“What do you love about your new home?”
“… Nothing. I hate to give you that answer but I don’t think I love anything about it yet.”
Therapy today took a week’s worth of cobwebs, dust and toil and washed it away. The call began with me explaining I was exhausted after five hours of plowing and shoveling snow, learning how to fix a broken snow plow, and then plowing and shoveling snow again because another two inches fell while I was fixing the broken blade.
“I probably won’t be 100% today” I told her, struggling to form the sentence.
She slowly walked me through the effects of my punitive superego. She walked me through some of the problems I’ve been having with relationships and friendships and how they relate to my past. She walked me through how usefulness leads to happiness, and not the other way around. At one point, after a good half hour of complaining, she asked me to finally tell her what I loved about “Billy’s great experiment,” and I struggled to list a single thing.
Eventually I let the word “love” slip when I talked about driving my car. It’s the one thing that makes me feel like me. I can’t wait to step into my car everyday. We talked about how sometimes it takes a few months to fall in love with things but to appreciate the love I feel for driving, and the vehicle itself, right now.
We ended on the fact that I haven’t had any cravings this whole week. That working on fixing the house from 6:30am to 8:30pm every day has kept them at bay. How enjoyable it is to acknowledge the desire NOT to drink at the end of the day. But also the acknowledgement that boredom will be a terrifying hurdle to face whenever the chores are done.
It makes me wonder. I did most of my drinking from 5pm to 1am, sitting in front of my computer trying to quickly solve a lot of problems, emptying a bottle of vodka before going to sleep, only because there wasn’t any left. All the work being done so haphazardly, i.e. drunkenly. And a lot technically was accomplished, but it left behind so much wreckage because all I ever did was apply bandaids to issues.
Working sober here, I notice each time I cut a corner because I eventually come back to the half-assed job and realize it still needs to be finished. And it’s forcing me to face the whole problem as they arise, and solve it completely, so that I don’t have to come back and clean up after myself.
And … I’m overcome with shame for all the refuse I’ve left in my wake. Supposedly you stop maturing when you start drinking (I feel like I’ve written that already, but it keeps coming up). I believe it. I feel like I’m 17 so often, learning how to function like an adult for the first time… If that’s the one thing I’m here to learn I’d be okay with it. I have to learn to put forth my full effort into things out here.
My therapist reminds me every call, “Billy, let yourself be a beginner.” So it is.