Help!!! Get Me Out Of My Head

Wow! I have been the not so impartial observer of my mind trying to do a number on me! So here’s the deal- my SO and I have a trip planned to go to Mexico for a week. It was kind of a last minute decision. Meaning that we only decided a couple of weeks ago as opposed to planning a trip for a few months- which I LOVE to do. Anyway, we’re both excited- me because I love Mexico and would move there (again) if possible. And my SO because he’s been working hard at the volunteer things he does and is tired. And his football team has really disappointed him. Cry me a river…:) But he’s excited to go which is good.

So we’re going for a week.  7 days. We’re staying in an urban beach area- in a place I/we know well.  It’s a beach.  We won’t be going to fancy restaurants or clubs. With that in mind, I decided to pack light- not just a carry-on but light.  I even bought the packing cubes! They’re GREAT- I highly recommend them.  Anyway, I laid out my clothes, made sure that I can wear one top with a couple of bottoms- then cut back some.  Of course now I’m looking at the weather and rain is forecast. While we’re going for the beach I’m not overly concerned about the weather.  For one thing I know that while it may rain some during the day, there’s usually some sun. And there’s a lot to do aside from the beach. Things that I love- places I know that tourists don’t do. And above all else, it’s a break from our normal routine- which is feeling pretty boring right now. So it’s all good, right?

What I’ve been observing is my mind trying to convince me to pack a ton more stuff! To add,add,add.  Listen, even with my “light”version of packing I still probably have enough for 2 weeks- changing up combinations.

But it’s crazy to me how much a part of myself is trying to undermine and second guess myself. And while a part of me isn’t impartial observer, it’s really kind of a struggle. Today I threw in a pair of nylon running pants. I’d originally decided that I wasn’t going to take these for my morning walks. I practically live in these most days and I’m sick of them. Time to do shorts, which I’d already packed. But, I put them in this morning- not even in the cube thing!  I was only going to take 3 pairs of socks for my morning walk-and slipped in a fourth pair today.  And so on.

What’s wierd is that in so many aspects of my life, I make a decision and that’s it. And while there are occasions that I have doubts about things- watching and being a part of this inner struggle is interesting. And frustrating. Because it’s gnawing at me- whispering to me in the night.. God! It’s like fighting with yourself whether or not to drink that day. Or whether or not to have just a “little ” bit more wine. I catch myself wondering if there’s something else going on that I’m not dealing with- and in order not to do so am focusing on my packing. Or is this just another facet   of my addictive personality coming out? Almost as if it’s saying, “Awwww! Come on now! There’s not enough drama going on anymore!! What’s the fun in that?” And that’s true. I don’t have much, if any drama going on in my life right now- excepting the day to day fuck-up-edness of the American political situation and all that goes with it. And I like it- the no personal drama.  Which is what makes this tussle with myself so uncomfortable. It’s not really about what clothes I’m taking. To be honest, as long as I don’t go over 50 pounds for my checked bag it doesn’t make any difference. We’re not backpacking. And I’m nowhere near that anyway- hard to do with summer clothes! It’s a different story when I’m going somewhere in the winter months.

So, anyone have any thoughts or insights you’d like to offer? Does this happen to you?  To be honest, I know that as soon as that plane takes off this issue will be gone. But again, the real issue isn’t about what clothes I’m taking on my vacation- it’s something deeper. As I’m writing this, it’s occurring to me that this is probably something that has been manifesting in my life for years.  Some pattern that is no longer comfortable for me. Something that I am no longer “medicating” away. And because of that, I’ll just ride with it. Acknowledging my discomfort but not give into it.

And, by the time this posts, I’ll be gone and the issue of packing will have gone away.. However, I suspect that I will have this same psycho drama in my head again- it’ll just manifest in a different way-with another focus.


Fool’s Gold and Moderation

something that you think will be very pleasant or successful but is not

The above is one definition of Fool’s Gold.  In many cases, the above definition fits Moderation.  I can’t tell you how often I read blogs in which the writers start out wanting to quit drinking-and then switch to “moderation”.  You’ve seen those too, right?  So for instance, someone goes however long it is without alcohol.  A week, a month… Then, for whatever reason, they have a drink on a Saturday evening.  It’s nice.  But, that was that.  Except in the next day or so, there’s a thought that comes.  It says something along the lines of ” Wow! I was able to just have that one glass of wine Saturday night with dinner! I didn’t feel the need to swig the whole bottle.  And, I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night angsting over it! Maybe, I really don’t have a problem with alcohol! Maybe I’ll just “moderate” my drinking”  And so, it begins. Moderation. At first it works.  That one glass on Saturday evening.  But then! Wow! It’s a birthday party on Wednesday, after work!  Well…just one.  And that seems to work.  Still no middle of the night angsting.  No guilt, no hangover.  But then, almost from one day to the next, you’re starting to think about that “one glass of wine you’re going to have on Saturday night on Thursday..Looking forward to it-Then at some point-“well…I’ll just have a second.  After all, I’m drinking WAAAYYY less than I ever have.  And, I’m in control of it now.”

Yep you are-until you’re not.  Slowly, it all begins again-that whole horrible cycle.  You’re back to drinking too much again.

I’m not saying that no one can moderate.  They can. And, as I see it, there are a couple types of people that are moderate drinkers. One type is like my SO.  He can go weeks without any alcohol-or even thinking about it.  Then, like the other day, he asked me to stop on my way home and get him some beer-(I’m okay with this although I am no way suggesting this for anyone that has a problem having alcohol in the house. At this point, it’s a non-issue for me)  Anyway, he had one beer and that was that.  My guess is that those other 5 beers will sit in the fridge for a few months-unless we have someone over that wants one. My SO can also-very occasionally-have a Rum and Coke.  He can nurse this for hours! Adding more diet Coke and ice to that one shot of rum several times over.  It’s simply not an issue for him. These people are moderate drinkers.  They don’t “practice moderation”. That takes conscious effort.

Then there’s the “moderate” drinker who only has one drink every day.  They’re able to do that.  Get their “fix” and then go on for the rest of the evening.  I have an elderly family member like that.  BUT! She has got to have that one drink.  And, if you’ve been following the latest news, you know that those 7 alcoholic drinks a week are not healthy. Why would they be? It’s like taking a daily dose of poison. Eventually, it will all add up to a potentially early end or manifest in all kinds of health problems.

The other type of moderator is the one that has to think about it.  They put a lot of conscious energy and planning into moderating. Always justifying and juggling. (kind of like me and money-but that’s another blog!)   For instance, looking forward to that Saturday glass of wine.  Starting to plan and think about it earlier in the week.  Then at times, graduating to a couple of glasses over a week.  Or saying to themselves, “well, I didn’t have that glass on Wednesday-so I can have 2 on Saturday.” Maybe at times skipping a week all together because they went over the quota last week, until they can’t.  At some point Moderating becomes a LOT of work.  You may be imbibing less alcohol, but you are spending a hell a lot of your time and energy thinking about it-still enslaved to it.   Doesn’t that sound crazy!!!!!  Spending time on planning out how to imbibe a poison into our system??? Is this really moderating?  I’m not sure-because to my mind, that alcohol is  still playing a very big part in that person’s life.  It’s still a very controlling factor in their life and daily consciousness.

So, while moderation may “work” for some- if it’s being done as I’ve described in the last paragraph, it’s not really working.  There is no freedom in that.  It’s just another form of bondage. And, all of the mental energy that goes into “moderating” keeps one from focusing on other issues-such as why they need that alcohol in the first place.  Finding out what the core reasons are for the need to medicate and poison themselves. Discovering what it is they fear from the possibility of living a full, open life.

To be honest, what started this train of thought for me is that the other day, for the first time in a while, I had a craving.  It’s kind of hard to explain.  I was just driving along, in the middle of the day feeling good.  I’m in a good place right now and my SO and I are about to go to Mexico for a week-the place that I love the most in the world.  So, I was just driving along-not thinking about anything in particular and I got this sensation. A sensation in my mouth-maybe my throat. I recognized it as a feeling-or sensation-it really was an oral-mouth thing-anyway, I recognized it as an old familiar sensation connected with drinking.  How in the past, what I was feeling would have signaled going to buy a bottle of wine.  Again, it’s hard for me to put it into words-but I did think about it for a bit.  Then, later, I realized that several hours had gone by and I’d completely forgotten about it. But in thinking about it again, I realized that I was surprised when that old sensation just popped up seemingly out of nowhere. Nothing-other than feeling good- that I could think of that would have triggered it.  For a brief moment, the thought of moderation came to me.  But, I let it go.  Just like I let go of the craving.  Kind of like when you walk by a house and there’s a really good cooking smell coming from it.  “AHHH!” you might say! “Onions, or Bar-b-q or Indian food!” and you keep on walking. Going along your way.

With Love