Day 22. And Monday.

I went from zero to fuck-it in about 10 minutes this morning. I’m glad it is not evening right now, because it would be that much harder not to drink my face off. This is not cool.

I think what did me in was reading job ads. I pretty much get by on contract work and teaching, but I do long for a “real” job with those things that an adult starts to worry about, pushing 50 and all: a pension, benefits, security. But when I read through those ads and see that despite a PhD and solid track record in research and publishing, I don’t seem to “fit” anywhere, I feel resentment, and I feel despair. I shut down inside.

A few weeks ago, before I took the plunge and quit drinking, I told a family member. “I know I drink too much. But I can’t think of a good reason to stop.”

When I heard those words coming out of my mouth that day, and I was scared. I mean, this is realllly dark (sorry) but it occurred to me that one could, if inclined, use alcohol as a long, slow form of suicide. And I realized I was lacking both hope and a sense of purpose in my life. I am feeling that lack this morning, which is why I want… oblivion. Drinking is an excellent, effective way to just damn-well give up.

The little bit I’ve learned from reading and practicing Buddhism the past couple of years is that we are not our thoughts and feelings. There are ways, through meditation, to gain some distance from the storms that gather inside our hearts and heads, recognizing that these come and go. Sometimes that’s easier said than done, of course. But one can try.

So I’m going to go for a run and get some of this crap out of my system. And then I’m going to be a good Buddhist and try to sit quietly with what is painful, and if all else fails muster some faith that the crap feelings will pass. I mean they do, right? I’ve felt this way before. And then a couple of days later it’s like “What the hell was all that about?”

Some days are tougher than others.


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