Tuesday, January 26, 2010

1440 minutes

Morning... I've never been a big fan. Not like this. Not while it's still dark and having to face the day exhausted, waking already weary. I thought I was going to feel better once I gave up the daily drinking habit. Almost 100 days in and I still feel like crap.

I feed the soda machine a dollar to appease the caffeine gods. To stay awake during the day light. Just filling the hours of boredom and collecting a paycheck. There is no joy in this, just mechanical existence. I barely tolerate the irritations of other people, barely tolerate myself. I am more socially awkward than ever.

Feeling alternately more angry, resentful and depressed by the day. Struggling with the need to blame someone. Everything can be blamed on someone from a lousy childhood to a dirty kitchen floor. Assigning blame doesn't make me feel better. The black void is opening ever wider and I don't know how to fill it. I'm sick of pretending to be someone or something I am not, but I'm no longer sure of who I am. Was alcohol my identity all this time?

Early evening... The sun starts to set outside the kitchen window while I do dishes. I stare out as the skyline deepens to golds and pinks. The soft colors prick at my loneliness. My loneliness is not always something that can be alleviated by the comfort of other people. Often the presence of others makes me feel more lonely. Like there is a wall between us that I'm not capable of breaching. My loneliness is a deeper need, the black void, this hole in my guts.

I've been feeding the hole with everything I can think of, except alcohol. I've been stuffing it with food and sweets, computer games and mindless sitcoms. I've tried numbing it's gaping maw with the marijuana maintenance plan. It all works for a while, but it only slows the hunger. Nothing I've found so far makes it go away. I chant self help mantras and light scented candles against the darkness.

"I will not drink, I do not drink anymore, I will never drink again" I repeat to myself as the beastly cravings crash over me. Some days are much easier than others, some days I just have to white knuckle it. I've lasted longer this time than any other, I know it's permanent. But that doesn't stop the beast inside of me from trying. It tries to trick me into finding myself drunk again and wondering how I got there. It tries to convince me it would be easier to give up and give in. To feed the wound inside with alcohol and make it go away. I resist, I fight it.

I figuratively gnash my teeth and dig my heels in. "You will not win!" I say to it. "I will beat you this time!" I scream. "I will do something right!" I cry. The tears I cannot shed threaten to drown me in self-doubt, frustration and self-pity. I seek the solace of my dreams and pray that tomorrow I will find relief. Only 1440 minutes until I can go to sleep again.