Artistry in New Orleans

Tuesday, YEAH! My arse and thighs are aching but I feel really good. Took a bit of an emotional bruising there…. Quit drinking and hopped right on to the Pink Cloud. Spent the first few months in absolute AWE at how good it felt to wake up hangover free and present in my own life. You know, even when I drank, I would have described myself as an emotional hurricane. My mother once said I have “an artist’s soul“. By that she meant that everything I feel, I feel very strongly. This has always been true, even when I was numbing myself with booze. So now that my emotions are crowding me and demanding I feel them all in their pure form, it’s been an interesting ride. To say I feel things strongly now is like saying Hurricane Katrina made it a bit windy in New Orleans. But I think I’m slowly getting there and almost every day there is a new discovery, a new clarity, a new answer. It’s all positive in that I believe it will all – so long as I don’t pick up a drink – lead me closer and closer to who I was always meant to be, allowing me to rid myself of fucked up thinking and untangling emotional knots here and there.

There are three part goals now. Or START goals, perhaps, is more accurate:

  1. I want to get fit. I used to love running and I want to really give it a push and get fit for real. So I found myself one of those snazzy PTs, as apparently you refer to them, and had my first session yesterday. I’m going to see her twice a week for the next three or four and then once I know what I’m doing I’ll join the gym and continue on my own. Endorphins do lots of good and even though I have been doing lots of walking I think we can safely up the dosage here. I want to feel healthy and strong, and should I end up a bit more toned and even get a little slimmer that’d be a bonus.
  2. There is something that I think has fucked me up more than other stuff. I’m going to call it Project P. It is unhealthy and pointless and I am done with it. So I’m figuring it all out – what exactly it is and where exactly it came from and then when this is all clear to me I need to let it go. Perhaps I’ll even have a little ceremony because I do think it warrants a symbolic gesture of some kind, like writing it on a balloon and releasing it. And then allow Project P a place in my life that is normal and healthy.
  3. We all need – I think – to feel we’re valuable, even important, that what we do counts for something. The writing and jewellery making may not be the paths that will allow me to earn a living, or at least not right now, so my keep will need to be earned in a way that does at least make me feel I have a purpose. Even if that purpose is to ensure I made someone’s coffee the way they wanted it. I don’t know. But I need to make a change here and need to figure this out as I currently go into work feeling it’s all a bit pointless. It’s great for lots of reasons but it’s not the one for me, simple as that.

Being in Sweden was a bit of a catalyst, setting off feelings in me I perhaps didn’t expect and it got a bit overwhelming. Not lease because it was the first time going sober and navigating how to put it to my family – to say the A-word or not to say the A-word – and then digesting their reactions (all good) and what they had to say about it (also good, but thought provoking). Always a silver lining it’d seem, and it would appear it’s given me the kick up the backside I needed. There will be, I’m sure, tonnes of other issues I will have to dissect and deal with, but these three are a good starting point. If I can get a handle on these I think I’m well on my way.

In the meantime I continue to feel all these emotions just the way they are. OK, it does sometimes feel like I’m in a crowd consisting of tantrum-throwing toddlers and I’m struggling to get them to form an orderly queue so I can deal with them one by one, but I’m not shutting any of them down and I am sure as hell looking them all in the eye. Sometimes all at once because it would seem sobriety has provided me with a fully functioning spine. Or massive cojones. Well. I have an artist’s soul, don’t I? It’s pretty colourful around here.

Today I’m not going to drink.

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