Day 275: 9 months! No celebration after all…

I was planning on writing an uplifting and victorious 9 months post, but as usual, reality has a talent for kicking you in the ass whenever you have set expectations. 

Today on the East Coast of the U.S.A. the weather is stormy. Grey and stuffy, hot, humid, irritating. I am not a fan of complaining in public, but I think I need to be real today. No lies, no sugarcoating, no bullshit, no hypocrisy. No “everything is wonderful in sobriety land, namaste to you all”. This afternoon I am feeling depressed, irritable and at a loss as to what to do given the current situation in the world. While my Parisian friends celebrate the “end” of quarantine and the reopening of bars and restaurants, showing off pictures of friends smiling and up holding pints—maskless!!!!— in the sunshine, here, moods and cities are on fire, people are angry, and going through some serious trauma and purging.

I am on the fence about going to the protest tomorrow in the stifling heat, and feeling crushed under the burden of white guilt at the thought of staying home. Most of all, I am feeling guilty for feeling the self-pitying privilege of white guilt in the first place. Sigh. I am stuck in a dark gloomy circle. 

As a white person in a city which is 70% black and heavily affected by racial and social inequality, I feel helpless and complicit with the injustice that has oppressed and oppresses people of color, on a daily basis. On the other hand, as a foreigner, I feel overwhelmed by the intensity of these issues, which I don’t always grasp entirely. On top of that, I feel EXTREMELY guilty for not being more involved, especially with all the calling-out of white people for being misinformed and silently complicit happening this week. Indeed, the more I think about it, the more the “foreigner” thing sounds like a shitty excuse. After all, this is a country of foreigners, who supposedly welcome all people from all nations, and who (sorry fellow American friends) also happens to have murdered the native inhabitants of this land, before enslaving the people of Africa who were brought here on ships, and still murdering African-American citizens in 2020, while everyone watches the insane tweets of an orange faced maniac who somehow ended up in charge. 

I also happen to be leaving this country in 3 months, and am feeling very uncertain and anxious about my own future. Not only do I feel guilty for thinking about myself during these times, I can only imagine how in Europe there will be more shit, more injustice, more helplessness and disillusionment (and more covid) when I return in the fall. The government of my home country, France, is closely following in America’s steps with a neoliberal capitalist policy that can barely call itself socialist anymore. Also, none of this shit is new. Humanity has always been skilled at greed, envy, hatred, oppression, etc. etc. etc. 

It is from such joyful rumination that my cravings to drink emerged this afternoon. As the thunder and lightning roars outside (and hopefully will cool everything down a bit), after lunch I started to feel restless and ate a big bowl of ice-cream, then a bowl of cereal, and since then I have opened and closed the fridge fifty times, leaving empty handed because nothing seemed “worth eating”… and then it hit me. “Man, the only thing that would hit the spot right now is a nice cold IPA”. Bam.

Clearly, what hit me hit was the desire to numb all the unpleasant feelings that have been weighing down on me for the last few days. Letting tears roll down my face during my morning meditations is visibly not enough to get rid of the pent up emotion.

In reaction to these cravings, a part of me (the harsh part) sarcastically sneers: “boo hoo poor little white girl with her first world problems, bored and guilty, sitting in her privileged and safe home, doing nothing to help”. Another one (the pessimist) thinks “what’s the point of anything anyway” and just wants to go to bed, to forget about everything. The disciplined part tried to get me to read a book for my PhD but I simply couldn’t concentrate. Another (the rationalist) started looking for explanations: “Well you DID start halving your antidepressants two days ago…… correlationnnnnn ? And in any case, the country is on fire and Instagram is full of anger and suffering, no wonder you feel like shit if you spend hours scrolling through it everyday”). I just can’t seem to get in touch with the gentle, compassionate part right now. So I came here. I guess that it was the resourceful, wise part, that brought me here.

Cause there’s no way I’m drinking that beer. NO. FUCKING. WAY. By now I’ve grown aware and strong enough to not let myself get tricked by my own thoughts, and to know and trust that these feelings will pass, that I can sit with them, especially when others have to sit with much, much worse.

So I guess in a way, this IS a victorious post. For the first time in many moths, I feel like I’ve made a small win on the sobriety front: there was a challenging moment, and I did the right thing. I did not drink. 

To celebrate, I’ll post an “entry” which I hastily scribbled in my journal yesterday (that I hadn’t touched in months). It shows the before-after between when I moved here, at age 28–and had my first and only ever mental breakdown–, and what it will be like when I leave the country in a few months, at age 33.

Writing it down showed me how far I have come. Although I still often feel like the same person, when I read this list, it makes me seem like a completely different human. 

I am still working towards completing the second list (for example, I am still on a low lose of antidepressants), but in a 3 months if all goes well, I can check everything off.

Of course, there is no way to know if all will go well, but the more I step back, the more I can see the “victory” at the heart of this afternoon’s storm. 

In conclusion, blogging works! Lol

Sending big hugs to everyone ❤

Xxx

Anne

Published by nomorebeer

Learning how sobriety helps you ENJOY life.

30 thoughts on “Day 275: 9 months! No celebration after all…

  1. I’m not sure if guilt over it is warranted or even useful, and I know that I’m in the minority in believing that when it comes to people who are more to the left than right. You shouldn’t beat yourself up for being normal in my opinion. Just going to a protest would make you more engaged than the majority of the world.

    Part of not feeling elated (and even depressed) about your 9 month anniversary could be along the lines of something I heard lately: making progress toward goals is what actually makes us happy. When we achieve our goal, we no longer have anything to look forward to and feel lost. “What now?” Combined with the fact that much of the nation is still locked down and you CAN’T do a lot of the things you want to do… sadness is natural. Don’t beat yourself up though. 9 months is amazing. Maybe try to find something small and inexpensive to buy as a token to represent the day?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. awwww thank you 🙂 Yes I agree that guilt doesn’t help (and is a reflex I am still working on). I think I will go to the protest, just because action often helps whenever I feel stuck in inertia. As for the “now what?” aspect, that’s a great point I hadn’t thought of. Will definitely think more about that! And yes, perhaps I can find a healthy way to treat myself to celebrate – cause indeed, as the months go by I’ve been feeling like it’s less and less of a big deal, when actually it still is 🙂 xxx thanks for commenting !!! ❤ Anne

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      1. So much going on in this post and wish it made sense to go for a long walk and hash through it all with you! Please don’t get down on yourself for not suffering like others are, or start thinking like a hard day like today doesn’t deserve the tough feelings you’re having about it. Just because someone somewhere else is suffering more, it doesn’t mean that your feelings are invalid.
        You’ve clearly come so far, and I love seeing you celebrate that. Let us know how the protest goes if you go, and also if you found some lovely way of treating yourself. Happy 9 months. Incroyable!

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      2. ❤ ❤ ❤ awwwww thank you so much 1000daystosparkle, that really cheered me up, like, a lot! I'll definitely let you guys know how the protests go if I go. i still have a couple hours to decide and find a ride. xxx Anne

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  2. Anne I can totally relate to how your feeling – the guilt of being a miserable privileged person! It is all so depressing plus there is little to distract from it all but you didn’t drink and you’ve come a long way – be proud of yourself! Love and hugs xx💞💞

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  3. Anne as always I am amazed at your strength and in awe of your honestly. This is such a difficult time for so many and guilt is a terrible emotion to deal with. You can’t take on the world’s problems all at once my dear. You have come so far and will continue to grow, of that I am certain. If it helps, I feel bloody terrible at the moment and I know it’s the reduction in my meds. It’s midday here and I am still in bed. I have been in bed since 9pm last night. I keep reading news and feeling hugely angry, sad, despondent and desperate … but I can’t move myself away. We’ll get there. Stick with it. You are in a time of change and you should be so proud of all you have achieved and who you are today. Love to you, lovely Anne xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Awwww Claire thank you so much, I’ve been thinking about you and the meds a lot these last couple of days, wondering how you’re doing. For me I think it is playing a huge part in how horrible I’m feeling (plus it’s PMS week for me). Knowing you’re going through some intense emotions too gives me hope that we’ll survive and even if the world is far from being perfect, we’ll be able to handle it better soon. I’m giving this 1/2 dose thing 2 weeks, and if I’m still feeling miserable then, I’ll reevaluate. Big big hugs xxx hang in there !!! ❤ Anne

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      1. Omg .. PMS week for me too. What were we thinking? I think we have to give it a shot though. Let the side effects take their course and hopefully fade out. Then, and only then, will e know what we are dealing with. What monsters we have unleashed 😂😂. Keep going. Be strong xx

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  4. Dear Anne – I wish you happened to live in my city so we could meet and talk about all of this in person. I feel like we have so many of the same struggles. So many. I sit here in Minneapolis with all the same thoughts / white guilt / feeling like I should be doing more / feeling stupid and selfish for thinking about the small problems in my own life. I also have no idea what I am going to “do next”. And struggled with binge eating for so many years. It is better now, but I still have to kick the alcohol habit! Thank you for sharing everything!

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    1. awww thank you for these words frugalveganmom 🙂 they really brought a bit of warmth to my heart. I’ve been asking around and most of my friends here seem to be feeling little to no guilt, and happy just donating if they’re not protesting. Anyway it’s great you managed to get the binge eating under control – those tools will definitely help you with the alcohol if you decide to give it a break 🙂 Thank you so much for commenting, it means a lot ❤ xxx Anne

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  5. Huge congratulations on not drinking! It’s especially hard right now what with all the pain and chaos so that decision not to drink is absolutely a victory! This was such an interesting post to read – thank you so much for sharing 😊💙

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    1. awwwww thank you so much Paige, those words made me smile and remember that yes, every little non-drinking victory counts ❤ thanks so much for taking the time to comment, it means a lot !! xxx Anne

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations on 9 months, Anne! And for recognizing, and defeating those self-sabotaging thoughts. That kind, compassionate voice is always the hardest one to find…💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. awwwww thank you Collette! It’s lovely to see this whole post as a defeat of negativity. It certainly didn’t feel that way as I wrote it 😉 xxxx ❤ Big hugs xxx Anne

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  7. Wow….just freakin wow. Have you been in my head? I could have written this post- though nowhere near as eloquently as you, Anne. I feel your pain. Even though I don’t have a desire to drink, I do have a restlessness that would send me on a record setting binge if I were. Really well done post, my friend. Thank you.💜

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    1. wow thank you Elizabeth ❤ Definitely a lot of tough feelings to process these days, but I am so proud that I didn't let them get to my head; Thank you SO MUCH for the really supportive comment, it means a lot! xxx Anne

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