Friday, September 26, 2008

"All I want," she sighed, "is..."

Let me start off by thanking you for your understanding, advice and support. Further, I'm feeling a little grayer after so much blackness. Getting a very small cold that's kept me away from the nursing home has also given me a small space -- very small because I've been sleeping like it's my new profession and I am not abstinent. There hasn't been room for the Great American Novel in the gap my cold gave me, or even room to do the laundry or bathe every day. But I'm in less despair than a week ago.

Just before I set out on the afternoon dog rounds, I was sitting in my kitchen not enjoying the taste of my coffee and whining to myself. "I don't even know what I want," I said of today's soporific atmosphere.

That was immediately and transparently one of the stupidest things I've ever said.

I want to be abstinent, I retorted.

I want a bunch of money.
I want to be thin.
I want to start chapter three of my novel.
I want to get Pam's situation under control.
I want some energy.
I want to be in [my 12-step] Program.

Those were the items that came to mind at the moment. Here are some more:

I want to live in a home where I can give a dinner party.
I want my body not to ache.
I want a television that's not snowy and a DVD player in both my computer and my television that works.
I want Barak Obama to win the election. I want him to get us the hell out of Iraq. I want him to make Brian Schweitzer Secretary of Energy.
I want to go on a real vacation.
I want my debt to be less that five thousand dollars.
I want to know if my Missoula friends are still my friends.
I want lilac bushes.

I have no illusions that these things will make me happy-with-a-capital-H-Happy, but they would certainly promote comfort, satisfaction, community, existential meaning, and hope.

What have I done as I've slowly (and I do mean slowly) pulled myself up out of this dark place? I ordered most of my Christmas presents. I figured out how to make some stuff on Cafe Press. I've given reasonably good dog. I've eaten what I wanted, or thought I wanted, at night.

As I look at this list, I'm struck by how achievable they are. I'm pretty powerless over Pam's recovery in and of itself but I can coordinate things to facilitate it. I'm quite powerless over the election and I wish the Obama people would stop emailing me forty times a day to "call my friends and talk them into voting" for him. They have in their records my zip code. I live in a zip code that sports Obama placards in twentieth-story apartments; I don't know anyone here who's not voting for him and I won't risk yet another family schism by talking about it in certain quarters.

I'm utterly powerless over the appointment of Schweitzer to a new cabinet.

I'd say the big stumbling block in the way of everything is lack of abstinence and lack of energy.

I wonder if they're the same thing.


Unknown said...

I love, love, love that you're thinking about what YOU want.

Unknown said...

I love what you're thinking about too. I'm new here, just read PFT and went back to a meeting! Thank you! This is a test to see if I'm really posting. I have a lilac I started from a twig :) so proud- it's 2-3 ft now! I'm on the northernmost cali coast in the Redwoods. More later...

Lori G. said...

I too love that you are thinking of things in a different way and you can see you are doing pretty good all things considered.

Now I have to look up Brian Schweitzer.

Anonymous said...

I believe they are connected...lack of abstinence and lack of energy and of course this leads to lack of productivity and more for me. I have a list of very doable things too, but in spite of it, I seem to live a kind of sub par life. I'm, for whatever reason, just not ready to let myself kick for me yet. It sucks, but I find that it helps to remember that I always get out of it and rally eventually.

Your blog is always helpful no matter what state you are in... (abstinent or not) because of your honesty. When I first found you (your book), I told friend after friend about the part where you described your excitement over the kiss and that guy who suggested a cleanse...It was gut wrenching to me because I rode your excitement, so it became my letdown too. I was shocked by your honesty about it. Reading your blog has the same effect on me and makes you very easy to relate have ups and downs and make no bones about it. You are always strong even if you feel less so on any given day and this helps me.

These days, you are being gentle with yourself...and it's healing you...and me by proxy!

Love this post.

Bea said...

Ummm, in reading your list I was struck by how many of the things you want...I have. Even down to the lilac bushes. Made me feel sort of funny.

Maybe this thin mania is not so damn important after all. Maybe being under 200 pounds is good enough. Being unhappy about my fat is habit. I think maybe transfering that unhappiness over on to every other part of my life is also a habit. A bad habit. I use my unhappiness about my fat to taint the rest of my life. Dawns on me this is self destructive.

For me being over two hundred pounds definitely affected everything else in my life. But at 190 I occasionally forget I am fat and just act like a normal sized person. A well blessed normal size person. MUCH to think about in this post. Thanks