The Change that No One Wants but Everyone Needs

So I am back in school. This has been my one main goal for so many years. You would think I would be in heaven: that every morning, I would toddle off to class on my tip toes, singing Billy Joel, a cup of joe in the one hand and a lunch pail in the other.

Addiction has rocked my life, from my birth to this very day. I see myself traveling a narrow winding path, one that was first shaped by other people’s demons, and then eventually created by my own frothing monsters.

I wish I could have held onto my fun, gypsy-like employment, and conquered my alcoholism at the same time. Since it was during my time as a carriage driver that I became so entwined with the sweet comfort of evening libations, it was impossible for me to unwind myself from that deeply engulfed habit… without some serious help anyway.

So my serious help… I ran away (again) to the suburbs. Definitely the last place that I thought I would end up. I should stop for a minute, before I get into the reality of my now, and talk a bit about what had lead up to this.

I had run away from the very man that I have recently ran back to. I found myself in the comfort of many loving supportive friends. I felt empowered and loved. My boss took extra care of me, and did everything he could to show his support for me. I spent nights giggling and smiling with my girls, and I felt alive. I attended writing groups during the day, and I felt in touch with myself creatively. I loved life, spent time with whoever I wanted, and I was free.

Within a month I had found myself a place in one of the hippest neighborhoods in the city. I could barely afford it, an old flop-house style room, with three walls and a divider, in an ancient brownstone on the brink of redevelopment, on a tiny one way street. It had a single bed, a little bedside table, a heater, and a decent leather love seat. Oh, and don’t let me forget, an awesome view of the alleyway, complete with garbage receptacles, urinating bums, and rats. The rent included all utilities, coffee and oatmeal, laundry, and zero privacy. It was two blocks from where I worked, around the corner from a dozen bars, and a ten minute walk from the lakefront.

I had a wonderful time. I ran wild, day and night. I worked everyday, or rarely, and no one ever bothered me about it either way. I drank whenever I wanted. I spent days or nights where I pleased. I shopped at the local healthy grocery store, which was over-priced, but full of awesome goodies that made me very happy. The local bartender knew my name and I received many more free rounds than I remember. I made lots of acquaintances and had more fun than is probably legal.

With no one to go home to, I became more and more devoted to work. I started having weird dreams. My life fell out of balance. Things about my existence started to really bother me, and suddenly I found myself a hypocrite. Things were not any better than they had been anywhere else. Attachment to my ego had landed me where I was. I was clinging to the lifestyle at that point. Clinging to anything isn’t healthy, we all know.

So I examined myself, and I finally realized: the major issue that I have is that I am an alcoholic. It was part of the way I was living, so the whole routine had to change. I burned some bridges while I was still standing on them, but I needed to salvage my sanity and think about other things later. I learned, from a stint in the mental ward, that the contemplation of suicide is nothing but your mind telling you that things absolutely must change.

So here I am. A few months later. A whole change of scene. My habits waiver, but I am strengthening. Besides this, many goals have been achieved. I am slowly weaning myself from that great, brain cell killing, escape. It is so apparent why I drink, when I do not drink. Monsters, memories, and regrets crash at me, and drive me toward that edge, where I am unsure of what to do. I lay down in those times, and pray. I guess now I am clinging to God, because I have nothing else to hold onto.

My goals:

  1. Drink only on Friday and Saturday nights. (This is a big accomplishment for me.)
  2. Stay in school and finish this program.
  3. Write daily.
  4. Find positive things in my life and write about them on here.

That’s it for now. I am soon off to my not-glamorous boring job as a cashier in a retail big-box store. I have got to change the way I garner fulfillment in my life. But, I can do it one small step at a time, and I can start with my health. My habits have to be fixed.