Thursday, April 16, 2009

baby, did you forget to take your meds...

"It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad."
-C. S. Lewis

when i was fifteen years old, my mother, who was going through a laborious trial of trial separations and pre-divorce bottles of wine from my father, told me that you can't make a person change. change only came about when said person wanted it to, and more often than not it never happened at all. rooted deeply in my obsessive-compulsive habits of overindulgence in caffeine and nicotine and only allowing myself 350 calories a day (one slice wheat toast in the morning, coffee, three muskateers bar for lunch with a diet coke, and a salad comparable to one piece of iceburg lettuce for dinner), i didn't think twice about it, because i liked my habits the way they were. they were mine, as i had leased-to-buy from the older dancers who were in the ballet company, who happened to represent everything i wanted in life: grace, beauty, and a size zero. at that point in life i had only been able to possess one of those, the size zero. that i had in the bag. but if i changed the way i thought or ate, that would slip too, so there really was only one reasonable option; continue the path as i laid it out to be.

i knew what she said was true though. i watched my father drink all the time, watched (on the slim-to-none occasion) him and his white styrofoam cups drive us to where we needed to go when my mother was busy, watched his anger escalate as the bottle of scotch drained into his bloodstream. it was accepted, because that was all i knew. to this day i still think it strange to go out to dinner with other's parents and watch them never order a single drink during dinner. i thought that was the right to being an adult, and maybe even as far as thinking that's all adults drank, especially at night. my father's habits were then, distinctly unchangeable, because i saw (and probably he did as well) that these were what defined him, what made him who he was. my mother couldn't live with it anymore, which led to the demise of their relationship. well, several demises. they just couldn't make up their fucking minds, which makes a particularly turbulent life for the kiddies. case in point.

several years later, and here i am, coming to terms with what all this means. change. i had a boyfriend with whom i was very much in love, who couldn't understand my coming to terms with this and making reparations in my stagnant and idle lifestyle. though he saw the fruition of my work and labor over the years blossoming, he just couldn't see things that way himself. at the same time, though, complaining of how he hated his job (well, you did quit school, because you weren't willing to sacrifice, but bartending's a quick fix for money at least), hated where he lived (it is hard living with your parents at 31 but maybe you should've stuck out the house they bought for you), and hated himself (i have nothing to put in these parenthesis except see exhibit a and b above). i can't tell you how many times he told me that he was manic depressive and that he had problems communicating with people, which seemed ridiculous to me because he communicated that point eloquently and often. and i told him what i thought to be the truth - that some quack who knew nothing about him from the getgo fed him those symptoms hook line and sinker and regurgitated it over the years to the point where his whole persona depended on it, just like my father, with scotch.

if my dad would have gone to AA, he probably would have come back saying that he had a disease, and that he couldn't help it. i may tickle some pickles here in saying this, but i think that notion is a crutch. because if it's a disease, whether it be mental or physical, there's no one to blame. "oh, i'm an alcoholic. it's a disEASE" (that emphasis is always very important, it shows the listener that it's serious by the phonetics of the word) "and it's not my fault."

yes, it is.

there are two types of diseased people (are you listening? cause this is going to SHOCK you). the ones who are, and the ones who aren't. the ones who are, have a predisposed genetic tendency towards the illness, whether it be bipolarity or the bottle. the ones who aren't are sad and don't know how to deal with it. i have a few friends who have been on meds their entire lives and have tried to stop only to find out the chemical imbalance is real. i also have a ton of friends who take medication for problems they don't want to come to grips with, and have no imbalance in their brain whatsoever. it's the same with booze - the ones who know they could have a problem with it drink less or not at all. the ones who don't have any history of the alcoholic gene in their family use alcohol as a tool to solve their disappointment in themselves or their lives, or in some cases, both.

health and happiness are directly correlated. the happier you are with life and yourself, the healthier you will be in the outcome. herein lies the problem... if you are miserable in what you do and who you are, what do you think you will do about it? you will either take a pill to solve the turmoil, or indulge in another activity to forget you feel that way. the ex was unhappy because he never followed through on his life, having incredible promise and the frustrating quality to be able to fix/build/create anything he put his hands on. but he was lazy and overindulgent in his early years, which plateaued to him being insecure and doubly overindulgent in the latter. he didn't need to be on meds, he didn't need to drink it off... he needed to change his life and make himself happy and successful in his own right. and we could never see eye to eye with eachother because i could never implement that in his life. it was his choice, his change, and i had nothing to do with it.

obviously. i'm single, right? right.

my father eventually overhauled himself, and my mother eventually forgave him for the 2/3 of the marriage he spent drunk and playing golf. and now i have to listen to him tell me how to eat, exercise, and how bad smoking is for me. we've traded places somehow, and it scares me every day. i do not need to have my father as a personal trainer, because i don't think i want to start off the year 2010 with a manslaughter in the 1st degree charge looming over my head.

and eventually, i had to start eating more and paying attention to how much i smoke and drink coffee. i relapsed at 21, and for about a year i hovered around 115 or so. i was in between a zero and a two, and the directors of the ballet company were whispering that i was not going to be cast if i didn't gain some weight back (wanna know what's fucked up though, i got more roles that year than any other during my tenure, try that confusion on for size) those were nights off of two days of eating white rice and werther's originals and my heart just won't take it the same way it did when i was fifteen. lying in bed, completely sober, and feeling like i had just snorted an eight ball into my lungs was not a great platform for decent sleeping habits. although, my arms looked really great during that period of time. ugh, healthy, kathryne, healthy is most important here...

and me, now? well, yes, i smoke and i drink, and sometimes i do think it's too much. but it's funny because i don't do it frequently but when i do, it's game on for v.v. and i'm sure soon, that will dwindle too, because since moving to boston and making that initial change to prove to myself what i am, more change will come, and with that, more as well. and so on, and so on. it's a cataclysmic opportunity, opening doors. allowing change in, however uncomfortable it is to adjust to. it's rough - the first couple days, weeks, months... it's a challenge to fail and pick yourself back up. there is no pill and not enough jameson in the world to solve the pain of failure. you just have to do it, smile about it, and do it again until you can finally attest to being happy. it'll happen.

our eggs will hatch. we just have to find the right way to incubate them, that's all.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.