Joyless, “Weight of Carelessness”

Monday, Jan 26, 2015

Monday morning: I didn’t know what to expect last night. I knew it was my last night of total freedom, as my grandmother returns today. I knew there’d be some temptation.

I didn’t fight the media fight; instead I cleaned the house a bit and set things back to the “grandma” way of order. With that small amount of work done, I could enjoy my last few hours alone.

I surfed the television channels more than I watched any. It was boring and my mind wandered but I knew if I even touched the computer, I’d end up playing video games… and I can almost bet that would’ve led to playing them all morning, if not all day today.

I guess I made a compromise for one addiction over another, but it seemed to have been enough of a concession to make the greater urge recede. I’m pleased, too, that the television was lacking in entertainment last night; it’s nice to be able to have some negative feelings to associate with it. I’ll be able to use those to keep putting distance between us.

Yes, boring television drives me to eat and eat and I did this, too.

Some drunk ordered a pizza for delivery but couldn’t remain conscious enough to receive it; no one else wanted to take it home, so I did. A large pizza (16”), a deluxe, though they are also known as “supremes” in other lands (it’s the one with all the toppings) all to myself! I’ve become a master at reheating pizza and I enjoyed a “tasteful” half.

About two hours later (there was probably some dozing involved), I decided to eat the rest of the pizza. Eating an entire large pizza (and a deluxe at that) is not something that I’ve been able to do before, but last night was the night I crossed that line… I wasn’t awake much longer after that and needless to say, my sleep was restless, heavy, and I feel terrible this morning.

“One step forward, two steps back” is the motto for today. I don’t feel like playing video games, although I don’t feel like doing much of anything until my stomach rights itself. I staved off the need to drink one of the generic energy supplements yesterday and today I’m doing without the vitamins. Full belly aside, I feel sluggish and as though I can’t focus on anything.

It may be possible that my lack of focus is something I’ll have to live with forever, since that’s the part of my brain that’s been affected the most.

I feel nauseous; there are the joint-and-hip pains I have… I guess I can rule out the supplements as causes for this. It is going to be a long day, probably the first of actual recovery if I can keep myself on track. There’s a nap in my future, I’m sure.

A nice, long chat with an old friend did help distract me from the early-morning woes, I’m hoping that uplifted feeling can carry me on and keep me distracted.

I have all day to write. That’s a pleasant feeling, too; especially if I stick with it… the problem of focus is making it difficult to hold onto that creative spark, but I need the habit more than I need something super-brilliant.

Today’s thought for strength is that I’m not alone. My family, my friends – they are with me and I’m sure they want me to be strong. What’s more, there are millions of others going through the same things and I can find their thoughts on the subject, too.

Monday afternoon: The first headache is here. I made to take a nice nap in the early afternoon, but the failure of that has made me frustrated. There’s chainsaws at work outside, they’ve been there all day; they don’t seem to be making enough progress fast enough, so I can expect them to return tomorrow…

And I have to admit to this: I drank last night. And not just “a little” or low-proof sample bottles, but a 375ml pint of 91.1 proof (45.5%) cinnamon-infused whiskey, relatively new to the store. I got ahold of this at work – it was a gift, waiting for me in the back-freezer when I arrived. My heart’s-in-the-right-place, alcoholic work-buddy was the culprit.

I noted this, too – when I received all that other liquor the week before, it was easy enough to throw it away because I also don’t respect the person that gave it to me. It wasn’t really a “gift” then, more that I was in the right place at the right time. There was no reason to attach any sentimentality to it. So, I was able to throw it away.

Yesterday, with my friend, a man I do respect, I found that the thought didn’t even enter my mind. You can guess what thought did

Despite all my “puffing up” before my shift, my proud triumphs and my joys at bringing these internal changes, I proved how weak I still am. I told myself I would wait to drink the pint when I got home, it would make all the housework more fun!

With work in the way, that lasted until about 4:26pm (the shift started at 3pm). I had my first cold gulp in the backroom. Somehow, I managed to down a second, smaller shot as a chaser and I started feeling pretty good. Business progressed until I could do another one (5:30-something pm) and then time started to fly by until the night was over, where I had only a little of the pint left at closing time.

The part that I can’t believe is that I drank all of that liquor and my behavior didn’t seem to change at all. At least not enough that my companions knew I was drinking. Did they? It didn’t come up. I can believe I gave in to the temptation.

What’s the matter with me?! I mean, I know. I talked about it yesterday – my brain is desperate. I’m sure even typing out that stuff added to my weakness because it returned the idea to the fore of my brain instead of lost in the past where it belonged. And there’s that pesky problem of “coincidence” and conviction again. I was so sure I had it beat and then wham! a lovely test I can fail to prove otherwise.

I have to forget about this event. It’s disappointing, really frustrating, and both those things will only lead to further weakness, especially when compounded with the day’s woes as well. It is no secret that I’m trying to change; I guess I have to be more vocal about it, so even well-meaning friends won’t tempt me.

As an alcoholic, too, he knew how handy a pint would be. He just didn’t think twice when he gave it to me; ‘course he probably didn’t expect me to drink most of it at work, either. I still can’t believe that I drank most of it. Shouldn’t I have died? Or at least acted differently?

Now, I can’t speak for how I acted since I have this booze veil over the whole day. I can’t remember most of the day, really, although I’m trying not to focus on it too much. My perspective is colored in this “tox-screen,” I may “remember” that I behaved, but I’ll never know if I did or didn’t. I can’t get a straight answer out of the guys I worked with, either; they’re both alcoholics, a hangover might’ve just as easily discolored their view, too.

Somehow, I didn’t smoke a cigarette. I didn’t buy any. I didn’t die or suffer a burn or injure myself or others and I picked up the minute messes around the house. I had a productive day, outside of completely destroying my good works and breaking a few social laws. That certainly doesn’t make it right.

I can’t let this completely ruin me. I didn’t smoke a cigarette. I can’t say “I’m cured!” yet; it may only mean that my “drug of choice” has gone from nicotine to alcohol. Though, I can say with total and complete honesty that neither of those things are the drug of choice; they’ve just been abused so much that they have a firm foothold in the brain.

Today, I’ve done well. I haven’t had any extra caffeine and the headache is in full swing. I watched about an hour’s worth of “educational programming,” I haven’t played a video game or had a cigarette. Extra noise, the presence of another body in the house, my own body missing all of its favorite things – these things have made today painful, both in mood and in form.

It isn’t the end of the world. I even wrote today! On a day off! Something extraordinary! The headache and disappointment have likely been heavily contributors to the unfocused feeling, maybe also the total lack of supplements. As much as I don’t want to admit it, I should just go to bed. It is now 9:40pm and with myself in such a state, I won’t read. I may try, but the headache will be an obstacle and I’ll make any excuse to just turn on the television and watch cartoons instead.

Yours,

Justin Lehman

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