Wednesday, July 22

The Coronation of Queen Anxiety


The official pile has been placed in the corner of my increasingly empty room. The collection of things accompanying me to Washington has grown, shrunk a bit, and then grown some more. I went through books, various cords and their electronic components, artwork, kitchenware, bedding, and toiletries to cleanse my life of things that will simply not fit into a Kia Soul.

And then there was a different pile containing movie ticket stubs, gifts I clutched in the middle of the night when I was alone, handwritten notes, music, movies, clothing, and comfort. I sat with these things individually, holding them as if I was just introduced to them for the first time. What do I do with these things? Who would want them besides me? Do I want anyone to have these things that now have negative connotations within them? They are not welcome in the car, and they aren't exactly things that can be donated.

I went to get a trash bag. In they went, separating the plastic as they tumbled to the bottom of their ill-fated home. I cinched the top and walked out to the trash bins behind my home. I wasn't crying, but I felt heavy and lethargic, like I was going through a break up all over again. What should have been a quick and easy bandaid removal ended up being a long, detailed surgery over many weeks. Communication withered, texts became blips every few days, anger poured from the mouths of two people who once had everything. I lifted the lid to the trash, dropped it in, and started crying. The only thing left to remove is the bed, but it won't fit in the trash bin.

I went back up to my room. No cat, no boyfriend. Just a pile of things awaiting transport. I sat with the cat toys I found behind previously removed furniture, a little clown fish and a mouse. I felt empty for hours, a blank mind and body alone on the carpet. The removal of those things made this move very real today. It's happening. It's imminent, lurking and undulating. I now just have myself to worry about. So why is that so scary? If it's just me I need to care for, why do I feel helpless to past romantic voids? Maybe the drive will help.

Yesterday I went to see my endocrinologist for the last time. He was excited to see that my blood sugars have been better than ever since I quit drinking. He tickled my feet for signs of neuropathy and wished me well with my travels. My A1C is down to 6.4, the best it's ever been. When my drinking was at it's worst, I was sitting somewhere around a 7.3, which isn't great but not bad either. He told me he'd prefer me to be somewhere between 5 and 7, and today I'm at exactly that.

My car also had an appointment to prepare for Monday's departure: oil changed, fluids flushed, tires rotated, rumination refilled.

So now I just wait?

I spent most of today just trying to pass the time and distract myself from the garbage bin anxiety. I wrote a monologue/lecture type thing for Boy Kisses this coming Sunday, my last show in Minneapolis for the foreseeable future. I'm debating about coming back for 10,000 Laughs, but I'm not sure if I want to spend the money to come back so soon after leaving. I'm going to miss Minneapolis with its giant spoon and oblivious drivers and too many breweries and weird accents and cheese curds and sticky summers and abrasive winters and Uptown elitists and crying cicadas and you.

I have minimal plans the next few days, an AA meeting here and there and maybe an open mic or a July Fighter show. This week has already gone by faster than I anticipated. I need to remember to breathe and take a step back when I'm anxious or panicky. I'll be okay, it's just driving. I've felt extremely uncomfortable being alone the last few days, like I need to be in constant contact with someone to not feel afraid or worried. I haven't been able to get off Facebook, Reddit, or my phone for the fear of being alone with myself. I'm not comfortable with silence, especially in the fall when I no longer need the constant hum of the air conditioner and the air is just thick with nothing.

Being sober is scary. All of my thoughts and delusions are real. My dreams have become violent and I'm not sure how to interpret them in a comfortable manner. High school enemies use my sobriety against me. I drink and then wake up feeling extremely guilty and ashamed that I subconsciously threw away my sobriety at a bar I would be caught dead drinking in. Am I drunk in my dreams? Is that why I've been screaming but no voice is expelled from my mouth? Or why I run and fall and scrape my knees but no one stops to help me? Every dream is a nightmare and I've been procrastinating on sleeping because I don't want to face feeling guilty in the morning for something I haven't done. I'm approaching the six month mark, and supposedly it's common for people start getting a little too comfortable with their sobriety. They start to think they can moderate themselves or treat themselves every once in a while, and before they know it, they were even worse than before. I can't let my mind trick me. It used to trick me all the time when I was drinking. I can stop whenever I want. I don't have to drink today. I should go to the liquor store, I mean it's Thursday for fuck's sake. 

Empty, barren room. I think I still associate this room with drinking because this very room I'm in right now protected me from the outside elements. It didn't judge me, it didn't accuse me of anything. It just let me drink in peace. And now I need to find my sober peace elsewhere. The room will only get emptier as the days tick down.

I just wish I wasn't alone for so much of it. I need to not psyche myself out so much. Everything will be okay. Maybe not right now, but someday.

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