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 songs to cry to if you’re Gen X and no stranger to Musicals

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I’ve gotten very versed at the different types of crying. From the slight leak to keening.

Today is Day 30 for alcohol-free ness. Day 4 for benzo withdrawal.

I wont go into all of the cries in my collection. At least I can suggest some Melodic backdrop to enhance the experience for your own slight leaking or full on keening.

1) Johanna -from Sweeney Todd

2) Old Man River -from Showboat

3) Some Enchanted Evening – from South Pacific

4) Camera -REM

5) Unlovable – The Smiths

6) Perfect Circle -REM

7) We Kiss in a Shadow – from The King and I

8) Climb Every Mountain-from The Sound of Music

9) Insider – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

10) Track of Time – Anna von Hauswolff

Im not new to sobriety but I am newish to not really caring how many times a day I weep. To be transparent, this acceptance started way before the pandemic and has only served me.

I know about the stacked cry/or Pyramid cry . This one starts with catching myself in the mirror and appears to be about jowls or some compartment of my body but then I ask , “”wait what’s really going on there?” Breath. Tears are released and so are Tiers of the cry.

Here is a cry pyramid I experienced lately. Its starts out relatively banal and dysmorphic then levels down to more acceptable crying material.

Body image- usually some version of “you are UGLY”

grief over being so risk averse and creating a smaller life. Shame.

friends, time and experience lost over alcohol abuse/anxiety/fear/

A general feeling that Enchantment is gone and nothing joyful ever happen again

Biochemical release or the Ativan Cry

I thought I was going to be on Broadway now Im 52. I better get on “Real Housewives of Anything” and become in influencer so I can go to Broadway by the time Im 55.

There is no Broadway right now

Im not a a housewife

Oh sh*t, Covid 19

My Father is dead.

I drank thru 9-11

I ate thru Rodney King

Where is my tribe?

Im not safe

Nothing is safe

Plant Based Spiral -Animal keening

Looting

Curfews

I miss my father

My mother is starting to forget things

Im not hungover

smidge of compassion

So I have to parent myself now

RESULT- window of heart opened, smaller pores, and always awe and awwww of music.

Great blog post on the Holly Hunter Cry

Check out benefits of crying. I think we all can call BS on the stats for” how often people cry “in this article.

Benzo withdrawal stuff:

Jennifer Leigh

Jennifer Leigh’s site

Benzo Buddies

And please feel free to comment and let me know your own songs !

P.S Enlightened with Mike White and Laura Dern is a Masterpiece

That Creep in your Zoom meeting #4 Day25

Are you new or trying Sober and getting creeped out by Older White guys? You are not alone. If you’re a newcomer and identify as female and experience anything like this, here are some comments, and tips on how to navigate or unf*ck the experience and stay on path.

The meeting I go to are 85% white hence “creepy WHITE guy ” So this is only my experience. Pick your poison and your predator according to yours.

I went to CO ED AA zoom meeting and and identified as a newcomer. I received a private chat message from a regular in this group that said “I love you xxxxx” I have never spoken to this man When I received the chat message, I looked and saw who sent it. Ewwww. I did not reply and let the secretary know. It’s gross. Im older and have been around. What if I was new new?

WOULD THIS HAPPEN AT A MEETING IRL? NO

Stick with the women unless they drive you more crazy and don’t have what you want.

Try other 12 step meetings- PINK CLOUD is a great tool to find them and you can filter by Women only OR the focus of the meeting

use an alias /change your name if it makes you feel more comfortable

Try alternatives to AA if the guy and/OR the 12 steps are not a match for you- there are plenty of other programs and alternatives . Its all part of Life’s Rich pageant to find the one that works for you. Who cares how you get sober. I welcome you if you are trying or have tried.

Belle Roberston has a totally anonymous program

Kevin Griffin weaves the 12 steps and Buddhism Together and is an older white guy who is NOT gross or Predatory at all.

WFS is another Women centered resource

Other alternatives to 12 steps.

I need to remind myself that the good guys are plentiful in meetings too. I’ve met a lot of male folk who have helped me along the way over the years and who are NOT creeps. There are also women creeps. Sometimes Ive been a creep ( althought not in a sexual predatory way -more in a snarky gossipy way) than they have been. This doesn’t excuse or negate White male creepery, which is rampant , but paints the fuller picture.

Day 25 for me. Lots of zoom meetings involving ACA and AA and Alanon. It helps me. I also listen to Belle Robertson and Recovery Elevator, and Kevin Griffin. I Find more resources every day. I give 50% airtime to what I disagree with and 50% to what I espouse in these meetings, podcasts, blogs. Thats all I can hope for. I feel better after a meeting/listen and maybe I can help someone. So the pros far outweigh the cons in this Pandemic climate. When they don’t, I’ll know and I’ll keep discovering , ideally while remaining alcohol free.

#2 Stop Grading your problems . Day 23 -“You mean all this time we could have been Friends?”

The last time I drank alcohol was not spectacular or worth a short film. On March 19th when The mayor issued the order that non essential workers in my city go home, I was not unhappy. The part time job was a necessary drudge that I showed up for the best I could. Let me also say I have known of no one in my small circle who has died or been catastrophically affected physically by COVID 19.

Loss. Grief. Fear. Whose is greater? Whose wins? Stop grading and take care of your own first. It counts. If you’re in your 50s and you’re trying to reconcile crepe-ing arms OR you are 40 and going through a loss of a parent OR you are 15 and getting bullied or you’re 55 and getting bullied OR your Public identity is OVER because of COVID 19, the body isn’t making note of the specifics. Do you think your adrenal glands, cortisol levels, limbic system are all talking to each other going , “Actually, lets just fire at a level 2 Fear because she should be over this shit”. No. The monster under the bed is REAL to your body. Whatever age or whatever longitude and latitude coordinates you occupy. #Compareanddespairanddonothing.

When the Pandemic order was issued , I hadn’t had a drink for 20 something days. I could just take it or leave it. My desire for alcohol was further lifted and I continued not giving a shit about it (meaning booze) UNTIL the beginning of May. Then I thought, I’ll have 3 beers. This was not a secret plan it was a declaration. An experiment. I was not “supposed” to be sober. Nobody but me was judging/not judging . I walked and bought a 6 pack of Racer 5 IPA from the liquor store. I still have the receipt.

Ensconced at home, couched with my partner, I took a sip. This doesn’t taste good. My body doesn’t like it. SIP. Its like too bubbly? But I really want this to work. SIP. Sort of tastes toxic. SIP. Its not that bad. SIP. It will be fun to host virtual game night with my friends tonight. REST-no sips. Game Night began, the sipping tripled. I was chasing the dream.

Later at 11:20pm after 4-5 beers and an Ativan , I laid on my carpet and drooled. Alone. My boyfriend was snug as a bug in bed. There had been no judgement or altercation. I imagined myself floating away and wanting to sink into the carpet ala “Trainspotting” This isn’t me. This is a sort of death but I’m not ready. I knew what I had to do. Purge and Primp.

I went to the bathroom and induced regurgitation. ACID extravaganza. The next day was lost to physical pain but I didn’t really experience the second arrow of shame which was UNUSUAL.

I’ve gone 5 years and 9 months and 2 months and 6 months without drinking in in AA but the large percentage of that time just felt like I was holding my breath and waiting for a reward from GOD.

On May 2nd, There was a monster under the bed that I skated over and I drank. I’m psychologically astute enough to know I don’t just drink because …whatever. I have no external problems compared to some and maybe a lot compared to the other “some”. As a human (most likely), I have the ability to face fear/loss and the requisite emotions that tap my on the shoulder and then throw bricks if I don’t pay attention.. If I stop grading and comparing my fear, “problems” then I can see them or it. CLARITY. Ohhhh!!! Fiona Fear how are you? Come to Tea this afternoon ( Buddhist reference I know) and I can say “FIRE, walk with me!” (David Lynch credit) Let’s be partners. If not friends then fellows ? fiends? In my experience , this lessens the burden and I incrementally lose the desire to drink , or to (insert buffering behavior)one friendly fear fire at a time. This is ACCEPTANCE and ACTION.

Now here I am with choice. Day 23 goal 30 virtual meetings in 30 days . MY preference is to be alcohol free NOT sentenced by shame to be alcohol free. Will I stay the course? I don’t know. I don’t have to know. I’m not throwing AA out but I’m adding Kevin Griffin and Belle Robertson and Recovery Elevator and this blog. I’m tracking Fiona Fear on an excel spread sheet.