On my 232nd day of sobriety, I found myself pulling the covers over my head and stuffing cotton in my ears to drown out the sound of a chainsaw somewhere outside which for some reason was making me horribly anxious. Aren’t I supposed to be running through mists of rainbows living a fully invigorating life by now? Alas, I am still me. With all my same old stuff. I was always kind of weird. And then I got drunk and didn’t notice my weirdness so much. Now I’m sober and forced to look at myself again, frequently resulting in an inner monologue that consists of “Get it together, weirdo.”
So there I was, cowering in bed, terrified of who knows what…that whatever somebody was cutting down would fall on my house? That for some reason somebody would knock on my door? I don’t even fucking know why this was a thing. But it was a thing. A bad anxiety day. I wanted to have a wee shot of vodka to settle my nerves. I have had that last bottle I bought and never opened for seven months and seventeen days now. I could even sort of justify it…I haven’t had a drink in seven months, I’m not a problem drinker anymore, everyone has a drink to chill out. Nobody would ever have to know.
Deep inside, though, Sober Girl would not give in to Drunk Girl. I laid here, trembling for no fucking reason, a cascade of anxieties ricocheting about in my skull like so many hyper ping pong balls and I refused to go to the freezer where that bottle resides these days. I found myself praying. I don’t do that so often. I let the politics of religion drive a wedge between me and the church. This afternoon, cotton in my ears, blanket over my head, I started to pray. Dear God, please help me just ride this out. I don’t want to get drunk. Help me get ahold of myself. And I fell asleep in my prayer. When I woke up, the crippling anxiety was no longer sitting on me. We will meet again another day.
Sober Girl makes better decisions than Drunk Girl. Drunk Girl is the queen of one last times. I’ll just have one more drink, it’s not going to hurt anything to have just one more. I’m going to drink just this one last day, I’ll quit tomorrow. I’m going to eat this giant pile of junk food just this once last time. I won’t list the naked one last times but in my defense that man was really hot. I one last timed that for a couple years. Today Sober Girl was like “Nah. You so full of shit. Everybody does NOT drink and no damned body drinks at two in the afternoon because somebody is running a chainsaw outside. You have got to learn to deal with yourself without drinking. You touch that bottle now and you will touch it again tomorrow and then you’re right back to rotating liquor stores.” I have been sober long enough that my brain can make decent choices even when it is misfiring badly.
I noticed an event this Friday at a venue I love and I decided to buy a ticket and skip finding anyone to go with me. I really want to just sit in the dark listening on my own. I don’t need to sit next to someone I know for it to be ok. This is my response to riding out the bad anxiety day. To choose to do something I will enjoy. By myself. The last time I was there I was a bit nauseous because I had more liquor than food at dinner with friends. I am going to go Friday by myself, sober and enjoy the show. Some days I run, some days I crawl and some days I just refuse to be pushed backwards.
3 thoughts on “Alice in Anxietyland”
I think you are doing fantastic. I like to do stuff by myself too. I’m sorry your anxiety isn’t getting better – I know the feeling of a neighbor running a chainsaw and feeling like I need to hide from people knocking on my door. Sometimes riding it out is the only way-
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Nobody has ever said “oh, I know that feeling!” about that. Thanks.
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Here’s to Sober Girl!
Anxiety is really hard…mine is so much better now, but there are still times that come up.
I’m sorry you have to deal with it.
But love the way you find a positive thing to do for yourself!
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