It never goes away. The addiction, I mean. I wake up in New York City and I’m just as much an alcoholic as I was in Petersburg. I brush my teeth, I’m an addict; I wrap a present, I’m an alcoholic. It’s Christmas day and it’s the same.
The gift that keeps on giving.
I wandered around the city by myself for three whole days. I stopped sometimes to use the little girl’s room or to get a coffee, of course. I emerged from my subway den to the brilliant, blinding and sweetly oversized Christmas decorations of Rockefeller Center at 47th Street. I felt more lonely than I have in a long time. With every block I walked, I willed myself to feel better. I imagined how chic I could look, if I just walked with the right boots and a stern enough stare. As the rain came down harder and the wind blew my umbrella more fiercely, I realized I was becoming more strict with myself. That feeling of not being enough crept up on me in such a subtle manner, I did not even realize how shitty my own thinking made me feel.
I don’t know what it is about the holidays or New York, but I never feel like I can get it quite right. Despite the grid system of these mean streets, I always get turned around. Regardless of the weight or quality of the coat I wear, I either shiver or I sweat. I hop from borough to borough to find my way, yet the cramped sidewalks are just as crowded as my mind is.
I think that’s the case for most people here, whether or not they choose to show it.
I went to a meeting tonight where there were lots of tears. Bitter tears, jubilant tears, exasperated and sad tears. The man next to me, a gay cutie who had just touched down from Los Angeles, shook uncontrollably as he shared. Lots of day-counters, many people getting sober for the second or third time around. The holidays have a tendency to remind us addicts of our weirdness. Our thoughts slowly become warped with the repetitious aggression of overplayed Christmas music. Being an employee at Macy’s starts to look more desirable than being stuck in our own heads. This time of year is tough regardless of the happiness we enjoy in our present lives. What frustrates me personally is that I have never had so much joy and awe-inspiring moments in my life. In spite of this, I still feel a bit morose over the fact that my spirit is so easily suffocated and imprisoned my own thoughts.
I’ve been praying for the opportunity to be of service to someone in need. I spoke with the shaky LA gentleman after the meeting, and I think that helped him a bit–it certainly helped me. I’m writing now in case anyone else feels the same non-descript loneliness I am currently experiencing. I want you to know you are not alone. If the holidays make you feel drink-y or even a little depressed, it’s okay. Join me in chucking those shitty thoughts in the fuck-it bucket. The holidays create a lot of pressure to be happy, but that shouldn’t take the joy out of recognizing you aren’t–at least not at the moment. I don’t mind admitting that I feel blue. I know that I have to accept how I feel in order to not let the rage build. I get angry with myself if I can’t get it up for certain things, especially for an ostensibly Christian holiday with Pagan roots.
I took today as an opportunity to see the new Star Wars with my boyfriend instead of listening to Christmas music grinning with disingenuous earnestness. And you know what? It was a good move. Saw the movie, got amped for the next one, then headed into the city for a meeting. This may seem silly, but I felt like a Jedi after I left the theater. Recovery pulled me from the dark side, though I don’t have a multi-million dollar franchise to show for it. Just honesty.
Tonight, there will be a giant, delicious meal and Netflix. Maybe some Panettone. Definitely Marvin Gaye and David Bowie.
And some Stevie Wonder to help me kiss lonely goodbye x
Photo courtesy of Link-Assistant