I feel like I’m dying.
I’m not dying, I just feel like it.
The advantage to having so few people reading my blog is that I can do one like this and it’s ok. I hope.
My house needs to be purged and I am in the process of doing it. I have been doing it for far too long. Little by little I go through things, put away what I must keep and then stare at what I have to get rid of but ohmygod is it hard. Hard. I have stopped and started the process over the last few months. I do it and then decide I need a break and then more stuff piles up on top of the stuff I want to get rid of. I need to shred years of stuff. I need to have a garage sale and just get rid of stuff. STUFF..arghh….
Except suddenly it’s different.
You know, the thing about drinking too much is that it’s a good way to stop things, pesky little things like feelings. And if it doesn’t stop them, it changes them…changes them from a perfectly reasonable feeling into something completely different, something that has no relation to what really IS. For example…I am sad becomes I am angry and this is so fucked and give me a drink. I am happy becomes wow this is a nice change of pace so give me a drink. And of course the next thing that happens is that in example A the sad feelings never get dealt with and stay twisted into some grotesque other, and in example B the happy feelings are distorted into guilt and self-loathing for drinking or even having the good feelings because how can I when life sucks and then the whole process starts over.
I do grief work. I lead grief groups.I listen to people who are going through the same things I went through and I normalize their thoughts and feelings, validate them, and hold the hope for them that things WILL get better. And I tell them that there is no time frame on grief and that it’s ok. It’s ok. When Tom died I was wracked with grief, I cried all the time, I went to a grief group, I was in therapy, I tried to do all the right things but I also drank, drank too much, drank to make it go away. Now at a year sober I am going through all the stuff I held on to, both physically and emotionally. I have to do this work, this work is not going to end. When I look at the physical work I have to do, the sorting an throwing and cleaning I feel sad. When I look at the fact that the work, emotionally, is not going to end…I feel like dying.
I started going to a hot yoga class on Sunday nights. It’s led by a recovering alcoholic and it’s 11th step yoga. She talks about program as we move our bodies; as I fight with mine. I love it though, I hear things in a different way and I feel them. Last night she talked about how we manufacture our own misery, and she talked about de-cluttering, order, making our beds (‘m sure you grasp the bigger picture here). I cried and sweated through the class and left feeling lighter. But not light enough. Clearer, but not clear enough. There is a lot of work to be done and I have to do it. Taking another yoga class feels like it will help, the body work is good. It’s something I’m going to do…closer to home.
It has been suggested I get back into therapy. BY more than one person. By more than two people, ok? It’s a great suggestion. And as I come upon the one year anniversary of the death of my therapist, the woman who walked me through so much, the thought of finding a new therapist is so awful and overwhelming it’s stunning. It brings up more loss, more feelings. But it has to be done. Does it have to be done? Fuck.
Here’s a news flash…I thought if I just stopped drinking everything would get clear and easier. I tell people that, just like I tell them that their grief will get easier and different. I tell people that to give them hope, because it is hopeful and the right thing to do. But right now, for me? I don’t feel it, believe it. I don’t have that hope. This lack of hope does not make me want to drink again. It feels like that boat has sailed: I KNOW that won’t help. And my experience with feelings is such that I don’t trust mine, so what I’m feeling today may change, I DON’T know that it won’t. People tell me that it will. Do I believe them? It’s an interesting conundrum. It feels like a choice.
What will I choose?