Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Contentious Relationship.

Over the last few months, there has been a complete breakdown of communication. I've been bitter and angry. Spiteful. Hurt. I've almost walked away several times. I've battled, yelled, pleaded and tried total rationalization with little success. It's been up and down to the point that I've become dizzy. I've cried in anger and quickly retreated by begging for forgiveness. Wrote letters, painted pictures and played sappy songs trying to find some neutral ground. Indifference. Love. Indifference revisited.

At this point in my life, the aforementioned is my relationship with myself as a sober woman. After eight years, I've suddenly became tired of the battle between my past and present selves. Two different ways of living held together by the thread of sobriety. And let me tell you, that thread is easily frayed when two proverbial alpha egos are furiously pulling from opposite directions.

I'm unemployed, back in my hometown (I've mentioned this several times, I know) and immersed in a life that I've been running to and away from for the better part of my life. When I became sober, instead of truly living within my surroundings, I checked out. I literally put a gate up to keep out elements of my past that I didn't want near me. I didn't let go, I just shut everything out. Returning home, all of those elements of my life that I didn't let go were all standing at the gate upon my arrival. Tempting my fate. I thought I was prepared. I believed I wore the big "S" cape. I truly believed I could surround myself with people who are equally addicted and stay in sober thinking. That I could maintain between my desire to be the person in my tulmutuous past (and actually reliving parallels of it) and the person I had become sober. Somehow, in the excitement of barreling through the gate, I completely forgot that I myself am an addict.

What's really happened is that I've started testing my boundaries with my own addiction and the behaviours that ensue. I've enabled. I've deprecated my sobriety to the point that I thought I may just lose it. I have allowed my past self to beat the crap out of me on more than one occasion. And I've somehow managed to completely romanticize my past behaviour by choosing to relive it. Not good.

The reality is that there is no relationship between drunk and sober. I was drunk and I am now sober. Two proverbial selves do not exist. I've conjured up the relationship as a way to avoid the inevitable. In not letting go, I have found little peace in either sober or drunkeness.

Over the last days, I've made a decision. I choose sober me. I gave it up. I let it go. I am deciding that simply being sober, in thinking and behaviour, is more important to me than trying to live with someone who doesn't exist.

And that means letting go of all of it, not just the easy parts (a great trait of mine...selective release). I've canceled. I've called. I've written off people that I care about because of their own addictions. I've cried profusely. Letting go really really hurts. But, what lies ahead can only be amazing. This much I now know.

12 comments:

Syd said...

Awesome post. I'm glad that you chose the sober you. It sounds as if you are doing what you need to do to stay that way. If I can stay in the present, then I don't beat myself up nearly as bad as when I go back and dwell in the past.

Anonymous said...

You go girl!

West Texas Insomniac said...

I'm relieved. You've become quite an inspiration. I moved away from my hometown for 24 years, coming back in my 40's only to care for an aging parent. When I started running into old friends, it was like a bad flashback. Their faces and bodies had aged, but they were still involved in the kind of behavior that made me get out in the 80's. I started finding out how many had died or were in prison because of drug offenses or multiple DWI's.

I've cried and prayed with their families, but driving away I always think, "There for the grace of God, go I". It was all too much. Too painful. I finally had to divorce myself from it or it would consume me. Too much loss. Too much madness. Too many bad memories that I'd already put away in their rightful place, In my past.

I know a lot of people with sobriety in the balance right now because of other hardships, mostly financial. It would break my heart to see a single one start over at Day One.

Alex said...

I wanted to leave an encouraging word. Due to my disabilities, typing is difficult, so just a quick note. My former room-mate/girlfriend was an ICU nurse and had a substance abuse problem (not unheard of in this high stress job with easy access). I was unaware of it until she lost her job and was sent to rehab. I learned a lot and saw what she went through to get and stay clean, and I just had to write and say that it is possible. She moved back to her home state with family near and in time regained credentials and is now working again to help others - and staying sober. It is possible and from what I read you will also succeed. My regards, Alex at http://disabilityhelper.org

Robert Medak said...

We all have things from our past that haunt us if we let them. letting go is hard, but it has to be done.

I am glad you've chosen the sober you. Keep going!

George Polley said...

Hey, sister, you made a good decision. Stay the course, remember the past and let it and the unhealthy people who are a part of it go if they don't want to join the healthy you, and continue to water the seeds of the real you, the healthy you. These are tough times we're living in. The sober you knows what to do, where to find healthy help, how to find solutions, and how to make it each day. The addicted you (like the addicted me) is plain crazy, confused, and all the other things you and I know only too well. Stay the course. Listen to your deepest self and take good care of her, because she's worth it. I've been doing it for over 30 years, it has been and still is worth it, and I thank God as I understand Him or Her for it every day.

Blessings on you, sister. Smiling on you from here in Sapporo, Japan,

George Polley

Eli said...

I really needed to read this post today. Thanks so much! I've been having this battle with my addicted self for the last few weeks. It's brutal, no? Much of what you say about testing boundaries and enabling your addict is familiar. I think I'm in a similar process of actually having to let go and cut ties with parts of me that are hard to give up. It's painful. But I like: "I choose sober me." Likewise.

Anonymous said...

Awesome. Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

I am stunned. The reading is probably too fresh to even respond properly, but I'll do so anyway. I am stunned because I googled 'sobriety', chose this link, and read this post as opposed to the first one. I am stunned because this is exactly the battle I have been waging for years and I didn't know there were others that have/were waging it also. I have had a continuous internal war between the 'me' of my past and the 'me' of my present. I live away from my hometown where most of the turmoil mixed in with a few 'recreational' drugs and a lot of alcohol lies...however within recent years I've been in contact with people I grew up with and love, and made more frequent trips to my hometown...Social networking sites such as Facebook make it oh, so easy to stay in contact or involved.

It isn't even that any of them in particular are begging or even asking me to go here and do this or that....it's in the language, it's in the subject matter, etc...they view me as the person, the wild partier, that I once was, instead of who I'm so desperately trying to remain...

They may not know of my struggle but I do. I feel like two seperate people and I don't know which one is my 'true' self. Is this life I've built for myself just a facade? I enter into the same pattern of talking, and subsequently thinking when I let myself enter into discussions with them...or physically go somewhere with them....

How does it end? How does it go away? How did I even get to this blog???

Anonymous said...

Being rather new to sobriety, I realise I am now finally me. For the first time. You're right; there is absolutely no relation between 'drunk me' and 'sober me'. Thank god! And it is a strange and difficult thing to get to know myself at 34. And also completely amazing.

Thanks for this post. It resonates within my soul.

Raechelle said...

Wow-awesome post...but scary. I've been on and off the wagon for 15 years-and have recently been pulled out of the closet after 4 years of hiding it from my husband (and everyone else)-so am going to my first AA meeting tonight. This is day 3 of the new me. Thank you for sharing your experiences-I look forward to reading much more!

Dominiki123@gmail.com said...

Thank you for your post. It was something that I needed to read right now at this moment and I'm happy that you chose the sober you.

It gave me hope to see that by you choosing the sober you could give you nothing but positive results.