Day 89: Developing My Negatives

I heard this gem in an AA meeting recently:

Isolation is just a dark room where you develop your negatives.

I don’t know why, but, I thought that was pretty brilliant.

I like it because I can relate. Isolation can be a go-to coping mechanism. I know it isn’t healthy, but, sometimes the need for it is pretty overwhelming. And, with my 3 month milestone tomorrow, I’m feeling pretty overwhelmed.

So many thoughts are running around in my head, most of which, are conflicting. Pride and self worth one minute, doubt and frustration the next. I’ve been feeling unstable, and I haven’t really been able to put my finger on what exactly has been bugging me. There are a lot of things flying around. The holidays, stress in treatment, graduating treatment soon, preparing to reenter the workforce, money problems, all these things hang like ornaments on the Christmas tree of my mind.

I’ve wanted to crawl into bed and stay there forever. It just seems like it would make everything a little bit better for me. And, of course, my intellectual self knows better, but, who wants to listen to that old bat? Emotions seem to reign supreme these days and, it’s a recipe for disaster.

Tonight, I hadn’t had plans to hang out with Lars. But, after chatting on the phone it looked as though, perhaps, a get together would be in the cards. And, upon the idea’s conception, I was filled with relief. On some base level, I know I’m hurting, and I didn’t want to be alone. But, wanting and inclination part ways sometimes. Lars had other obligations until later in the evening. And, in the period of time between our phone conversation and waiting for his text message about meeting up, my emotional brain went into overload. Nothing to do with him really, but, my fears about my sobriety’s stability right before this milestone, compounded tenfold. So, rather than be upfront, and say I was pretty much freaking out, I bailed.

I decided, for some stupid reason, to develop my negatives. So, I started with the negative self talk and began baking. Baking and baking and baking some tea cookies. I wasn’t having fun, it wasn’t taking my mind off anything, and, somewhere in my gut I still wanted to see Lars. But, just couldn’t deal. So, for no reason other than my frantic and selfish brain, I kinda put a damper on both our nights.

I don’t have a good explanation. Only that sometimes, sobriety confuses me to the point of collapse. Things start to shut down. I try so hard not to live in the past or future, but, what do you do when even the present becomes an undesirable destination? I ran. Ran from myself, and ran from a person that would most likely have made my night better. Just because. And, then, the guilt comes…

Fuck. This cycle of shit gets so old. While I’m grateful to be sober, I miss the instant fix of a drink. I can’t lie about that. How in one sip, all this clutter starts to gradually drift from my view, until it’s all just out of the periphery. That break. Not even from others, but, from myself. I’m tired of hearing myself talk.

Tomorrow I’ll three months sober. I just wish I had something better to offer myself, and the people I care about, today.


One thought on “Day 89: Developing My Negatives

  1. Wow, I never thought of isolation as a coping skill, but I can see that after reading your post. The past several years my drinking was done mostly alone. I think my comfort with being alone is part of my nature but I also see how I use it as an excuse. Good food for thought. Thank you for writing!

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