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hi. (updated)

editor's note: some of that just didn't deliver the way I wanted it to. it sounded... just not right. so I fixed some of it, and now it's different, and it says different things. why am I typing this, when I am quite sure no one reads it anymore? or do I know, really, somewhere, that a bunch of people do? like the last time I thought that, and I got an email from a random girl about cancer and eating peanut butter and it amazed me. so, yeah. so I'm going to stop talking now.

***

6:30, Monday evening. I just made a great dinner, proving that practice makes... well, better, at least. I found a great pair of dresses at Target the other day.

So I'm going to Target, kind of annoyed. Some days I embrace simplicity and broke-ness and having less and wanting less, because there's a freedom in it. It's hard, but it's so much easier most days. And the other day was not one of those days, going to Target, pissed off. Pissed off that I had to go buy a dress at a big-box store. Like going to Wal-Mart, only not as gross. Long story short, I found so many cute dresses that I couldn't decide. I looked good. I wanted to buy five of them. I settled on two.

Point being (if I have one) that I get so much proof. It's practically relentless. And I doubt, and second guess, and push things away, and convince myself that it's all just a coincidence. And it's not. I mean, I suppose some things have to be a coincidence, but most of it is not coincidence.

I'm on a roller coaster somewhere between fairly rational and wanting to jump out a window. I can be cruising right along, minding my business, feeling like the work I'm putting in to not being an asshole is actually starting to help. When I don't hate you, I don't hate me, and I only hate you when I hate myself on some level anyways. And then I get my head split open with a bat, and I crumble to a heap on the floor (or, in the car, like Saturday) and in those moments, it is an absolute and utter truth that I can not go on for one more second. That it's just too hard, that missing my mother hurts too much, and that someone is going to have to physically come and pick me up because I'm immobilized. And I crawl upstairs, and take a long shower, and functionality returns, and the eventually my head stops screaming and I can sit and be present.

But that dull ache, the noise, it never completely goes away. For a long time, as I stayed sober, it got quieter... and when it wasn't quiet, it was because I was doing something to aggravate... something. Whatever the issue du jour was. And as I keep staying sober, I learn that there's not noise because you're Bad or Wrong or Messing Things Up or whatever. That sometimes, it all just hurts. A lot. And that life is hard, not because I'm pissed off about having to go to Target to get a dress for a wedding, but because it's just - well, on that day, that's what was hard. And Saturday, missing my parents was hard. And today, I had an alright day, and I worked hard, and I did my job well. But - it's not always necessarily something that has to get fixed, because I always want to Do Something About How I Feel. I heard an old guy once speak at a meeting and he was all, I don't know why everyone feels like they have to go around taking their emotional temperature all the time. Just go do whatever it is you need to do, and shut up already. And then, it offended me. And now, sometimes, it's right on.

Yeah. So - right. So I don't have to fix stuff, because a lot of the time, it's not anything I have to be better at or try harder at and if I was only doing more or working harder or praying more or saying less then everything would be alright. It's another extension of "if X happens (boyfriend, job, etc.) then everything will be fine" except this kind has better intentions. But still. It still doesn't work.

I had no idea what I was going to write about, but I just knew I needed to. Funny what comes out sometimes, I wasn't even thinking about all of that - or maybe I was. Obviously, I was.

Funny how we have little to no perspective on what's happening to us or around us or in us sometimes. Kristin talking about writing... I mean, for me, she is writing. Like, Kristin = writing, not, Kristin is writing something right now. I learned to go to my notebook (well, then it was a yellow legal pad, stolen from a box in the supply room at Cyber Research or something) by watching her, and less-ly by watching Kristy. But Kristin was more consistently pure about it, it was like Kristy needed it to be a show sometimes. In fairness to her, not all the time, Kristy did write some brilliant stuff and a lot of it was just like the rest of us did it, with inkstains on her pillow because she fell asleep before she could write it all down. And I saw that happening, and I remember Kristin's picture, on that boat in the sun, and how perfect that moment was, all frozen and complete, even though it really wasn't at all, or maybe that day it actually was. And I had to write - I had to. Crappy stuff and stupid loveletters to asshole boys and I started to question everything I did and every step I took. I couldn't stop comparing myself to everyone around me. I'm not in a band, I don't stand for much, I don't have a glass cabinet full of notebooks, and I haven't been consistent, if anything I've been consistent with being inconsistent. I look at it now, and I think that maybe this is just how I am - somewhere between fucking up and succeeding. Not bad, and I'm not wrong. And It's not always that I have to try harder or do better. Sometimes I should work a little more, and sometimes I should just accept things and go easy on myself.

It's only taken about sixteen years of writing (sometimes) to not have to constantly judge how I feel by how everyone else seems. I only do it some of the time now. And it's taken the entire seven years I've been sober to just begin to learn to not beat the shit out of myself constantly. But it's so strange to me, to have someone that epitomizes (sp?) everything that writing is and means and everything that being true to yourself is all about could struggle with - well, with being that, or not knowing that. It's bizarre, and so familiar, all at once. Sometimes, I wish someone could just show me myself, and go, here. This is what the world sees, in the big way, not in the one particular person you're talking to way. And here are your strengths, and this means this, and that isn't about that so stop telling yourself _________ because it's just not true. And these things over here, yes, keep doing all of that, because it's honest and right. I want Kristin and Donna to follow me around all day just to help me get through... all of it. To help me tune the station in a little bit better. I guess that might sound strange, but it's true.

So when will I truly have that perspective on myself? Or can I not have it, simply because I can't detach from looking at me or what I have going on? I don't know. Am I'm happy with steady improvement, with working on the things that need work and letting the other stuff just go the way it goes? Right now, I guess. Definitely not all the time. More accurately, not feeling like I'm good enough doesn't paralyze every fiber of my being like it used to, it's better some days, and still just the same some days. And even as I type this, doubt creeps in and I'm quite sure if I sat here and wrote about this same stuff at this same time tomorrow, that I might be on the other end of the stick. That it's just that I'm not trying hard enough. But I could still say it's not crippling anymore. And if for it to be more not crippling takes another decade or two, then I guess that that's just how it's going to go.

I have no idea why I just felt compelled to write all of that. I should go, before I decide not to post this because it's stupid and nobody wants to read it, anyways.

Bon courage,

Victoria

Victoria Uhl