So, I’ve recently been feeling a little out of myself. Or rather, quite in myself, but unable to reach out of myself. Trouble communicating. Even though I’ve been writing a shed load for nano (still barely ahead of schedule, but I don’t feel like I can write tonight…we’ll see).
Anyway, there’s a secondary problem exacerbating this. It’s the reason I feel in myself (present within my body, in a kinda Tai Chi kinda way as opposed to just introverted and angsty, which is what all of this may seem like…partly because that is actually my mood this evening). But it’s also creating distance between my self and others. And one of the expressions of this I’m about to talk about.
So what’s the thing exacerbating this.
I’ve stopped drinking, at least for a while. I’ve been undrunk a month now, and realistically, it’s great for me. Like I say, in and of myself I am more physically present, more feeling, and more awake.
This is all great.
Sure, it means my social life has taken a bit of a dent (culturally, we English, and particularly we Brightonians, and particularly the majority of my friends, and particularly me, associate socialisation with boozing, we do it in pubs, we get wasted at parties to meet new people etc etc etc), and that’ s making me lonelier, but it’s not that bad. If I’m in the mood I can still party, I can still talk, I can still be nuts. To be honest, if anything I’m more outgoing than when drunk, and without the added self centredness and obnoxiousness.
Well, okay, maybe I’m still self centred and obnoxious, but it’s not quite as noxious when I’ve got some level of control over it.
But yeah. Essentially, without the depressant effect of alcohol I seem to be more manic, more fast paced, and constantly trying to chase after my thoughts. This roughly equates (though not quite) to me being just as capable of being sociable as always. Occasionally I’m even interesting (or at least I hope I am).
So where’s the big problem?
Essentially, it boils down to having to explain to people.
I’m at the pub, I’m not drinking. I feel like I have to explain to some extent. Even just an ‘I’m not drinking at the moment’ should be enough to stop people offering, and then I can just kind of get on with being my weirdass self.
But I have to explain. People always ask why.
I don’t want to over-egg the situation and start calling myself an alcoholic (though at times, it’s certainly appeared that way), especially as that effectively amounts to an attack on the drinking habits of quite a lot of my friends (many of whom drink much more than I have for a few years now).
But I have to say something. The best I can boil it down to though, is just ‘when I’m drunk, I act like a dick, and often do things I regret later. Then when I sober up, the hangover and the regret usually leave me miserable for a few days afterwards’. This can then continue onto the obvious result of ping ponging back and forth, without ever feeling myself. But people normally lose interest by then (perhaps mostly because of that aforementioned implied criticism).
It makes me feel like an outcast, even engaging with them about how I feel in that way (‘boys mustn’t say things like that’…nobody says that, obv, but perhaps some do feel uncomfortable), is enough, but actually acknowledging that it’s enough of a problem to stop me from drinking, and thus it’s a big problem (because I enjoy booze alot, even on an aesthetic level, I’m into my bourbon, and I’m in to my ale, and not just for the deleterious effects). It’s a huge thing.
Only mostly nobody does mind, but I don’t see that. Mostly people except the explanation, it makes sense, maybe a lot of people feel like that.
But I feel like I’m wearing this huge millstone around my neck. Dragging it’s weight behind me. And on it is written a thousand discouraging phrases ‘I’m an alcoholic’, ‘I can’t handle my drink’, ‘I’m not a real man,’ or whatever.
I’ve dislodged the monkey from my back and replaced it with a giant rock.
At least monkey’s are cute.
And it’s absured, because I take no insult from any of those comments. Alcoholics are just people who need help. People who can’t handle drink are just people who can’t handle drink. If they enjoy getting drunk, then they get drunk cheaper, if they don’t, then they usually learn quite quickly to be sensible (a learning process that has taken me years, apparently).
As for not being a real man. Don’t make me laugh. My mobile phone is defiantly pink (and I love it) and my skirts are short and my dresses flowery. I have no love of masculine ideals (though, if I’m honest, in certain company I attempt to at least fit in with the macho people that surround me. This is often tricky).
Okay, I contradicted myself a lot. But this is the problem. I know it’s not a problem, but I make it one anyway. I don’t care if people think less of me, and I don’t think they really do.
But I’ve been using the crutch of booze to make new friends for so long (and now I appear to have swung for the crutch of being ‘weird’ and ‘quirky’ and often ‘a bit over the top’ instead) that I find it hard to live behind.
But you know what. I’ve been dependent on all this stuff for so long, that part of me is just glad to acknowledge it.
All my life seems to be built around dependencies. I don’t know how to walk without crutches.
But maybe now I’m just trying to walk. And maybe one day I’ll run.
The above painting was done by me (and poorly photographed also by me) whilst in the midst of an incredibly low time recently.
Many people who have seen commented that it’s very bloody dark and depressing.
As is often the case with me and depressing things, the message I take (today at least) is actually closer to uplifting.
That figure, with the weight of the world bearing down of him, Is walking away from the hole that’s trapped him for so long.
Putting away childish things and what not (I hate quoting scripture, for fairly obvious reasons, but that is definitely a great line).
There is always a forward.
Let’s hope I can learn that for realz.
Now playing: Pivot – [O Soundtrack My Heart #06] Sweet Memory [foobar2000 v0.9.5.2]