under attack

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As I perused a website that makes my corneas burn but I can’t make myself quit (I’ll give you one guess. It rhymes with SchmaceSchmook.) I rolled my eyes when I read  “___________* Attacks GOP For Healthcare Failure.” My first thought was “Girl, please.” Like is everything now an attack now? I mean a white tiger leaving Roy(of Siegfried and, natch) partially paralyzed is a muthafucking attack. Somebody blowing up a hotel? Also an attack. Gay bashings, robberies, sexual assaults? All incredibly awful and all attacks.

But some maybe-billionaire with hair that looks like cigarette-flavored cotton candy whining about not getting his way? Not an attack. Not even close. Yet it appears it’s not just Herr Hairball who claims that he’s being attacked. Somewhere along the way, we wound up in an era of easy victims who are now attacked by everyone and everything.

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I know I’ve certainly fell victim to, well, feeling like a victim. The “poor me, poor me, pour me a drink” cliché of alcoholics is a fucking cliche for a reason. Despite usually being the biggest assholes in the room we alcoholics have a sorceress like ability when it comes to still feeling like the victims sometimes even make others believe that too. As I was watching the latest episode of Girls and witnessing sad, sad, skinny, little Marnie get her ass handed to her yet again by the universe, a light came on. That character, that one the makes you want to throw your remote at the screen is so frustrating to me because I’ve been her. Like repeatedly and for years. Now, I’m not saying “We’re all Marnie.” Bitch, I don’t know your life. But I certainly identify. Every time something goes awry for Marnie, it’s somebody else’s fault. Kind sounds eerily like how I lived my life forever. If it was a “tough” childhood or “bad” relationships or “mean” bosses or “competitive” people who were always ruining Sean’s life than Sean would never, ever have to say, “Sorry. I suck.” It was a foolproof plan, well until it wasn’t. But it did work for a while. For example, I once drunkenly unleashed a hateful text storm on a friend and was somehow able to spin it that I was justified for doing so because this person deserved it and because I felt attacked. The crazier part was I was able to get people to side with me and co-sign my terrible behavior! Like I said, magic. Luckily for me, this charade only had a two decade shelf life and if I wanted to get and stay sober, I had to drop the perpetually attacked routine.

faf74108c8c1ede332001ae0e2c02b3eAlas, shedding the victim act wasn’t an overnight thing. I mean after you’ve played Edith Crawley in your brain’s production of Downton Abbey for several years, it takes a some time to slide into another role. Even recently (this week) I was feeling very run over, very attacked by circumstance. There was a temporary landslide of boring ass life things that werent going my way. It was all shit I had zero control over and none of it was life or death. But to my victim mind none of that mattered. My default is, “Everything sucks and world is out to get me.” I call this Jill Abbotting. Jill Abbott, for the uninitiated, is a the longtime resident bitch-in-chief on The Young & the Restless. Since the 80’s, Jill has perpetually found a way to be pretty awful and do terrible things like sleep with her stepson and have her nemesis kidnapped yet still act like a victim of circumstance. It’s always the world’s fault. Unlike Marnie, however Jill knows she’s being an asshole and DGAF. Jill–>Lady Edith–>Marnie. Maybe the interpretation of this character gets watered down or less self-aware over time. I know. Girls, Downtown Abbey and a daytime diva. This post is pretty damn gay and we haven’t even gotten to the ABBA yet. But I digress. The point is I was slipping into that mindset and it started to feel shitty.AttackFromSpace_Poster

Which brings us back to that guy from the beginning of the post. I guess I should be grateful to him. I mean he’s like a four-year long writing prompt but to be honest I’d rather write about baked goods or Marc Chagall paintings. Nevertheless, his ridiculousness served as a gateway for me pulling my headed out of my ass. Remind me to send him a fruit basket to thank him. Or not. But that’s the gift of this whole living a life of accountability thing: I get to laugh at my self-imposed victimhood. More than that, maybe I can even have compassion for others who are actually struggling.

As I write this in my cozy apartment with my sleepy cats, someone in my life is dying as a result of alcoholism. This beautiful being never deserved to go out like this. This spitfire and life of the party shouldn’t be dying right now. And really shouldn’t be dying as a victim of something she could have overcome if only she had an inkling that she deserved better. However, now at this late in the game, the writing is on the wall and her time on this planet is limited. Talk about a real tragedy. Yet as much of a heartbreaking story as hers is it’s also a call for me to drop the victim bullshit. It’s a call to not feel attacked(especially by consequences of my own actions), to be grateful for the life I have in this moment and to laugh and sing along to ABBA, even if my inner drama queen wants to tell me otherwise.

*The blank space is used where his name should appear as I’ve taken a vow not to type his name on the sacred sparkly space of these pages. xo-S.

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what’s new?

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What’s new? What’s new with me, you ask? Well, naturally, I’m thrilled that you did because there is a whole lotta new going one in SeanLand. New furniture to sit my pampered behind on! New sparkly town to live in! New places to go to meetings at! New fancy folks to hang out with! New yummy places to eat! New thrilling things to do. New, new, new! But the bad news is that I’m the same old me wherever I go which is exhausting regardless of my current zip code.

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I noticed the other day as I got unexpectedly snippy about an inane topic like where to put the little thingy that holds our spare change that my mental health wasn’t exactly award-winning. In fact, I was a level of cranky which quickly made me feel like I was crawling out of my skin. And this was AFTER I had been to a meeting. So it wasn’t just feeling “dry” but more of that “spiritual malady” business that the recovery kids talk about. Meaning maybe all was not so well on the mental health ranch.  Granted, I understand that being snippy after moving is par for the course. Given the amount of ridiculous crap me and the hubs have had to endure over the last 10 days, a little tantrum now and then isn’t the end of the world. Still, I don’t love being an asshole about ridiculous stuff like where to put the little thingy that holds our spare change. Because the reality is at the core of my being I don’t actually give a shit where that little thingy goes. No really, I don’t. I’m NTKOH (not that kind of homo). Michael’s department in this relationship is Home Decor & Organization and I happily turn all of it over to him. And I know I’m in good hands as he actually does this kind of thing for a living. If I’m being testy about stuff I honestly do not care about, I’m clearly not taking care of myself.

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The short(ish) answer to that question, “What’s new?” is “same old, same old.” Feel free to say that response in a Texan accent or like a bored waitress at a roadside diner, by the way. Whatever you like. I trust you. Anyway, the predictability of my own bullshit is tiresome yet comedic. Like a Lucy rerun or a Looney Tunes gag, you can see the joke setup and it’s punchline from 40 miles away. As I finally meditated this morning after days of running around like a person gathering stuff for an impending apocalypse, I had to laugh. It was hilarious that as usual the things that make me feel less crazy still do and are fairly easy to accomplish. Duh.com.  As I’ve lamented recently in these pages,  meditation has really rocked my clock in 2017. Breathing and taking a few moments that aren’t all about me is a fucking relief  so when I don’t do that I tend to feel pretty gosh darn horrible. It’s a part of the combo that makes me pull off this 24-7 mental health magic trick and when it’s missing, the shit is not cute. But if we’re really gonna sip some coffee and tell the truth, me not taking care of myself mentally is actually a tad uglier than all of this.

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The other night after a long day of something tedious and moving related, the husband and I went to dinner. He doesn’t have the specialness of alcoholism that I do so he sometimes orders a beer or a cocktail at dinner. It isn’t a big deal. I certainly don’t obsess about drinking or freak out when he has a drink so it’s not a thing between us. Yet when he ordered whatever alcoholic beverage it was at dinner, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think to myself, “Oh! I should order one of those too!” Luckily, that thought was immediately followed up with another thought of “Yeah because that’d work out real well.” But nevertheless it happened. Oh and it happened a few days prior to that as I watched him and coworker drink wine at a farewell thing we attended. Look, these thoughts aren’t pretty and having them immediately disqualifies me as some sobriety guru I’m sure. Darn it. You would assume that after 8 years I would never, ever think about drinking. But in my case you’d be wrong. The truth? I drank and used drugs for a long ass time so I’m just going to have occasional fantasies about it. The important thing is that they pass and not turn into plans I want to materialize. Also, now I tell on myself and have a little list of things I can do to make myself feel more human and less like a snippy weirdo who wants to start a fight about the thingy that holds the change.  The flip side is when I don’t do these things, there’s a possibility that the passing thought actually becomes a reality and that’s just something I don’t want to risk.

So what’s actually new? Nearly everything externally  is new which I have to say is exciting. I feel like a kid again and I’m ready to explore and be inspired in a different town.  But absolutely nothing internally and that’s really okay because I love me, snippiness, random thoughts of drinking and weirdness included.

 

move bitch, get out the way

I wish the administration of life was interesting enough to justify thousands of words and lots of titillating conversations. But it just isn’t. No matter how hard we all try to make the things we have to do everyday more interesting we cannot. Unless it’s something like rescuing baby sloths but I suppose even that can get boring.  My point is the reason there’s a big, fat, juicy lag in between posts here on the Seanologues is because my boring, old life has been getting in the way of nearly everything. My long simmering move from Denver to Portland, for those of you who are regular readers are aware has dragged on longer than the last Hobbit movie, has finally come to a head. After months of starts and stops, primarily caused by my husband’s workplace and its never-ending construction schedule, it’s finally here. We have a beautiful new home and we’re vacating our beautiful old home on Saturday. Cut, print, moving on.

Yet even though I’m moving across the country, something people do every damn day, this experience has had its own special set of, uh, shall we call them, “Life Lessons” that I didn’t exactly anticipate.

First of all, nobody ever tells you that moving away from people is fucking hard. Not just on you, the person who’s moving, but on the people who you’re leaving behind. If they’re lovely folks who you are close to, a series of  lunches, delightful dinners, chatty coffee dates and tearful brunches transpire that warm your heart and make it suddenly hard to say goodbye. But if they happen to be lovely folks who you are close to but who are just having hard time with this whole damn thing, it isn’t as easy. I didn’t anticipate the “shade”, “clap back”, “attitude” and whatever other internet slang for shitty behavior from a loved one but there it was. This beloved individual had problems embracing me leaving and therefore pushed me away like I was plate of boiled neck bones. It was, or maybe still is, hurtful but not out of the realm. The writing was on the wall and I knew this reaction was coming given other instances with other people, but I’m an addict so my default is always, “Maybe this time will be different!”

Nevertheless, it  wasn’t different and it all made me feel kind of sad and icky. But as somebody else reminded me, it’s nice to be missed.  Which is certainly true. Lord knows I’ve left many places where I wasn’t exactly missed and it was more of a “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass!’ situation. But as I hugged a dozen or so of my favorite folks on this planet on Saturday night, I also learned it’s nice to have people you’ll miss too.

Secondly, moving brings about a chaos that I’m no longer used to. The husband and I are not hoarders or collectors or collectors pretending they’re not hoarders. We’ve lived in a 1924 bungalow for 3 years with itty bitty closets (apparently in the 20’s you didn’t need much room to store your bootleg gin and flapper dresses) so we’ve had to continually purge and get rid of stuff. As a sober alcoholic, this is a good process to me and one not unlike every inventory I’ve had to write in recovery. That being said, we still had a bunch of shit and we’ve had to live out of boxes, bags and piles for several weeks. Even as the nicely packed storage pod pictured above travels onto Portland, I’m currently camping in our Denver house, living out of a duffel bag and eating take out with plastic utensils. It’s uncomfortable and not the cozy life I’ve gotten used to in the past 8 years. But I’ve sort of had a revelation while taking 20 minutes to find my keys or wallet: my everyday life used to be this crazy and messy.  And for years! While I was drinking and using, I could never find shit, accomplish shit or give a shit. So these last two weeks have made me feel really grateful for the simple, boring, pseudo organized existence I have today.

Lastly, the thing I’ve realized is me being ready to move on and the universe being ready for me are two totally different things. Personally, I’ve been emotionally ready to move since my grandmother died last fall. It’s been hard to live in my childhood neighborhood with her gone and making it a little harder to heal, if I’m completely honest. But it became pretty clear that none of this process was up to me.  Our timeline on this adventure has changed over and over and it’s been totally out of my control. Again, for an addict this is an awesome thing. Not being the boss or puppet master of anything is ultimately the best role for me to have. During this adventure I’ve just had to show up, move stuff and say, “Yeah sure. That’s fine” to a myriad of last-minute changes, Plan Bs and ideas that weren’t my own. I basically have had to move out-of-the-way and let all of this happen. This has been an excellent thing. Where we’re going to live, the time frame on which we’re getting there and every other detail that’s happened has worked out perfectly and not at all how I thought it would.

So the moral of the story as always is I don’t know any of the answers and things are just better if I get out of the way.