Hey. Day 834 here.

I’m in a funny lull, maybe in somebody’s else’s form it would be a midlife crisis. But my type of puzzlement is quiet and odd and hard to pin down. Time is shape shifting and, even though the contents of my life look normal, a voice inside wants to know where the thing is that’s missing.

I think I may actually, finally, after decades, be slow ing down .

Interesting that it took almost two and a half years after quitting drinking, right?

Looking back, I think I’ve been running and running, internally, for a really long time. Since late 20s perhaps? Or if you could go back there, then it would become obvious that it was since high school? In grad school there was a friend (acquaintance actually, perceptive one) who said, you are very tightly wound up inside. You give the appearance of being laid back, but you are tense inside. Around the same time a roommate said, Adrian, you NEVER sit down. You’re always moving. (This from a woman who would spend hours writing in her notebook sitting on the couch, who now is a gifted animator. She had the eyes to see.)

In my twenties I ran from myself via a binge eating disorder. From 28 to 35 I was fairly free of all that, but ran from myself via grad school and competition and constant stress. Around the time that phase ended I bought my first six pack of beer and brought it home and noticed that boy it didn’t sit in the fridge for very long. So I ran from myself using the very most best chemical in the world (if there are better ones than alcohol, if you add the chemical itself plus its being so socially sanctioned and misunderstood, I don’t want to know about them) from age 38-ish to 47-ish (2015). Started trying to get traction to quit, and with all the struggle and stopping and then drinking again and trying again etc., I think that was probably definitely still running from myself, though with periods of more calm.

And now here we are, 27 months without the internal racing brought by having the alcohol escape hatch right there. The past year or so has had a ton of heavy projects, both buildings (I have two rental buildings and moved out of one, which required a ton of work to fix that apartment up; and renovated a basement room to live in; and was blessed by new tenants who are real a#sh*les, first time that’s happened) and work-work (freelance report production for groups of engineers working on clean energy) — and, they’ve concluded or let up and become manageable. And I’m trying to learn how to let life slow down. It’s a really weird feeling.

I have definite things I want to spend time on, both writing- and tool-related. But in the background is a tiny voice wondering what it’s all for. (If you do enneagram stuff, this is most definitely the 4 talking.) You know, like, if I had six months to live and the end of this wondrous trip was in sight, what would make me feel complete?

I did not have the time or mental or heart space to hear these beings when I was drinking.

I don’t think the answer is some big obvious accomplishment sort of thing. I think it’s an inner shift. The ability to be more myself or more with myself. It may have to do with trees. It’s uncomfortable but I recently realized that the discomfortability is the thing right now. (I am a pro resister of difficult feelings.)

So maybe I celebrate and enjoy the beginning of the ability to slow down. I am grateful to be more settled in my not drinking than I was for a long long time. I feel like I was on the slow track. For many months (I remember writing about that a couple of years ago) I felt like I had jumped the fence away from alcohol and was just cowering on the other side, not sure what to do except not drink. Then maybe I felt calmer (can’t remember), but more recently, toward the end of year 2, was simply uptight. Preoccupied with alcohol. It was annoying. For weeks and months. And then last fall it all calmed down. I don’t expect it to stay calmed down, but am enjoying this phase while it lasts. If I get jumpy again, at least it’ll be a different version (presumably) of jumpy.

So hey, I am in a funny lull and I decided to talk to you on the other side of this screen. Thank you for listening. I have more to say about internal clearings and practices to help oneself see what humanness and reality and freedom truly are.

How are you? As a friend of mine used to say, “Abuelita adrianita, cuentame un cuento.” Tell me a story!


4 thoughts on “February

  1. Hi Adrian!
    It’s really nice to read you are slowing down, and just feeling calmer. I think when I was drinking I definitely liked the rush it gave me.

    Now, I wish I wasn’t so slow! I have two speeds, according to Mr. UT. Slow and stop!
    No cool stories to tell here, lol. Lots of snow, as you probably know!

    Liked by 1 person

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