One week of sobriety: A test of self control

Last week was a blur of disappointment and successes, but not for the reasons most might be thinking.

The biggest stateside video game conference had come and gone. It hadn’t been a fun filled week for me as it was for the many that gather here to our great city to celebrate the latest advances in technologies.

I work in two fields: journalism and entertainment. And while video games are a part of my 9-5, they are followed by my true passion: journalism. I have been fortunate to have resided on both sides of the fence. Each has its perks and setbacks.

I did my laundry Sunday. I washed away the remnants of people that I had thought more of before last week, of someone who I didn’t know what to think, of someone whom there exists a war in my head with what to think, and of pieces of myself that I’m learning more and more about.

I waver in between worlds within the spotlight and highlighting those who sparkle under it. But this camera sees a depth of field that…

With any conference comes the after parties. Behind these scenes is where the real magic and disasters occur. It’s the stuff of a million stories that writers won’t write about. It’s the stuff of stories that they probably should write about. It’s stuff that gets compiled into your brain and begs and begs to be released but rarely ever does.  Its the stuff that you wish you didn’t know.  It’s the stuff of stories that can drive you insane due to the lack of ability to release.

It’s the story of someone making an ass of themselves meeting someone for a secret rondevous. It’s the story of trying so hard to impress someone that the only thing that surfaces is the detestable.  It’s the story of having so much alcohol in order to make others tolerable, that a black out happens. It’s the story of [redacted] and the story of [redacted redacted].

When you work in the entertainment industry, you see this in so many instances that eventually, you have two options:
1) Let it overcome you.
or 2)Find a way to overcome it before it consumes you whole.

Life becomes more exhausting than usual. Not only does the weight of your own reality weigh on you, but so does the weight of the people vying for their chance to shine in the limelight of a coveted piece of fifteen moments of fame on the tabloid of choice.

Fearing an impending overdose on it all, I elected to take a command step forward. Paired with someone to assist in co-miserating the experience, I embarked on a journey into a world of glitz and glamour free of a method of escape. For one week I would be alcohol and smoke free.

Notes: I am not a daily drinker. I drink on a number on an occasional basis: networking parties where everyone has a glass of something in their hands, happy hour with coworkers, dates, and when something is really getting to me. The same generally applies to my smoking habits sans for one additional place it enters. Ah the “joys” of Los Angeles traffic.

Day one was to start when he left. He and I had spent the whole day together booze free. The evening had been cut short unexpectedly. Our plans to disappear into historical places taking roost in fabled haunts with as equally fabled spirits faded into the ether (for the time being).

An hour after he’d left however, I found myself assisting a friend (and veteran featured personality) with an art show she’d curated located within a seedy motel downtown. My time was spent in a bed navigating perverts (read: art enthusiasts) through the graphiti clad thrashed rock themed art room. He and I had talked earlier about me attending the show and I was originally going to stay at home and work on my book, but yet there I was. In the middle of it all, I stayed true to my mission. I remained sober and penned away at a notebook as the crowds waved in and out.

One shocking thing happened from the alt-shock event extravaganza  was not what I was expecting in the slightest. Among the sea of onlookers was one of the artists featured in the show with a very special guest. He was a “short” man.  Five ten with brown hair, scruffy and parker-esque. He had a smile that illuminated the room. His words faultered as he was nudged to “Just ask her”.

He talked to me a few minutes.  He’d wanted to take my picture with this artists work. Both of them were delightful people but there was something more about this gentleman. While talking about how we’d both ended up at the event by way of serendipitous routes, my tale of my mission to be sober for the week came up in conversation. He turned to me and said “I completely understand. I’m sober myself.” Does like energy really attract like energy?

When I arrived home however, it was nearly 2am. I was exhausted from the event. I’d had to help scrub the graphiti off the walls and clean up the aftermath. There had been four of us toiling away that evening cleaning. Being an art curator (or in my case, assisting one) is not always as glamorous as it sounds.

The bar below my apartment had my favorite beer on tap. I immediately walked up the steps and got a glass. But after I’d paid for it and it had been poured in front of me, I began to feel horrible. Day one of sobriety had been going so well. Within an instant, I’d ruined it.

The next day I went to visit family in Huntington Beach. I was intending on spending some time as a mermaid beachside a bit as well. Of course, the outfit I chose as I headed to the beach felt more suiting of the event I was at last minute then what I’d ended up wearing. Cest’ le vie. As I packed my bag my brain immediately went to “cans of beer and smokes”.  I shook the idea off and headed seaside.

Even after I’d arrived to family bbq, the two items I’d left behind were pushed into view. My family helped to make excuses for why it would be alright.  So did friends who’d invited me to return back to the bar below my loft bribing feats of hilarity in kiddie pools.  Everyone seemed to chime in “You can just start tomorrow.”

Remembering the night prior, I stuck true to the goal. It was a bit frustrating but it was nothing compared to the temptations that would follow the rest of the week. One such example happened later that evening when I’d arrived home. My secret guest and I had limited ability to enjoy our weekend as my roommate (who isn’t usually home and isn’t home as this is being written) was home for the entirety of it. However she’d had a guest that evening. I wanted nothing more than to go downstairs and have a beer. No can do.

I found myself as the week progressed, and as life continued to rapid fire bullets of everyday flies in the ointment, running a gammit of emotions from intensely frustrated with my lack of easy escapism, to rationalizing the act, to… undeniable clarity.

I went to my first networking event without the escapism. At one point, I’d thought that the booze was necessary. You need a glass in your hand in order to be approachable after all right? Almost right. The event had been a test of wits. It forced me to modify the way I went about my interactions. With the sobriety came more clarity and control over myself in navigating the event than I’d remembered experiencing for a long time.

My eyes were wide open.  I saw everything.  I was better able to gauge who would be the best conservators. I met more valuable, more mature and more truly talented people than I might have had I not been completely sober. I immediately was able to see how I could make their businesses better.  I was more on point with statistical and competition information.  I felt empowered by my lack of a barrier to readily access that information.

The main rationalization I’d previously turned to for the reason to do it “I deserve it” became the reason not to do it. It evolved. Perhaps I did a little in the process as well. And while I may not go completely sober or smoke free right now, I will continue to follow this path. The lessons that I have learned from this week shall not disappear into the ether. I highly encourage each of you to try this for yourself. You don’t have to have a huge problem for it to be effective.

Why?  Because “You deserve it?”  Almost.  It’s because “You deserve more.”

If you or someone you love is experiencing a debacle great or small with alcohol or any other substance, don’t be afraid to seek help with it. You are not alone. For more information on support centers and other outlets, or if you just want to attend a meeting to see what others are saying to see for yourself, feel free to look into the following link at your leisure:

Alcoholics Anonamous

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Ownership

“Did I tell you once that you are the kind of girl that guys want to own?”

I paused and withdrew a bit as he continued.  As we talked, we came to many conclusions.

“Too much honesty.”

Perhaps so.  No… he’s right.  Part of the problem is that I have been too honest.  Part of the problem is that amidst my open honesty with others, I have failed in areas within myself.

Apathetic and vibrancy… the merge of introverted and extroverted.

Two worlds which coexist, but when joined can result in a transferrance of volatility, passion, and…

Understanding.

I am scrubbing away with a fever.  Despite the imperfections, they both may very well be perfect.

There is toxin in her lips.

There is toxin in his essence.

But he’s in a class all of his own.

He is on his own pedestal and hers as well, though he may not believe he is worth it.

She is one that dances in the moonlight.

She saunters in a room and doesn’t go unnoticed.

She is the rock and also the pearl hidden away deep at the bottom of the sea.

She is like the sun that brings out the sparkles of the rage of currents.

She is the calm before the storm.

He is the waves that rush upon the shore.

He is the rock along the beach.

Steady and constant, but often filled with turmoil.

He wants nothing but safe waters for the boats along his spine.

He is protective and vigilant…. he wants no one to be hurt.

He wants not to be the one to get hurt.

And these two forces, both great and mighty fight and push and pull with their toxins.

Is it a lost cause?

Perhaps the cause is that much greater…

Genuine.

Real.

Simple…

Madness.

Passionate.

Vibrant.

Worthwhile.

Douchebag of the week! Username: Heathers

Ah how many of you remember that beloved movie of the 80’s?

Let’s take a journey back in time to remember the female douchebags of my more formative years from one of my favorite cult classics.  It will make sense later I promise.

Heathers, circa 1988

Heathers, circa 1988

From right to to left, seen above, the characters Heather Duke, Heather McNamara, and the queen of the female douchebag power click, Heather Chandler accompanied by miss Veronica Sawyer.

In my teenage angst period and throughout my life, I seemed to most empathize with Wynonna Ryder’s character.  Here she was, riding along in the cool kids club, but she never really fit in.  There was something off about her, but not in a bad way.  It was noticeable enough to be noticed, but her entourage was her get out of jail free card.

For years I’d be haunted by these “Heathers.”  It became prevalent even more so when entering the entertainment industry.  It didn’t matter how nice you were to them, if you looked at some of them funny, wore your hair differently, showed up at a party with an attractive guy, got attention from the right person, they would snub you.  You are expendable and competition.   However, both parties can be successful in the Hollywood pool, but only if they moderate themselves.

In this movie, these douchebags made her life both hell and heaven.  The choice was hers.  So what better way to play the game than become one of the crew?  Once in the favor of the crowd, the potential to rise is endless.

Ah the politics of womanhood.  Take notice my dears and play nice, even if you don’t like eachother… because everyone wants the rank of a Heather but maintain the likeability of a Veronica.

*******

This week’s douchebag of the week goes to a very special girl from the East Coast also named Heather.  Like the characters in the movie, she’s a gorgeous girl with a commanding presence.  People know who she is, and she’s popular within her circle.  But she failed to moderate herself…

One of my best friends back home, Jace, finally got involved with a girl, Nat, that he’s been madly in love with for 10 years.  He was doing the long distance relationship thing.  She- on the east coast, He- from Chicago.   Their courtship had been something danced around quite literally for some time.  Needless to say when it finally happened, he was glowing magnanimously.

Jace and Nat love to dance.  He’s frequently flown out there for dance competions and video game functions.  They have been best friends for ages.  Their relationship was strong.  He’d met her family.  All steps in the direction of a potentially great payoff and long term romance.

It was also during this time that he’d also met Heather.  She was a conventionally beautiful girl who loved to dance as well.  However when he’d initially shown interest in her, she rejected him.

Time passed and he’s with Nat.  He’s on cloud nine about it.  This was when it would finally all make a turn for the worse.

What is it about women who suddenly want the guy when he becomes off the market?

I must admit, I’m guilty of this too.. but here comes the psychotic difference between her and the rest of “sane” women.

He was being a good guy to Nat. Heather decided to come out in the open that she had feelings for him and wanted him.  He respectfully declined and repeatedly stated he was in love with his girlfriend.  She refused to listen.

There was a dance competition coming up that he planned on attending.  Heather decided that this was the perfect time to schedule a trip out to Chicago…. so she could see him in person and tell him everything.  Jace was not clued in on this.

He went to his dance gig as normal and ran into her.  He was trying to maintain a friendship with her and be cordial.  She pressed.  She said she had things of his to give back to him- a sweatshirt that was back at her hotel room.

He tried to get out of it but she pressed more….

“Please come and get this, it will only be a minute.”

He ended up at her hotel room.  She begins looking for the items in question.  He waits patiently.

She straddles him in a chair and makes it clear that she doesn’t have panties on.  She pulls out elaborate letters about how she wants to be with him and proceeds to pledge her undying desire for him.

And then she kisses him.  He’s stuck in this spot and doesn’t know how to get out of it gracefully.

He excuses himself… tells her that he’s in love with his girlfriend.  He says he’s flattered but this is wrong.

Driving home he feels terrible.  He feels he’s to blame for her actions.

Is there something I could have done differently?  Was I not clear with what I said about my position on this?

And then the email…

Heather wrote Nat an email about how she and Jace are now together.  She twists the story around to make it sound as if she were completely innocent to the whole thing.  Nat is destraut and believes the girl.

As of right now my friend Jace is now single due to this meddling Heather.  Congrats on becoming this weeks long distance douchebag of the week hooker girl.  Perhaps there’s potential for you in Hollywood just yet… but only if you learn to play nice lest you be crushed by the real Heather/Veronicas.  At which point, tell me when and where and I’ll bring the popcorn and the gloves… wouldn’t want to get blood on my nails you know.

Relevance? Unknown

I had.. the most bizarre dream last night.

And you were there.

And so were you.

I don’t remember all of it.

Hell, I don’t remember much of it.

Is it odd for an atheist to pray?

Isn’t a thought released to the air really just the same thing?

What is a prayer exactly?

Another time.

Another story?

This one is just about a wish.

Yes, yet another wish.

Because if you can’t dream it, you can’t realize it.

If you can’t realize it, you can’t actualize it.

If you don’t know what you want, your odds of getting it.. well, they just aren’t as likely.

A discussion with my roommate last night bid some inner reflection.

I was exhausted.  Yesterday was a long one.  But even when my body begged me to stop, I just kept going.

I had to ride out the storm.

I had to punish myself so I knew when I was finally there that I’d deserved it.

But I deserve everything along the way too.

The heartache.

The pain.

The levity.

The letdown.

Talking.  More and more talking.

I’m fortunate enough to be surrounded by such a wonderful support group.

“The thing was.. over the past months you were with him, you grew up immensely.  He, on the other hand, just remained the same.  If anything, he regressed.”

My head is…

I’m so…

~L.

the grip

Mr Parker

the panther

etcetera. etcetera.

There’s alot you don’t know… that you’ll never know.

“I think you’re reaching far too low than you should be.  You are worth so much more than you have been giving yourself credit for.” said another good friend, regarding business affairs.

But the statements…

“Women seem to have it either one extreme or the other.  It’s either full fledged all out full of themselves intensity or no self esteem at all.”

Potential.

Love.

Success.

Dreams.

I was about to go to sleep when he messaged me.  He just won’t let me let him go.

“Is there ever a time when you’re not amazing?”  I asked him.

But that’s yet another story.

I “prayed.”

I wished.

I dreamed.

And you were there.

And so were you.

I don’t remember all of it.

Hell I don’t remember much of it.

I couldn’t see faces.  I can only remember one name.  I’m not even sure if it was the person in the dream.

I remember very little.  But what pieces I do, I remember vividly.

I was sitting across the table from a gentleman.

He asked me:

Why couldn’t I be your first choice? Why am I not your first choice?”

And I said:

“You already are. You always were.”

And then I woke up.  I tried to remember more of the dream.  I couldn’t.  It was driving me batty.

I forced myself to get back to sleep, determined and vigilant to uncover the subliminal messages underlying within.

I remember one name:

yours, Mr Parker.

Even still, I’m not sure.  I woke up again.

No answers.

Just stillness.

Is it odd for an atheist to pray?

Isn’t a thought released to the air really just the same thing?

I just kept going.

I had to ride out the storm.

I dragged myself out of bed.  I saw Mr Parker online.

“You should call me.  I miss your voice or something.”

“Or something… ” he said, as if he already knew.

…Or something…

I drove to work.  The words stirred in my head.  Everything about last night.  Everything about this morning.

I pulled into my spot and went to walk upstairs.  I lifted my eyes up and there you were.

What’s the meaning of all of this?  I’m unsure.

No answers.

Just stillness.

I have to keep going.

I have to ride out the storm.

Vices will be the death.. of someone

My roommate came back from Italy.  We’re still in the relaxed talkative about the trip mode.  She was telling me about the shopping.  She bought one pair of shoes while she was out there and some other assorted goodness.

It’s actually odd that I haven’t blogged about fashion yet.  It is one thing that I’m extremely devoted to.  I’m a bit of a chameleon.  I can’t stand looking like every other lemming.  However, I’m also a snob in some ways.  I believe in buying quality products that will be used constantly.  Investment in a pair of jeans or a good purse for example.  If you’re a woman, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

I am a huge fan of foreign fashion.  I draw inspiration from varied places in time and around the world. It’s part of the secret of how I never seem to look the same day to day.

Morgan said that unfortunately it was expensive there, and that the conversion was horrible.  She brought back catalogs for one of her friends… left them on the table in the living room before she went to get grocerries.  (That’s a different story though.)  I looked and saw the websites.  They weren’t ones I recognized.

So here I am on my day off.. looking at yet again more things to spend my money on.. drooling at foreign shoes… trying to plan an outfit for Saturdays tweetup, and possibly talking to boys.

I have to go to Michaels.. the infamous ribbon of mine (the ones on many of my flickr pictures) went missing this week.  I’m hoping that someone at work found it.  I got it the birthday before last and it has been a staple of my fashion.  I want it back.. and probably some eyelash glue… I had a tube but that’s missing as well.  My room ate it.

Also, I’m going through my clothes and getting rid of some (I want less to pack come moving time), possibly modding others, and going to look into starting up my vintage shop finally.  It’s a little side business of mine in the works.  I really hate that I have to start over with ebay… my ex insisted that I use his account when I did all of my shopping and selling previously.. fucking stupid move on my part.

Perhaps a boy will get me something pretty for me to wear.. or a girl.. I wouldn’t say no.

(1:29:14 PM) supernerdlady: im horrible i know
(1:29:21 PM) supernerdlady: i dont expect any of it
(1:29:53 PM) someonepossibly: you aren’t horrible, you’re awesome

/giggle

I’m incouragible.