Half Measures Availed Us Nothing.

“Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point.”

How true this message holds in every area of my life. I’m at a turning point in regards to each facet of my existence.

In my sobriety, do I want to continue doing things the same way I did before? I do not, because I want to remain strong and steadfast, to avoid another relapse. The divide that grew steadily between who I presented on the outside and how I felt on the inside last year became an impossible gap to close and inevitably led me back to the bottle. I was not rigorously honest with those around me, nor with myself, and I kept things to myself that I should have shared with someone else. Today I have a mentor whom I love and trust with my entire being, and I know her sole motive is to see me stay sober. What an incredible experience I get to share with another human being.

The honesty and avoidance of that ever-increasing divide now leads into my coming to terms with my gender identity, understanding who I am and who I am not. I want to align what I present to the world with the way I feel on the inside, and what I once saw as an ugly demon to keep at bay I now realize is my true self, who I am meant to be. What a disservice to myself and those around me to keep that locked inside, to use alcohol and drugs to hide it and throw away the key. The boy inside wants so badly to be let out and is trying with all his might to garner my attention, to be taken seriously, to be allowed freedom of expression. I don’t want to be scared of who I am anymore, I want to embrace it and learn to love myself for exactly who I am.

I began taking Risperidone in December of 2015 to help stabilize my erratic mood swings from highly manic episodes to incredibly depressive lows, to a more grey area, middle ground to notice my behaviors and how they affect those around me. While it’s helped me tremendously along this path of self-acceptance and working to better myself, a negative side effect I’ve experienced is extreme weight gain. At 5’7″ I was consistently around 140 lbs for most of my adult life, but I currently stand at 185 lbs, an increase of the weight of a young child. Adding on these extra pounds has increased the feminine appearance of my body with its new, soft curves, and has contributed to body dysmorphia and an extreme uncomfortability each time I look in the mirror. While my esteem should not be based solely on my body, it has a part in the way I feel about myself and I want to make changes to continue helping the outside match my inside. I’ve read up on healthy eating habits and small exercise routines to help me lose the weight, and once it’s off I can begin building some muscle mass to help with the gender and body dyspohoria I experience. I read an article from someone who made an important distinction: that my altered eating habits will not be going on a diet, but changing my diet. If I’m going on a diet it implies that at some point I will go off of that diet, but if I’m changing my diet then I realize that I’m making a positive step in the correct direction in how I live my life.

Ultimately, in each piece, half measures will avail me nothing. If I try halfheartedly at any of these parts of myself, the result will be nil. I’m on an incredible path and a new friend told me that I should appreciate each small, everyday victory of this incredible journey. That is what I’d like to document on this blog: the everyday victories that will accumulate into the person I am meant to be. If I don’t appreciate each step of the way I will not be able to fully appreciate who I become in the future. I cannot wait to see where I end up, but the most important aspect of my life today is learning to remain in the present, with each breath I take. All I can control is right now and half measures will avail me nothing. Not every day will be a step forward, but as I make a record of each step regardless of its direction, it will culminate into the incredible human I know is waiting to be let out.

Enduring vs. Living Life.

This is an interesting comparison to consider because not only do I endure life while drinking, I endure it while sober and trying to run the show on my own. I can confuse it for living life, but I know I’m only enduring it by that absolute exhaustion and feeling like I can’t do it. Because, when it comes down to it, I can’t do it. Not on my own, at least. And when I feel helpless, that’s when I know I’m cut off from God, whether or not (usually not) I acknowledge it at the time.

“We pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action.” That’s so much easier to remember in hindsight. The Big Book says it will gradually become a working part of my mind, but I can do more to be aware of and ensure that. That’s something I can work on, and it’s something I would do well to work on, especially if I prefer to live life rather than endure it.

Day 50.

I refer to myself a writer but, truth be told, I haven’t written anything of substance since I graduated college in 2014. Even then, the pieces I wrote were for creative writing class assignments and not from my own initiation. So can I really be called a writer?

I continually expect inspiration to one day strike and assume that I will suddenly pen the world’s greatest something, but I’m learning that isn’t how things work. I have to put forth the effort and that’s something I haven’t done in a long time. The only work I’ve done consistently in the last six years was to obtain money to purchase alcohol or drugs in order to fuel an addiction that I’m finally beginning to kick. Now that I’m getting sober (and laid off less than a week ago), I’ve found myself at a loss for what to do. I identify with whatever I find myself involved in at the moment, and now that I’m only getting sober, it is the sole purpose I’m currently able to identify in my life. Like my unattainable inspiration, I hope that I will be ascribed a purpose, something to give me a reason to be, to get up in the morning, to work, to live. But, again, it doesn’t come about that way.

The answer to most of my problems always devolves into doing the footwork. The footwork to what I’m not quite sure, but if I don’t start running in some sort of direction I’ll find myself back at the bottle or hit that wants so desperately to destroy me. I seem to be a fan of destruction. It’s time to construct instead. I start things and repeatedly leave them quarter- or half-finished and that has been my downfall during the twenty-four years I’ve inhabited this earth. I’ve started blogs, began papers, discovered hobbies, all to abandon them nearly as soon as I’ve begun. The only thing I’ve seen completely through is my education. I have a four-year college degree. While nothing to take for granted, I find excuses to add it to the ever-increasing list of why I’m not good enough: I chose to major in something useless, I didn’t try hard enough, I wasted the time of myself and everyone around. I turn it into ammunition for the negative self-talk so pervasive in my mind.

Rather than resting on my laurels, I want to create a new project I can see through to fruition. Whatever that fruition may be, I simply desire to work towards something that isn’t getting loaded, and I want to document it on these electronic pages. I’ve begun personal writing in notebooks again during these last two weeks, but perhaps framing them on a public sector will hold me to a some semblance of accountability. The self-deprecation makes me wish I would have initiated this earlier in my sobriety, but I’m working at not allowing that inner monologue dictate how I live. I have fifty days sober today. Rather than focus on what I “could have” done, I choose to realize that my starting this in the first place is a positive. It doesn’t matter that I didn’t do so right away, I’m doing it now.  I’m not sure who will read this, whether the audience will remain minimal or become substantial, but this is the first honest piece of writing I’ve done since, perhaps, my childhood.