She wore a Blue Bathrobe because nothing else fit anymore

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I was laying out in the sun with my new, shiny friend Jen at 16. She looked at my legs.

“You don’t have any saddlebags”, Jen pronounced ,amazed.

What were they? She showed me hers. Oh. Didn’t look like much to me but I guess they’re not desirable?

Jen was blonde, tan, native Californian, more experienced. Christy Brinkley tone. Her parents let us drink and then helped me throw up over the side of the boat. They were so cool.

“Do you diet?” DIET. What was that?

Wow, now she was introducing me to a whole adult world full of saddlebag fear and diet culture. Calories and counting. I loved counting. It’s comforting.

I had friends. I was getting tan and I had no saddlebags! It was 1984 and the pants were full-on pastel at Contempo Casuals. Jelly shoes were light as a feather. I knew the words to both Synchronicity I and II. 16 and blissful.

10 Items Of Clothing We All Remember From The 1980s

I had just moved from Michigan where I was bullied and unpopular, at least by the end. Now I was laying next to my empress friend (who had a college-aged boyfriend )on her boat in Catalina. So, So stoked!. To make her laugh I would get buzzed and imitate the aerobics instructors on the “20 minute work out”. Her boyfriend laughed too. What a man. Los Angeles, where have you been all my life?

4 years Later.

I live at home and am 20 years old. I’ve gone from a 114 lb naturally slim girl to a compulsive overeater who is nearing 150 lbs. I’m agoraphobic. The gaze of anyone as I walk across a crosswalk hurts. My 50 -something year old mother is sleeker than me. Nothing fits. My body is not mine.

I have a bathrobe thats nubbly and Navy blue. It has red braided waist tie. Sometimes I tie it slightly below my waist,80s style. This Bathrobe is all that fits. Sometimes I would belt it with my fathers tan leather belt to feel more secure. It’s the only piece that doesn’t rub up against the folds of fat and remind me physically of my size.

I eat whole loaves of bread with cold, Imperial margarine in a fever. I don’t even like bread. And it was Roman Meal for god’s sake. I cannot stop. I rabidly eat pasta which tastes like nothing and I chase the hope of it tasting like something. I grab hold of flesh around my body often, pull at it, and visually measure what is me and not me. I have friends but don’t want to go out. None of them have my problem.

I was hurting myself with food. With distention and paralysis. I did it over and over again.

Neato Coolville: ROMAN MEAL BREAD IS THE BEST

There’s a lot of reasons why I did it. None of those reasons are: “Everyone gains weight as they get older”. I do not have any molestation in my history. I built a house of extra in that bathrobe. I needed protection. It was not safe out there. I did not belong anymore.

If you are here. If you are suffering and repeating this pattern compulsively, it can change. I am proof. The whys may be different for you. They may be worse. My compulsive overeating was traumatic but not special and it’s mainly OVER. It taps me on the shoulder sometimes but it’s mostly out of the picture.

I remember listening to a cassette tape by Marianne Williamson circa 1990 about the power of food and its ability to physically transform the body. That’s different in comparison alcohol or heroin. Those drugs may string you out, hag you up and kill you too. But they don’t have the power to multiply you by a quarter or more of your mass. FOOD. Potent and Powerful. This nourisher and nullifier.

More later. I’m full.

Resentment was the new Orange Former Resentment Vampire

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I went to the DRIVE IN with my mask and boyfriend in July.

We saw RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. Impeccable casting.

I had forgotten how resentful Karen Allen/Marion is at Indiana Jones/Harrison Ford in the bar scene.

“What you did to me! To my life!” she wails.

That surprised me. Marion was written as such a warrior and then, after 10 years of living a new life for her to say that? To blame him after 10 years?

There is no Expiration date on Resentment. It’ll keep.

Resentment, Victimhood, Grudge, Aversion.

Delicious.

Immediately Delivers the sweet burn. And then its gone and you need some more kindling to keep your resent-a fire burnin.

I’m not going to write the poison metaphor; you already know it.

I was dope sick on resentment against her and him and that and them. Then I graduated from that/thems and just resented MYSELF. Its seemed somehow a higher Art.

So I dove into the resentment of self since 2016 or so. I’ve done some writing, some facing, some weeping. I’ve done work. I gave myself a very small ration of compassion. Wouldn’t do it that way again.

But behold! Today in August 2020, most of the sweet shock of Resentment has fizzled. Not the same snap or high. Its not as catch-my-breath adrenalized as it once was. Some days I can still get roided up on R but its less and less because I’m onto myself. And you cant un-know once you know.

This is what I know: My Resentment (not my discernment -thats a different post) seems to be a False Flag. Sometimes. Not always. But a lot. This still surprises me.

Example: I have a writing deadline or I have to study something. Or Maybe before it was a social thing. Its a dry ,un-fun seeming, scary task. I don’t want to do it. I want to go home.

No problem. I can convert that “don’t wanna ” into a scraggly resentment to distract from the drudge. So SNAP! And now I’m in a spin about how old I am and how many years I wasted on: compulsive eating, being hung-over, in fear, giving fucks, over spending etc, etc. What a waste of years. I really resent myself hard. It’s over for me. Nothing charming will ever happen to me again.

Uh huh. I’m not buying it. On a clear day I (aha!) catch myself in the fake spin and realize: this ick feeling is perhaps not what I think. Is it possible I am wasting more time right now thinking about how much time I wasted?

To myself I ask: “What if I give you a full 30 minutes to ruminate on how awful you are after you do this task before you.”
Audible exhale. “Fine.”

I still relish in the Resentment DuJour. I just don’t marinate. I don’t live to swim the waters. I live on land but occasionally need to jump in once in a while to give a nostalgic shock to my system.

photo from “The Only Lovers Left Alive”

AA told me I wasn’t sober. No more fight. Got on new Flight.

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I smoke pot. Maybe 5-10 times a year. 1 to 2 hits. I don’t count because it’s not a problem. I don’t think about it. I don’t plan for it. I went pot shopping to moss covered dispensaries and didn’t buy if nothing appealed. My life does not suffer in any way. On the contrary, I can gain perspective and lose compulsive thought.

I use CBD. It helps the writing arm and many other things.

I am also on prozac. I meditate. Process most of my feelings instead of getting them on you. Have lost 40lbs and kept it off since my 20s. I have looked at me. Am I saying this so you’ll think Im “good”.? Probably.

I went 5 years no alcohol, and now prefer not to drink, but I can if I so choose. Because unlike cannabis, alcohol has on many occasions, leveled me.

I may lose 5 of every 10 followers for this post *, but then again, maybe Im not hip to the new collective perceptions. If you read my other posts , you’ll read there are things I love and long for in AA meetings. Like PINE for. However, a lot of AA meetings announce “We ask that you do not share if you have had a mind altering substance in the past 24 hours”

That seems ridiculous. No one would be sharing If the rule were followed. And psychotropics like Prozac are mind altering.

“AHA! You ingested SUGAR and prozac!, No share for you!”

“Is that cortisol in your Blood stream ? No Share! “

” Is that caffeine, SILENCIO!”

Where I go to meetings, the overarching belief is that if you smoke weed at all or ingest THC , or other cousins, you are not sober. Well I feel Sober AF. More emotionally sober for talking about this. That has to be enough for me.

Oh and here’s a blurb about Bill Wilsons awakening experience with LSD.

In deference to AA, They still contend “the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. ” But it feels like that’s just a script when compared with what I hear from members at meetings.

Can you tell I really want AA to change so I can be in it again ? Well I’m probably not going to pull that off. \So I’ll just write about it time to time. AA was one of the things that changed the trajectory of my life. And with that I am taking off my alcoholic hat. It feels lonely but breezy. I no longer identify as an alcoholic but do believe alcohol to be an addictive substance. I suppose that’s in line with the NIH and their AUD definition. I still offer help and service. It’s weird not to be fooling myself but I don’t want to pretend so I can be welcome in the club. This revelation only took 17 years.

Now. I do know people who have just substituted weed for alcohol. People that I cannot play board games with because they are too damn slow. That’s fine, just be on the other team and don’t slow my roll. I don’t smoke pot daily but that doesn’t mean I abhor all that do. It ‘s not for me. The same way I have a salad once in a blue moon but not daily. Some people eat Salads daily!?? Are you kidding me?

So I guess This blog really IS about defining sobriety in all areas for oneself using empirical data.

As always, Feel free to share your individual experience.

Heres a great article from the The Fix

*Yes I realize that on some platforms, I only have 10 followers.

Hi Alcohol. I came to get down. Wait. Not that kind of down.

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I came to alcohol to jump around, to unleash the spazmodic, creative, wilding energy that is my birthright. But also to quell my fear about jumping.

Jump Around Lyrics by House of Pain VIDEO HERE

Pack it up, pack it in, let me begin
I came to win, battle me that’s a sin
I won’t ever slack up, punk you better back up
Try and play the role and yo the whole crew’ll act up
Get up, stand up (c’mon!) see’mon throw your hands up
If you’ve got the feeling, jump across the ceiling
Muggs lifts a funk flow, someone’s talking junk
Yo I bust him in the eye, and then I’ll take the punk’s ho
Feelin’, funkin’, amps in the trunk and I got more rhymes
Than there’s cops at a Dunkin’ Donuts shop
Sho’ nuff, I got props
From the kids on the hill plus my mom and my pops
I came to get down, I came to get down
So get out your seat and jump around!Jump around!
Jump around!
Jump around!
Jump up, jump up and get down!
Jump! Jump! Jump! Jump! (Everybody jump)
Jump! Jump! Jump!…

Source: LyricFind

So jumping and quelling :

So great that alcohol does both ! It calms me down enough to anesthetize the worry that jumping may or may not be the appropriate thing to do . It makes it Ok to jump, to be a jumper. To wear a jumper. To romp and wear a romper for that matter.

Alcohol told me I was a leader. No, that’s a lie. My brain told me I was a leader and alcohol let me believe it. Which was not entirely bad.

Im learning alot in this recent and literal Alcohol experiment. Courtesy of Annie Grace .

My Alcohol Dialogue number 43

ALCOHOL – Hey, thanks for drinking me. You look all glowy! I’m now in your body, did you eat?

ME: No , why would I do that?

ALCOHOL: I know, riggggght? Ok so in about 27 minutes , your going to feel me leaving , which will feel like a gradual buzz kill because it IS. That means you’ll need to make a decision .So just choose A or B and let me know when your ready. ASAP Preferably. Sorry, Im in a hurry.

ME: Of course, I wont leave you hanging.

ALCOHOL: Right you’ll only do that to yourself.

ME: What?

ALCOHOL: I love this song.

ME: I cant hear it.

ALCOHOL: So back to the choices below, Here they are .

A) Continue feeling good again from the brains homeostasis chemicals. Your sugar rise doesn’t get messed with (yet) Which means most likely: continued warmth, inner glow, euphoria. Simply continue this until you pass out or see 2 Judy Garlands when you’re watching her later on youtube. In the future, we will touch hangovers and arrested development that will come from this behavior along with less sexy and more scientific consequences.

ME: Sorry I spaced at “2 Judy Garlands”.

ALCOHOL (continues)

or B) Start to feel sad and bad. Feel the come down physically and then Brain will just look around for things to be wrong so that wrongness can match the come down and make sense.

ME: If I were leaning towards A, what are next steps?

ALCOHOL: Just have another drink before and half hour passes ( if your stomach is empty) Maybe 55 minutes if you ate . Or maybe order 2 to begin with. More Pro.

ME: and for B?

ALCOHOL; Yeah totally super cool. For B, Just like don’t have another “drink” drink. Maybe have a seltzer water I think they call it or plain water? Then go through witnessing your brain and body aching to drink, and also face some of the enhanced feelings you’ve ignored for 20-30 years. Along with the regular feelings of ” This bar is really loud and irritating”, “Im old”, “Oh wait, I’m not in a bar because of the Pandemic , so I guess I’m really loud, irritating ,old and so is the calico tabby.

ME: A. Final answer

10 Versions of my Higher Power. Starting with Tilda Swinton

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When I need connection with GOD or Grand. Open. Discussion.

I find the list below . Feel free to share your joie de vivre.

header image from article n The Guardian – A Bigger Splash: exclusive clip featuring Ralph Fiennes and Tilda Swinton

1) Tilda Swinton

photo credit @davidehrlich article on INDIEWIRE

2) This Poem by ee cummings

what if a much of a which of a wind
gives the truth to summer’s lie;
bloodies with dizzying leaves the sun
and yanks immortal stars awry?
Blow king to beggar and queen to seem
(blow friend to fiend: blow space to time)
— when skies are hanged and oceans drowned,
the single secret will still be man

what if a keen of a lean wind flays
screaming hills with sleet and snow:
strangles valleys by ropes of thing
and stifles forests in white ago?
Blow hope to terror; blow seeing to blind
(blow pity to envy and soul to mind)
— whose hearts are mountains, roots are trees,
it’s they shall cry hello to the spring

what if a dawn of a doom of a dream
bites this universe in two,
peels forever out of his grave
and sprinkles nowhere with me and you?
Blow soon to never and never to twice
(blow life to isn’t; blow death to was)
— all nothing’s only our hugest home;
the most who die, the more we live

3) Conan’s Star Studded Charity Song Famous Helping People Video

Famous Helping People - "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" - YouTube

4) Kate Bush

5) Gigi Hadids Childhood Home

Photography by Coldwell Banker in Architectural Digest

6) This Lavender Field

no copyright infringement intended

7) The color of the sky in “Land is the only thing that matters” scene in “Gone with the Wind”

Full video here

no copyright infringement intended

8) Nina Simone’s Cover of “Isn’t It a Pity”

AUDIO

9) The Idea (not reality) of the Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham relationship

Image Wikipedia Album Cover

10) Xanadu

ELO, rollerskates, Gene Kelly, Olivia, The Fashion, The Muses The Tone!

IM ALIVE VIDEO click here

Minus- The script and relationship

no copyright infringement intended
no copyright infringement intended
no copyright infringement intended

It’s Official. Drunk or Sober, I’m not Chill.

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This is not a post about The Pandemic or #BlM. Its also not a post about how to appropriately behave at societal rituals and obey decorum. I know how to and have done that. Yawn.

I have been foregoing alcohol for the past 55 days I had years of intermittent alcohol free ness before this. I just joined Annie Grace’s The Alcohol Experiment and It’s eye opening and Non absolutist. Relief.

As I move through more experiences drinking or not : I am in curiosity , discovery and dare I say whimsy about my preferences. My likes and dislikes : what charms me, what alarms me, and what school marms me.

Stillness -Love it. Chillness, No thanks. There are so many other people that do chill better than me. ( or pretend to).

I am an extrovert , I like people but preferably around an event or theme. (large or small) . I’m just not interested in sitting around and ONLY talking. I prefer there to be a game we’re playing, or movie we just saw, or project we’re working on, a book club talk? If we go to a concert I don’t want to sit down. Gross. Conversation or ONLY TALKING will arise organically around these activities and thats when it’s the best and most luminous!

When I was heavy drinking ,I needed to change things up after a couple of drinks. To stop the Chill before it gets frozen. During an alcoholic run/ binge, there would be maybe 1 drink or 1.5 drinks worth of chatter and then I would insist that it was time to dance now , whether in my living room, your living room , or at Oil Can Harrys. That drunk had it right! She suggested activities and drunk people followed. She shook it up. Then some people had kids and stopped following.

This is not a 20 something thing .This still is the case today, 32 years later. I mean, after a while the time for just talking is OVER. Now we have to play a game, sing karaoke, choreograph a dance, go swimming, or pierce someones’ ear.

What if this isn’t neurosis but VITALITY?

Not Infantile but Inspired ?

Before I thought, “oh you just get hyper when you drink and you must be very insecure to have to switch things up/control the situation. But what if I’m a curator of a better time. VARIETY people! People hire event planners to keep things moving. Mock dancers to break dance floor ice. I don’t know if its socially acceptable to continue to curate without the excuse of tipsy-ness ? I mean I guess as long as you’re inebriated, you may be more open to try my switch ups.

Aha! I don’t need to be drinking but I really need you to be drinking.

Whatever this fever is , Im going to follow it and try not to drink so I can be ok with it. More will be revealed.

Benzo Bingo. I picked the wrong pandemic to kick Dolls.

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Just like Patty Duke, I need my Dolls.

The relevant definition in the Historical Dictionary of American Slang is:
Quote:
4. [said to have been coined by Jacqueline Susann in her novel Valley of the Dolls (1966); but cf. DOLLY 2a.] a tablet or capsule containing a barbiturate or occ. an amphetamine.
(my emphasis)
There is only one citation other than the novel, from a 1974 book called Mind Drugs, which just seems to be a list of drug names.

The definition of “dolly” referenced above is:
Quote:
2a. Dolophine, a trademark for a brand of methadone; a capsule containing Dolophine or an equivalent product.
The first citation for “dolly” is from a letter by W.S. Burroughs in 1954.
The relevant definition in the Historical Dictionary of American Slang is:
Quote:4. [said to have been coined by Jacqueline Susann in her novel Valley of the Dolls (1966); but cf. DOLLY 2a.] a tablet or capsule containing a barbiturate or occ. an amphetamine.

I decided to taper back up because I can’t take it anymore! Being alcohol free is still going. Im still on the Sober Curious path. I wasn’t in the league where I needed to taper of alcohol. But I admit defeat with benzodiazepine withdrawal. OR I admit Discernment. I’m picking this battle up later.

This happened because I rushed the tapering expecting some existential reward. Hello? None came.

To be clear, This is Ativan not Xanax but I would kill for some Xanax tapering stories. Or any current Opioid travels. Please feel free to share.

I had tapered down to 25% less of my usual dosage and here are some of the withdrawal symptoms:

Weeping uncontrollably when I forgot my phone – I know my normal weep quotient and this is WAY more bio chemically feeling than that.

Overwhelmed and shaky at the thought of driving 5 minutes to retrieve said phone.

An almost constant feeling of overwhelm and helplessness.

headache and facial pain including teeth.

A feeling of thickness like I’m stuffed with cotton candy. Great for Body Dsymorphia.

Pretend Sciatic pain hamstring area that goes away ( I don’t have Sciatica)

Twitching , most notably bouncing my feet to the beat of benzos

Restless Leg Syndrome

Insomnia PALOOZA like needing 5 hours in bed before I fall asleep

Compulsive loops of sharking around for mistakes or wrongness

The above may be “benzo-light” If it is then , Im light! Enough.

GOAL

Im making an appointment with a Doctor who specializes in Benzo withdrwal and going from there.

Primary Care physicians, through no fault of their own, are not versed in this fresh hell.

I found this video and the ones that follow it super helpful.

Well Doll, you won this one. But I’ll be back.

If you are someone that needs a drug treatment center, here is a link.

When your 11-14 year old self fears rule your life. Again.

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This pandemic flavored sobriety has its perks. I can hunker down and withdrawal/taper, go on crying and laughing jags without a major audience.

But oh Boy, the Junior High fears that fire up are debilitating. Tapering of Benzos combined with being in quarantine has been heightening recall of Junior High survival skills. But then again maybe Junior High survival skills are especially being echoed right now with the wolves of divisiveness constantly nipping at our screen doors.

It was 1982 and I was the new kid in school. In Michigan . I was tan (just having moved from San Diego where I was a winner of several Disco dance contests) Before major boobs, Before fear of the Male Gaze.

When incest just meant romance in a V.C. Andrews book.

Fear is Fear is Fear , like I’ve mentioned in the post “Stop Grading your Problems”– your adrenal glands, cortisol levels, limbic system are all talking to each other the same way whether you are in danger of falling off a cliff or you’re 11 years old being terrorized by the girls in your new 6th grade class. It shock/hurts. It feels like poison.

Of course I had lied before. But conforma/lying really escalated for me during this time. The type of lies that ensured my safety and ascent on the Junior High Popularity scale. This scale is now called Facebook /social media platforms.

Back to Ms. Kinzers class in 1982 in pasty Michigan. First day. New Girl – Tan – Only the nerd girls are nice to me.

After class 2 boys approach me. One is a total fox , one his sidekick (unfox).

Hubba Hubba

The Fox: “What kind of music do you like ?”

Tan me: “The Village People”

The UNFOX: “Wrong ! ( makes sound of buzzer) You are so moded right now.”

What is moded? I guess Im not in Disco San Diego any more.

The UNFOX: “Disco is Dead “

FU&K ME! I have ruined my chances for favor with anyone ever again. Hello 12, Hello 13, Hello shame.

Tan trembling me: “What kind of music do you listen too?”

The Fox: “The Knack, Billy Squire”

Tan Trembling: ” Oh yeah, I know them.”

The Fox: “Yeah?”

Beat

I don’t think the Fox is totally done with me yet.

But they left me. Maybe the word “spaz” was uttered. Their exit is blurry due to my Caucasian flush.

Lesson learned. Do not lead with what you believe. It could get you shunned.

No doy.

When Gratitude isn’t Just a step to the left. Saditude b4 Gratitude

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Some days are “tra lala lala” effortless. Some are “Are you fu@king kidding Me!?”

When dealing with the latter, I don’t fall victim to immediately gratitude journaling. I need a bridge and a guide to Kumbaya. OR a river, a creek , a balloon, whatever. I need help with the transport feeling to get me to gratitude. I can’t Time Warp or Wrinkle in time there. This bridge step is un-skippable when Im ultra agitated or sad. I cant be all like, “Presto! Silken Scarves of gratitude surround me now!”

If you are glaring at an Instagram picture of your friend holding a yoga pose and you think “I believe in Peace Bitch”. Know that :

1) Tori Amos says that same sentence in The Waitress and 2) I’m with you.

So I grant ye permission not to be grateful for 20 minutes or 20 days. You will most likely slide into home plate of grateful much more easily without the pressure. Take however long it takes to do what you need to do to move in the direction of true North/Namaste.

This bridge could be bitching , writing , feeling, scream-singing, punching, crying, cleaning, smooshing, chopping, swaying, hanging, breathing, dangling or kicking , gerund, gerund, gerund.*
It could be none of those. Who says you have to end up at a journal unless that works for you. Some call this acceptance, but to me it seems a titch more dynamic than that word.

Finally you may arrive back where it is “just a jump to the left and then a step to the right.”

*Oh!, and sleeping