I turned down an assignment today to work on edits for my book. I made a lot of progress too, but I’ve hit a rough patch where I’m not sure how I want to approach the chapter. It could be fleshed out as some very sharp, focused scenes that are broken up into pieces, or it could be one of those “tell, don’t show” kinds of chapters. The story basically goes off on a tangent which covers decades in a single chapter. I could do this as flashes, or I could do this like “Bob went to the carnival. He drove to California and lived there for a few years. Then Bob retired from his job.” That’s just an example. There is no Bob. Ugh.
So, in my stressed out world, and living where I do, I have noticed that along with millions of other people, I have been using alcohol as a crutch. It basically fills in the moments when I don’t want to do anything, and I can’t sleep. So, it can be relaxing to sit down with a beer or a whiskey and just watch some crap on Netflix. Then go to bed.
I haven’t had anything to drink since June 12th. That was the night I drank a couple Heinekens in front of the TV. I don’t even remember what I was watching, which with Netflix is common with or without the drinks. TV was just the spoon for the beers. Sometimes I get the urge to buy some more beers, but really I don’t even like beer all that much. It’s the equivalent of eating a loaf of bread and after a few weeks of beer in stead of whiskey, my pants don’t fit right. Whiskey is expensive, but really doesn’t have much of an effect on me anymore. I do drink it for the flavor, but at $25 per bottle and that lasts anywhere between a week or two weeks, that is an expensive way to just zone out in front of the TV. And I have better things to spend that kind of money on.
So, I’m fighting the urge to have anything to drink. Other than coffee. And I drink a shit ton of coffee. It’s probably not the best for anxiety, but it makes me happy and it won’t explode my liver like alcohol. Alcohol does nothing to solve your problems. And it messes with my sleep cycles. I’ve been sleeping pretty well for the last week, with the exception of last night. My hayfever has been hitting hard, so I took a Benadryl last night at about 2:30am and slept until 10:30. And there were other things too. Old ghosts. That pinch you feel when you look back instead of forward and you wonder “What if I had…” and it all falls apart because your situation is not what it once was two plus years ago.
When you realize you are in the middle of nowhere and you have work to do before any of that changes.
The edits have been going well, I think. Sometimes I’m too close to the work. I lose track of what I should be cutting and what I should keep. I’m getting a friend to read a few chapters in the next couple weeks, so it will be interesting to hear what they have to say.
My voice is different in my book than it is here, even though a lot of the source is the same. Who knows?
Here’s a video from Massive Attack. It reminds me how far things can get if you don’t have something better to live for.