Friday, July 19, 2013

Option C

I put a lot of pressure on myself. Some would say my level of discipline and self-control borders on intense.  I tend to push push push myself until hitting a release valve is necessary. Decompression usually comes in one of 3 forms. If I'm being self-aware enough to recognize the need, I'll give myself a “me” day which ideally includes Pilates, a green juice, a walk to the Golden Gate Bridge, an enormous fresh salad , a chick flick and bed by 11 pm. One day like that and the world is new again. If I fail to be so preemptive, my brain does me the service of automatically downshifting into “safe mode” whether I like it or not. I walk around like a zombie on auto-pilot for a week or two operating at ½ the speed I normally do, incapable of even the most rudimentary forms of multi-tasking. I forget my keys; I can’t remember if I unplugged the curling iron or closed the apartment door behind me; I don’t even consider carefully planning meals, workouts and social engagements around a highly productive work week. If my workload and social schedule don’t allow the luxuries of option A or B, and I’ve gone too long in “high functioning mode” option C just happens. And by “happens” I mean “creeps up behind me, shoves me in a burlap sack and takes me for a ride.” 

Option C sneaks up at least once a year and starts with a cocktail and the idea that maybe I can be like most 30-something adults who find repose in a happy hour drink or two. Somewhere in the middle of a bottle of champagne with the girls or my sisters, option C becomes the best idea ever. Uproarious laughter and gossip ensue, dancing in the kitchen while butchering the words to our favorite songs is often involved and next thing I know I’m sucking down a nasty cigarette (sober, I balk at anyone smoking in public poisoning me with their black tar). Unfortunately, those nights are usually punctuated with mindless eating (always things I’m allergic to) and regressive, slightly trashy behavior. I always end them standing in the kitchen in my underwear hacking at a pint of ice cream with a spoon thinking “I dessssserb dissss. So. Gud. 95% of time. Must shit relessse valb 5% time. Nom nom nom.”

Option C is favored by most of my friends, the stuff of lore for my colleagues and likely a breath of fresh air for B – although he would never admit to that. People get a kick out of seeing the perennially controlled girl lose control a little. Most everyone I’ve gotten close to after college wonders (often aloud) why I don’t do it more often. “Who cares if you go wild 5% of the time, especially when you’re so disciplined 95% of the time?” they ask. “It’s good to decompress! Why don’t you do it more often?”

It’s not just the painful stomach cramps from eating like a fat kid or 3 days spent clawing my way out of the PAD (post-alcohol-depression) abyss. It isn’t the wasted day of crying over that damn Sarah McLaughlin SPCA commercial with a bag of peanut M&M’s in my hand. It isn’t even the frustrating 3 pounds that appear in an instant and take 2 weeks to counteract. (It used to be only 4-5 days damn it.)  It’s how they come together to form a reminder of a weaker, sadder, lonelier side of myself that I’ve spent the last 10 years fighting to leave behind. My inner strength, my confidence, my self-awareness, my happiness are all interdependent with the level of discipline I now employ. I’ve fought and overcome a lot of family, emotional and physical battles in my life already, and self-control is the glue that keeps me together, it’s what keeps me moving forward. These things are the keys that have unlocked doors to a healthier, more balanced version of me - one that is happier than I ever thought I could be. Without them I would still be Crack Whore Patty, spinning around in the same drunk circles of dysfunction.

I suppose to truly understand why, one must get to know Crack Whore Patty. I will introduce her shortly.

1 comment:

  1. Pinky promise to have a self-controlled weekend on our next visit together!