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06 December 2005 @ 11:01 pm
hard stuff, et cetera  
I haven't forgotten or abandoned the comment fic; I meant to say that earlier today more than once. The rest are just ripening somewhere in there.



The eleventh, Sunday, is eight months sober. I started to write: On the eleventh I'll be eight months sober. I'm not sure why I changed that. Maybe because I'm more frail and fallible than Time and Being, and Time and Being are more dependable elements to shore up sobriety in the long run. Though even as I write "Time and Being" I feel more solid and even blocklike, somewhere in the head region.

I had a good week last week; so far this week I feel out of sorts. Aware of the loose parts of my life rattling around, things I'm not doing, not taking care of. Stupid things. Not even mistakes, but things I knowingly didn't do that have had inconvenient repercussions. Yet I feel pretty forgiving toward myself--and it's strangely hard to talk about that, because the measuring stick for how well I'm managing is entirely subjective. It might not be good common ground for conversation. For someone else, going three months without bothering to take five minutes and write a check to the phone company might mean they're on a serious downslide. But I'm trudging up. I'm keeping my head above water, managing other things, and whenever I compare my failures against other possibilities--what if I hit someone with my car, what if I got AIDS, what if my troubles didn't stem from my own head and body but were coming at me from outside--when I think of all that, even my dumbest most preventable failures seem an acceptable trade-off. The trade-off being I only have enough focus and energy for some of what I need to do, not all. I'm talking about things like not paying bills on time when I have the money, not taking care of my car, missing a traffic court date, canceling a therapy session I know I'll have to pay for. There have been times before when I've neglected this stuff and let this feed depression; letting it go feels saner right now. I can see the shore from here. I just need to get back to it.

My Ambien is kicking in as I write this; I took nothing the last few nights and didn't sleep; a cycle is happening, tired days and tired nights thrashing each other in tense battle over my body, and now I'm going AWOL and when I wake up, I hope to feel less like the trampled, flattened battlefield.

I keep getting up each morning with a fair level of optimism, despite the disgruntled puffy-eyed stare you'd get if you lived in my mirror. I feel, right now as I type this, that I could accomplish things tomorrow. One day doesn't have to follow the pattern of previous days. There's two kinds of time: rutted time and rutless time. This is a rutless time of year: we've moved to a new office building, done some reorg, and our project launches are either shifting into high gear or slipping off the 2005 calendar and into 06. Holiday chaos. Short days followed by long days, busy by slack.

And in personal areas, I've been cleaning stuff up, resolving one bill, then another, accepting a bank's automated payment offer; most of what I need to do is within my reach. I just need to stretch a little and then grab an envelope before I can draw back my reluctant arm, dial the toll-free number, and talk to someone for a few minutes. And another problem is paid and fixed. Just keep doing that until I reach for the last problem and it's not there. I'm done.

With the Ambien turning my brain into a comfortable podge of oatmeal, I feel my bowl of words softening and blurring into each other. I've lost the plot of what I was saying or intending to say. Is this coherent? Only you, the reader, can decide. Send your thoughts to us through the Livejournal Comment Box at the bottom of your screen, and your feedback and questions will be delivered to Anna after the show ends.

I'm looking at a randomly chosen passage from Pessoa:
"Knowing that work will never be finished is bad. Worse, nevertheless, is never-done work. The work that we do, at least, is left done. It may be poor, but it exists, like the miserable plant in the only pot my crippled neighbor has. The plant is her joy--sometimes it's mine as well. What I write, and recognize to be bad, can also supply a few moments of distraction from worse things to one or another sorrowful or sad spirit. It's enough for me, or it's not enough, but in some way it's useful, and that's the way my whole life is."

That was just an orphan passage, pulled from the pages to show itself off despite its resistant frown and awkward manner of speech. Pessoa is only awkward when he intends the words to carry that sense of discomfort with themselves, working from one thought to the next in a broken crawl.

I'm starting to get so fumble-fingered and loose-headed with tiredness that I'm at risk for quoting even more random lines from whatever poems lie to hand, or maybe I'll move on to something cryptic about quarks.

But really I'm going to bed. See you tomorrow when the heavy eyelids have lifted again and freed me.
 
 
 
Alizarin_NYC: inara heart and soulalizarin_nyc on December 7th, 2005 07:36 am (UTC)
letting it go feels saner right now

This is a brilliant, brilliant thing. We all need to let go of so many daily trivialities and we don't and then they bog us down.

Congratulations on your 8 months. *ovation*

Ambien is the wonder drug of choice. But I must stay far away from phones, computers and conversation after I have taken it...
timian on December 7th, 2005 09:22 am (UTC)
Eight months sober is awesome. Congratulations.

Also, did you enjoy the Garrison Keillor monologues? I have more if you'd like them. :)
J Calanthe: mmmonkeysjcalanthe on December 7th, 2005 10:27 am (UTC)
Congrats on nearly 8 months sobriety!

I so hear you on letting things go - there's such an art to figuring out what I can let go with acceptable consequences and without beating myself up. Glad to hear you're "trudging up" (which is a really great expression).
lyrstzha: Zoe&Wash: teh_indylyrstzha on December 7th, 2005 11:22 am (UTC)
Congratulations on eight months of sobriety!

On my especially blah days, I tell myself I rock if I can accomplish just one constructive thing per a day. It doesn't always get my bills paid on time either, but it keeps me going.
Very inconvenient, as now I have no shaving-glassdzurlady on December 7th, 2005 11:59 am (UTC)
Congratulations on nearly eight months of sobriety! The quote there is interesting - it's worth simply doing something, for it will have at least some value which something which does not exist cannot. Quite encouraging, if you're trying to write something, really. Speaking of which... *drags self away to work*
flaming muse: rodneybelieve mmmchelleflaming_muse on December 7th, 2005 12:08 pm (UTC)
Eight months sober is a really big deal. You should feel very proud of yourself.

As for everything else... little step by little step sounds like a very good plan. You'll get there. *hugs*
Dammit, Clark's penis is going in *something*.: not on my sleeve (Livia)thete1 on December 7th, 2005 02:16 pm (UTC)
*loves on you rather a lot* and... Time. Being.

Oy, yeah. Those. *wince*

MEANWHILE. I HAVE PREZZIES. I opened two (I TOTALLY NEEDED A NEW CHANGE PURSE OMG. And CHAMOMILE. I LOVE CHAMOMILE. I'm GONNA SMELL LIKE CHAMOMILE.), but I'm totally torturing myself a bit with the rest.

I'm a wicked tease, oh yes I am.

To... myself. Uh.
Anna S.: foraminiferaeliade on December 8th, 2005 02:09 am (UTC)
*loves on you rather a lot*

*cuddle* I owe you much love.

MEANWHILE. I HAVE PREZZIES.

Yay! :D

I'm a wicked tease, oh yes I am.

To... myself. Uh.


Well, none of the items are raw fish, so take your time!
Laura Shapirolaurashapiro on December 7th, 2005 02:52 pm (UTC)
To these eyes, you look like you're taking good care of yourself. Congratulations, and stay strong. We're all rooting for you.
julia_herejulia_here on December 7th, 2005 03:33 pm (UTC)
Hard to respond without rambling sleepily myself. What I find hardest to let go of is saying comprehensively, exactly, what I think.

Congratulations! Eight months is a lot of one day at a time.

Julia, editing mental noise
SpikeLuva: hp // first taskspikeluva on December 7th, 2005 04:07 pm (UTC)
Eight months! That's something to be really proud of. You're doing a great job of being optimistic and you'll get back to dry land soon enough. *hugs*
Herself_nycherself_nyc on December 7th, 2005 04:30 pm (UTC)
You're doing great! Eight months is wonderful. I love reading your thoughts.
Sylvike: Chokecherries on branchfishsanwitt on December 7th, 2005 05:03 pm (UTC)
Congratulation on your eight-month anniversary. That's a big milestone.
(Deleted comment)
WHAT: btvs/ats - anyasluggirl on December 7th, 2005 05:39 pm (UTC)
You are amazing. For lots of reasons. Just wanted to say that.
ruthless1ruthless1 on December 7th, 2005 05:47 pm (UTC)
Congratulations and not just on the eight months, but on all the other things you have done. That adds up to you being quite busy without even knowing it. Those smaller things that you are getting out of the way are going to lead to more clear headed time for WRITING and perhaps enjoying being you a bit more! Yeah you!
*cheers all around for the Anna! Huzzah huzzah HUZZAH*
*claps a little more for good measure*
Velenavelena on December 7th, 2005 06:52 pm (UTC)
I'm flipping through my friends page, and I saw 'Pessoa', and my heart gave a little flip. I adore Pessoa. I always have the Book of Disquiet with me, no matter where I move or go on vacation. I'm sure you've already read this passage, but it's one of my favorites, and also work-related, so I thought I'd quote it. Hope you don't mind.

"I'm astounded whenever I finish something. Astounded and distressed. My perfectionist instinct should inhibit me from finishing; it should inhibit me from even beginning. But I get distracted and start doing something. What I achieve is not the product of an act of my will but of my will's surrender. I begin because I don't have the strength to think; I finish because I don't have the courage to quit. This book is my cowardice."

I wish my cowardices and failures could be as beautiful as Pessoa's. Anyway, hope this little essay-comment isn't bothersome.
Anna S.: claudia-blackeliade on December 7th, 2005 07:00 pm (UTC)
Yes! I just read that passage recently and I think I even had it bookmarked to quote! Like so many other things he says, that resonantes.

I wish my cowardices and failures could be as beautiful as Pessoa's.

Me too. He is amazing.

Anyway, hope this little essay-comment isn't bothersome.

Of course not! Hello. :)
(Deleted comment)
rubywisp: xander/willow beautiful by anno_superstarubywisp on December 7th, 2005 07:29 pm (UTC)
letting it go feels saner right now

YES. I think I need to copy that down and stick in on the wall somewhere.

I have much love for you, sweetie, and I'm so insanely proud of you and your eight months. You're amazing. *hugs*
SilverJaimesilverjaime on December 7th, 2005 08:28 pm (UTC)
Even when you're just writing about what you're doing it sounds like prose....you have such a richness to your language I want to read more not only for the content but just to hear those gorgeous turns of phrase: "despite the disgruntled puffy-eyed stare you'd get if you lived in my mirror." I mean, wow! or...."Pessoa is only awkward when he intends the words to carry that sense of discomfort with themselves, working from one thought to the next in a broken crawl." Awesome to be able to think like that, in those words.

Great to hear your 8-month mark is nearing and you've done it - difficult and awful but you've done it. Congrats are in order.
Please continue to write - I miss your fic, and I wish we could read some of your original work in print. Keep well and take care.

Trepkos: Antpersontrepkos on December 10th, 2005 09:55 pm (UTC)
i am too bleary-eyed to say more than "well done - keep up the good work" but it is sincerely meant.