Mood Altering Behavior

On February 6th, necessity twisted my account yet again. This time, tires. All four. February 7th heard me calling the IRS. (–The state coffers of Connecticut and California still chase the rabbit for now.) Meanwhile in New Haven, on February 8th, the opportunist that saw fit to steal the last of my money stymied the legal proceedings for what has now become the better part of a year. Now, I take all credit for the above. I crashed the Passat with brand new tires in ’09, I skated on my taxes, and while sluicing vodka, I turned my finances over to a liar. How to deal with the ugly spawn of my alcoholic behavior? Well, I tell you, when I wander from behavioral routines, I get lost easily. My head takes over and revives whole armies of fear fiends. The Walking Dead. And the glutton that eats me alive is Guilt. I forget that I am not the only human to pay bills or to square up mistakes. A mortal masquerade of my own making cloaks the spiritual connection, and I forget. My mental and physical still wobble and do not work in tandem–and, typically, I want to jump to spiritual–It figures. The Big Book promises me that fear of “economic insecurity” will leave me. Not yet. Back to CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) I go.

If you have never roused from depression, all this will seem silly. But turning off the television, putting better stuff in the body and a daily commitment to physical exercise begins a mental recovery. I say “begins” because what MY head spins looks something like Buddah, the Atkins Diet and the Tour de France all wrapped up in glorious me. Needless to say another SVU will quell these disturbing non-realities, and I disappear again from my life. I really did need help, and as noted in a former piece, last week I asked for it. The axiom, “baby steps” always prattles in the voice of Bill Murray mimicking my own borderline personality, but the sound cheers me up. I am happy to report that in seven solid days I have not missed an opportunity to pedal or to play outside. The pain of stagnating into muck convinced me to listen to my mentor. I drink an insane amount of water these days and feel unfamiliarly hydrated. –For the TMI category–I commence to pee three times a night. And no matter how down or frightened I feel, I put on my shoes and go outside. I have not been sorry yet.

And here are the results of a week: I have mapped out a plotline for a short story, read back editions of writer’s rags, been a better pet owner, girlfriend, daughter–in that order–and I have stopped crying. –I have stopped crying. That’s huge. The visuals of self-pity, immolation via misery vaporized. I am to play tennis today with a champion in a wheelchair; I am to stay the fuck away from that television and nurture a creative side I do not feel today; I am due to get in the car so that I may listen to other alcoholics without judgment. I only feel like doing one of these these acivities. But it doesn’t matter; I scheduled them all and will look unreliable if I do not. So my motives are not 100%, who cares?

Last week I was ready to take my new tires and sail off Highway 74. Today, the memory zombies and fiends of the future sleep. Mind you, the accounts, the IRS, and the thief remain the same, and they bristle low in my gut. And while intellectually I always knew in a kinda non-intellectual way that I possess the tools–technicolor red shoes come to mind–of myself I am nothing. Truly Creation tweaked my course as without an ego-respite, I would not have been open to change. I may not stay on course, but just for today, I will. Something happened, and I am grateful. I hope I always see the ascension of the albatross as a miracle.

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