Whenever I try to get clean/sober from all my addictions, I become significantly more productive. Especially around the house and in terms of scheduling appointments and just overall managing my life. All of a sudden, I become really aware of how messy and out of order everything is and am subsequently driven by my racing thoughts and heart (hip hip hooray anxiety!) to clean, get organized, and get my external life in order. Internally, I feel more motivated (except for the times when I’m feeling less motivated, of course, which correspond with my phases of depression) and also much more unsettled. My internal self is less at ease and care-free, so I focus my energy on trying to control my surroundings and make them appear/feel less chaotic. I am driven partially by berating myself for letting everything go and ‘wasting’ so much of my time, life, etc., being numb and oblivious to everything, which is an unhealthy component I need to keep in check.
So, sobriety brings these pros and cons…The cons being that I can’t remain focused on one task without thinking about the trillion-and-one other things I need to do, leaving me consequently feeling very, very disquieted. It goes something like this: I start organizing clutter and throwing out papers, magazines, etc. that have accumulated in every room, on every table, in every corner of this house. Invariably, I end up coming across statements, bills, ripped-out magazine articles, and crumpled up, coffee-stained, quarter-completed old to-do lists, driving my nervous energy through the roof. Most frequently, I will find post-it notes of songs to download, books to read, or appointments to schedule, so nothing to warrant the beginnings of an anxiety attack. To drive my heart-rate back to a normal range (and deescalate enough to avoid sharing with Kristen I think I’m having a heart attack), I scurry back to my NEW and IMPROVED to-do list – the GRAND, MASTER list where I will neatly and comprehensively compile my responsibilities onto a single sheet of paper. While scribbling whatever reminder I was compelled to add, I PROMISE myself that from here on out, I will maintain this level of organization. Yeah. Right.
Without fail, I will stay relatively on-track for a few days (if I’m doing particularly well), and then, rather quickly, become overwhelmed and swan dive back into an old, familiar pool of disarray. Unfortunately, or probably fortunately, I’m not actually comfortable in this state either (Jesus, what state am I comfortable in? I used to toy with idea of hopping into my car without any advance notice and driving to California because I was convinced it was there that I would achieve the relaxed balance between accomplishing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING and operating like Energizer Bunny Sonja. In my fantasy, something about eternal sunshine and calming ocean waves would lull me into the more mellow, yet still productive version of myself I was seeking.) So, here I am, yet again desperately striving toward moderation (as in most aspects of my life). The journey has been exhausting, so I sure hope the destination is worth it (yeah, yeah, the journey IS the destination or whatever that motivational quote is, yeefreakingha).
I am fully aware of my penchant for becoming overcome by the endless pressures of being an accountable, contributing adult member of society, resulting in a semi-conscious (occasionally fully conscious, occasionally subconscious) decision to just say, “F it,” and cease trying. Accompanying this decision to ‘let go’ or ‘give up’ is often a slip, relapse, whatever terminology you are happiest using. All-or-nothing. A release of pent-up anxiety to satisfy my id and assuage a nagging superego that (when sober) will not leave me the fuck alone. Always, always, always leading back to the same repetitious cycle of regret, recommitment to sobriety and return of restless anxiety. I’m looking to break the cycle. Find different ways to release. Like writing this blog. I already feel calmer than I did when I sat down with images of all the ‘chores’ I have to do swirling around in my head. And now, I have to take a deep breath and tackle one thing at a time. Like vacuuming. Which I’ve been procrastinating for way too long.
Another thought I keep having that will surely be revisited in future postings:
If you ever want to feel like you have more time in your life, develop an addiction and then recover from it. Ok, so maybe that’s not the best advice I’ve ever given…but the point is, you end up having a seemingly disproportionate amount of time when you put down your substance(s)/activity of choice.
Also, I need to come up with a different plan (location?) for writing this blog because whenever Kristen catches wind I’m posting something, she will periodically (every 5 minutes or so) ask me what the ETA of my entry is…It doesn’t do wonders for my already-impaired concentration, so I kind of grunt or give her an irritated look, or if particularly engrossed in thought, yell, SSTTOOOPPP!)