Monday, March 5, 2012

Can Someone Actually Be Addicted To Change?

I had the strangest dream last night... I was getting my license back after having it revoked because of a DUI. When I went to the officer at the DMV, he asked me, with a very friendly smile “So, what have you changed about your life to ensure that this isn’t going to happen again?” 

I remember thinking about all the different things I had changed. I told him I had quit gambling. I’m not really sure what that had to do with anything... but he seemed pleased about it. I also told him that I no longer smoked cigarettes and decided to quit smoking weed. He nodded patiently and with approval. 

I stood there in silence for a moment, trying to decide what else I should let him know. Then, as if a lightbulb came on, my face lit up as I excitedly told him “Oh yeah! And I quit drinking!” 

It’s only been about a month since I decided to halt my drinking for a while. A year is what I said. My enabling friends allowed me to alter that time frame whenever I felt like going out and drinking with them again... but the more I move on with it, the more comfortable I am with my decision. 

At first, I felt a little like an addict who needed a fix and therefore, couldn’t put myself in a situation where the temptation of alcohol would be too overwhelming. However, over the last couple of weeks, I’ve frolicked amongst the bars on downtown Fremont and attended a birthday party where everyone was drinking but me. And you know what? It really wasn’t that bad. No one gave me any shit for not drinking and I had a good time at both events. In fact, I may have had a better time given that I remember the whole evening and felt great the next day. 

The more I go out, the more powerful I feel. I am very happy to be in control and not feel that some substance has its grip on me. This kind of result is definitely more consistent with my belief about responsibility and accountability. 

There are a few things I miss... the idea of pairing a delicate Pinot Noir with a perfectly cooked steak or tasting a seasonal porter that is actually made with bacon. I miss going to our local brewery and trying the guest brews on draft to see if any of them can top the last batch in flavor and complexity. I’ve missed the part of alcohol that is beautiful and fun. I’ve spent so much time just trying to get hammered as quickly as possible. 

For these reasons, I’m not sure if I will quit drinking forever. However, I feel that maybe, in a year, I will be able to appreciate drinking for different reasons. I will be able to decide when drinking is appropriate and how much is enough. I will be responsible enough to have a designated driver or take a cab when I know I’ll be out having a drink or two. I’ll leave jagermeister behind as there is only one reason I choose to drink that. 

I like to think that all of these things will be true in a year. Only time will tell... if not, I think that living a life without alcohol is certainly not the worst thing in the world. 

In other news, Family Fit Club is going pretty well. I’m down 14.5 pounds and feeling really great. My jeans are all too big, I’m swimming in my work shirts and I can run for an hour on the treadmill without any issues. My energy is back up where I like it and my belly is very close to being bikini ready. In fact, yesterday was Picture Day and I was extremely pleased with my progress. 

In addition to just looking and feeling better, the other benefits of Family Fit Club are really beginning to show. I love how much Tim has embraced working out and losing weight. Whenever we can, we work out together at the fitness center in our apartment complex and on top of the 20+ pounds he has lost, his confidence in both exercising and lifting weights has really increased. It’s nice to see him getting so healthy - and watching his body change and become stronger and leaner is not so shabby either... I think we are both very much looking forward to summer and showing off each other’s hard work. 

The family is doing well with their weight loss too. Mom and Dad have slowly and steadily been losing, which is the best way to keep it off for a long time. While neither of them have ever really been big drinkers, they have both quit drinking completely and have been exceptionally conscientious about their diets. Speaking a bit from righteousness, I’d like to see them incorporate more exercise into their daily habits, but what they’ve already done is a huge accomplishment. 

I’m also very happy with the other elements of Family Fit Club. The first week’s fitness challenges are providing me with a nice change up in my workout efforts. The second week is full of personal achievements and I’ve been able to get a lot of things done that I’ve been putting off. The third week of “sacrifices” hasn’t been too difficult for me yet as I’ve become sort of a sacrifice guru, but it’s always nice to have a new goal... and the fourth week of “date night” has really helped to bring new adventures into me and Tim’s life together. Finally, our monthly family function has been a fantastic way for all of us to spend time with each other and try new things. 

Something else that has been keeping me in good spirits is preparing for an upcoming bird show where I’ll be exhibiting. Getting back into art has really been good for me. Especially because I feel like I’m doing the best work I’ve ever done. 

And then, of course, there are the braces. They go on this Thursday morning. On top of everything else I am doing for myself, this procedure is really going to make me feel like the “Year of Health” is well underway. 

So, everything is great, right? Well, yeah... mostly. 

There is really only one thing that I’m not completely happy with and that is this blog. It’s strange... this blog gets a lot less attention and feedback when it’s full of all the good things that are happening for me. I’m sure I’ve mentioned that before. It’s gotten to the point where I’ll be having a bad day and think to myself “wow, I should write a blog today and maybe get a comment or two”. 

Pretty sad, actually... 

But that’s not the real problem... it’s not that everything is great and therefore I have nothing to write about. There are some things that bother me that I wish I could write about.. I just feel like I can’t. 

When I started this blog, it was a no-holds-barred, all in, take it or read something else kind of project. I didn’t care what I said or who I hurt. If I had something to say, I said it. And I think that kind of raw expression really captivated a lot of people. Shit, I found myself addicted to it. 

But things are different now... for example - especially with my first few blogs, I really upset my family. They didn’t like being on display for anyone to read about. It caused a lot of tension. My dad, acting as a liaison, asked me to quit writing so personally about the family. It bothered me at first but I agreed to keep it more about me and less about them. 

Now that the family is closer than we have been in a long time, I definitely don’t want to do anything to screw it up. But there are things going on that are bothering me that I would love to write about (because I know others experience it with their families and being relatable has always been my goal) and I know I can’t. Feeling like I “can’t” write about something makes me angry. It goes against everything this blog was intended for. 

My relationship with Tim is great. However, being the kind of analytical over-thinker I am, sometimes I go through phases where I’m not completely satisfied with how we are handling our issues or the thoughts that go through my mind. Having an outlet like this blog was always such a nice way to work through things. “Writing it out” is what I used to call it. 

Now I have to handle it by actually speaking with the people I’m closest to? Are you crazy? Don’t you know how much easier it is to write without caution, hit “publish” and hide for a few days? 

Ahem... yeah... 

Therefore, I think I’ll focus on other things for a while. I’m going to work on my other writing project with the help of my friend, Rodney who has agreed to assist me with all the spam that has hindered me from moving forward with it... and I’m going to continue focusing on my art as it’s really empowering me more than ever before. 

Plus, there are a lot of shit blogs out there. I always fear that mine will become one of them. I never want to write for the sake of writing and a few of my last blogs have felt like that. I also don’t want to use this as a vehicle to hurt my loved ones. The fear of doing so has kept me from being as vulnerable as I’ve been in the past. 

Realizing that even those friends that I considered to be close to me really aren’t, it encourages me to focus more on the relationships that are the most meaningful - my family and Tim. After all, my sister-in-law is full term and my niece will be here any day. Who has time for “friends” that don’t really care about me, anyway? I have a family and boyfriend that do want me in their lives, and that is where my attention should be.

So, I’ll be around... but I have a feeling my posts will be fewer and more far between than ever before. But since my biggest days of blog page views come from my most miserable and sometimes mean posts, perhaps this is a step in the right direction as far as my own happiness goes. 

"Yes, Officer, I did give up something else. My security blanket."

See you around the blogosphere... 


  1. How pleasant! The statement i like the most is that having increasingly less negative things to write about may be a step in the right direction. That is huge. I commend you for writing this in the first place, but am more pleased to witness it come full circle in a way. Your happiness is vital to me. I love you with my whole being. Xoxo

    1. Thank you for being with me on this journey. :)

  2. Hi!
    Jer here, first time reader, longtime fan.
    This is a great post about a great outlook. I admire willpower and mental strength, your pursuit of self-improvement to meet your OWN expectations is noble... and achievable.
    Let Jackie and I know if there's anything we can do, you know we love you two!


    1. What a sweet comment, thank you so much! We think the world of you two as well - unfortunately, good people aren't as easy to come by as I'd like to think. We both feel very lucky to know you two. Thanks for reading. :)

  3. Not only do you guys feel healthier but you all look so happy. It's interesting how our priorities change over time. I'm glad you've found a good spot. To me, this post is one of your best.

    1. Thanks so much, K - coming from you, I take that very, very seriously. Yes, our priorities do continue to change and it's not always easy to keep up. Thanks for reading and for your support. It sure is nice to see the family so happy. :)

  4. Purging the negative in order to radiate the positive...that's change for the better.....Good for you!