[Tripping On…] 2020 Half-Year Review

Well, I’m high right now, but it’s medically necessary. I’m taking Gabapentin for lower back pain that’s lasted nearly a month now. I’ve been barely able to do anything other than sit here and distract myself from the constant pain from waking up to going to sleep. So here I am, my mind is somewhat mentally disconnected from my body, so the muscles can stretch back to how they should be. Am I breaking sobriety?

I would say no for two main reasons.

The first reason is that Gabapentin isn’t alcohol, cannabis, or Diphenhydramine, my three main friends in inebriation. This could quickly turn into my fourth friend, along with my fifth friend Acetaminophen/Tylenol-Codeine, but the second reason is that I believe I’m doing all this responsibly. Yesterday, when I noticed that I couldn’t drive a car in this condition, I stopped to assess what I could do. In this sort of condition, I am able to stretch things out as they need to stretch, so the muscles in my back that might be overly tense can relax.

I was able to comfortably stretch my hamstrings for the first time in weeks.

Days ago, I couldn’t stand long enough to cook food without my back hurting, but now I can do all that. Except when I’m high, or in an altered state like this, I am not hungry. When I eat, I taste the totality of the food I’m eating to its fullest. When I’m at my normal, I eat more for the utilitarian purpose of nourishment and satiation. Sensations such as touch feel more vivid. I get distracted easier.

I’m writing now, brain, quit distracting me.

I’ve figured out a potentially better way to write at my sitting workspace, but I still am now feeling all of the sorts of aches that I used to feel, but they’re less attached to me. I can feel all the aches but they don’t hurt. So, let’s move away from this trip report and talk about my thoughts on my sobriety and how I’m doing in life since December.

Life as an addict is summarized like this: Most days are better than some.

I think what makes it difficult for me, anyways, is that those days can happen because of what someone says, something happening, or just my brain’s reaction to even nothing at all. About two months ago, I was at work and everything was good, the drive home wasn’t stressful, but when I got home, all I wanted to do was indulge in my own pleasures. I wanted to eat as much as I physically could, and did. Better than stopping at the store to get alcohol or the dispensaries to get weed, but still, that behavior is still alive and well.

If anything, all I’ve learned to do is channel this negative energy elsewhere.

I haven’t learned to satiate the negative energy. It’s like an angry beast inside of me that I haven’t sat down with and had a civil conversation with because I don’t know… how. I’m sure if this angry beast were channeled toward my own personal growth then I could get along further in the lifestyle I want, which is one independent of the concerns that loom in the distance now but I have to deal with daily when I work.

I like having this time off, but being off work also brings other concerns.

I have some potential medical bills that could take a dent out of my savings. That’s stressing me out. But then I think to myself: I have the money, and although I’d prefer to spend it on other things, it would get spent, whether on rent/utilities or other necessities or eventually parsed out into other spendings. When it goes, it goes, and other money should funnel in to replace it.

Then I wonder about the value of the money.

If I earn that money through stressful measures, where my inner angry beast rages my outer calm enough to cause harm to my sanctity, then was it really worth the effort? Through two jobs that I was contracted into that were way above my skill level, I know that not every job out there is for me, but I’m just looking for something where I can generally feel comfortable with doing the job. I don’t feel comfortable at my current job.

It’s too ambiguous.

Even a statement like that doesn’t give me a good reason for what makes me stressed thinking about it. It would be nicer if I had a job with one specific focus. I can do that. It’s stressful for me to juggle myriad concepts. I spent the morning organizing my bookmarks so I could better plan my time off. I have folders for videogames, videos, shows, and albums to listen to, and each one is easier for me to reference and complete when I want to watch a show or whatever. That sort of thing requires a singular focus on completing an objective. I can do that, but oftentimes, at work, I find my concentration and focus split between dozens of reference documents trying to imagine possible solutions.

It all gets to be too much.

I need to find a way to start talking with that angry beast. It responds well to angry music. It… needed a name, so I thought for a while, then after throwing around names, went with Gaba. I need to gabber with Gaba more. “Why are you mad, Gaba?” “What is making you lash out right now, when everything in life is good enough?” I’ll need to decide on what Gaba looks like and maybe even create a physical representation of him. I have an idea of what he looks like, but I’ll have to complete some other things first before I can dedicate time to thinking about what he looks like in general.

But thinking about Gaba, my angry inner beast, as something I can materialize is helping to calm him down.

Quotes: The quotes above were my hypothetical talkings to Gaba.
Sources: My personal experiences.
Inspirations: Seeing on my writing calendar that I was about halfway through the year, I figured I’d write a half-year report on my usual main topics.
Related: Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Picture: Generic since the tie-in here is that I’m on “Gabapentin for lower back pain that’s lasted nearly a month now”
Written On: 2020 May 15 [1:33pm to 2:04pm]
Last Edited: 2020 May 15 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.