Sunday, December 17, 2006

booze bad

I came home from brunch with Willow today and cried and cried. I know, I'm tired of it too.

As is seemingly everyone I know, we're having a rough holiday season. Throw in an impending birthday and the mean reds are coming fast upon me again.

We swore we'd come up with something fun for New Year's, but it's tough to feel festive.

"It's like I'm failing on all counts," I said outside, post-eggs Benedict. "It's not just because I'm single. If I was on a career track I loved, it wouldn't be so bad; I could throw myself into my job. Or if I was in the midst of writing something great, I could immerse myself in creating a story. But I don't have a single person or thing to focus my passion on."

"I know what you mean. I'm in the same boat. I'm so ready to say good-bye to this year."

The weekend was a bit of a mess. Friday I went to a massive fancy holiday party with Coworker Chris, Polly, and Roommate Rachel. For whatever idiotic reason, I didn't eat much and went into conveyer-belt-drink-mode, to the point where I lost count but got very, very wasted. Coworker Chris did, too, and we flirted and bantered and held hands and it was all what the hell is going on, we're acting like a couple and we so aren't.

"It's inevitable," I told him. "We're going to make out some day and it's going to be 'eh' but it'll be out of our system and will affirm that we're not attracted to each other, and we'll go back to being friends."

"You think that's what's going to happen?"

"I know it."

A little later in the night, we were talking about sex I was telling him about this one place in the back of my neck where I like to be touched--a place that most of the men I've dated have been ignorant of--and he asked,

"Where? Here?"

And I just closed my eyes and couldn't answer. Yes. There.

I know we don't fancy each other, I know we're not meant for each other, I know it will be friends first and last and always, but there was so much alcohol in my bloodstream, which makes me crave smoking or kissing and he was right there and I possibly maybe a little bit tried to kiss him. He pulled away and I'm so glad he did. What was my problem?

"There isn't going to be any awkwardness because of this," I promised.

Miraculously, I didn't get sick. I fought off a hangover the next day with a greasy burger and brisk five mile walk.

I like to think it's temporary and only because of party season, but I'm worried I'm becoming something of a social alcoholic. I can go days without drinking, but once I start, I want to reach that numb happy place. Like last night, with Podcast Penny.

We went to a club, which was full of couples, so many couples. They seem to be everywhere these days.

I was going to try to keep it to soda, but social anxiety got the best of me. Penny and I did a shot, then another, then another. We went outside for a cigarette.

"It's like I've forgotten how to talk to people," Penny said. "I'm not there yet. I'm just too jaded."

"It's hard for me, too. Though you gotta fight that cynicism." It's like quicksand, the way it pulls you down. Optimism takes effort.

A few hours and a few drinks later we were about to go. While Penny was in the bathroom, a man came over to me. I wasn't attracted and there was something very fey about him, but decided not to be rude. He shook my hand, or rather limply grazed the tips of my fingers. His mannerisms were effeminate. His favorite bands were Pet Shop Boys and Erasure. He bought me a drink, so I felt obligated to chat a little. He was a slow talker, offered short answers to my questions and did not ask many of his own. We're talking glacial pacing that would've made Tarkovsky jealous. I let the conversation lapse into dead silence. Podcast Penny, where are you?

"Would you like to get together sometime?"

What I really wanted to say is, You are GAY, so I don't know why you're asking me out, especially since it's clear we can't sustain a five minute conversation, and have less than zero chemistry. Instead, I made up some crap about still getting over a break-up, but did give him my email out of guilt. I really should have said no to that drink, but I've been feeling so unattractive, and low self-esteem plus alcohol can result in some bad decisions (as any Girls Gone Wild video can attest to).

Then there's today. Woke up from a nightmare in which my boss was yelling at me. As I was leaving the apartment to meet Willow, I heard the sounds of sex being had. I felt a little sick, because it seemed close by, like across the hall close. Outside, Neighbor Neil's blinds, which are usually pulled up a few inches, were down all the way.

I tried to tell myself I'm not interested in him, anyway. I reminded myself that I could have sex with Sean Pennish who, after my drunken text rampage, had invited me to come over Thursday (I never replied). Hell, I reminded myself that I could have had sex with Neighbor Neil. None of it mattered. It's not a sex thing; it's the thing I see in the couples surrounding me: the connection, the love, the safety, the affection.

I fight it and fight it, but it's no good: a profound loneliness comes over me. It's back, and it's fierce.

After the mutual venting at brunch, and my petit breakdown back home, I made myself go out to a cafe, and spent several hours drinking tea and reading a book about writing. Quite enlightening and also mellowed me out; felt like I was doing something good for myself.

Got some bread, salad, and olives for dinner. Watched In the Mood For Love, figuring something dark, nuanced, and subtle would fit my mood. Figured correctly, too--at first. There's this one scene where a birthday song is played for Maggie Cheung's character on the radio, and she is alone in her apartment listening to it. I mean, the film is a meditation on loneliness to begin with, but throw in a sad birthday tune and that's me gone. I cried again, not wanting it to be my birthday so soon. Time passes and I have so little to show for it.

I'm going to spend most of this week drying out. I know, I know, I'm kind of a wreck.

There I was, thinking I turned a corner. I tried. I'll keep trying.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

My suggestions-

1.If you want better state try not 2 consume potato, onion or any junk food for a while

2. KILL smoking and alcohol 4 a while.

Self Control is way to Self Nurtured life

Anonymous said...

Hey Dolly,

We can see that you are in a downward spiral right now, and the worst thing you can do to yourself is to continue doing any bad habits. I am sure you will be able to find optimism somewhere, but drinking and smoking will only enhance the effects of depression.

I've never met you in person, but I bet as beautiful as you are, you are only destroying your inner beauty by contintuing to do these indulgences. I bet people looking for healthy relationships can see that. DON'T do this to yourself.

I don't like to read depressing blogs and the last thing I want is for your blog to sound like the world is over.

Let me recommend you a movie. It's called The Secret and it should change your attitude and your current way of thinking. Just watch it for $4.95 on it's website, http://www.thesecret.tv. I watch this movie at least once a month to remind myself that this the way I should think, and believe me it works!!!!!!!

Hopefully everything will get better......

Sir Galahad

G M said...

Your birthday is coming up and you're sad, you're single, and you're feeling like what are you doing with your life...

I just want to wish you in advance that all this stays in the old year and the next year brings you that fulfillment you so need.

If I may say, it seems to me that you won't find it in sex. With Sean Pennish, or Neighbor Neil, cute as he may be. ;-)

You'll find it in yourself. How? Honestly I'm not sure :-P because it's YOU. I've been where you are, last year. When I broke up with my long time girlfriend, I had a lot of finding myself to do. I discovered the "PUA community" mostly because I wanted to get back into the dating game. I thought about it all the time... I craved sex, and fulfillment...

now my life is very exciting and I'm a happy go lucky guy again. :)

But enough about me. Now you do it.

Greg

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... Remember the social robots we recently talked about who had nothing in their life except game.

Well it doesn't only apply for PUAs. If you need validation from a boyfriend, then you've got the same problem.

You should learn something new and not just go out to drink and smoke and get hit on (that's too similar to sarging).

My best friend and I have a kind of girl we rarely meet, but feel really attracted to. I like to call them feminine pearls. They're girls who live crazy adventures all the time, travelling alone, doing like a thousand hobbies at the same time. They're happy to be single or in open relationships because they can't bear possessiveness and jealousy. They smile all the time, vibe easily with anyone and rarely complain about anything.

They are not the most "beautiful" girls we meet (although they can be pretty hot when they do take the time to groom), but they are definitely the most attractive. We would choose them over any amount of bitchy HB10s.

If there was a feminine equivalent to the community, it should teach women to be like that.

Anonymous said...

I think drinking less is a grave error. Certainly, Dolly must not do so before the vernal equinox. To advise otherwise is reckless and unwise.

Dolly said...

Anonymous,
Thank you. Obviously I know I need to cool it, very much aware of that, but the birthday and NYE are not going to be done sober.

Seriously, why are men so quick to offer advice instead of just plain old sympathy? I can fix myself, I just need to vent from time to time.

Anonymous said...

Men don't offer sympathy because it seems utterly inappropriate to the task.

We are oriented toward solving the problem, not discussing the emotions the problem evokes. It doesn't even occur to us to discuss the emotions before addressing the problem that is generating the emotions.

It's not that we don't care. It's just that, to men, doing so would be quite insane.

Dolly said...

Anoymous,
I understand, I just don't want to be treated like some puzzle that needs solving. After writing, "I've been drinking too much, I need to cut down" it hardly helps to have people say, "stop being so unhealthy!" I mean, I'll be the first one to say I'm a broken record with the moping, but I am skeptical that anyone will be able to offer any solution that I haven't thought of or hasn't already been mentioned.

Judy said...

Dolly:

I can offer up some sympathy. Because I'm feeling a bit like you are feeling. As you well know, my birthday's approaching too. I'm struggling with demands from a job I don't like. I'm also celebrating the Holidays single for the third year in a row.

So I know what the social isolation feels like- as you watch all the couples leave your birthday party together and you go home alone- from your own party- at midnight. I know that in some ways, it's a choice I've made, to focus on getting my own act together and to stay away from the dating. I know in the end I'll have more to bring to the table once my act is together.

But it doesn't mean that it isn't a lonely choice, especially when you have the triple-whammy of birthday/Christmas/New Year's coming at you like freight train. Sometimes, yes, it is easier to get through it with alcohol- but there's that hangover in the morning and cringing about the stupid shit you did. Other times it's just easier to take the hits sober, feel sorry for yourself, know that feeling pain makes you stronger, and keep going.

It eventually gets better.

Dolly said...

Judy,
Sorry to hear you are down, too. When did our lives turn into a Smiths song? Is there something in the water? I hope things turn around for you soon. Sometimes it's all highest highs and lowest lows. Which means we are just about due for some of the former.

G M said...

Dolly I take offense -- how the hell do your comments apply to me? :)

>I'll be the first one to say I'm a >broken record with the moping, but >I am skeptical that anyone will be >able to offer any solution that I >haven't thought of or hasn't >already been mentioned.

Sounds like you're hoping someone will.

.
.
.

That said, anonymous is quite right. Most men would use all their creativity on SOLVING a problem. I guess most of your readers are men.

Auntie Mom said...

Dear Doll,

Fuck 'em. Wallow. Drink. Whatever. Life brings you up and drops you down. No reason to be kicked over how you're dealing.

I say, go visit your mom. Have her cook you some comfort food. They buy yourself a great big fucking gift for your birthday. You deserve it - not because of "what you've done" but who you are. Life's not a checklist of things at which to be successful; YOU are the ultimate end result of what you have achieved, and I think you're pretty damn cool.

Love,
K

Dolly said...

GM,
Heh, I actually do appreciate your comments. And by now I should expect that the male readers will offer advice above anything else. A little more patience and strength and I'm sure I'll beat this.

Auntie Mom,
Thank you. I really miss you.

G M said...

Screw all this. What I really want to know is, what kind of writer you are aspiring to be?

Dolly said...

GM,
That's the problem; I'm not very aspiring. I've tried to kick this writing habit and explore other options, but it doesn't leave me alone. At the same time, the muse is elusive. Sadly, I haven't had the inspiration or drive to churn out much fiction lately. My imagination needs a defibrillator.

Jack Roy said...

I'm too thrilled at the Holly Go-Lightly reference not to post something, but I'm afraid I don't have much worthwhile to offer. Remember that you and everyone you know have been through this and worse, and things won't get better tomorrow, but they will get better.

And if that's not enough: I'm quoting my favorite Rosh Hashanah lessons from memory here, but there once was a rabbi who told his congregation always to carry in their pockets two pieces of paper, to take out as needed. On the second was written, "You are but dust and ashes." On the first was written, "The whole world was created for you."

G M said...

First get yourself out of the rut. Then ideas will come.

I actually want to email you because this is a bit too public ... write me at gregory@gregory.net if you want.

Greg

Oppi said...

Hey Dolly,

Haven't posted a comment here in a long time, but I have been following from afar.

Hate to see someone as special as you going through such a rut. It is a part of life though, and you will most certainly learn something through this - definitely feel for you though.

I know you'll take it in stride, and will come through a wiser, better rounded, even cooler (if that's even possible) person!

Here's to hoping it will be sooner rather than later!

Anonymous said...

Seriously, why are men so quick to offer advice instead of just plain old sympathy?
It's a guy thing. They hear trouble, and their first instinct is "fix" it. They don't mean any harm or condescension by it, but it wouldn't hurt to remind them that sometimes, a little venting is all the fixing a woman wants/needs--just to vocalize it, to put it out there, and then get on with it.

Charlie Brown: So guys like to meet no-maintenance, no-strings women who never ever get upset or make demands? Fascinating. I'd never have guessed.

Dolly & Judy: I feel better being reminded I'm not the only person having trouble getting into the holiday spirit, in part because of the "OMGWTF Couples Encroaching From All Sides!" thing. (The global warming weather seems to be affecting lots of people's spirit as well, I've noticed.) Don't you sometimes feel like you want to be able to skip ahead a few pages in the imaginary book of your life, to where it gets juicy again? But then I think I wouldn't appreciate it as fully as I would from sticking out the character development parts.

One little thing I try to do when I'm down is to make a list of positive things I want to accomplish. They can be big or small, indulgent or altruistic--depends on what you're up to, and what facet of you needs nurturing that day. Could be as big as signing up for a charity walk or as small as treating yourself to a nice haircut (if you're prone to letting yourself go when you feel down, and it sounds silly, but looking like crap makes me feel worse and like I don't "deserve" improvements). The point is to see in writing that you've made a positive impact for the day. It doesn't change the chemical composition of your feelings, but it gives you something to hold on to in the meantime.

Pretty Polly said...

Hey cutie. Hang in there. We will have boozy (or non-boozy) fun on Friday! The holiday season, with the requisite over-boozing and over-eating, always makes me feel more depressed. Here's to looking forward to 2007!

Anonymous said...

I certainly can't offer any good advice but I can comiserate with you on this one. I'm not sure if it is just seasonal depression or plain old depression. I do all the right things to fight it off but lately it doesn't feel like anything works. I've actually been toying with the idea of antidepressants...not there yet, thankfully.

This time of year can be so lonely when you are single when other times of the year it is just fun but I have found my friends are coming out of the woodwork. I hope you will find yourself busy with friends and before you know it, it will be April. At least, I hope that for myself.

I actually get tired of drinking so much. I know how you feel about that too. If only there was a guy that you would rather hang out with at home and make out with all night instead of boozing it up with the girls, huh?

Amen, sister. I get it. I know from where you are coming.

v said...

It's amazing at how many people feel the same way you do at any given time.

Every single person I've encountered within the span of the past few weeks has complained about the same thing. We feel old and don't have shit to show for it.

I'll be 24 in a few months and I feel the lowest I have ever felt in my entire life. I don't have a real job (for the past month and a half), I don't go out anymore (money), and I generally ignore my friends.

I know where you are and where you are coming from despite being only 23. You have to feel like you hit rock bottom to truly appreciate the good shit when it comes.

Besos.

Anonymous said...

Every woman feels the same way at this time of year.

That's why hitting on women is so easy right now.

Writergal said...

Hey Dolly,

Tell all of them who say that you need just to suck it up and get over to .... ....! You're a great person who is going through a rough time right now. It's a crazy time of year and you're not alone. Everyone is feeling melancholy and ready for the New Year with the impression that it's got to be better. Whatever you need to do to feel better, DO IT!

Last week was party week and I was going out every night and by Thursday I was feeling really low. Even though we were all having a good time people started coupling off. A friend of mine wouldn't let me go home and just be depressed, and yes we went out and drank and it helped just being happy for awhile.

Whether you need to have a few weeks of being by yourself or having a few drinks just take care of yourself. In the new year, we'll have to catch up!

Take care,
Amy

Dolly said...

Oppi,
It is a part of life. Builds perspective, inner strength, all that good stuff. Nightmare to go through, but what can you do.

Constant,
Yeah, I've been putting a certain amount of pressure on myself to accomplish certain things, but I think I need to ease up, for at least the next couple of weeks. Amazing how nobody can punish us better than ourselves.

Blonde and V,
At least I'm not the only one. I hope you get out of your respective ruts soon, too.

Anonymous 10:17,
I may be depressed, but I'm not stupid or blind. I'm still just as selective about who I hook up with, if not moreso, which is why I'd still be able to weed out a vulture like you. Loser.

Amy,
Yeah, I think it's easy to feel the party burnout. Going out with friends has helped a lot, though sometimes battling it out solo is necessary. I'm trying to find a good balance between the two. Let's definitely get together after the new year. It's been way too long!

Anonymous said...

Vulture? Hmm. Strange comment from a woman who spoke at a PU convention. I like women & they like me. But that's irrelevant.

More on point, women are no more alone now than they are the other eleven months of the year. They're just more conscious right now. They're just paying attention to what matters to them. That causes pain. Because most women, like most people, aren't paying attention to whether they're actually moving toward things that they really care about...at least not eleven months of the year.

Pain is the gift that makes change possible. So some women, right now, are open to trying. Hence their lives can get better. Maybe even yours. You might consider saying "yes" more.

Beats bitching about the fact that you're not writing. Not exactly new and exciting behavior in a writer.

Whoops, was I not commiserating instead of solving? Damn these testicles!

realtor rick said...

Dolly,

Couldn't agree more with you regarding anonymous 10:17. It's unsettling (and somewhat despicable) that that mentality exists in otherwise sentient 'human' beings.

Rick

Anonymous said...

Dolly, I know how you feel. I've been there, and I'm headed down again right now. It would be so much easier if Christmas weren't right in the middle of the holiday season.

Good luck.


Silver

Anonymous said...

Hi Dolly,

Been reading for a bit over a year now, through good times and bad. I hope you find your way out of your funk soon (for both of our sakes - yours is a given, but the upbeat posts tend to be a lot more rewarding for me to read!)

Despite this y-chromosome, I can refrain from offering solutions, since they'd be my solutions and not yours. You have to find your own. Again, good luck with that.

As mentioned in the other comments, realize you're not alone, even though you feel like you are. Worldwide, you have the sympathy of complete strangers. Surely there's a pang of relief in that.

Seems like the winter holiday season has a tendency to magnify your overall state, especially in a negative way. It's supposed to be the happiest time of the year, or so we're told, so anything or anyone unhappy sticks out like a sore thumb.

Last week, my wife of over five years (girlfriend of ten) informed me that we would be splitting up after the holidays. It's been coming from a long way off, but it's still a big enough deal to really cut to the core. She decided it would be after the holidays for the sake of our families not having to worry. But now, her family (which is now as close to me as my own family has ever been) knows all about it anyway, including our young nieces and nephews. So I'm left looking for the easiest way to play "outcast" for the next few weeks. Beyond that, I'm really in the dark about what I'll be doing about anything.

Sorry for the hijack; guess I needed to vent, too. What better place than in an anonymous post in the comments of a blog of a stranger from the opposite end of the country?

In any case - hope this helps, somehow. Misery loves company, right? No matter how alone you feel, we're all still here.

-

Anonymous said...

Dolly,

You have my permission to ignore the fuck out of anyone who gives you constructive advice.

First off, fuck all y'all who dare to have the moral high ground and tell someone else how to get through the holidays. If you don't drink and smoke, well good for you. But don't ever pretend to tell someone else how to manage their way through some crappy fucking days.

The xmas season is a bitch in patent leather boots. Everyone would seem to be out and about and happily matched up with their dreamboat. And I remember being just as fucking disappointed by it when I was with said dreamboats, because it never was quite as good as I wanted it to be.

It's not fun being forced to have fun. Takes the spontaneity and danger out of it. Let everyone else revel, and keep your friends close. And whatever it takes to keep you feeling OK, go ahead and do it. Me, I'm just gonna undo my breakup yet again and enjoy my last month here in SF. Hell, there's no season quite like the holidays to find an ex to fall into so you can just give each other a little warmth when it's cold.

See you soon in NYC, darlin!

Damn It Anyway said...

I'm callilng your ass right now to cheer you up.