I’ve been trying to write this post for about three weeks, but whispers of “restraint of pen and tongue” keep reigning me in. I’m not miserable and angry all the time – it’s just lately these bitter feelings have been sharply pointed at specific people and I am disappointed in myself for that. I am heart-sick and furious. But my sweets Nay-Nay and Heaven have been saying that these feelings are not who I am, that they are what I am feeling, and I have reason and rights to feel my feelings. I have been yelling quite a bit – the hot-blooded Italian in me emerges! But it is better to yell than to bottle this bitterness.. in the bottom.. of so many bottles.
So much has been going on! Beyond my derailment by the hystie and hormones and sadness, I am also experiencing something that I have heard other COOL KIDS talk about but have not experienced myself: sensory memory! I am in the midst of Anniversary Season. My birthday (41 years!) was a couple of weeks ago February 18th, Slushkitty Lives!’s anniversary (1 year!) is March 20th, and my sober anniversary (2 years… in CK anyway with a couple unfortunate drinking episodes!) is April 13th. When I think about how different things are now than they were two years ago and how different things were one year ago, I want to drink. Just kidding! Bad joke for this audience. Every single thing is different and I am so grateful for even having feelings, but some things simply hurt so much more. I don’t know where a sensible place to start is, so I’ll dive into the Winter of 2010-2011 when I lost my very last marble and found God. Kidding again! Well, kind of. I found Love.
Tragedy and horror aside, my last days of drinking were a knee-slapping, side-splitting laugh riot. After 20 years of shamefully and violently belly-flopping my way through life as an addict and alcoholic – friendships, boyfriends, roommates, restraining orders, therapists, medications, cities coast-to-coast, naps on busy sidewalks and on strangers’ lawns, jobs, psychiatric wards, etc… – it took only a few relatively minor events within the matter of only a couple of weeks, and a huge mean-spirited shove from my EX-boyfriend “The Prince of Hell”, that made me finally sell out and surrender my glamorous life in exchange for the boredom and gloom of COOL KIDS. I kid. That is what I thought of COOL KIDS then. Now I know it’s the best place on Earth. Kiss kiss and xoxoxo.
The Prince of Hell has starring roles in a couple of these events, so I need to set the stage. I want, and will attempt, to be a graceful, sober-hearted, and sympathetic member of COOL KIDS and try very hard to contain the blinding rage I still have for him. I’m going to stick to the facts. I’ll try to be fair – even monumental assholes deserve a fair shake. (Oh, lighten up).
I mentioned in earlier posts that after my cancer scare a few years ago, I started on-line dating (my face now red) and having no standards, I went out with every chump who believed the sugar-coated life I whipped up for my profile (ha ha! Kind of like the employer chumps who believed the sugar-coated “contract work” I whipped up to fill in the chunks of time on my resume when I was in reality unemployable). TPoH was the last chump that I went out with. So, a couple of glaring clues from Date One with TPoH that could have perhaps spared me some of his emotional brutality down the road completely escaped me. Clue #1: his profile picture was of him and his most recent girlfriend “Saint Kind and Compassionate” with half her face cropped out, presumably the good half. Hissss. He looked so very (and uncharacteristically) happy in that picture. He never looked happy with me and I was Hell-bent on changing that. Clue #2: he was texting St. KAC during our entire date and showing me pictures of her new hair cut, of her cat, of her feeding the hungry and healing the sick in Guatemala, etc…. Later, he would tell me that back in the mid-90s when I had my lips wrapped around a crack-pipe, she was washing the feet of Jesus Christ Himself. I’m exaggerating but only a little – he did compare us all the time and he wasn’t entirely wrong about the speed-freak v. saint comparison. Anyway, I told him he was being sort of rude texting her in front of me, to which he replied, “Jealousy is ugly”. I was ashamed of myself. I agreed – jealousy indeed is ugly. How could I criticize this forthright and honest man, this good man! Slushkitty is catty. He will help me change that. He will save me.
As if Date One wasn’t bad enough, how’s this: I had to skip Date Two we had planned for the following weekend because I was in a psychiatric ward. I couldn’t even call him to cancel because my phone was dead and the psych warden wouldn’t give me a phone charger because I might’ve hanged myself with the cord. I guess there’s a first for everything. I don’t remember why I told him the wicked embarrassing truth about why I couldn’t make the date. It may have been because I wanted to be honest with this forthright, honest, kind man – wanted to open up and surrender that last speck of self-esteem I had left to him. It may have just been because I couldn’t come up with a clever excuse. It may have been because it was a totally normal event in my life – I was due for an involuntary vacation anyway. It may have been because I thought if he could accept me for who I was — former speed freak, current mental patient, do not call me an alcoholic — then maybe this could have been the beginning of a beautiful and healthy relationship. He will save me.
On Date Two, he picked me up at an out-patient program that I had to go to as a condition of the psych hospital releasing me AMA (that’s “Against Medical Advice” to those of you not in-the-know). There are so many things wrong with that.
Date Three lasted about eight dreadful months and ended with me half-dead whimpering in a church basement on April 13th.
Now, here’s where the “restraint of pen and tongue” law confuses me. The point of describing this relationship is not to disparage TPoH (no! really!), but to illustrate what a sick cookie I was, to illustrate how different things are now, to illustrate that the program works. But I am seeing very little improvement in this area so I am contradicting myself!!! I have dipped my toe in the pool of love twice in sobriety and both times pool sharks chewed my foot off. You know the pool sharks, right? They’re like dented cans. The funniest thing I ever heard at a COOL KIDS meeting was advice someone was given on dating other COOL KIDS. The advice was “don’t shop in the dented can aisle”. That slays me! But despite myself, I fall in love with dented cans allllll the time still. Read “Imaginary Boyfriends” – not much has changed. You can read about the first relationship at the very beginning of Slushkitty – my dear CM. The other relationship was with “BB24” but I am being reigned in by the “restraint of pen and tongue” law again, so I’ll stop before I start. But actually, now that I think about it, there’s a lot of improvement. Neither lasted anywhere near eight months.
So, the relationship part of Anniversary Season has me in a bad mood. I started making a whole-hearted effort on my 4th Step several months ago – I dragged my heels and then I unexpectedly got swept away by my gut-wrenching (literally and emotionally) adventures in Hysterectomyland and put it aside. With the relationship season memories, I am reminded of being heart-burned by guys who were at “best” abusive to me, and at least not available to me in the way I need(ed). I am not sad anymore that things didn’t work out, but I am being relentless in beating the shit out of myself for, in sobriety, still not being able to see what was happening in front of me, settling for so much less than I deserve/want/need/blah/blah/blah. With the 4th Step stuff, I dragged up some recent and ancient and always agonizing relationship memories and heartaches, and I find myself sponsor-less and naked from the ankles down (gasp! So racy!) and the pool sharks are circling.
But alas! If I start getting down about my (lack of) romantical love and my (not) doing 4th Step work, I need to remember that I certainly do not have a lack of Love in my life. I know this may sound trite, but even though I feel like I am re-living all these rotten relationships, I am NOT. I’m right here and am right where I am supposed to be (I both hate and love when the clichés are appropriate). I can think of at least seven people that not only did not back away from me slowly when I was yelling but circled around me closer. I’ve been full of frustration and hatred for weeks and finally detonated. I know my mostest and closest know how scared I am, but maybe they don’t know how scared I was thinking that if they knew the level of bitterness I harbor, they wouldn’t like me anymore. When I was drinking, I would harbor resentments, for sure. But when I was drinking and would detonate (especially towards the end of my drinking career – this time of year two years ago), I certainly most assuredly would lose “friends”. Now my Friends with a capital F invite me over to watch “Fashion Police” and call and text and IM and cheer me up… because they like me!!! Imagine that! And I like them! I’d go so far as to say we love each-other and we want to see all of us happy! I didn’t have anything like this this time of year two years ago. It’s anniversary time! Happy Anniversary indeed!