I’m wondering if I am becoming too foul-mouthed in my posts.
So this is another post where I am not sure where we are headed.
I don’t know.
I talked a lot, last week, about habit – forming a habit. And truth be told, that’s the key in a lot of things – fitness, diet, meditation, more.
I also talked about meditation. There is no one way to meditate that works for everyone.
The same holds true for the content of the meditation.
One man’s trash is another man’s meditation.
It is after all a practice. And if the point is to “create a focus point and quiet the mind”, then one doesn’t have to go all Eastern on yo’ ass. One can ‘practice’ music, yoga, piano, cooking, walking, tai chi, swimming, contemplate one’s navel(?)…
(It interests me, though not an exhaustive list, many of these examples are physical in nature. We will talk more about this.)
For the longest time, mine was a moving meditation. I lifted weights. I worked out. The experience of physical exertion, the focus on muscle and joint doing work, the observation of failure.
I would go to the gym, five days a week, put in my ear buds and go to work. Turn off the mind. Listen to the body. An hour and half later I would exit the gym calm, collected, happy.
Stress relief is one of the major benefits of exercise.
Stress relief is one of the major benefits of meditation.
This is where I am going with this. Discipline is key in both of these. Habit.
So what happens if you break the habit?
We celebrated a birthday this week. I broke my habit(s). I didn’t meditate or journal – and this pisses me off because the reason is something I’ve done for a long time. I fear I am asking too much to take up a little time with something I need. WTF! If I am less batshit isn’t that better for everyone? And what is one hour in the grand scheme of things? Why am I so stingy with myself?
I also drank. And I also ate things that actually messed me up.
The eating thing is almost fascinating. I have so completely cleansed my system, that now when I eat sugar or gluten it really messes me up. Of all the habits, I think that one will be the easiest to restore and maintain from here on out. I just don’t like feeling bad.
The drinking is something else.
I like to drink. What can I say?
But the problem is…well let me put it this way; I asked my therapist once if she thought I was an alcoholic. She said, ‘no, but I do think you are a substance abuser.’
Which kind of reminds me when I told my mother I was concerned that she was becoming a recluse.
“Recluse? RECLUSE! I’ve got 99 channels!”
It’s hard not to want to keep having a cocktail every night.
“I picked a hell of a day to stop drinking!”
And one is never enough.
This leads to severe interruption of my sleep cycle. And…
‘Welcome back to The Grind! What do we have for our Substance Abuser this week, Johnnie?’
‘How bout a stiff ‘cocktail’ of doubt, depression and self-loathing for the Lucky Loser!’
I am trying to figure out how I keep winding up here.
Is it purely the alcohol?
Is it some deep-seeded need to denigrate and berate myself?
Is it a life spent around people who live on an emotional roller coaster?
Is it a cocktail of all three?
The freaking out, this nosedive into despair, has got to stop. It’s just not good for me.
And actually, I can applaud myself on three fronts:
1. I am not freaking out as badly as I once did.
2. I am definitely not drinking as much as I was.
3. I saw it this time. I recognized what I was doing. I couldn’t stop it. But I saw it.
I think it is really important to acknowledge my ‘wins’ in my battle to right this ship.
So, ‘Yay, U.S.S. Kelley!’
But Number Three is the HEADLINE NEWS: I need to react differently. I need to change my behavior.
And what do we know? Recognition is 90% of the battle.
I get it I get I get it.
I almost caught it this time. I did journal, I did meditate, I did cry while I walked the dogs. (Not sure that last item was anything to write home about.) But I felt better.
I talked to someone I trust. Good.
But what really helped was I went into the studio and I recorded. I narrated for about two hours. I read about 70 pages of my current project. I delved into what I am really good at. And I let it wash over me and through me and out of me and cleanse me. And when I was done I felt really good.
Well. Let’s put it this way. I didn’t feel bad anymore.
I want this.
I want to feel better.
I don’t want to drink so much.
I want to be balanced-er.
I want to be happy.
I am reminded of a poem a friend shared with me. It was the late 1990’s and we were both at a spiritual chasm, trying to find our way to the other side. The poem is really great but what also seems significant is that I’m not friends with that person any more. I couldn’t be what she needed me to be. I didn’t say the right thing. I am honestly not sure what happened.
But I am grateful because she brought me this poem.
It says it better than I did. In fewer words.
Ah, me. Isn’t that just like a poem?
I could actually delete this entire post and just put up the poem.
Time for a new street.