It has been 50 long days since I last had an orgasm. I have not gone without in a long time. My main motivation is that I need to be present for my work and school and when I am acting out, I am not. When acting out, its bad, I am not at all present, things are let go, I struggle just to hold basic things together. I'm anxious, I'm a mess. My relationships get screwy, I'm isolated, people give me less because I give less. It's nasty. It really adds stress to my life and makes it impossible to take care of the things that are important to me.
But I have been seeing a few signs of "thawing" recently that are encouraging. Although it is challenging dealing with all of the messes and things set in motion from my behavior during the times of being in my addiction, I am feeling a kind of resilience in dealing with these stresses. My relationship with my thesis advisor and supervisor have been on the rocks earlier because I was not performing well, I'd forget things, my general mood was shady and isolating. All of the secrecy and energy in trying to hold things together is stressful. In addition, all that energy and they still do not trust you! I exhibit classic addict behavior. Then, it doesn't magically end when you stop either, in fact, it can get a little worse during withdrawals! During this time, I am extra awkward. Even though I am experiencing more peace of mind during that time, social situations can be painful. In addition, you are dealing with all of the repercussions of your acting out right at your weakest emotional moments. It makes you want to act out even more.
Even thought those first 30 days were nasty both physically and emotionally, I started feeling more at ease around my supervisor and advisor lately. I finally had a meeting with my advisor this week. At first he didn't really look me in the eye, seemed dismissive, etc. And that was painful. I knew I had to earn his trust again. He is a very no nonsense kind of person and extremely smart, introverted, and insightful. He is a scary and intimidating kind of smart. He will parse you and your work to bits and think nothing of it. He has been in the field since the 60's and editor of major journals. It is awful to be around him when unprepared and aloof. He has the work ethic of a champion fighter. But I like him and look up to him. My meeting with him was rough. He definitely put me on the spot, asked tough questions and listened to me respond. Told me were I was wrong and paused to see if I would try to cover it up all anxiously like I normally would. I did not. I kept eye contact and I listened to him and understood the important things. I accepted it and we moved forward and made pretty good progress. He did see that I was thinking about the material deeply, because I have during times when I was sober. And we were able to come up with an innovative direction. I could not understand everything he was talking about, but I was present enough to see the big picture and take down the important notes. In the end, we both seemed satisfied and excited about the direction of the project. I didn't "wow" him, but I feel like I left the meeting with him having more respect for me. This was a major win as having your advisor on your bad side can be an area of great stress.
In the last week or so, I feel like I am thinking clearer and my short term memory isn't shot with anxiety. I actually remembered where my pen was at work. Doesn't seem like much, but it reminded me that I have this memory that is capable of focusing on the important information when it needs to rather than being completely scattered and in a state of constant crises management. My motivation has slowly been increasing too. I love this and so does my work. I am more productive and focused and I do it because I want to. I see the big picture and it energizes me. I get these feelings in waves, of course all days aren't excellent, but it happens more frequently and longer. As a consequence, I'm exercising more and eating better. I'm not spending my weekends in addiction hell so I can cook and wash clothes, which makes my week healthier. I am more together than I have been in a while as far as taking care of things.
I haven't quite smoothed out my relations with my supervisor, but I plan to have this conversation with her the next time I see her. I get the feeling she is on my side, so I am going to start from there. She has defended me in the past, so I am going to try to do what I can for her now. Ultimately, we are good with each other and I do not want to have any enemies. It could go either direction right now, so I am going to choose the better one because I can. I think that she and my advisor (her boss) have a little bit more respect for me since I pulled in this grant. It came just in time for when I started feeling better and more present. I am going to try to keep this up for the duration of my time with them (3 1/2 more months). It is a reward of sobriety and I need to nurture it. I always forget these "little" things when I am sober for a little while.
It's nice to have a glimpse of my old mind back. You don't miss it if you don't think you have had it and it is easy to forget since you happen to think that that other mind is the one you have had all along.