Picture courtesy of CITPrincess.deviantart.com (Found on Internet)
Sloth is one of the seven capital sins. It is the most difficult sin to define, and to credit as sin, since it refers to a peculiar jumble of notions, dating from antiquity and including mental, spiritual, pathological, and physical states.
Yes, I looked it up because I wanted to make sure that I was using it in the correct context. I am a sinner. I once practiced the sin of sloth. A sin so insidious that you do not even know that you are a practitioner.
I once used my days off and weekends to lounge around. Doing nothing more strenuous than a load of laundry because I needed clean clothing. I also used those days to recover from a hangover or malaise of spirit that was brought on by my drinking. It is not that I did not do what was required because I did, I just would not make a further effort. I existed, I was not living.
****I think I should insert here that while some of this is serious, some of this, such as my calling myself a sinner and mocking myself is done in sarcastic humor. It is how the voice in my head talks as I write.
You might be thinking that this was only during the time of my depressive episode which lead to me going back on my medication. And yes, the malaise was lifted, but not the drinking. I was still hiding and in doing so, was continuing to harm myself. So while I was moving forward, the energy, the desire to do more was slow in coming. In July I decided to quit drinking because of, well, I have issues. I did have a couple during birthday celebration and on holidays.
I also discovered in mid-September that I have a fatty liver, which has been brought about by my drinking. It has also lead to my hoarding of iron in my body. I made another decision once I found this out. I am going to take a year off from drinking and see where my liver situation is and also because, well that is another part of this story.
In July when I decided to quit drinking, I discovered a few things. I could still write. That had been a huge fear. Another of them. The first had been could I still write without the emotional and painful upheaval that my depression and anxiety brought along with a burst of creativity. I could. Next was without alcohol. Would my imagination, my ability to create still be there? And again, it was.
Next I discovered that I had a great deal of excess energy. I was always on the go. And I felt great. I spent a lot of time laughing and talking with coworkers and friends. For awhile I was concerned I was on a false high in the cycle of my depression, but as each week passed I realized it was that I felt clearer. My mind was working better. My memory was better. Everything and anything was providing me with inspiration to write.
And I began and stuck with a workout regime. I make it sound like I am spending hours in the gym, I am not. I have a stationary bike at home that I ride and I spend another half hour on toning exercises of my own design. Part of the exercising to begin with, was to help lower my blood pressure. Yet as I began to see results, as I began to feel even more energized and hopeful in every aspect of my life, I was struck by how different I am from even three months ago.
My girlfriends believe that I am possessed by some evil spirit. Since I have quit drinking my sleep patterns have changed. I am no longer staying up until 1 a.m. drinking my dreams and desires away. I now go to bed between 8 and 9 p.m. and I am up between 4:30-5:30 a.m. on my days off and late starts. Let me be very honest here, I am not getting up at 3 a.m. on the days I work at 5:30 or 6 a.m. to work out, I can do that when I get home.
I realized as I was cycling away this morning that I really like this new me. I enjoy getting up early and getting everything I need to do done early. Than I have my day to write, to read, to chat with my friends. I can put my feet up and sip my coffee playing games on Facebook or checking my emails. And I can do it without feeling any guilt.
This is a huge thing for me. Alcohol has been a very large part of my life. In the last few years it was how I coped with my problems. With my fears. It lead to me making some dubious decisions. Alcohol also made me feel less. Less of myself. Less creative. A crutch and a parasite on my being.
It has been two weeks since I made this decision. Two weeks where I have not had a glass of wine. But the thought has crossed my mind. Eventually each week is going to pass and I will think of it less and less. I will continue to catalogue the good that has come out of this decision to quit.
1)So much energy that sometimes it is hard for me to stand still.
2)A desire to eat healthily.
3)A desire to exercise. Both for health and because omg I actually enjoy it.
4)Inspiration is everywhere.
5)I am more present. I do not look at the clock and count how long it will be until I can have that first sip of wine. Rum. Whatever it was going to be.
6)Creativity that pours from my fingers.
7)I like me. The every part of me. From my brain down to my toes there is no longer a malaise of spirit.
8)I can forgive. I no longer hang onto bitterness and past mistakes. They ate at my soul and that is not who I want to be.
9)I have realized I am not perfect nor do I need to be. I am better for all my little quirks and folliables.
10)There really is no ten but the list would look a little off without a 10th thing.
As I reread this I realize most of you are lost by now. Wondering what the hell my decision to quit drinking has to do with slothism. And you have every right to. This became one of my rambling conversations where a lot of things have been storing up and I finally figured out how to write them. I apologize.
My slothism took the guise of alcohol. It numbed me. Helped me to rationalize why I was the way I was. How I continued to feel the same despite having tackled my depression head on. It allowed me to be. It helped to shadow the woman I am. The woman I have always wanted to be.
I needed to be slothful. I needed to sin per se so I could repent (tongue in cheek) with a lifestyle change. I am not a religious person so this is my stab at humor. Snort or shake your head in despair I admit it is bad.
I am now the opposite of slothful. I am the friend who gets up early by choice while everyone else is still asleep. Not sure what the proper term for it is. My friends all tell me it makes me crazy. But they still love me. 🙂