alcoholism · change · choice · community · despair · recovery

The Bomb Squad.

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Paying rent is a choice, she told me.
Um, What?
Sure. You can choose to pay your rent or not. If you choose
not to pay rent, you face those results. If you choose to pay, that has
different results. But it’s still a choice; you do have power here: where would you
rather spend your money?
I was about 2 years into actively looking at my numbers and
money, and back at the beginning of some work around my relationship to money,
being broke, struggling, restrict & binging (aka depriving & then overspending).
The pattern that I would fall into was like clock-work.
Every year and a half into a job that I didn’t enjoy, I would begin to feel
frantic. Trapped. Manic. Suicidal. How can I make it stop?, I’d
wail.
With no tools or guide, I
would do what I thought made sense: Quit the job.
With no tools or guide, that didn’t really accomplish
much. Except send me back into a different kind of mania and frenzy – now I
had nothing, no savings, no job, and no plan. Three times in the last 8 years,
I ended up with less than $5.00 in my bank account.
Each time, “miraculously,” I would land another job just in
the nick of time. But it would be one job same as the other job same as the
other job.
I had no idea how to break this cycle. I thought I was being
diligent. I would reach out to people before I would quit. I would do
informational interviews, and send out tentative resumes. I would look on
craigslist for “creative” jobs, but would somehow end up at an ad posted by a foot fetishist…
Anything. Anything to
not sit in front of a computer all day, I thought. – Well,
almost anything.
And so about 3 years ago, in despair, I went near bawling to a meeting of
folks who are trying to claw their way out of the pit of debt, financial worry,
self-abandonment. Because, in the end, I’ve learned, it’s a function of self-worth.
So, I began working with a new mentor about a year ago. She
had hopes for me I couldn’t imagine at all. Buying a car to get me to auditions
and band practice, being a big one. Not me. Not people like me. I’m a fuck-up.
I ruin things. I’m broke. Hello?!
But, she held out hope for an idea I could never have
conceived of. And 6 months later, I put a down payment on a car.
A car that takes me to auditions and band practice.
However, it’s not the
rosy scene it seems.
About two months ago or so, the itch arose again, the heat turned up. I
gotta get outta this job
. I’m dying here! GET ME THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!
And along with that struggle and pain and fury and anguish
again arose the suicidal ideation, because how else can I get out of this
pattern. I am doing all this work, I have a car now, I’m doing shit, but I HATE
MY JOB. I will never end this cycle, and I can’t quit again.
I can’t quit again.
I can’t quit again.
Quitting, for me, is equivalent to relapse. It’s insane to
think it would be different this time. It’s insane to throw myself back into
the cycle. IT’S NOT THE SAME. IT CAN’T BE THE SAME. I don’t have to be the same…
And that’s where the change happened.
I reached out every single fucking day during that period,
texting and calling friends in TEARS, unable to see out of this hole. Telling
them, please please PLEASE help me not to quit today. That I see the insanity of this. That I can’t go down that path
again. That I don’t want to detonate my life again.
I don’t want to detonate my life again.
I like stability. I like the freedom of knowing how I’m going to fill my
fridge and my gas tank. That
doesn’t
mean that I have to do the kind of work I’m doing for the rest of my life, but
for
right now! for this minute!,
it does.
And please dear god, help me not nuke my life again.
And, you know – I didn’t. 
Because I didn’t, because I sat through some of the most
uncomfortable feelings I’ve ever had, through that pain and frustration and ire
and hopelessness and despair, because others told me that it would pass, because they told me to read the chapter on Withdrawal, because they told me they believed that I could find another way if I just held
tight…. I got the chance to drive a car with a tank of gas and belly full of
food to an audition and land a role. I got to show up for the things that give me zest and zeal
and love and joy.
I get to do that today, because I sat through some of the
worst anguish I know. And I came to the other side of it.
This does not mean that I love my job. It doesn’t mean I
don’t want to do different work. It doesn’t mean I enjoy my job any more than I
did. But it means that it’s not my whole world. And by allowing myself to sit
still, I am available for the other things that feed me. Like groceries.
I have never come to this side of that struggle before, so I
don’t really know what will come on the other side. Except, today, play with my band, tomorrow theater rehearsal, and Monday, a photo shoot.
If I had quit, I couldn’t show up, because I’d be in despair
of not having any money and a frenzy of trying to find work. I don’t like that I have to show up and adjust margins for a
goddamn living.
But by not nuking my life, I get to have a life. 

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