Nick's Journal
2016-01-05 20:06:55 (UTC)

Living Life

if you're having a bad day, or a bad month, or just a rough life at the moment and you really don't want to read someone's complaining i suggest you move to another journal entry. having been forewarned, welcome to a personal account of how i have gotten to 140 days of sobriety.

first and foremost, i can't say that i was so sure i would make it past 100 days. or even 45 for that matter. before i get into all of the crap that goes with being a person in long-term recovery, let me just say this: i am so, so, so incredibly grateful for my sobriety. even with all the shit i feel now, nothing is better than being sober. but it is also really difficult and i hope that this journal entry may find someone out there who is maybe as far along as i and who is beginning to feel the same despair i feel at this time in my recovery.

quitting drinking has been the single hardest thing i have ever done. there is nothing even that comes close. not the bar, not law school, not being general counsel for a company.

the difficulty lies in the fact that you are not "cured" and that, rather than having a steady, linear progression of "always getting better" there are serious peaks and valleys. right now i am in one of those valleys.

it is just terrible honestly and if you are a person in recovery let me describe how i feel and see if you feel the same. i feel constantly bad about myself. there's this really good line in this show we are watching right now, "mr. robot". the line is: "you don't really know hate until you have hated yourself."

i guess hate is a pretty strong word to describe how i feel about myself. i think a despondency with anger towards what i did (i know that sounds contradictory but roll with me) when i was drunk better describes how i view myself. i envy those guys at the rehab center who "found god" or "let go" of their past. i just can't do that. i dwell on it, a sad byproduct of my anxiety disorder.

my anxiety has been through the roof lately. my former job keeps on hounding me to help them on stupid legal shit because they are incapable of finding a replacement. what's more, that company is getting in a big lawsuit with my former assistant (she claims a hostile work environment which has nothing to do with me). i cannot tell you how my stomach roils and boils when both of these people are texting me trying to get me to do something for them. the assistant says that i will be deposed by her attorney and that gives me great anxiety. my work wants me to work on that case again and i JUST DON'T WANT TO!

i don't think i want to be an attorney anymore. i no longer want to argue, to fight, to deal with this fucking vindictiveness that people get when they "think" they are wronged. the straight truth about this lawsuit (like most of the others i defended in my years as a general counsel) is that it is just bullshit, someone taking advantage of a law to benefit those truly aggrieved to make a quick buck. i can say this because i was up close and personal in both of the plaintiffs' daily affairs and i can say without any doubt that they did not suffer the "injuries" they claim.

rather what happened was the lady who was my assistant, she used to be the executive assistant but he got fired. she thought she would lose her job but the new eco bent over backwards for her and created a quasi-roll to be my assistant part-time and assistant to the other executives part-time. but the truest thing i ever heard about such maneuvers is that "no good deed goes unpunished".

whoa did i go off on a tangent. sorry that case is just pissing me off, people's money-grabbing vindictive natures piss me off. which leads me to my next topic, i am constantly pissed off. at major stupid shit like that lawsuit but also at any and everything. and the reason why?

i am scared.

i am so fucking scared that that anxiety and stress of this fucking lawsuit and even just day-to-day fucking life will cause me to relapse. that's why this entry is called "living life" and why i put the disclaimer at the top to avoid the eye-rolls of the normal people. i am not normal right now. i hope i will be one day, but 140 days into recovery i have no emotional maturity anymore. i cannot handle ANY stress. the past few weeks with the holidays we traveled a lot and on our last trip i was such a fucking asshole to J because i was out of my routine that i wouldn't have blamed her if she told me to get a hotel room for a few nights upon our return.

i fear losing her because other friends' wives who have gone through this recovery have separated from them. which leads me to my next topic: fear. i just came back from my checkup. i was convinced i had pancreatitis or at least cirrhosis of the liver or hepatitis or FUCKING SOMETHING, because i need to fucking be punished for what i did. you don't fuck with drugs and alcohol like i did and not pay for it. i fear the retribution and yet i am ready to face it like a murderer who has come to terms with his misdeed about to face his sentence.

so there it is. anxiety, fear, anger - all mixed together into a horrific cocktail inside of my own head. you see with physical pain, you can work with it. minimize it. deal with it. but when it is your own mind assaulting you. you are trapped. i will sometimes sit there just staring straight ahead and i swear i just want to end myself. the pain of dealing with my mind in a sober state sometimes is just too much to bear. i break down and cry. i beat on my chest and tear at my face and hair sometimes as if i could grab the miscreant aura that causes my psychological pain and tear it from my mind.

but i can't. it is there and it is me. and it hurts. oh my god does it fucking hurt. the anxiety, the constant worrying about a stupid fucking deposition about a stupid fucking case. agonizing over whether i did everything right because as a general counsel you have to be infallible. (sorry that's bitter sarcasm, i need to stop writing about that fucking case).

but there are moments, glimmers, slivers of peace in my mind. close to serenity. and i live on the hope that things will get better, that they must. that this is biochemical and that i just need to ride it out. but all of that is so much easier said than done. when you have been as weak as i have for so long and avoided life instead of living it. living life becomes a serious challenge, a struggle. as you learn to cope with life's vicissitudes, the fact that life is in no way fair. that you aren't entitled to shit. that sometimes you just have to suffer. that there are no easy ways out.

i'll end it with one random thing that popped into my mind before i wrote this journal, actually what finally motivated me to write this journal. it was just a random link i clicked about the friendship between robin williams and christopher reeves. robin williams fought so many demons and i can only imagine how much it hurt him. yet he was able to make so many people happy and it is a true loss that he finally succumbed to his horrible internal struggle. the world really lost someone who was a good person, who made people laugh.

if you're reading this and you're in recovery and you're hurting and you hate yourself and you think you're not worthy of peace and you just dwell on the past then let me tell you this: you are worth it. just to yourself. i know this is corny, but some people go through this with no one at their side, in the dark isolation of their own struggle they fight these demons. they need to know they are worth it. that it will get better. and that there are others, like me, sitting here right now, with my dog snoring to my left struggling just as hard as you are, hoping that sharing such a story may help you choose my path and not mr. williams'.

Want some cocktail tips? Try some drinks recipes over here