Friday, August 17, 2012


I have a draft version of this post that was a bit of a downer. I started writing it yesterday, but got bogged down in history, and was feeling pretty lame about myself. In short, I waited too long to apply for a student loan, and so my school is saying that I can only register for the January semester, which is not what I wanted. I want to be a full-time student now! Now, now, now!!

All summer, I've had my hopes set on returning to school full time in September. I'm in a bit of a tricky situation right now, because I'm unemployed and on employment insurance. I was hoping to get the loan quickly so that I could get off EI, then get a part time job, but mostly focus on my studies. On my loan application, I filled out my projected earnings based on that, but if I'm not getting a loan this fall, that means I have to get a full time job, which will change my projected earnings, which means that what I put on my application is incorrect, and now I have this terrible fear that everything is ruined and my hope of going back to school was ruined before I even started.

It can't be as dire as all that. But I'm still freaking out. Last night I couldn't get to sleep (though thank goodness for the boyfriend: he did and said all the right things. He couldn't make the problems go away, but his being there reminded me that I'm not the loser asshole that I was thinking I was). I'm still not sure what I'm going to do.

Actually, that's not true. There's a course of action I can take, and all it means is that my education is delayed by 4 months, which I can easily make up if I take a full course load next summer. 4 months isn't an insane amount of time.

What I have to deal with right now is understanding that even if I do all the right things, I still may not get what I want or need. I may be disappointed. My funding may not come through. This is really hard for me, because part of my strategy for being sober rests heavily on the idea that being sober is going to make my life better....which, no, sobriety is not a magic wand. Drinking would certainly make my life worse, but that does not mean that sobriety will make my life better...if that makes sense.

If I go into things believing that I will succeed, just because I'm sober, I will be disappointed. Sooner or later I will have to accept that the world doesn't work that way. The world is not a vending machine where, if I put the right actions in, I will get my favourite tasty treat out. The world is complicated and messy. The world is cruel and cold. Outside of my precious sphere of loved ones, the world doesn't care about me.

It's wrong for me to expect good things just because I'm working hard at being sober. I can't let myself think that the world will reward my sobriety. If I need to draw on more strength to say no to drinking, I have to find that strength elsewhere.

Hm. I'm concerned that this post is reading just as bad as the draft one was. But it shouldn't. Part of what makes booze so bad for me is that it created a world of illusions, where I could keep making horrible decisions and still convince myself that everything was okay. Being sober doesn't mean that I get what I want when I want it, it means that I can see past the illusions. Seeing things as they are means that sometimes what I see will be ugly or disappointing, but seeing things honestly is important to me. And that is a better reason to stay sober.

And another benefit of seeing things more clearly is that I can see that, even with this minor set-back, I have a lot in my life to be thankful for. I can see how amazing my partner is, for example. And I can reflect on the actions I took and realise that, yeah, they didn't turn out the way I'd like, but I still took all the right actions. I can't blame myself for this situation being what it is...and for someone who still carries a fair amount of guilt for his past actions, that's a pretty impressive thing.


  1. I have this thing when I always judge the severity of events based on a 'will I be remembering this when I'm 80 and sitting on my porch in a rocking chair?" Like .. when you're 80 will you be sitting there going 'the worst thing that ever happened to me was when I had to wait 4 months to start that study'..'if only I didn't leave it too late to apply for that course'..? You can deal with this. You can! You'll work it out. Call the school and talk to them if you have to. Only work part time if that helps. I dunno.. but this is manageable I know. Keep on keeping on you're doing great. And I love the sound of your bf! xxx

  2. hi there, i'm enjoying reading your blog :) maybe it's possible that this is a blessing in disguise. like maybe you'll work and you'll be able to pay your own way through school without loans... or perhaps money will come some other way. maybe you're going to do some contract work for someone (editing/writing/being a genius) that'll solve all problems. well, sorry to be such a happy-sunshine-gusher ... not what i intended :) maybe it all works out better this way... ~Belle

  3. This awareness you're describing is one of my favorite things about sobriety. Sometimes I feel life should be easier somehow, but of course hard stuff still happens. I have noticed how I respond has changed (slowly, oh so slowly) and it does feel more honest. This too is why I don't drink. I'm sorry to hear about the student loan, but maybe this extra time will turn out for the best. I hope you enjoy your vacation.