The fun game of hide and seek with pretend and regret – manage your damage

People fuck up. That is a damn sure fact. I have yet to meet a “perfect” person. I’m sure even Ned Flanders has some deep dark secrets in his life; secrets that haunt him. Sure, for him it might be that he spilled a cup of tea 14 years ago at a friend’s place and blamed it on the dog, but still. That shit will find you, haunt you, stay with you.

Here’s what I’m well, not ashamed, but pondering on coulda  should woulda perhaps maybe done, do differently currently in my life:

  • Drinking 3 bottles of wine (now graduation to 3,5) a night
  • Messaging all my friends and colleagues with the most random things (mostly memes, occasionally deep thoughts, and way too often unsolicited life advice) after the forementioned wine intake
  • Blacking out, texting a random dude on tinder, inviting him over, having sex, not remembering it the next day
  • Spending 2k a month on online gambling sites putting my bank account on minus

The thing is. I do these things again and again and again. For a while I pretended they were not issues, then I realized they could be. Brush it under the rug I told myself! ..it is what I have done for years after all.

Solid advice for the first crumble or few – add years of that pile under the rug and it stands out, breaks.

The worst of it all, talking to people, whether on tinder with randos or on whatsapp with friends, and not remembering any of it the next day. I would not remember anything I said, wrote, promised. So what do I do when I wake up? I drown my head in the pillows, acknowledge I still have my phone beside me while secretly wishing it was magically stolen, and not go through my message and/or call history  – nothing good is in there. So. Enter alcohol, the magical elixir of coping with shit I did with alcohol the last night.

And that’s just my last two nights, repeated over and over again the last two weeks, and the last two months..maybe more, surely for more. Don’t get me started on the past 36 years of my life and all the cringy moments I may or may not fully remember. …for example, the number of people that have come to me years later with “I still remember our kiss in xyz” is way higher than it should be. ….So offering that just as a example and using that purely to downplay my semi- and/ or more than – embarrassing moments…

And the logical choice after those acts and thoughts and after plays? Hide. Regret. Pretend it didn’t happen. Or, in my case nowadays; drink more to be drunk enough to see what I wrote to people when I was drunk.

That, my friends, is an excellent way to separate yourself from reality. Get drunk to do things, and then get drunk to “remember willingly” and deal with things you did while getting drunk as you can’t do that while sober. Ain’t that a fun circle of fucked up to live in?

Manage your damage.

So. Listen up! Time to establish some rules. It would be great to tell people to stop the shit they are doing but how realistic is that? People don’t just immediately get over their damage because someone says so. ..side note; fuck people who think it would be as simple as that… What we can do, should do, could do, is manage our damage. I have a gambling issue; I have set gambling limits on the websites that mean I cannot lose more than what I set as a loss limit. My drinking of black out times meet random tinder times – only once a week. Instead of wherever whenever (we’re meant to be together…..not…) I tell myself I can have one night a week to have too many drinks and have too many tinder chats.  Should I go for non-tolerance? Maybe, but. Just like a kid, a candy day a week is what motivates, what keeps you from having candy every night. Consider it a pit stop for candyless future? Maybe. Better than candy-all-day, sure…maybe…

I’m not saying I will give these things up. Drinking, one night stands, gambling. I like them, but for damn sure need to limit them. And especially on the day after; not starting with need-drinks-so-that-I-don’t-feel-bad -shit. If things have gone over the proper limit of said things; had a drink too many and got sloppy drunk, slept with a colleague you should not have, gambled your life away…what ever your damage is; feel that pain, that damage. Deal with the emotional after math of it. Don’t hide, don’t pretend, don’t have drinks or shots to ignore it while moving onto the next one. Don’t feed the cycle.  Manager your damage. Set them limits. Allow some of you and your past to exist while actively creating that pitstop for your future you.

Does losing my fears mean losing me?

Aren’t the fairy tales the worst (…this will make sense by the end of the blog post…maybe…). “Spend time with your fears”, “use your fears as a stepping stone”, “focus on your fears instead of your goals”. Who the fuck says stuff like that?? …for fucks sake…dumb as shit…….. Oh, right, that was my last blog post…the dimwit I was back then…I thought that was actually good advice…thought I’d solve aallll my problems thinking aaaaallllllll my problems were related to being too pretty few years ago… how great I thought this moment would have been where I could write my genius blog post with having solved it all!

Well..it did not quite go that way did it? DID IT? …no, no it did not… and also, get off your high horse you dimwit you…

I actually took my own advice…spent some time, long time with my fears. Sure, one of them is facing all the criticism that would follow if people would see me. I knew it existed. I wrote about it. I was also semi-aware of my fears of being just like my dad; overly sarcastic, charming person who eventually will hurt everyone around them by breaking their promises, cheating on anyone who can be cheated on, etc. etc.. An alchololic. I thought I’d take that on; a friend of mine was starting her annual lent journey; 40 days without alcohol or sweets. I’m in! I’ll prove I’m not an alcoholic!

40 days without any alcohol or any sweets – I did not think I could make it. And why? Here’s why: 1. The only thing I hate more than being told what to do is to be told what not to do 2. 40 days without any alcohol or any sugar; don’t think I’ve had that since I was 13…and that’s just for alcohol…with sugar we would prob have to go back to, I don’t know, when can toddlers have sugar? 3. My dad was an alcoholic and while that’s my mental image of pure hatred, how close am I actually of becoming him…?

Guess what happened? Guess! I made it. It was actually easy. I made it through 40 days without any alcohol and any sugar and I think it was harder on random waitresses than it was on me…

-Waiter: Should we start with a prosecco for everyone?

-Friends:  Yes, yes, yes, yes….

– Me; no, can’t drink alcohol right now

– Waiter: no problem, we have great mocktails

– Me: Sure, but I can’t have any sugar either

-Waiter: oh…let me ask our chef… *questioning all his best service pledges

-Waiter; so here’s a drink with cucumber, lemon and basil

– Me; It’s great *putting on a fake smile and a thumbs up

– Friend who shows up to dinner right after; oh that looks like the best mojito ever!

– Me: ….it’s water… *turning my fake smile into a sigh of deep disappointment

My learnings? Well. Damn right, previous blog post you (me?), I am my biggest challenge. And what this time of proper self-reflection showed me; the fucking fears I knew I need to, and will, deal with are only part of it. I can be without alcohol, I sure need to lose weight. But. Here’s the real shit: I’m afraid of moving on from me. I’m afraid of moving on from what I need to be to survive my past. I’m afraid of letting that me go.

I guess this might not make sense to a lot of people, but maybe it will make sense to some. In a very messed up way of putting it; I knew my life was not a Disney movie, but I needed it to be one. I had to deal with a lot, I went through a lot. I thought I needed to keep to it so that I could be “saved”. I thought I needed to have it, so that I could have my happy ending. And without it? No happy ending. Without it, I’d be one of the normies. They surely don’t get a happy ending, surely not as great as mine. I mean, if you are normal and happy and healthy and not completely fucked up; can you get a knight in a shiny armour to save you, can you save yourself? Is your story worth telling? No, not according to fairy tales. You need to suffer for it.

And oh my…does that not lead you to fucked-up-ville? You need to be properly fucked up so that next you can be happy? You need to stay fucked up so that others see your worth? So that others can look at you with “she went through a lot, it’s a miracle she’s still alive”. AND. If she’s not fucked up, she’s just one of “us”, a normal person trying to make it through life. And want to hear the most random fucked up thing? I’m afraid to give blood because I think my purpose and will to fight is tied to my blood and by giving it away I would give a part of me away! It doesn’t make sense!

What’s my fucked up biggest fear? Losing part of my fuckedupedness. I actually fear that getting better would mean losing part of me. And I do get that, I had to fight to get here, and I fought, and I will fight. But come on….I need to fucking let that fucking fucked up shit go. I for sure need to, and can, use that as a stepping stone to level the fuck up. …damn…