Screening into the Void… (what?)

I’ve been doing ok this week. I did yoga. Spent some time with the family yesterday doing sciency things. Then I had 2.5 glasses of wine (which for me is sadly a huge improvement). I had my last art class which gave me some great ideas for projects to work on. I have a sweater pattern I am excited to knit. I have about 3 other yarn projects waiting for me as well as several books I really want to read. I have no lack of things to do…

So WHY do I choose to sit outside chainsmoking and refreshing the fuck out of Facebook and Instagram? There is NOTHING interesting there. NOTHING. And, much like scarfing down an entire bag of chips, it feels good for a bit, then you feel sick and very guilty. And also stupid. Same shit.

Ironically, I was just scrolling through Instagram (at work) and saw a book I’d like to read. And I got that feeling of excitement I get when I see a book that interests me. And then I remember how much time I waste.

I’ve been listening to the Russel Brand book, Recovery – Freedom From Our Addictions. I think he is highly intelligent and entertaining but I can only take him in small doses because he is… A LOT. I saved the following quote the other day which aligns with today’s complaint.

“How much time have have I given over to watching TV or staring out of windows, or pursuing pointless relationships, or looking at my twitter mentions. Those hours all add up and are sadly deducted from the overall life total. They are not a break from life, these ‘harmless’ distractions. They are life. They are life and they are death.”

I would like to have that as the background of my phone. Actually… that is a do-able thing. The screen time counter on my phone is terrifying to look at. Granted I listen to a lot of podcasts, books, and music while I’m working on projects… and that counts right? I have no idea. But the fact is, a good amount of my time is spent WASTED looking at other people’s boring shit on Facebook. I’ve taken breaks from Facebook successfully and went to Instagram instead. I find it to be less harmful and time consuming and actually a little bit motivating and inspiring.

Anyway… as HORRIFYING as it is to share this, I am posting screen shots below of my usage. Holy shit. I am mortified. My phone has become a full time job. I’m wondering if it will be offering benefits.

Clearly my cute theory about podcasts, audiobooks, and music does not apply here. This is mostly stupid, useless Facebook.

So, needless to say, I will be keeping an eye on this as I continue on my peregrination to better well-being.

One Healthy Thing

I feel like part of the reason I have not been successful (in getting healthier) in a long time is that a.) I have not been honest about what my real problems are and b.) I try to do too much at once. Historically I have tried to adopt an entirely new personality overnight.

Regarding being honest – I would try to eat salads and go to the gym but then come home and have a half a bottle of wine and smoke half a pack of cigarettes. I don’t even think I saw the disconnect. I see it now. I’m older and the universe is in my ear telling me it’s later than I think. I believe she is trying to say that I am not 25 anymore.

So I’m trying something different. And I’m in this – doing it real time so it might fail or it might work. We’ll see. I am basing this on book’s like Annie Grace’s The Naked Mind and Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. Grace’s idea about taking small steps whether or not we are ready and Gilbert’s plea to show up and be open to the magic that life gives you.

I’m making a small commitment to do ONE healthy thing for the rest of this week. This is a small, reachable goal. For instance, yesterday I did yoga for the first time in ages. I felt good and am sore today. Today, I am going to take my dog for a nice long walk in the park because it is beautiful out. (He’s doing well at the moment!) I believe that if we allow ourselves to be successful, we are more motivated to continue seeking success.

I’m hoping that doing yoga or taking a walk or going to bed early will inspire me to have a salad instead of French fries at dinner or to watch the wine so I can have a good rest.

Thoughts?

There must be some kind of way out of here…

I need to start writing here as a way of documenting whatever the hell this is… either a path to better health or a slow descent into complete atrophy. Small steps though. I think I am one of those people who thinks that everything will change overnight. I logically know this to not be true but I am still bafflingly disappointed when I haven’t lost 15 lbs after a half hour of exercise or eating a salad.

What is that? Like – why am I like this?

I suppose I’m in this situation because of my need for instant gratification. I am overweight. I drink too much. I smoke cigarettes. I am uncomfortable, always tired, depressed, and full of guilt. It is a pretty tight operation if you think about it. The perfect combination and sequence to keep this thing running strong.

I should probably go back to therapy. But I arrogantly feel like I have been there and done that and I know myself really well. I know what the problems are. I am insightful. I majored in Psychology and Counseling in under- and post-grad. I have a good handle on why I am like this. My problem is finding the will power and discipline to turn it around.

I suppose I’ll go into my history at some point but the nutshell version is that I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety almost my whole life. A chemical thing. I found cigarettes in my teens, alcohol and food in my 20s, and have been treating myself like a spoiled toddler ever since. I have gone through spurts of exercise. I even did CrossFit for a year. I looked great. I felt great. I was NOT into the weird “cultiness” of it though. Yet, I plan my social life around recreational eating and drinking. (Talk about worshipping false idols.)

It’s gotten pretty bad in the past few years. I’m in my 40s now so I’m probably seeing the consequences on my face and body more. I can’t bounce back as quickly so I feel like shit pretty much all the time. I come home late, so I order fries from the diner to eat. I feel like crap in the morning so I grab a giant bagel. (Yes, clearly I’m in NJ.)

I have been a donor to Weight Watchers, Noom, various online eating and exercise plans and here I am gulleting two bags of M&Ms at 1am. Wonder why the scale keeps going up? Also, wine is like 150 calories a glass or something. (More like 200+ with the quantities I pour.) So, if I have 3 glasses of wine in a night… when I’m being conservative… I’m ingesting 450-600 empty ass calories.

Anyway… I am trying so hard to just get off the fucking ground here. I want to be healthier. I want to feel better. I want to have a sense of control back in my life.

So here we go. Again.

I am a failure

I failed. I failed two nights in a row. I fail more than I succeed. I’ve not drank probably a total of maybe 10 days this year. That’s being liberal.

I am in a state today. I am angry and disappointed in myself but that is generally my default. I”m thinking about changing the tone of this blog because I’m just going to keep fucking up. So here is the peregrination of a woman who just slowly destroys herself and drives herself deeper into depression. And she complains about it and on and on it goes. Sounds like a great read.

The past week has sucked. I thought Pup was going to die on Thursday. I was so sure of it that I basically snuggled him and sobbed my goodbyes. Then I had a gig. And remember I wasn’t supposed to drink? Well. Surprise! That didn’t work out.

I am emotionally exhausted. And my job is crazy. I’m studying for a licensing exam and we are going through a merger that I will be a critical part of so my stress level and workload have been compounded with that. And I had a rehearsal and two gigs this week. As well as my art class. I’m burned out. I’m sad.

I’m taking a mental health and self care day tomorrow to mentally prepare for the coming weeks with work. I’ve informed some of my best friends who have really come through with support. I have a good network.

But I still cannot commit to not drinking. I can’t do it.

Half life.

I did not drink at rehearsal last night which is a big thing for me. I did, however go out afterwards to a jam and stayed out too late. It’s a beautiful day and I’m sitting inside feeling grumpy. Thank goodness I can work from home. But this is not sustainable. It has somehow been livable for the past 15 years but being in a constant state of recovery is exhausting.

I’m still listening to Clare Pooley’s The Sober Diaries. I had stopped for a few days. (Imagine that?) It’s incredible how much I identify with this woman. Her experiment was to go 100 days. 100 days. I couldn’t do 3. But I feel like that’s how I have to do it. Maybe start out committing to a full week of no excuses not drinking and seeing how far I can take that? I don’t know.

I’m also very depressed. My dog’s illness is breaking my heart. I am disappointed in myself for failing so hard and so early. I have no energy or motivation. I’ve been eating like a horse. I have my art class tonight, which I usually enjoy but I want to just go to bed. It’s 5pm.

Two steps forward… Three steps back

Wow. I lasted what – 2 days? 2. I can’t say I am surprised. I CAN say though that last night, I didn’t even want a glass of wine and had one anyway. What is that?

It’s funny because I went through all of the old tropes with myself too. “Well, maybe I’ll just not drink alone at home anymore.” Or “you deserve it because this is a stressful time.” Or “three drinks maximum if I’m out!” I know these. You know these. They’re meaningless. My dream would absolutely be to just drink when I have a fun social gathering. To get a little warm and fuzzy. To leave before I’m rambling at some poor, patient soul for hours. To do what normal people do. And I don’t know how many times I’m going to have to teach myself that I am not normal people. It’s a lesson I refuse to learn.

I don’t even know what to say. There’s nothing to say really. I’m not going to beat myself up. I’m going to try not to slide up to my shoulders in this. I am frustrated. It’s not fair. (Wahhhhhhh.) But it fucking isn’t.

Anyway – moving forward. I have a very busy week ahead. Rehearsals, a show, my art class, and more vet appointments with the Pup. I’ve also enrolled in an online class taught by one of my favorite authors/ artists. I’m trying really hard to keep focused on the things that I’m doing. And not to pour alcohol all over them.