High Anxiety

I am about as whipped up as I’ve ever been! A lot going on.  We’ve decided to move from the condo we’ve been renting for the last 13 years!  On top of that, my SO has been in the process of applying for his US citizenship-don’t ask me why!-so we went to San Antoinio for the night a couple of days ago for him to take his test and have his interview.  He got approved and will now get a letter in the next couple of weeks telling him the date and time of being sworn in as a US citizen.

In looking for a place to live, we of course wanted to stay in a particular part of town and within a certain budget. We live in a very expensive city and part of town.  We’re moving because, as I said, we’ve been here 13 years.  We overlook a canyon.  We are in the community of the people that live here and I’ve got a ton of folks that I’ve chatted to in the neighborhood while out dog walking.  Having said that-our place is in dire need of a re-do.  And I mean everything-floors, paint, kitchen, everything.  Our landlord has finally offered to do part of it, but it won’t be enough.  And, he’ll raise the rent.  Which in all fairness to him, he hasn’t raised the whole time we’ve been here. The other reason is that we need more storage.  I want a garage for the storage as well as a second fridge.

Well, we went out to look at a condo last Wednesday-it already had an application on it so our agent showed us a couple of others in the same property.  Now this is not in our general neighborhood at all, but the property is beautiful-beautiful landscaping, a pool, a little gym, gated. While we were there, she checked on the one with the application and it had fallen through.  We looked at it and my SO was like, “let’s take it!”  So we rushed home, frantically getting together so much paperwork it was insane-for a rental! Got the deposit in. And then I had time to think about it.  Wondering why I was feeling so anxious.  Is it because I’m a Cancer-a homebody_ and I’m having separation anxiety? Is it because deep down, it’s the wrong decision?  Is it because the kitchen is small and it only has 2 bedrooms? I decided not to say anything.  We went to a funeral the next morning.  When we got home I decided to try and take a nap as I’d been awake all night long.  Couldn’t sleep.  So I thought I’d check to see if any other units had become available.  Guess what?? Yes! One a little bigger, with an extra little “bonus room” and a little bigger kitchen.

Of course it was with some reluctance that I brought it up to my SO.   But, I did.  Of course he was frustrated, but I called our agent and asked if we could look at it. She said yes, but not til Saturday.  Fine.  Well, of course on Friday evening they approved us for the first unit.  I still wanted to look.  We did and then looked at the one we had confirmed and decided to take that one.

And now, I am freaking out.  The kitchen is way too small-it reminds me of the kind of kitchen someone’s grandmother would live in befor the next step of moving into a care home.  While we do have a garage, the storage is going to be a challenge inside.  Especially in the kitchen.  There are only 3 small drawers!  I think I can make it work with the garage, but….

I’ve been questioning myself what’s going on.. Have I compromised my desires and needs?  I think so, in many ways.  What I do know is that I am just about at my 1 1/2 year mark of no alcohol.  And this past week, I have wanted to drink more than any other time during this period.  I haven’t found myself reaching for a bottle of wine, but I have really imagined drinking.  The other night in San Antonio, we went to my favorite Mexican restaurant where it seemed everyone was drinking a Margherita-and they are great there! Boy!  I wanted like 6 of them in rapid succession!  BUT, I ordered a Virgin Frozen Strawberry Margherita.  It was great!  Even so, I am wanting the whole numbing effect.  Big time.

I’m know that there are millions that wish these could be their problems- a new, over all comfortable space to live in.  A great SO.  All of that.  I have also realized that these past few weeks-or really 10 days- have been the most-what?  Well whatever it is, in the past you can bet your bottom dollar that I would have been drinking my through it. Under the guise of “being excited” of course.  So aside from my second thoughts and all of that.  I don’t think I’ve had any period of change in my adult life that I wasn’t “liquored up” going into it or through it or “celebrating” it. And so, all of this energy running through me-and I mean currents of energy/anxiety are new to me.  And extremely uncomfortable.  I have to admit I’ve been kind of a bitch at times to my SO.  Jesus!  I don’t think I ever got to this point during the height of my catering career-and I catered some pretty intense events!

I’m not going to drink today.  Or tomorrow or the next.
But I really, really want to.  Then I think of all the BS that would come from it.  Knowing that on the other side of this, I’ll be so glad that I made it through.

I’ve calculated the vacation time we’ve got planned over the next year-and so far it’s about 6 weeks-so subtact that from 52 and it’s only 46 weeks there.  And who knows, by that time I may be wanting to buy the place.

Oh, it’s my birthday today-61!  That may be playing into some of this-especially about the grandmother and the little kitchen thing.  Although I cook.  That’s my art form.  It’s my spiritual expression.  The kitchen is my sacred space.

Well, it is what it is at this point.  I’m going to IKEA.

with love

Comfort in Discomfort

I’m not talking about the comfort you find in a big pile of down pillows or a fluffy duvet or being pampered to in a spa or a nice hotel.  I’m talking about how so many-me included-tend to find and get comfortable in uncomfortable situations.  An example of this is an abused woman.  She knows that every day at 9:00 p.m. her SO is going to come home, drunk and abusive-verbally, physically, maybe sexually.  And this goes on, for possibly years.  Why?  Yes, it’s uncomfortable.  Possibly mentally and physically damaging.  And yet, she stays.. Why?  Well, after all, there’s a nice home in a good neighborhood.  Maybe some standing in the community. He gives her nice “make-up” gifts.  It’s not really THAT bad, is it?  It all kind of blurs as the following day goes on.  She knows that she should leave.  If she has anyone that she feels safe enough to confide in, they’re telling her that she should leave.
But she doesn’t. Why?? Well, there’s a false sense of comfort and security in the known.  In this case, the known being that every night at 9:00 p.m., her SO will come in and abuse her.  As bad as the cycle is, it’s familiar.  So, in a sense, it becomes “comfortable”. 

While she knows she should leave, she’s scared.  Rationally, and she goes over this countless times day after day, she knows that there’s a better life for her.  Yes, she might have to give up some things-maybe her home, her things, and in some cases even her identity and that’s scary.  The unknown is scary.  No matter how many people tell her she can have a better life.  Maybe she doesn’t feel deserving of a better life.  So she becomes “comfortable” in her discomfort. Beaten down a little more every day.

Now I’m using the analogy of an abused woman-but the cycle is the same for any kind of abuse.  Like alcohol abuse.  That cycle.  Wanting to quit and get out of the situation.  Not being able to.  Convincing ourselves the next morning that things will be different.  Or pushing all of the mental self abuse we subjected ourselves to in the night and into the next day back down where it won’t be prominant in our thoughts.  Getting “busy” with work and other things so that we can forget all of that as the day goes on.  And then, “Oh Shit!” it’s 8:00 the wine bottle is empty and you’ve just remembered that you weren’t going to drink today!  You were totally “unconscious” of that promise to yourself when you went in and grabbed that bottle of wine from one of the several places on your rotation schedule of where you procure your poison from-several because, God forbid! anyone think you buy wine on a daily basis! “Oh Well! I can start again tomorrow.”   Eventually to bed, and of course the self abuse starts up again, slowly the night passes.  A new day begins. With the same intentions and promises.  And the cycle continues.  Day in and day out.  Why??? Because, I’m afraid to quit.  No one will like me.  There’s a party coming up.  I’m going on vacation.    Everyone will notice.. I can’t imagine my life without it!   Maybe I’m not deserving of a better life.  And so, we become comfortable in an uncomfortable situation.  Which in turn, becomes normal.  It becomes normal to spend almost all of our waking hours thinking about drinking, doing the actual drinking or regretting drinking or trying to get over drinking too much. What a fucking waste of time!  I spent YEARS living like that.  Most of my adult life.  I’m not here to cry over wasted time and to be honest, I had some pretty good times that involved alcohol..Of course I also have a lot of things I prefer not to mention and try to forget.  Things that still, after years, make me cringe.

If anyone is reading this that is questioning life without alcohol.  I can tell you, it’s so much better.  Shit still hits the fan.  Things still upset me.  And to be honest, sometimes I feel a bit of a void without “a drink first”.  But that only lasts a minute.  I’ve found a way to take myself through, mentally, what a night of drinking would be like-ALL of it-from that first buzz, to me ranting and raving (which I used to think was cute and SOOO sophisticated) to getting sloppy, waking up in the night beating myself up, living in fear of what I was doing to my body to feeling like shit the next morning.  Oh, and guilty.  And so, I don’t.  I have never once regretted not drinking.  I know this is all repetitive of what so many-me included-have said over and over in these blogs.  If someone asked me the biggest thing I’ve gained from not drinking, I would say freedom.  Freedom from the whole self defeating cycle.  Freedom from all of the mental bullshit that comes with alcohol abuse.  I find myself wondering if there’s been any studies done on how the whole mental stuff that goes with alcohol abuse actually exaerbates the physical effects of alcohol on our  bodies.  I will say that YOU DESERVE A BETTER LIFE!

In so many ways, I was that abused woman.   The abuser was me.  I was using alcohol  to beat myself up with.  To keep myself down.  I didn’t feel deserving.

And, now??  Now, well- I realize that I don’t have to subject myself-for the most part- to uncomfortable situations or things/people that don’t serve my best interest.   The longer I go without drinking, the clearer I am in this.  Now, I’m just about that pile of pillows and that fluffy duvet! (the spa thing sounds good too:)

With Love