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Adventures in Sobrietyland

Discussion in 'Freedom from Hell ~ Staying Clean~' started by Trigger, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. Trigger

    Trigger Well-Known Member

  2. Living Free

    Living Free Well-Known Member

    Althought we may feel a certain way towards his art and may be defensive to his genius (whether you knew him personally or just dug his art) unfortunately I was sharing my knowledge of an art industry where there were many collectors that just collected for the novelty of the story. Its tragic. It was well known in many circles that his story contributed to the mystique and $$. That's all. I knew Julian, met with him countless times, knew Gerard, knew Larry Gagosian, knew the individual collectors as well as the heads of Christies and Sotheby's who auctioned Basquiat's art. This was my business world for a long time, and I was just stating that tragically at times his work was collected because someone would pass thru Noho, know hed been depicted in a spraypainting on a building wall, and would want to say they had a piece of him. Not every collector had an appreciation for his work. The remark wasnt towards Dani. Just generalizing what I knew. Some said he was a Warhol/Picasso Impressionist, and some a rip off, and others a genius. The remark about Gerard was just that he would want his son here and no money could account for the loss of that...this was from his mouth...which is what I shared.

    Maybe Im the sensitive one. Maybe its what Im going thru lately, lessons Im learning about people and boundaries, maybe its just different personalities and points of view and how one approaches another. Maybe there is something personal involved, I dont know. What I feel from time to time is that Im attacked when I write something, and I dont want this to be personal. If anyone has a personal issue with me, you can PM me. Otherwise, if youre that passionate about something and may misunderstand what Im saying, it hurts to be told I would disparage another addicts pain.

    Thank you for popping in Triggs. Weve been worried about you and this is good news being 4 days clean. But you dont have to call the doctor for more speed. You dont have to go back to using at all. Let your boss see you, not the chemically induced you. I promise you she will like you for you. And you will be stronger for it. Lets get a good coping mechanism in place now - reach out, ask to be helped when you feel vulnerable.

    Maybe you can take that as an indication that your behavior is possible more erratic than you think, and take a step back a bit and reflect. Get grounded in recovery right now. There's no need to use speed or anything to produce good work. That is the lie that we tell ourselves....that we're better on than off. Its not true. Countless folks in recovery have been able to step back and upon retrospect, know that this is/was a lie they told themselves.

    Hope to hear from you soon again.

    PS. Triggs, I just read G's post script.....totally agree about his earning potential if hed gotten C&S and let that genius naturally progress. Just wanted to reiterate that point to you as it mirrors where youre at with your new job. Again, hoping to see you post around these parts :)
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  3. gettingbetter

    gettingbetter Well-Known Member

    WGBH American Experience . The Donner Party | PBS

    So last year, around March I think, I was still desperately trying to teach American History with very little subject knowledge other than the most basic cursory stuff. I learned the depth as I went: being who I am, though, I wasn't happy unless I knew as much as I could, anecdotes and all. And we all know how history/social studies teachers are: they have story upon random story. I didn't have nearly as many; I had writer's anecdotes in my Language Arts class to beat the band, and I could weave Latin roots and art and music and film throughout all my lessons, but when it came to American History and its periods ... woefully behind I was. First Year Teaching It + Complete Lack of Certification + Double the Workload of Others + Me Taking Myself Way Too Seriously = Me Panicking Daily About What the Hell I Was Doing.

    So come last March we got to Westward Expansion, right after the War of 1812 (which is a pretty interesting little war, actually). And I really got into Westward Expansion: the adventure/survival aspect and the sheer bravery of these folks who left everything they knew in the East and just packed up and lit out. When you start studying it, it's totally fascinating. I also recommend this book: Undaunted Courage: Meriweather Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West by Stephen Ambrose. Amazon.com: Undaunted Courage : Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West (9780684826974): Stephen Ambrose: Books

    Interestingly, Lewis was a big alcoholic who committed suicide quite early. And I have very mixed feelings about Jefferson as a president and a person. I REALLY wish I was teaching American History again this year instead of the World History I'm teaching now (with a certification, thank you very much). 7th grade World History: meh.

    AND ... back to the original point of Westward Expansion and survival stories.

    One day last year, out of sheer desperation and completely overwhelmed and unable to keep up, I scratched some plans so I could get caught up and looked at our video service to see what we had for the topic. Lo and behold, this video on The Donner Party came up. It was the exact time period I was looking for. I remember I let out a HUGE guffaw at the irony, and I have to admit I picked the video for that day as sort of a black humor ironic sort of deal: "here kids! let's learn about how great AMERICA is! this is a video about the cannibalistic Donner Party, lost in the Sierra Nevadas during a cold bleak 1840s winter! bwah ha haaa!"

    But I threw it in, told 'em to be quiet and watch carefully: mind you, hadn't seen it myself, but you can usually trust PBS to do something noteworthy. Plus, I was beyond desperate. I had hours of grading and prep to catch up on, and March also sucks up here, and 8th graders get a mite restless during that period.

    It turned out to be one of the greatest things I've ever shown in my room. The kids loved it; we had a smashing discussion afterward; we did about six activities that we brainstormed together concerning the members of the Donner Party, all of which combined English/Social Studies interdisciplinarily, which IMO is the best way to teach ... and nope, I got NONE of my prep done, because I was mesmerized right alongside the kids and pausing the video to have discussion with them.

    The whole thing is heartbreaking and harrowing and triumphant and horrible and very, very moving ... and it makes you realize what ordinary people did to settle this land.

    TOTALLY worth an hour and a half of your life if you like survival stories. So, so good. I have to admit ... I have watched it at least ten times, and I had Keith watch it with me too. And I think I may blow off what I'm doing and watch it again today. It's been about six months since I've seen it last .... enjoy.

    WGBH American Experience . The Donner Party | PBS

    EDIT: So I am indeed watching it again. And I TOTALLY FORGOT that one of its biggest lessons is applicable to recovery.

    The whole reason the Donner Party was indeed the Donner Party was because THEY TOOK A "SHORTCUT" and tried to cut corners ... wagon wheels mired in the Great Salt Desert (holy crap can you imagine), missed the pass in the Sierras by ONE FRIGGIN DAY ... holy dramatic climax and horrible resolution, Batman. But jesus, I remember stopping the video over and over and emphasizing that and talking to the kids about SHORTCUTS ... and the moral there ...

    Sometimes there ARE.JUST.NO.SHORTCUTS was my point, or the ALLURE of the shortcut being just a fruitless mirage ... like us addicts ... we always WANT THAT SHORTCUT. And the only way out is through. This is proven over and over again via story after story after story and yet the illusion and allure remains ... what of that, for real? What's the temptation? Where the hell do we think we're all going? Why am I so jacked on caffeine right now and rambling about the Donner Party and addiction on the internet? These are all unanswered questions.

    There's no easy way out/there's no shortcut home ... :)

    arrrrrgh. later girl. i think you're doing much better. you sound a lot better.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011
  4. guinevere64

    guinevere64 Well-Known Member

    This stood out to me, kind of grabbed the scarf around my neck.

    I agree, there is no escape from the people we really are. First I have to find out who I am. And before I could try to do that, my love, I had to quit drugs.

    Sounds vague. Are you off speed too? Nevertheless, good job on putting down suboxone.

    Curious, decided to fact-check. Basquiat's paintings were selling for max $50,000 before he died, according to NYT obit, citing his agent. ... I didn't know any of the individuals, wasn't part of any "scene," art- or drug-related, though I did learn about (and appreciated) Basquiat's art from a long time ago. ... The idea of me being part of a scene is kinda laughable.

    Just to quote that again. ... I did all my art-making and drug-using by myself. Sobriety is giving me much-needed community. As long as I stay off drugs, I have the faith that whatever happens is OK. It was when I was using that I constantly thought I was on the verge of falling off the cliff, or that I should just lock myself back up.

    Anyhow hon. Good to hear you. --G

    p.s. Trigger... I checked the fact about Basquiat's earning power because I was curious how much he was earning while using. It was, unfortunately, not as much as he earned after he died. But who knows how much he might have earned if he'd gotten sober and continued to produce from that place? Plus, he'd have been alive--priceless.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  5. Trigger

    Trigger Well-Known Member

    ahhh... help. guess these days i think i'm immune, but i'm not. my old heroin dealer popped up out of nowhere and i've been battling. last night i stayed away and went to an amazing meeting. today the battle is fresh again.

    i have probably lost my job through no fault of my own. not sure i can talk about it without mentioning corporate octopuses and the futility of one human's efforts, no matter how desperate... i tried. i am too idealistic for my own good. i guess maybe i influenced my boss to see things in a different way, and maybe that will have a lasting impact. i wanted so badly to be part of a creative team :( seems so unfair that i kept every promise i made in my interview (a miracle) but none of what i was told turned out to be true.

    i drove out to vegas last week in a desperate effort to make some sort of connection. by chance, all this stuff was shown to me. riding in limos with the same corporate types that want me fired. seeing that all the choices in fashion are essentially meaningless. talking to super hot apparel designers that date firefighters and just trying to make them laugh.

    i didn't have a single drink in vegas. it felt like a miracle and i was so grateful. i felt so disconnected from the others that were partying on the strip. i was just taking pictures of logos and up all night sketching, trying to save my job. not sure if i was expecting to "free pitch" the material or what. i am fired. i bumped into my old boss accidentally. she was standing in a line for a limo-- they call it "car service." she was laughing and commented on how sharp i looked and asked me for my comments on all the graphics. i must have scowled and she said she loved working with me... and she wanted me to speak my mind and she would pay me a consulting fee or whatever. said that she might hire me back, she's just unsure about the direction of the branding, blah blah.

    she invited me to take the car service with her and i declined. i mean, i told her i had been sketching and was really excited about lots of ideas, but she had just been stealing my stuff and using it in meetings prior to this, and i knew if i rode around with her, i would just blab out everything for free. was so hard because i loved my boss and hanging out with her in vegas would have been so badass. we would probably end up smoking cigars and going up to heidi fleiss's stud farm, to beat up some giggolos together, or whatever she does for fun. but still, i'm fired, and i have to get used to that.

    i walked back to my cheap, seedy hotel room alone. everyone else was staying at a huge fancy casino, felt so unfair. man, i just felt so alone and had resorted to wearing my AA chip around my neck so i wouldn't party. even still, i got pulled over by a cop and thrown up against the hood of his car. a miracle i walked away from that.

    went straight to dharma punx when i got back. i need to detach from this job... too much attachment and noise in my head. need to accept what is impossible for me to change in the world. need to accept uncertain future.

    again, a stretch of time without speed pills. 4 days, but i'm not sure how long i can hold out. barely able to resist the heroin, and i've come way to far for that. just so weak, but the meeting last night helped a lot. it was just enough. i think of all the little things that women have said to me in meetings that seemed so ineffectual and useless but added up to something powerful enough to stop a needle going into my arm. it means so much to me because i feel like everything i do in my career (and otherwise) means nothing, but who knows? it might add up, and maybe i'm not so insignificant and maybe i should keep trying instead of going away and sticking a needle in my arm.

    i am battling so hard. sorry this post is a mess, it came out kind of fast. let my 3d network fall away while i was working and i just don't really have a lot of places.
  6. Sluggo

    Sluggo Well-Known Member

    you put your job in front of your sobriety Trigs. awhile back.....your job seemed like a 'HP' to you.

    perhaps it needed to be stripped away. gosh that sucks, doesn't it?

    I'm just really happy to know you're alive. right here, right NOW. that's all we got.

    much love
  7. guinevere64

    guinevere64 Well-Known Member

    when i let sobriety come from the same place where my drawings from, then it's all good. when i manage it, forget it, it turns into just another project, instead of a gift.

    also: i have to surrender the result of what i do. i do what i do for one reason: to stay sober. doesn't buy me a night at the stud farm with cigars and gigolos, or even a good story. (sometimes the best stories are the most common ones) but it keeps me alive. i have "everything needful" instead of the ever-blossoming list of what sounds good to G at the moment.

    love, G
  8. Trigger

    Trigger Well-Known Member

    ^ oh boy, dude... you are just so lucky to have A LIFE. with kids and husbands and responsibility and people to talk to. i am just...

    like--- YES, that whirlwind vegas trip was typical of me. i've never done that drive alone, and the fact that it's waaay illegal for me to even be driving at all... that adds to the thrill of it all. all the new confidence, new clothes and amazing weight loss added up to me strutting around like a badass down there. it just doesn't feel right anymore... i know i'm wussing out on explaining it. i just want something REAL...

    i think about what a potboiler of a novel my life has been over the past year, and typically i would be somewhat happy about this, but right now i want something that isn't just surface and imaginary. some scenario where i'm actually connecting to people and i'm not just making it all up in my head. a relationship that lasts more than 4 months, a job that lasts more than... heck, just a job where people allow me to make a mistake once in a while, so that i can learn from it. a boss that knows i'm talented, but is also willing to invest in my career... not just burn me out and fire me, like every XYZ corporation.

    i just had to delete some ultra nerdy graphic design angst... *sigh* i'm still coming to terms with my job loss. in many ways, it's not even just the people, money and security. i just keep coming with all these ideas for the campaign i was working on. i've had to FORCE myself not to work on anything. everyday has been about facing the loss and dealing with... changing my personality so i'm not just completely obsessive and attaching to things, while everything else in my life is falling apart.

    part of it is, i'm not officially fired. i'm just "on hold" and could be called back in at any time. because of this, the agency won't book another job for me... they were horrified that i could not bill a single hour for vegas. i don't think any of these people know how utterly broke i am. one time when i was working, i spent my last 4 dollars on a nice tinted marker, instead of buying food. i wanted to impress my boss.... grrr! too angry.

    and i'm not complaining. i bought myself a really nice camera for my birthday. i spent extra money on one that keeps the blacks nice and dense. i am such a perfectionist about every little detail these days, when it comes to art. no one cares about craftmanship anymore.

    and right now, i am able to actually acknowledge that i'm in pain, and going through some uncertainty. i've been good about not beating up on myself... this is so big for me, i can't explain it.

    i've been going to dharma punx more... like, 4 different classes, which is remarkable because i was definitely sober on those 4 different days. i am connecting to a new teacher down there. it's interesting. he's very early on in his practice, so he has trouble with his anger sometimes, and it helps me see this. he's super rebellious and intense, and like noah, he often just resorts to humor when there is no other way to stay communicative... laughter was my first HP.

    i'm not clean... at all. part of dealing with this whole career thing has meant resorting to pills and sex. wow, it's such a relief to know that once i finally do quit the drugs and succeed in my career, i will still have all this destructive, obsessive behavior to deal with. i will blow all my money on switchblades and gigolos. (guinevere-- did you look up "gigolos," or did you already know how to spell it? just curious, i keep spelling it wrong, but i knew you had it right in yer post.)

    thanks for listening. just really have no place right now.
  9. gettingbetter

    gettingbetter Well-Known Member

    Note to self: 'gigolo' has only two G's, despite its gangly appearance at beginning and near end and its odd use of two O's. Additionally, I just looked it up and it is French in origin. Who knew? It doesn't seem like a French word.

    Trigs, my laryngitis is still complete. STILL. I have had no voice, at all, since late Wednesday. It is now Saturday and starting to have a significant impact on my life. I had to reschedule an appointment on the phone this morning and it was beyond hellish. I ended up using a loud staged whisper, which just hurts the cords more but it is the only thing people understand. I wasn't kidding when I said I taught class Thursday like that old INXS video with the cards. We had a snow day Friday and now it's vacation, thank god, otherwise I don't know what I would do. I bring all this up to let you know that that's why I'm here and not on the horn. I'm starting to be frightened that this is permanent, but I know this bug went around. I'm convinced I got it at that f**king hot yoga place from someone who just HAD to go while they were sick and brought it to that steamy breeding ground of viral hell.

    Anyway. I hope we get to talk soon.

    Trigs, I'm not sure what to say. I guess I want to know what's up with your job. If you got fired, how are you on call? Can you boil down what happened in a nutshell, or what the deal is? It sounds like your boss has no problem with you, especially considering how she acted in Vegas.

    Vegas. Geez. Keith and I had our honeymoon in Las Vegas. We had a lot of fun. That was my best memory of that whole wedding time, actually. My hands-down favorite memory was on day four or five of the honeymoon. We were staying at Mandalay Bay and had spent most of our time there up to that point. Day Four we hit the Strip mid-day and made it to Treasure Island, where we bought this gigantic blue plastic skull cup that Keith completely freaked out for. He wanted it desperately. We bought it for some ridiculous amount of money and it came with unlimited pina coladas. So they poured us this giant pina colada in a skull with two straws and Keith and I took off up and down the Strip with our skull in hand. Keith is a great drinker who can hold his booze. I was always a lightweight and never could. I think I had five swigs before I was totally buzzed and we were laughing and breezing in and out of the casinos. Hot/cold hot/cold hot/cold. Geez, now that I think about it, I do believe that was the last time I could truly say I was drunk. Mid-July, Las Vegas, 2008. God that was fun. We had a hell of a time. That was the thing about Keith. He was always so much fun when we did stuff.

    I suppose what I'm trying to tell you in a roundabout way is that I do now partially understand what you meant when you used to say 'at least you have a, b, c'. And while I still hold absolutely steadfast to the belief that those things DO NOT matter and that they are all externals that could disappear tomorrow, sometimes I believe it is easier for people who still actually have all those things to say that rather than to actually experience what it is to be a free-wheeling entity in the universe. Heck, I still have my job and I still feel untethered and unprotected. Which is interesting, because it's showing me that I had more of my identity/beliefs about God and sobriety much more grounded in my marriage than I thought I did. Otherwise, those things wouldn't have mattered as much now that I'm on my own. Right?

    You know, I called my sponsor four times and yes, she got back to me once, and I got right back to her and called her again once after, and I didn't hear back from her again, so you know what? Screw it. I've been unattached since then, not really working a program, just completely throwing myself into my career. I get it Trigs. I really do. But it isn't enough. I don't know if it's because I already built my life too much around AA or other people in the program (it is depressing, sometimes, to go through my phone list and see that almost everyone in it is associated with recovery in one respect or another), or if it's the spiritual aspect, or the marriage tanking, or what. But.

    I guess I just want to say that I hear where you're at and I'm listening, even though I can't speak. Not being able to communicate makes me sad and is very scary. I know this will end but the idea of losing my voice forever is terrifying. I know nothing happens in this world by accident, so obviously I lost my voice this badly because I'm supposed to be listening instead. And I'm listening to you, girl. Let it pour out. I'm here all day, all night too probably, cuz it's just annoying to try and speak to others when you're like this. I might go to AA tonight but otherwise, hell, I'm around.

    And I understand.

    And one thing I'm learning is that I'm only as untethered to this existence as I allow myself to be. Attach, girl. Find what it takes and attach to it. Like Dharma Punx. Whatever it takes. I loves you and I understands you.


    p.s. Something was bothering me about your post. And I just realized what it was, right now. You called the last year of your life a 'potboiler'. Fun literary fact: Sylvia Plath dismissed The Bell Jar as a 'potboiler' when her editors asked her about it. She even tried to publish it under a different name. I tell you this not to make a distinct comparison between your ennui and hers, but to let you know that people have taken the last year of your life as seriously as millions of readers have taken The Bell Jar. Like me. It matters. All of it. But you knew that.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
  10. Trigger

    Trigger Well-Known Member

    wow, i just had to delete all this, and it was pretty long.

    i am basically ok, just delusional... or maybe just optimistic about having a positive effect on people.

    just sleepless,

    and it was good to read your post, dani. i saw it late, late, last night and i've been looking forward to reading it all day.

    my whole goal this year is success through non-obsession, so it's good that you're trying to be more balanced, though i would really not come to any conclusion so quickly... we should just talk via phone, but whenever you can. hope yer voice gets better quickly.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2011
  11. gettingbetter

    gettingbetter Well-Known Member

    You're so right. I shouldn't be drawing any conclusions. Thank you for reminding me. I have this tendency to tie things into neat packages, especially when I write.

    Today a friend dropped a possible lead sponsor-wise. I have called. We shall see. I need the Work as my central trajectory in recovery.

    Man, good luck on finding success through non-obsession. When you figure it out, let me know. My dogmatic pursuits have gotten me further ahead and further behind than anything else in my life.

    My voice is back dude. I sound like Kathleen Turner and Kermit the Frog on a date, but it's back.

    Post when you can - sorry you lost it - it happens.
  12. guinevere64

    guinevere64 Well-Known Member

    I know it must seem like "no one" cares about craftsmanship anymore, but I know people who do. Glad you got a good camera. I'm a believer in good tools and in learning how to use them.

    Found these quotations today and thought of them when I read your post.

    Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. … Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

    Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfilment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated, thus, everyone’s task is unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.

    —Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

    My therapist loves this book. He turned me onto it last year. I know I've mentioned it before, but in it, Frankl says that "success" (whatever it may mean to each of us) cannot be pursued--it only ensues from devotion to a cause.

    Have to agree with Janice... I put sobriety first and then job after that. I even put sobriety in front of marriage and kid.

    My "whole goal" this year was twofold: 1) to test my physical strength, and work toward doing a pull-up before I die (this was how I phrased it to myself); and 2) to become more of a businesswoman. I got to the pull-up yesterday, 58 days in. (The businesswoman I'm still working on but it looks good.) The pull-up changed the way I see myself, and silenced some ongoing self-loathsome inner talk. When my chin was above the bar I realized that I've been telling myself FOREVER that I cannot do this sort of thing—that I'd never be able to do it. ... This afternoon I caught myself telling myself it was just a fluke, I wouldn't be able to do it today, so I went upstairs and checked: and yes, I could pull my chin above the bar.

    What the hell else can I do that I've been telling myself I can't?

    I screamed yesterday with triumph. I didn't get there without help. Of course, I have to stay fit to keep it, if I want it. --G

    p.s. I knew how to spell "gigolo." I have a fairly good native sense of spelling and grammar. There's lots of other sh!t I'm no good at.
  13. Trigger

    Trigger Well-Known Member

    ^ wow, you could probably beat me in arm wrestling. that would really bother me, ha ha.

    that quote is straight out of dharma punx teaching. noah always emphases this. he says we are not powerless over drugs, but that our only power is in how we choose to respond.

    oh guinevere-- as far as craftsmanship goes, i have half written emails to you about what i've been facing. what happened to print design? no one cares about the finer points of typography, and i've resorted to snobbishly accusing lazy designers of being "too american" with their type. i was screamed at during my last job for stopping the presses in order to have my blacks set as cyan heavy "rich blacks." everyone said that i do everything the hard way and that i'm a perfectionist. idk, i think it was good for this last atmosphere to see a freelancer bizarrely stage mini revolts over needless corporate censorship and the finer points of color correction and production. everyone just wants to slap a filter on something and clock out. why even sit in a cubicle all day, if you don't take pride in yer work?

    and of course, i was just incredibly fearful because that first week on the job, i was just noodling around and being crazy on speed. over the holidays i just went crazy with the shapes and wore the same black t-shirt for months. a lot of that was just carried over into the office. but my collages were approved on day 3 and they were incredibly complex to reel in. within a week i had to send them to press... and i then i was told they were being printed in quantities of 50,000 pieces-- each one-- and then shown to the entire fashion world.

    and they laughed when i wanted to see a proof. i had just been sitting at home making collages out of web grabs, so my mind was flipping out about it all. i mean-- they handed me a blown out snap-shot of an ugly guy, then at the last minute they told me it was going to be blown up and placed in a light box that was 40 feet tall, and this was the their key display. so basically, i was working on an ugly human head that would end up 20 feet tall. and of course i was accused of being difficult for demanding more than 5 minutes to do the production, after they sat around in a meeting all day arguing over which design to choose.

    true rebellion only exists in small moments of passion, the situationists said this. revolution is poetry and random acts of desperation committed by someone in love. i am moving to france, where people are willing to revolt in the streets about art. *DELETE* (much longer rant that proves i'm an elitist, intellectual, quasi-euro snob. can't do that here-- must play dumb to justify speed pills.)

    but it's interesting how i handled extreme stress after everything i went through last year in recovery. i would put on my aviators and white furry hunting cap, and just force myself to take a walk. daring to march straight past my boss when i was expected to work straight through my lunch breaks + stay late back then. but i would just be overwhelmed when i knew that i could make something better, but faced with such opposition. i mean, rehab and the dairy queen were not so far away, so it made no sense for me to be a "perfectionist."

    i often just went down to the parking garage and sat in my car. i'd love to say that i was meditating, but it was a lot of noise in my head, maybe some self hatred. why do i have to be so weird, etc. why can't i just fit in with people? but often those lonely car sessions would turn to me trying to see the situation from the other person's point of view... something like compassion. and really, i would start finding all this humor in the situation. people crack me up, and seeing myself from their point of view was very hilarious. i mean, i wore that hunting cap around the office for 3 straight weeks-- that's how i handled the pressure. i knew if i had that hat on, i would be ok. but it was weird. if i work there again, i'm switching to spectacles and a ship captain's cap.

    so yea, after those sessions in my car, i would go back into the office laughing. raining down flowers instead of bombs. it would surprise people, but surprise is such a wonderful gift. it's nice when things are unexpected, right?

    guinevere-- just like you, if someone tells me i can't do something-- i go straight out and do it. that's how this fashion thing got started. heck, that's why i majored in graphic design. everyone always told me i was a bleeding heart fine artist, so i decided to sell out immediately. so being contrary has accidentally carried me pretty far... i suppose. i keep shocking the hell out of people by telling them i no longer drink and smoke pot.

    and since i was singled out for being a weirdo at the last job, i have decided to become a corporate minimalist. i am also going to get better at the business aspects. i have been KILLING myself this week, trying to photograph my new work and launch a new site that reflects the new me. so hard.

    i have (almost) decided to get another sponsor. i am so close to putting down the adhd meds, reasons will be summed up in another post. i just need someone to talk to... a little help.

    call me crazy, but this is how i'm getting a sponsor-- i am going to a new women's stag tonight that has an awesome reputation. then, when the meeting is over and the person in charge of sponsorship raises her hand, i'm going to go over and ask her who she recommends. revolutionary, i know, but it will be interesting to see what fate throws me.

    and this plan is so logical, you know a man suggested it. one of my AA friends was horrified when he heard me describe last year. he was like-- "so you're basically choosing your friends??" and then he gave me a withering look.

    and he has been solidly sober when i have been faltering, so i asked him how he did it. well, he was in the drunk tank mental hospital for a week, then a nurse told him about AA when he was discharged, so he wandered over to a meeting in his neighborhood. when he heard the sponsorship thing, he went over and asked about it. then some other guy came over and said that he would take him on. men... they really are so simple.
    man, it kills me that every woman i talk to in AA or otherwise, is always saying that she has more male friends and distrusts women. so sad that we all hate each other.

    blah, too much writing.

    oh g, i just noticed we have the same goal about business this year. pretty cool. i'm going to get my strength up so if we ever arm wrestle, i will certainly win.

    ps-- craftsmanship is definitely worth it. because i rioted over the production, the collages looked AWESOME when i rushed over and found them at the convention. blue/black is much better than just black, their corporate color just leaps off the page. and sitting in the color trend seminar, the trend expert forecasted navy blue as the new black, because bright colors really stand out against it. i was just so happy that one of my random crazy thoughts was actually good instinct. my boss wanted to know exactly how i set up the files, but i have kept it to myself. she yelled at me for being such a nerd back when i was doing it, so if she's going to fire me, i'll never tell.

    sorry for all this venting... of course, i am procrastinating something i have to do this morning. i have not wanted to show my new samples to anyone, and now i am forced to send them out. i just keep holding on... hard time letting go of this job.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011
  14. Trigger

    Trigger Well-Known Member

    dear self-- please try to do the best job you can this week without obsessing and attaching. you have outlined a clear path for yourself, a map to follow, so please please-- don't follow the rabbit. i know you fall in love with things and are tempted to jump down the rabbit hole. please remember that you always get lost down there, and this is why people think you're unreliable. a little love is good, but attachment will only lead to suffering when you are rejected.

    also remember that you've come a long way, and what you're doing is hard. no way you can be perfect, but you do belong someplace, and will eventually feel like you do if you keep trying without obsessing about it. in fact, everywhere you are, you belong... it just doesn't feel that way because you are afraid. well, one thing i know about you is that there is no way you will quit trying and that will continue to cause suffering, but that's okay.

    also remember that you always wake up sad and think that everyone hates you, but this will pass, you are just really crabby in the morning. give it a little time, listen to music, you are an optimist and you will be okay. maybe it's you're destiny to constantly get fired, but better this than meekness... and don't be egotistical... and stop deluding yourself.

    also tell yer doctor to quit prescribing benzos because you don't need them. you have heard about too many accidental deaths lately, and it is sad to think of how lonely those people must have felt when they left their bodies. hopefully they were finally embraced by everybody when their souls departed. and people will embrace you again, Trigger, especially if you finally get your balls together to call one of those guys you keep thinking about but never contact because you are obsessed with shapes.

    this week will not be so bad, chances are you will get fired no matter what happens so just try to smile and communicate and enjoy the work-- but no unhealthy attaching. you will be ok because ultimately the outcome is out of your control, but it is exciting to discover, remember that. people can be really surprising, even corporate types.
  15. Living Free

    Living Free Well-Known Member

    wish we had a "heart icon"......
  16. gettingbetter

    gettingbetter Well-Known Member

    Come up here if you get fired. Come up here anyway, but make that the plan if that happens. If you're game. Dude, I'm here. And I'm building a pretty damn good little life for myself on my own terms. Solid, anyway. Trying not to attach as well. Writing a fourth. Doing massive amounts of yoga and meditation. Quite sure I'm going to take my scale this weekend and drive it up north to the same area where I wrote my first fourth step. I'm going to blow it to pieces. Might take a friend with me.

    Told you I have a good time. Come on up. Much love Trigs.
  17. Torushima

    Torushima Well-Known Member

    Yeah, Trigger.

    I was gonna say something like Mr. Better, ie, "Come up... hang out... it's cool," but I didn't quite know how to articulate that.

    So, uh...

    *scratches head, pauses*

    Trigger, you're cool. And so are you, Mr. Better. I'm not very good at this support stuff, but want to articulate my appreciation and respect somehow.

  18. Sluggo

    Sluggo Well-Known Member

    that would be Ms. Trigger and Ms. Better....just so ya know.

    they are both wicked chicks.
  19. Mr. Guitar

    Mr. Guitar Well-Known Member

    Sluggo is pretty freaking awesome as well. :D

    Hang in there Triggsy, I dug that part about going from negative to positive in the morning when you wake up, with some music. Wake up in a funky mood, play some funky tunes.
    Im here if you wanna call to catch up.
  20. guinevere64

    guinevere64 Well-Known Member

    The women on this forum rock.

    Was going to post this on my own thread but I had these thoughts today while walking back to the car, and I was thinking of you. Today I started teaching a journal-writing course at the university. I was thinking about how you once told me that you liked the former title of my thread ("Working Sober"), and about the conversations we've had about working and trying to get sober. What I wanted to tell you is:

    • It felt good today to be of use in this way. I learned today all over again what "service" means. It's not (only) about being appreciated; it's about giving somebody something truly useful (even "arts and entertainment" have their uses), and creating community.

    • The last time I taught a course at the university, I wasn't sober. I felt bad about this going in. Today in the classroom I could feel how much being unsober created problems for me in working.

    • This is the most important thing: being sober has let me begin to know, maybe for the first time in my life, who I am. (vs. what I do. The two are not the same. I used to equate them. The former always having been entirely dependent on the latter)

    I had been told that Who I Am is not What I Do, but I've only recently begun to understand this.

    I admitted to some recovered-addict friends of mine this morning that I was momentarily afraid of two things:

    1. that I would fail, disappoint people, and have to come home and make supper and pretend I hadn't failed

    2. that I would succeed, and have expectations put on me that I couldn't/didn't want to meet (being people's personal friend/coach/guru/etc.)

    They told me none of that would happen... And indeed none of that happened. I know better who I am. I knew why I was there. It wasn't to make people like me, or prove anything to anybody, even myself.

    The students were treating me like some kind of "expert," and I resist being treated this way, I usually don't think I have much to offer, but it occurred to me today that I do have certain expertise. It's just reality. (taking skilled inventory, and challenging long-held habitual normal-feeling false thoughts, has made me better aware of what is reality and what isn't) And expertise can be a gift to share, rather than something to lord over someone else.

    It also occurred to me that I was probably too hard on my previous students, because I'd always been so fu cking hard on myself. ... At the same time, we need discipline in order to stay alive. There is a difference between discipline and beating the sh!t out of myself.

    I guess I thought of you because you often write passionately and vehemently about how much you want to WORK, how important work is to you, and I agree, it's important for us to be of use. But I can't be of real use if I don't know who I am. And I can't know who I am unless I'm sober. (I tried it) Apologies for the mathematical way of putting it; it's how it feels to me at the moment.

    Wishing you the best, as always... love G

    p.s. Last week was hard... traveling all over the place, looking after kids, etc.

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