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.