It’s a struggle to stay truly present.
This phase of my life, back in the NW, is about peeling back some real old layers. It’s uncomfortable, irritating and hard. I’m uncomfortable in my skin. Restless like mad. You may not see it on the outside if you know or talk to me but it’s there.
This is what I’m doing right now. Working HARD to get a good grip back on being present. It seems like it should be easy but I’m finding I have to work hard at it. Just to be right here now. In a place where I can smell things again, ride out the grief, let go of time, calm the desire to hurry up and do things now now now. I want to do anything to escape this uncomfortable bad sad. And I’ve used two things, in the last decade which has held so much change, to fill the void.
Food and wine. Food has been a comfort for most all my life. It’s pretty common for most people I think. Taste is pleasure. Quick and easy. Not so easy to get off my ass.
But the wine didn’t start until 2004. Or I should say seeking alcohol to soothe myself didn’t become my thing until that time. Crazy to me because I had just spent over two decades in bars, in bands and in the music industry. Any one of those could have killed someone (and has) or gotten them a big drinking habit but I NEVER EVER sought alcohol when I was sad or beaten down. NEVER.
Here’s what I have sussed out about why I think it caught me. One, it came into fashion/popularity. Two, I love the taste of it. Specifically a great Sauvignon Blanc hopefully from New Zealand. I’m very specific. Three, it was the first time in my life that I had completely lost my sense of self and my true North. I had no band, was making no music, I had been in a slew of self esteem eroding relationships, I wasn’t near having a family which I’ve always wanted, was pretty broke, owned nothing and was about 38yrs old. It was the first time I’ve ever fallen flat on my face. It is the most lost I’ve ever felt in my life.
During this time, white wine, my evil mistress, gave me the instant relief/summer fun feeling I deeply craved. She also bit back like a real bitch in the morning. Anxiety, panic and an almost agoraphobic feeling started to be something I had to manage to keep going.
Even though I felt like I was mentally stuck in a ditch I plowed on like I do. I surprisingly got quite a bit done. During this time I took charge and joined the corporate world (good for money; not so good for my sense of self) , got married, made another record, performed, had a baby, got myself recruited to Target.com and moved to Minneapolis.
We moved cause I needed to get out of the NW and heal. All my history in the NW felt more like a burden than a gift. I felt like most people I talked to were talking about me in the past. I wasn’t dead yet!!! I knew I needed get out and go where I could be brand new. Minneapolis took us in and was a great cocoon in which I could start to un crust.
Wine came with me but I began to really see and get worn out by my patterns. I started to confront them but she never went all the way away. Ready to take me somewhere better, at least for the moment.
I want to note here my personal drinking pattern. Just for FYI only. I think folks still think the pattern of someone who drinks all day, every day as the problem state. There is a whole world of bad drinking habits that is real but not the devastating stories you may here in AA. They are slow, steady, corrosive patterns. Lot’s of mom’s I believe know what I’m talking about. I can put back a bottle of wine no problem. I’m good to about 1.5 bottles then I’m done and I would stop. I would not drink during the week mostly with an acute knowledge that two days in a row of even two glasses of wine would sink me into a deep depression for about 4 days. I’m glad I’ve always paid attention to what is happening to me and examining the affects even though it never got me to stop. Some times I would agree to go to Happy Hours because I was drifting, feeling like a spectator. But truthfully I was so bored and lonely even with real nice people. Lost and bored. Then occasionally I would go on a bender of a bottle of wine a day for about 5 days. Usually on vacation or in-between jobs. Luckily I could feel my intuition/body telling me that’s enough and I’d be done but it’d still take about a week to feel not terrified, depressed or off kilter.
Once my mom died that was when things changed. There is no escape that can really help with that kind of grief. I also felt that I had a choice of which direction I could go. This was my moment to choose are you going down or can you break through this wall to be the person you are meant to be.
I’m choosing the latter. Did I say that right? I can never remember if latter means the most recent statement. Any way, I’m choosing to heal! I’m working hard. I’m uncomfortable. I am disappointed in my weight gain. I want out of my skin. I’m restless.
BUT to end on a good note. Like most of my songs funny enough. I am full of new ideas. I have great support. I thank every single person who has helped (some of you probably have no idea). I am determined to find my vision (and it’s coming clear to me!!). I’m ready to shed the protective layers (thank you for the protection but you can go now). I’m going to find and keep my personal vision. Wake up. Be present and make it through to the other side into my next phase of life.
From the words of my mother who sent me a message through a close psychic friend.
Carrie – LIVE LIFE.
Yes ma’am. Will do.