Hiding in plain sight (personal thoughts)

That’s the current question: “Where am I to go now that I’ve gone too far?”

Still pondering that one.

I realize I spend too much time thinking and not enough actually engaging in action. That’s the sticking point at present. It’s acknowledged.

What can I say today? On a countdown to the end of next month when I can finally leave this city and travel south-bound to visit my Grandma for a couple months. Lengthy trips apparently are needed from time to time. Hoping to not go completely broke in the process, but if I do then so be it. My mind isn’t where it needs to be, and that’s still largely due to my lifestyle choices. Aiming to dry myself out forcefully and refocus my attention elsewhere, try to get outside of my own head a bit more. Been living in my mind increasingly so in recent years, and it’s taken a toll on me and everyone in my immediate vicinity. Just can’t play the part these days. Can’t keep up the act. Cracks every time, especially if I’ve been drinking. Wind up saying or doing things I probably ought not. Hurt people’s feelings sometimes without even realizing it. Just gone vicious inside to some degree, like I’m embroiled with bitterness and can’t hide it for long spells. Not making excuses for it, and I see a lot of reasons for needing to change this. It’s no way to be long-term, and yet here I am. So far I am failing at mastering and overcoming these aspects of myself. Won’t lie and pretend otherwise on here. This is my space for radical honesty, and so be it.

Some folks can handle certain lifestyles while others can’t. I know tons of relatively happy drunks, but I am not counted among them. I am admittedly a volatile drinker. Never know what you’re gonna get. Hell, I never know what I’m gonna get by the end of the night. Can cruise along for hours playfully and then just snap into another a mental state without notice, sometimes without any real provocation or reason. It’s not nice to behold. I am an angry person under the surface and eventually it comes out one way or another. When my inhibitions are lowered and I lose my checks and balances on that part of myself it winds up being anybody’s guess what may occur. And that’s not good. Not cool at all. Not making excuses for it. Sadly I must change my lifestyle because I am no good in this state. And if I’m honest in looking back over the last decade and then some, I must acknowledge that I’ve always been this way, always been this volatile. My former companion said again tonight that perhaps it’s due to my lineage, my ethnic background plus coming from a long line of teetotalers on my Grandma’s side of the family. Maybe so. Maybe being part Native American as well as half Arab creates someone not capable of responsibly handling alcohol due to an inclination to take it either too far or being too aggressive while on it. Maybe. We can blame it on genetics if we so wish. Either way, the outcome remains the same: I must change my lifestyle. No good comes from this for me.

European descendants have all the luck. Tolerant of lactose and can handle their liquor.  lol

Kinda irritates me since I’ve been in this lifestyle pretty solidly for nearly 15 years. Major change when you’ve done something that long. But I frequently reflect back on my Papa’s drinking and him finally quitting when he was 50 (I was 9 at the time). Became a better person, though he remained angry. And I have to hear other members of the family incessantly complain up to this day about how he was back when he was drinking, how he’d cry and act obnoxious and talk over them. How my uncle as a teenager had to haul him from the car in the morning before school since Papa would fall asleep in there overnight. How he’d hang around with the wrong people and periodically fight with them. And I recall Papa talking about how those so-called friends, those drinking buddies, basically abandoned him when he did quit. Recall stories of him fighting with Grandma. Recall the other accusations. Plus him screwing up on jobs. That was not a good alcoholic. Not a life of the party. Not a functional being.

And I don’t wish to follow much further in his footsteps. He wouldn’t want it either. Yet I’m struggling to change my ways. Haven’t hit rock bottom hard enough apparently, but who wants to hit full-on rock bottom? Never had a DUI/OWI and don’t want one, but know tons of people at the bar who have 1-3 under their belt already. Yet they still come and drink, faithfully.

Sucks not being able to carry on clear and conscious conversations with people. Anyone worth talking to doesn’t normally wish to deal with someone else who’s inebriated. and those who do hang around in such cases typically are seeking to be merely entertained. Pretty useless in that respect.

I keep asking myself why I’m doing this, week after week, year after year, despite all the good intentions I harbor for making positive change and heading in another direction. Tending to past pains and trauma? Sure. Who isn’t who takes it to this level? Bound up by fear is no way to live though. Makes a coward out of a person. Transforms them into a cheap talker and little else. But I see on the horizon how things might be different, how heading another way would prove beneficial. I see it, and yet I keep resisting it. Lack of desiring personal accountability? Probably. Scared to face reality head-on at this point? Likely. Stupid fears…

But there are so many things I dream of doing instead. So many hobbies I’ve let fall to the wayside over time. So many dreams I’d love to have a shot at. So many aspirations I know my life would be enriched by dedicating to. Like learning to overcome my fear of public speaking. And taking dance lessons. And returning to painting and creative endeavors. Apparently I can’t have it both ways, not anymore.

Is it a question of will power? Of course. Nearly always is. And that points back to one’s courage. What am I so afraid of? Losing a lifestyle that’s grown detrimental over time? Not like I’m the only negative influence up in the watering holes I frequent. So much of it is bullshit. Have a new dream as of late where I can be in that sort of environment and remain sober while actually being on the other side of the bar and making some money. Because I’m all about seeking cash rather than paychecks, and I’m burning out on my current business venture. Been giving this a lot of thought and conducting research and will continue doing so. Requires sobriety though in order to do it right. And that’d be a godsend right about now. Been feeling so hazy and downtrodden more days than not for quite a while now. Stupid to inflict such hindrances on my own self. No real excuse for it other than habit and pain management. But is it really helping in managing the emotional pain? No. Makes it worse more often than not, particularly while out in public. Gets me to create problems too.

Had an uncomfortable experience last night where I’d been hanging out with a couple for a few hours and getting along fine, until something switched in my brain. Can’t recall all the events, but I departed abruptly and believe I may have hurt their feelings. That’s a bummer, even if they weren’t really my kind of people. Still, didn’t need to be weird. Yet there I went. Didn’t mean to. Almost seems like I’m on the outside looking upon myself and my actions and words by some point in the evening. The night ran too long, went past the point where I could hold myself in check. Shots never help there. They and their dynamic annoyed me…depressed me due to how the woman clinged to him and how he kept berating and teasing her and everyone else relentlessly all evening. I should’ve just left sooner, yet they insisted I accompany them to after-hours at a restaurant. Didn’t want to take “no” for an answer. And there I simply had had enough and walked out. Their friend gave me a ride back. Hope I wasn’t cruel, but you never know. Can’t recall clearly enough to say with certainty. And that’s a bad place to keep returning to, where I cannot remember my actions and words.

It’s not pretty. Not going to even try to pretend otherwise. I am ashamed of myself that this keeps recurring. And yet I wonder how ashamed I must become in order to stop myself cold in my tracks. Hence why I am heading down to Mississippi for a couple months, to a dry county and a semi-dry town with no bars. Time to dry out, which I also intend to do in April before beginning my trek. Must happen. And I wish I’d quit viewing this as taking something away from myself when really it’s about freeing myself from something that’s holding me back from a more fulfilling and consciously-engaged life. I am not proud of myself at present, but I do wish to be someday. Wish for my closest people to respect my changes and to be proud of me too. I am very sorry for wasting so much precious time. But guilt only further paralyzes — solves nothing. Gotta get away from that emotion in particular since it’s a motherfucker and has undermined more than it should. Guilt can be useful, but, come to find out, past a certain point it becomes demotivating and can hold a person captive. Which is to say I am holding myself captive. Why? I do not know. An addiction? Perhaps, but that is still no excuse in this regard. Addictions are overcome all the time. Lack of vision? Probably. That or feeling bound up and torn in two separate directions — one where I wish to lie down right here and let time pass, the other where I get up and choose a different path and must face all that I fear and all that I love with open eyes and nowhere to run.

Immaturity? Probably. I’ve long said that the barscene is an oasis for adult children to misbehave and hide from life. But now I am fast approaching middle age. Bummer, kinda, sorta. Not sure what to do with it anyway. Feels like a lot of pressure, like a proving ground, like a new opportunity beckoning me to give up the past and walk in another direction, one which I am not familiar with and likely will stumble on its path. But I stumble plenty already, so what is there really to fear? Growing up? Gaining greater responsibilities? Becoming more fully accountable for who and what I choose to be? Reckoning more directly with a world and society I feel very alienated within? Yes. That last sentence says it all…I am afraid of what’s become of modern times. And I do not know how or where I fit into any of this. So I retreat, but apparently retreating is not the answer. All I’m doing is handicapping myself. I see this, and yet I still struggle to change. Why? Because what’s familiar is easiest?

Papa only quit drinking because health problems forced him to. Doctor said he would surely die otherwise. Do I wish to wait for that to become my fate as well? No. Nor would he wish that for me. Yet I am surrounded by so many people who choose this way, and I know I will have to leave most of them behind. Some of whom I care for very much. But most of my closest people are not serious drinkers, at least not anymore. I do have support in making a positive transition, locals at the watering holes be damned. My Grandma wants this for me. My best friends want this for me. So why do I not fully want this for myself? Why do I keep hesitating? The answer is clear as day, and yet I keep struggling against it.

They say you must come to a point where you make up your mind and throw down the gauntlet and change directions on your own volition. And I do want this. Even as I sit here tonight nursing beers while typing these words. It’s made a hypocrite out of me. Wish I could get angrier, get more fed up, lose even more patience with myself. And I suppose I already am, hence my scheduled trip which might spell financial and professional ruin for me by its end. But it’s a gamble I’m willing to take to figure out a way to reset what I have become. There are good people in my corner if I’d let them provide help. No reason to continue this downward spiral. Been depressed long enough. And they claim to need me too. Need me to be well so I can be a better friend.

Feels like there’s this dragon I’m needing to slay, but it’s of my own creation. It’s within me. My construct and thereby ultimately my choice.

A crisis of courage, yes. Fear of the unknown while observing the hell of what is known. Fear is losing ground currently though. I’m growing older and wish so desperately for the next half of my life to be better or at least more meaningful than the first half. Been unhappy as long as I can remember, plenty of that having to do with events outside of my control, but what is within my control today deserves my attention and dedication now. Pouring alcohol on pain doesn’t take one far and, come to find out, can very easily create a host of other problems. I see this so clearly today. And I know what I must do. No one can force me other than myself. Except perhaps the cops if they ever do manage to nab me — knock on wood. And that’s certainly not how I wish for this story to go.

The choice is mine and only mine. I do know this. And I’m very sorry for not recognizing sooner what I was getting myself into. But the past is the past and cannot be undone. I can only move forward from here. Can’t claim ignorance anymore.

Tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply