hang doors.

      Delete
  2. Well, everything comes out in the wash, it was out myself or not. You know there is no such thing as anonymity on the internet.

    Words matter. When you write about the 'missing context,' you write: "The struggle with anxiety, depression and alcoholism" (your words, not mine).

    That makes me think alcoholism is an issue for you (because you said "alcoholism"). One doesn't have a touch of alcoholism like they might have a touch of the flu. Alcoholism doesn't go away. There is no "cure," it is a disease. People that have loved ones with that disease, or people that know what that word explicitly means, see that word as highly-loaded, Because It Is Highly Loaded.

    I understand that there is shame (and its cousin "narcissism") in the disease, and around any conversation about the disease. Don't backpedal from things you state if they are the truth.

    Words matter. Write what you mean, say what you mean, do what you mean, Always. And I mean all of us when I use the pronoun, "you."

    If it isn't alcoholism, don't call it alcoholism. If it is alcoholism, call it that and get treatment. But if it isn't alcoholism, don't use that word because it's a disservice to those suffering from it, or in recovery, and the loved ones that choose to struggle along side them.

    Words matter, man. Even if they don't hang right, they matter.

    ReplyDelete
  3. No, you're right, and I think we're talking around the same basic point.

    Alcoholism is absolutely the right word for what it is, and I'm well aware what the word means, and what the baggage is. Yes, it's a binary state, like pregnancy.

    It's true that when I do drink, I drink a little too much.

    It's also true that I've destroyed friendships due alcohol-fueled neglect.

    The issue I take is my perception of how you are pushing the treatment angle. From my perspective, I am seeking treatment. I've got an appointment with my psychiatrist in three weeks. This is an ongoing process and not a quick check in to renew a prescription. It most certainly isn't a take-these-pills-and-you're-all-better situation.

    The idea that the alcoholism only has a single treatment bothers me. That's the implication I'm getting from your replies, and I don't think it's exactly right.

    Now this is a strange definition of no contact. I'll text you my real email address. We can continue this there.

    ReplyDelete