Sobriety day 20

Another meaningless milestone number but still feels a bit surprising.

Coffee with Josanna last night was great. She has her own history and insight with depression so we get to skip a lot of explaining.

We hit on the idea that in every depressed person is really a pure optimist. Other people look at the world and see it as not as good as it could be, we see it as not as good as it’s supposed to be. We want to be happy, not happy enough.

That’s why in conversations like the one with Jay we can both describe the world accurately and he can shrug and I can cry.

My baseline is so low and my hopes so high that normal disappointments feel grandiose.

We talked about humility vs humiliation, acceptance vs resignation, I talked about my addiction to affection. And she’s proud of me for how diligently I’m working on myself.

I also made sure to listen and let her vent. It’s easy to be totally wrapped up in myself right now because I’m repairing and preventing after a crisis. I’m an emotional black hole though and if I don’t manage myself I won’t be a good reciprocal friend.

Part of the spirit of punk rock is starting before you’re ready. Don’t wait til you’re talented to start making music, don’t wait until you have proper equipment before you start making movies, and don’t wait until you’re a perfect person to be a good friend.

Start from flaws and deep imperfection and let the core of what you’re doing shine through. Let it be messy but magical. magical in its messiness.

In all my external projects, music mostly, I lost that core spark. It became all rough and no diamond.

And internally I never want to settle for being a flawed imperfect person. Again the mortally wounded optimist in me can see a perfect version of myself and every time it clashes with reality I see no point in trying, no point in living.

That’s why women became a pass/fail test at this point in my life. When my value was my art it was easy. I played songs, people liked them, I passed the test, I had worth. Having my self be my worth is a lot more fraught.

With my friends there really isn’t a pass/fail. There’s the idea that friendship means never judging. Which on one hand is good because we all need safe harbors, we all need to spend time with people that doesn’t feel like an audition. But it also feels a little meaningless when I’m destroying myself and everything around me and the people I trust will tell me I’m doin’ fine.

They partly do it out of friendship, wanting to be supportive and non-judgemental, but also out of fear. Whereas I still believe that a friendship ruined by honesty was never really a friendship anyway, but let’s remember that I auditioned a lot of friends in the last 3 years and only discovered how many enemies I really have. It’s not for the faint of heart, the way I feel compelled to live.

And I know it’s not a breeze to be in my life, to be someone to me. Last night I felt sorry for Maria. Her and I have crossed the threshold where I’m always being funny. It’s getting close to the point of no return, too late to save her from my non-public self.

Once I stop filtering everything through charm it tends to bother people. It bothers me too, really, I like being in charming mode, I prefer it to resigned familiarity.

That’s probably why I feel better talking to women, because it adds a layer of charm, I portray the character of myself more favorably. I allow myself to see my good qualities. Whereas talking to guys maybe I commiserate my negative qualities a bit. And there’s still stoicism to get around. I’m not the first guy to prefer talking to women because it’s easier, rewarding even, to be vulnerable and sensitive.

I’m disappointed that I’m finding more and more normal traits in myself.


Singer/songwriter, jerk.

Posted in sobriety
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