Sunday, December 2, 2012

My Life in a Bottle

Today began as yesterday began. Walking to the Lexington Cemetery. I've become a volunteer for the website Find-a-Grave and so I accept requests to take photographs of tombstones in my area for people who live elsewhere. And just like yesterday, I got there to find the office was closed. So after a hardy "Well, shit!" I turned around and walked back home.

Got there in time to attend my first Sunday morning AA meeting. This meeting was a little weird in that the group I came with sat quite a bit away from the rest of the main group, but I quickly forgot that when I saw two friends from my server days come in. I didn't think that such a reunion would make me so, SO very happy. So much so that I made plans to go to a meeting bright and earleye in the morning with one of them.

Afterwards, my group went home to ___'s house for a post-Thanksgiving dinner, and it was simply nice to hang out with people that I inexplicably feel so close to. I know that vulnerability frightens me, but not having to hide makes me feel so close to these people that are still fairly new to me. Once again, so much so, that as soon as I got home, I felt so lonely.

In the past I would run directly from that loneliness to the nearest place to buy a bottle of something - most likely vodka or bourbon - that would allow me to numb that loneliness, even if I woke up the next day, unable to recall exactly what I did the night before and was sick for the majority of the morning. That loneliness is so frightening. My two biggest fears: loneliness and death.

So, I did something also fairly new. I texted and then called my sponsor. I picked up my computer and went down the block to the coffee shop that I live near. As I stood across the street from the shop, my sponsor called and I paced the sidewalk, listening mostly, talking some. I wasn't ready NOT to be around people, so even though I knew I would know no one here, I preferred to be here than alone in my apartment. And so I'm typing now from there. I bought myself food and have been struggling through lots of lots of people on the wifi slowing it down just to stay and be among people.

I can't wait to be around my "home" group again. I also can't wait til I like being alone. I do like to spend time by myself, so don't get me wrong. I just wasn't ready for the emptiness I felt as soon as I closed myself inside my apartment.

I write this listening to Madonna's Little Star as much needed gay-diva inspiration...and while this won't count as the gayest thing I did today, I'm posting the song below. (Though I opted for the version that simply shows the album cover rather than the Oprah performance in which Madonna is trying to be Sarah Jessica Parker...though the latter would probably bump the posting of the song up to #2 on the list of gayest things I've done today.)

14 comments:

wetpaint1971 said...

I'm probably overstepping boundries by 'taking someone else's inventory and telling them what to do', even though that is not my intent. I am only speaking from personal experience. I have had my issues with alcohol and just about everyother substance known to gay man. I'm 40 and live in New Orleans where the party goes on 25/8...I'm sure you get the picture. But I didn't end up in AA. My therapist finallly convinced me to attend ala-non, a subgroup for people effected by alcoholism or ANY dysfunctionlism. (My mom was a pot head!) People who for whatever reason never learned how to live life to the best of their ability (who, btw, usually go on to become alcoholics). And while AA puts the spotlight on the alcoholism (and has saved thousands of lives), ala-non puts the focus on you. I'd say half of all ala-non meetings are people who came from AA. Its like what came first..the alcoholic chicken or the dysfunctional egg?? In MY experience by learning how to focus and work on me..the partying and the 'crazy making' just naturally fell to the way side. And to make this really GAY since I see you worship at the Church of Madge (thats a whole other convo!!) in the lyrics to 'frozen' she says '...let all the hurt inside you die, your frozen when your hearts not open..'..which proves my theory that it always comes back to Madonna. If what I've said makes no sense, I apologize. Just ignore it and please continue on your current path. Good luck and please keep up with your blog....

Tamayn Irraniah said...

It sounds like a pretty good Thanksgiving for you, so I'm glad to hear that you're able to enjoy it. For some reason, whenever I read anything about Thanksgiving in the US, I automatically hear "Alice's Restaurant" playing in my head.

I wish I could tell you that being comfortable being along gets easy quick, but it really takes some time. I used to have a similar problem back when I was in college. It takes time, and I'd recommend a good broadband connection. Much like with an animal, I use the trick of turning on the TV and sometimes music too. It distracts me enough to not realize that I'm alone.

SEAN said...

Sounds like you're doing well - that's great! I'm proud of you, believe in you and will be here for you.

I have the opposite problem you do. I'm more comfortable being along and struggle to be with and around people. For me I know it's a trust issue (now). I'll do anything to help someone and always be there and have been but when the time comes to ask for help I can't and don't and then my friends feel betrayed and the friendship suffers (at least that's what I convince myself.) It's classic depression behavior to isolate and then get mad and alienate those you most need.

Hang in there baby!

Writer said...

wetpaint, I definitely identify with what you say. And I appreciate your intent. I think AA will focus on me: it's about getting in touch with your spirituality - read here as your inner core not religion - or at least read it that way with me. I definitely came from a dysfunctional family. And there was quite a bit that I could've learned that I didn't. At first my drug of choice was sex and when I became HIV+, my drug of choice became alcohol. Alcohol also helped, as I said, with the loneliness that came from the stigma of the HIV. So I think this will work, and if it doesn't, I will keep in mind ala-non. And, yes, we will have to talk about the Church of Madge soon. :)

Writer said...

Tamayn, I've been okay being alone for a long time, but fairly recently, it's become a reason to drink, so I guess I've lost that ability - to be alone that is. I'm ready to be around people, but my drinking is hindering that as well.

I'm definitely working towards getting Internet at home. The Intertubes is the great distraction. :)

Writer said...

Sean, you hang in there too. And if you need anything let me know. And thank you. :)

JamTheCat said...

See how strong you are? A weaker man would have bought that bottle and gone home. A weaker man would have just said hi to those people then left. Every day you prove just how strong you are. And how much more reason you have to be proud of yourself.

Now...you want something else to do? GIVE ME FEEDBACK ON MY SCRIPT!

There, I've just made this all about me. Now you can relax, have some Refresh tea with honey and lemon, and feel so very Zen with the world.

BTW -- are you Yin or Yang?

Stan said...

I can identify with Sean. I'm uncomfortable to be around groups. I feel more safe when I'm by myself alone which is not good either but I always feel people are judging me. It's taken all my strength to go and join a gym which I've wanted to do for a long time. Luckily I found one I feel comfortable in.
AA and NA didn't do much for me. I had to overcome my addictions by myself. I just didn't buy that whole sponsor thing but that's just me. I'm over it now and rarely do I have even a social drink as long as I don't binge anymore and want to drink myself to death which I tried to do.
I hope things work out for you and you continue on your path to wellness what ever gets you there.
Big Hugs,
Stan

Kyle Leach said...

JP,sounds like a productive Thanksgiving. You struggle with being alone and I struggle being with people. Maybe we should swap some of our mental baggage! Seriously though,it sounds like you are doing better and trying your best to turn things around. No one could expect more from any person. I think it will simply take time. We are here standing with you. Take care of yourself; we all love ya.

Writer said...

Kyle (JamTheCat), I thought you were doing some rewrites on the script? Please, can you send me it again: I deleted thinking that you'd be sending a newer edition. :( Sorry.

And, thank you. It's very strange how "strong" I feel that I'm getting...maybe...possibly.

As for yin and yang: I don't know enough about each to say for sure, so let me do some research. :)

Writer said...

Stan, I have some of the same hesitations. I did however admit to a friend last night that not only to do I feel afraid to be alone, I also feel terrified to be around people. I also admitted to another friend that I have more of an issue talking in the gay AA groups I go to rather than the "straight" ones: I feel more judged by my gay peers. :(

Writer said...

Thank you, Kyle Leach, I love you guys too. :)

Theaterdog said...

You should be proud of yourself ...I have enjoyed your blog for so long without commenting...
Bravo...
You have inspired me.

Writer said...

Thank you, Theaterdog. :)