The More Things Change…The More They Stay the Same

I get emails all the time for Living Social and Groupons.  If you’re not familiar with these companies, they exist as a marketing tool to promote businesses.  Basically you sign up for a specific region of the country and then periodically (i.e.several times a day) you receive emails with coupons and/or special deals on goods and services.  Most of it’s crap but occasionally I happen on a good deal.  Once I got all of our carpets cleaned for $99.  I also got the dogs bathed and their nails clipped for like $40.  I’ve also gotten massages and other spa services at a fraction of the price.

But, like I said, 90% of the time it’s crap.  I scroll through, looking for a good deal and then I move on.

But today I saw something that made me pause.  And caused me to think.  And then caused me to LOL.

I saw this…

Now this is not the first time I’ve seen a “go cup” like this.  But it is the first time that I thought, and I shit you not…

“Wow…there’s a lot of wasted space in that glass.  You should just take out the stem and fill that sucker up!”

I guess some things never change. 

At least I’m consistent.

Namaste

Happy Birthday Facebook!

Facebook is 10 years old today.  Wow.  It’s seems like there has always been a Facebook and yet it’s a mere 10 years old.  On the other hand, those 10 years have flown by and it’s hard to believe that FB has been around that long.

Quite a paradox.

I love Facebook and social media in general.  I love that I can stay in touch and find people who would have otherwise drifted out of my life.  I love that my family posts pictures from far away and I can share in things.  I love that I can offer love, support and kindness to people who need it and never have to dial their number (I hate talking on the phone).  I love that the older it gets, the more social media touches lives in positive ways.  I love that I can make new “Facebook friends” and it feels like we’re besties even though, in some cases, we’ve never met face to face.

I also love that it did not exist in the 80’s…just sayin’.

My kids tell me that Facebook is now for “old” people (translation…anyone over the age of 30) and that they’ve moved on to Instagram, Vine, Tinder and whatever else is floating around out there.  What. Ever.  Love it or hate it, Facebook turns 10 big ones today.

Which of course got me thinking.

Where was I 10 years ago?

We were living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in what I can only describe as my dream home.  Small town, 30 minutes from the ocean, unbelievable house with an even more unbelievable kitchen, wonderful family…It was a dream come true.

My drinking was escalating at the time but was no where near where it would be by 2010.  That said, I was dealing with a lot in those years.  The hubs had emergency bypass surgery.  Matt was hospitalized for a very severe case of strep.  My mother was slowly dying and trying to take me with her.

But in spite of all of that, life was really, really good.  The hubs was working at a job he loved.  The boys were young and involved in activities that kept me busy.  I discovered Little League Baseball which I grew to love with a passion.  I made some life long friends.  I loved our house and our neighborhood and we entertained a lot.  I was in graduate school (again).  I knew and loved every inch of that little town.

I’ve often wondered why God took us to that life in 2004 only to help me make decisions that would move us away from it only three years later.  I guess He just wanted us there.  And now He wants us here.  I think He wanted us here for the schools and the opportunities my boys would never have had in our small town.  He wanted us here so that I could change jobs and find this one that I love.  He wanted us here…well…just because He said so!

I mean, who else takes a job that has her company spending 30 grand to move her and her family 400 miles south only to get laid off 18 months later?  This girl! 

AND He locked us in here because we bought our house at the height of the real estate market only to see prices plummet within six months of moving in…can you say upside down?  I think that you can.

Sooooo…no matter how homesick I was (am?) in those first couple of years, He made sure we weren’t going anywhere.

And since my life here is so amazing, I guess He knew what He was doing.  (Duh!)

I still miss that house though.  Just sayin’.

Namaste

A Confession

I have to confess to being triggered yesterday!  Of all days!  Superbowl Sunday hasn’t been a drinking day for me in over 20 years.  Sure, in my last couple of drinking years I drank on Superbowl Sunday but hell, I drank EVERY damn DAY then so it was nothing new or special.  Other than that, Superbowl Sunday (even when the Redskins were playing…oh…wait…that’s been over 20 years too) hasn’t been a real party hardy day for me in a very long time.

But “back in the day” we used to party very hard on this football day of days.  In the beginning we either had a party or went to someone’s house where we all sat around and whooped and hollered at the game, laughed at the commercials and drank way too damn much and cried when Whitney Houston sang the Star Spangled Banner.

In later years, we started a HUGE football pool that was $1000 per square.  At first we just paid out the entire lump sum to the winner.  Then we decided to split it up by quarter and take some of the cash to throw at ginormous Superbowl party at a local restaurant for anyone who was in the pool.  Since a lot of people bought squares together, there was usually a pretty big crowd.  Not gonna lie…it definitely made some memories.  As part of the founding group, the hubs and I would get there early with some of our other friends and start the festivities (translation…start drinking before everyone else got there).  Then we would eat and drink and watch the game on a huge screen TV (WAY back before everyone had one).

In a word…it was fun.

But that was a long fucking time ago and I was sick of it 20 years ago!  The hubs and I had kids and after that, we needed to be home on Sunday’s to get ready for the next week…Superbowl not withstanding.  In fact, I remember one Superbowl Sunday we spent in the emergency room with a 2 year old Brian who had gotten dehydrated from a stomach virus (thank God I wasn’t drinking at home back then).  That was one of the time’s I told the doctor he didn’t know shit from shineola and followed my own gut instinct…I was right.

But I digress…

So if I was all past the drinking and carousing of Superbowl Sunday, why in the name of fuck’s sake was I consistently thinking about those parties and what a cold glass of White Zinfindel would taste like?  White Zin?  Really?  I haven’t like pink wine since about 1990!

Hey Sherry…they 80’s called, they want their wine back.

ANYWAY…of course I swatted those thoughts away with a smirk, a WTF and a shake of the head.  After all I’m used to them and they don’t bother me any more, but whenever they come around I’m left thinking what the hell caused them?

Was I tired?  No.  In fact I was energized from a beautiful day.
Was I depressed?  Nope…I’m medicated for that.
Was I hungry?  Hardly.  It was Superbowl Sunday yo.
Was I angry?  Only at the Broncos…but that doesn’t really count since they aren’t the Redskins.
Was I lonely?  Nope…even Matt was home for dinner.

Oh well.  I’ll just chalk it up to “one of those things”.  Like a snap that flies over the head of the quarterback and shifts the mojo of a game in the first three minutes

You know…one of those things.

Namaste

It’s Friday!

Early Drinking Days:
It’s Friday!!!!  What’s on tap this weekend?  Happy Hour in Annapolis followed by drinks and dinner somewhere.  Saturday is a party with friends.  How many bottles of wine should I bring?  I wonder if they’ll have enough.  Maybe I should pick up a couple more just in case.  I can always save them for another time if no one drinks them.  I need to be sure there’s enough.  Sunday is a champagne brunch followed by a get together at a bar to watch sports.  I really hate Sundays.  Everyone always wants to leave early because of work the next day but I’m not done!  I just want to keep drinking and partying!  I don’t want to go home.

Middle Drinking Days:
Oh my God I’m so glad it’s FRIDAY!!!  That means that tomorrow is date night!  I hope my mom doesn’t mind watching the kids.  I hope the kids don’t mind us going out.  Where should we go?  I don’t want to go to that little restaurant on the corner…they don’t pour enough wine in their glasses.  Why is everyone always suggesting I buy a bottle instead of by the glass?  If I buy a bottle I’ll look like an alcoholic!  I don’t want everyone thinking I’m an alcoholic.  I have to be careful how much I drink though – I have to be okay for the kids in the morning.  The hubs will want to leave early but we can’t go home until the kids are in bed…I don’t want them to see me after I’ve been drinking.  That’s okay, I never want to leave when he does anyway.  I love our intimate conversations.  It seems like he doesn’t really get going until he’s had a couple so getting him out and away from home is important.  It’s important to our marriage.  We need this time to connect.  Alcohol helps that happen.

Late (Alcoholic) Drinking Days:
It’s Friday but the hubs doesn’t seem to want to do date night anymore…he says it’s too expensive.  I’m sorry I ever turned the finance stuff over to him.  He’s always complaining about how much I’m spending on wine.  So what!  I deserve it!  I work hard for this family so I should be allowed this ONE vice without being made to feel guilty about the money.  Then again…the hubs always says that no one can make you feel guilty…if you’re guilty then you feel guilty.  What.  Ever.  Staying home is probably better anyway…we don’t seem to really talk anymore anyway.  It’s like he’s always in a rush to get home.  I feel like I have to rush my wine in order to meet his timetable.  It’s hard to get enough…that’s why I always need to stop by the store on the way home and pick up a bottle or two.  Doesn’t he know that I’m stressed and I need some downtime?  Doesn’t he realize that I need wine to help me relax?  Well, at least I can drink in peace at home.  I need time to myself.  The good thing about Friday is that it signals the two days of the week that I can drink really late and not have to worry about getting up in the morning.  Of course I don’t want the boys to see me really drunk so I’ll have to try and keep it together.  I wonder if I have enough wine for the weekend.  If I buy six bottles at the grocery store I’ll get a 10% discount and if I buy the 8.99 bottles, the hubs can’t complain.  PLUS that’s three bottles for Friday and three for Saturday.  That should be plenty.  Of course, if I keep it to two then I’ll have some for Sunday.  God I hate myself.  I’m going to have to get this under control.  I can’t drink like this anymore.  I’ve put on so much weight.  I hate the look in my family’s eyes when I put the wine bottles on the counter or in the trash.  But I’ll worry about that on Monday.  Monday I’ll think about quitting.  For now it’s Friday and as soon as I get off work I’ll have my blessed glass of wine.  Maybe just one this time?  We’ll see.

Early Sobriety Days:
It’s Friday.  Oh my God how am I going to get through the weekend without my wine.  This is so hard.  I wonder if it’s worth it.  I mean…I’m not really an alcoholic am I?  It’s not like I can’t quit.  Look at how well I’ve done so far.  It’s been XX days and I haven’t touched a drop.  I just wish the weekend weren’t so hard…especially Friday.  There’s something about Friday that just makes this whole sobriety thing hard.  But I’ve come so far.  I’m doing so well.  My family is so proud of me.  They are so encouraging.  I can’t let them down.  Okay…I’m not going to drink today.  I’ll reevaluate tomorrow but tonight I’m just going to go home, meditate and practice yoga.  Then I’ll settle in with the hubs.  In fact, let me call him and get him to pick me up some chocolate.  Those little Hershey’s block things will be good…the one’s with almonds and toffee.  Okay…I’m better.  I can do this.  I can do anything.

Present Day:
I am so freaking glad it’s Friday.  And I have nothing planned with weekend except to be with my family.  I think I’ll cook for them.  I have some new Paleo recipes I want to try.  In fact, it’s Superbowl weekend so I think I’ll try my hand at some wings.  I wonder if everyone will be around this weekend?  They’re all going in different directions these days.  It’s hard to keep track.  I miss when they were little.  This whole empty nest thing sucks ass.  But I’ll get through it.  Especially now that I’m sober.  I can deal.  Thank God I’m sober.  I am so blessed to be an alcoholic.  I am so blessed to no longer have the voices chattering away in my head.  I am so blessed to have the quiet.  Speaking of quiet, I think I’ll try my new meditation bench that Brian made me tonight.  It was so sweet of him.  I also need to do some yoga.  I just feel so centered and whole when I do that.  We were supposed to do date night tonight but, oops…I forgot.  So we’ve decided it will be a monthly thing rather than a bi-weekly one.  I’m just such a homebody now.  There’s such peace and contentment in my head and in my home…I don’t need to be anywhere else.  I love Friday.

Namaste

Celebration – Part II

Celebrate what you want to see more of.
~Thomas J. Peters

No quote was ever truer to my old life.  I had long since stop celebrating life and life’s events and had moved onto just celebrating wine.  Not celebrating with wine.  Just celebrating wine.  The fact that I could drink with abandon and no one could tell me what to do.  I was a grown ass woman!  If I wanted to kill myself drink, I could!  Leave me alone.  I know what I’m doing!  All I want is MORE!  Why can’t anyone understand that?

But the quote is also true now and will be forever because I want to celebrate more of what I have now.  I want to celebrate the peace that comes with sobriety.  It doesn’t come right away.  In the beginning that damned recording just kept playing over and over and over in my head and I had nothing to numb it.  It was more exhausting than anything I had every encountered while drinking.

But eventually it quieted.  And I found peace.

And so I want to celebrate that peace.  How do I celebrate it?   Well thank you for asking.

I celebrate by thanking God, several times a day for all He has given and all He has helped me build.  We talk a lot but I make a special effort every morning to really pray as well.  That way if I get too busy to stop and say “thank you” or “guess what” or “damn God, that was crazy” during the day, I’m covered.

I celebrate by trying to be kind.  I love that word.  I think it’s my favorite word.  You can be angry or frustrated or upset and still be kind.  In fact, I’ve seen seemingly happy people be very unkind (I don’t think they were really that happy to tell you the truth) from time to time.  As I said in a former post, it’s never okay to be unkind and guess what?  It doesn’t cost a dime.  Plus it fills up your karma account which is some good stuff.

I celebrate by looking at the world through rose colored glasses.  I’ve been called (among other things) a silly optimist, a hopeless romantic, Susie Sunshine, and my personal favorite, “For Christ’s sake Sherry would you stop putting a positive spin on EVERYTHING?”  But that’s just how I see the world.  I don’t think it will all work out, I know it will.  It may not be the way I thought it would be, but it still works out.  And so I celebrate that by always trying to see good and light and love in everything.

I celebrate by loving.  Loving not only people and pets and housing and jobs and all the other normal everyday things, but loving things that you might not think about.  Like the maintenance guy in your building that has some challenges but overall has a pure heart.  Or the homeless guy begging for money on the side of the road who may or may not be scamming me but who gives a fuck.  It’s cold and he needs money.  I’m warm and I have some (not much…but some).  No brainer for me.  Or the salesclerk who is being rude.  Who knows why she’s being rude but I’m certainly not going to add to her bad day.  I’m going to approach her from a position of love…and hope for the best.  Or the old pond along my walking route that looks just awful but is home to some of nature’s more beautiful creatures.  Pretty little frogs and graceful cranes and,  my personal favorite, Mallard ducks.  Or yoga (I’m sticking to my resolution!).  Or a big green chair by the fire that welcomes me home in the evening and in which I firmly plant my ample behind.

I celebrate by staying true to my sobriety and not letting myself down by drinking.  I know I’m only one bad judgement call from relapse, we all are, but doing so would be to violate everything I’ve come to love about sobriety.  It’s just not worth losing what I’ve gained.  I pray I never forget that. 

I celebrate by writing this blog everyday and communicating with “my people” (you guys are “my people”…I love having “people”…I feel like Beyonce).  People who have been touched by addiction in one way or another.  Some are recovering, some are just sober, some are still struggling and some are dealing with family members who are caught up in this web of ugliness and pain.  All are precious and giving and loving and without this blog, I don’t think I’d still be sober.  I know I never would have moved into recovery*.

And yes, sometimes I just celebrate with cake!  Because it’s good and life is too short to pass up the opportunity to eat cake.

In moderation of course. {wink}

Namaste

*I talk alot about being sober vs. being in recovery.  For me this marks the time I moved from just sober to the place where I started dealing with all the ugly crap that I had shoved down for 30 something years.  It’s when I started to heal the broken little girl and started the journey to liking – and maybe one day loving – myself.  It’s different things for different people.  This is what it is for me.

I’m Okay; You’re Okay

I knew when the “holiday season” took off that I’d be doing another Whole 30 to jump start 2014.  I felt sooooo good at the end of the last one and I’ve remained cognizant of everything I put in my mouth since then.  There’s nothing new there really, I’ve always been hyper aware of what I ate because I was counting every freaking calorie and exercising my butt off.

Okay let’s be honest – you can replace “hyper aware” with obsessive.  I mean that’s what it was.  I was completely obsessive.  But I’ve spent the last year or so really examining what this kind of thinking has done to me and how I can approach myself in a kinder way.  How I can come to a place of acceptance for who I am, exactly as I am.  That’s been a huge part of my recovery.  After I took away the booze and stripped my soul bare (which is EXACTLY what it felt like) I had no choice but to look closely at who I was and why I did the things I did.  More importantly, I had to figure out how to keep the good stuff and ditch the crap.

I’ve made a great deal of progress with all of this stuff but I continued to struggle with the whole calories, sugar, food, scale, weight, clothing size, etc. and I got tired people…so tired, but I couldn’t figure out how to break that freaking cycle.  I’d get a little ways toward something only to fall back into old habits at the first speed bump along the way.  Situation normal…all fucked up.

But then I found the Whole 30.  I can’t remember where I saw it first but I know it was on one of the blogs I read daily.  One of you beautiful, wonderful souls (byebyebeer?  runningonsober?  karen?) talked about it and planted a seed and it grew.  And I did it.  And I felt FANTASTIC.

And I broke the cycle.

I stopped obsessing about how I looked and started caring about what I was putting into my body and what it was doing to the inside rather than the outside.  I started paying attention to how I felt rather than how I looked.

Un-fucking-believable.

So I’m actually anxious to detox from a wonderful holiday season.  Because let’s be clear, I don’t regret one single thing I ate. I enjoyed myself.  I loved cooking for my family and baking the “once a year” treats.  I loved not worrying about my diet because I knew that it was only temporary.  It was a treat.  And that’s OKAY.

And now I’m ready to get right back on that Whole 30 horse.  Tomorrow morning I’ll be
practicing clean eating once again (this time no cheats…maybe…we’ll see) for 30 days.  After 30 days I’ll continue by adding things back slowly, if necessary, and avoiding sugar as much as possible.  And get this…I’m EXCITED.  (Who the hell am I?)

As far as exercise for the new year…I’ve had to come to terms with some things.  I’ve been trying my best to learn to run but I’ve been thwarted by a bum knee as a result of extra weight and 20 years of high impact aerobics.  Both my Athletic Trainer son and my doctor have told me not to even think about running (on pavement which rules out my daydreams of half-marathons and triathlons).  Elliptical, walking, yoga and strength training are okay as long as I modify things like squats and lunges.  The damage is done.  My knee is old which makes me feel old but I’m not going to let it get me down.  I love to walk (I mean love to walk) so that’s what I’ll do.  I’m still wearing my FitBit and logging about 7,000 steps a day which I’ll bump to 10,000 as soon as possible.  Add to that the yoga, some Advil and an ice pack and I’ll be okay.  

I’ve also made a pact that I intend to keep no matter what.  I got on the scale on 1/1/14.  I recorded that number.  I do not plan to step on that motherfucker again until 12/31/14.  Breaking. The. Cycle.

This is going to be an okay year.  I’ve come so far in my recovery (next week I’ll be four years sober) and I’ve made great progress in understanding who I am and what I want.  I’m also beginning to understand that I am okay and that, no matter what happens this year, I will continue to be okay as long as I stay connected to what’s important in life.  Things like God, family, friends, truth, love, kindness…and our dogs.  Everything else is secondary.  As long as I maintain an open heart…it will all be okay.  It may not always be great, or fantastic or wonderful but it will also not always be shitty or hard or ugly.  It is what it is and that’s all that it is and that is OKAY.

Jeez…I’m rambling…guess I’m a little out of practice since my hiatus.

Namaste

One Job

Headed off to NY tomorrow to do an event…just like last year.  Except last year I was there all week – this time its just 24 hours.  Fine by me.  Travel gets old after a while and I’ve been doing it for the last 20 years.  It’s officially old.

Last year’s trip was a blast because it was my first time in NY at Christmastime.  My two coworkers and I had such a great time!  I did have a…um…pause…which inspired this post.  That got me thinking about some of you who may be struggling and I decided that I’d like to add my two cents to the whole “Holiday Survival Guide” thing.

I mean really…what self-respecting recovering alcoholic doesn’t have some advice to get through this time and what kind of self-respecting recovering alcoholic would I be if I didn’t share?

Now say that last sentence three times fast.

Just kidding.

First of all, if you’re newly sober (and hell, maybe even if you’re not), this is going to suck in ways you’ve never imagined.  This is going to suck so bad your ancestors will feel it.  But here’s the thing – it’s OKAY.  Anything worth having takes WORK and sobriety is so worth having!!!  Know that no matter how bad your feeling and how badly you want that drink…it will pass.  I promise.  It will pass.  And when it does…you will still be sober.

Next, be sure to take care of yourself and your sobriety FIRST.  Announce it to your family/friends if necessary.

“Look people, nothing matters more to me right now than staying sober so I’m putting you on notice, I come first!  If I’m not here it means I’m taking care of me.  If I don’t answer my phone it means I don’t want to talk you because you annoy me and that might trigger me so leave me a message.  If I don’t return a text right away it means I’m doing something good for myself like taking a bubble bath, getting a massage or eating chocolate.  Get over yourself.  Right now, it IS all about me.”

Seriously, if you don’t put this first and foremost in your life, you’re no good to anyone else.  You don’t HAVE to do anything.  I promise that Christmas will still come and the planet will still keep turning if you don’t get around to wrapping all your gifts before the 13th, or making Aunt Betty’s pumpkin souffle that takes forty gadzillion hours and 23 steps not to mention 37 different ingredients.  If it’s stressing you out then forget about it.  You can do it all next year.

(And before you say anything, you are not special when it comes to this kind of thing.  We all have those special things we’re supposed to do and ridiculous expectations put on us this time of year.  So what.  Just say no.)

Now I’m sure you’re probably worried about the holiday parties, saying no to the booze and/or not having a good time.  I mean really…how in the world can you be expected to have a good time if you can’t drink?

So let’s do this.  Let’s just all agree that you are NOT going to have a good time at any of these parties this year.  Remember that part when I said this would suck?  Yeah well this is that part.  It sucks (at first) to be the sober one at the party.  It also pisses you off.  Why can’t I drink if he can?  Well you can’t.  Plain and simple.  So stay home and throw a hissy fit (I’ve thrown one or ten or fifty in my sober life).  Or go and throw one.  Or go and sit in a corner and pout.  If other people don’t like it…then fuck them.

YOU ONLY HAVE ONE JOB…TO STAY SOBER NO MATTER WHAT!!!

Go to the party and eat yourself stupid if you have to…which brings me to my next point.  Fuck calories.  If you are newly sober or if the holiday’s are a particularly difficult time for you, give yourself a fucking break and eat the goddamn cookies!  Or fudge, or mac and cheese or bacon or WHATEVER!  Just eat it!!!!  You deserve it!  You’re sober when no one else is!  This eating thing will pass eventually and you’ll get your life back on track, don’t worry.  It’s temporary and, for a lot of us, necessary to our sobriety.

If you go to the parties (or family get togethers or whatever) I want you to take a moment and look around.  Watch how everyone else is drinking.  Sure, some people are getting shit-faced (and you’ll either feel sorry for them or you’ll be disgusted by them…most likely you’ll just be glad it’s not you this year), but many, many others are not.  They are sipping their drinks.  They’ll have one, maybe two and be done.  While you are looking longingly at their drinks I want you to remember THAT YOU CAN NOT DRINK LIKE THIS.  So don’t even try.  Remember, one job – stay sober…that’s it.  NO MATTER WHAT!!!

Now to the good part.  At the end of every night this holiday season (with the exception of Christmas Eve if you have little ones) you can go to bed early.  You can put on your warmest PJ’s and snuggle up under your blankets, read a little (and comprehend/remember what you’re reading) or maybe watch a little TV.  Have some hot tea, or maybe some hot chocolate with real whipped cream (after you’ve squirted some in your mouth right from the can).  Then you can drift off to dreamland only to wake refreshed the next day and ready for whatever the day might bring.

One job…that’s all you have this holiday season.  ONE JOB.

You can handle that can’t you?  Yep…you sure as hell can.

Namaste

Are we having fun yet?

I often hear sober people (especially early sober people) describe themselves as feeling “flat”.  Like the air has gone out of their souls and they are just left to lie around…flat. 

I so get that!  In the beginning I felt the same way…like I’d never have fun again.  I mean really people…how does anyone have fun without drinking?  I really and truly did not think it was possible.  In fact, I used to look at people at parties who weren’t drinking and feel sorry for them because they couldn’t be having has much fun as I was having.

Damn but I was an ass.

Anyway…

Of course I was wrong.  Duh.  But it took awhile to learn how to have fun.  Hell, I had to figure out what fun and happiness and joy and peace really felt like.  It took awhile for me to be able to distinguish between real fun and the fake kind that comes from drinking a bottle or three of wine every night.  I used to get so excited when I knew I had wine at home or that I was going to buy some or that we were going to a party or out to dinner.  I was excited because I was going to have FUN! 

Hindsight being what it is, I know now that it wasn’t fun.  Not at all.  It was the addiction whispering in my ear and telling me it was fun.  In reality it was sad.  Very, very sad.

It took me a long time to see that though.

It took me even longer to feel it. 

Because in order to figure out what real fun was, I had to understand what was not fun.  And to figure out what was not fun I had to understand what drinking had done and would continue to do to me if I ever started up again.  I had to come to realize that sitting alone in a room night after night drinking to the exclusion of everyone, including my family is not fun.  It’s addiction.  Big difference.

Once I finally got that through my thick skull, I began to notice things that I had forgotten about.  Things like…

  • What a really, really good belly laugh feels like.
  • What it feels like to have a child hug me, spontaneously, because I’ve spent the last 30 minutes rolling around on the floor with them.  Or coloring with them.  Or just being with them.
  • What it feels like to hear my son tell me that he loves me because it’s 11:30 pm and I’m still awake and coherently listening to his hopes, dreams, fears, etc.
  • What it feels like to swap family stories with my daughter and know that I’ll remember it the next day.
  • What it feels like to look into my husband’s eyes and see only pride…not concern or irritation.
  • What it feels like to dance without having to be held up or worrying I’m going to fall off my 4 inch heels.
  • What it feels like to go for a drive on a fall day and not worry about when we’re going to stop and get a drink or when we’re going home so I can drink.
  • What it feels like to hang with the little ones at grown up parties.  They know how to have fun.
  • What it feels like to walk the dogs in the morning with the entire day ahead of me because I didn’t sleep until noon (and still feel like shit).
  • What it feels like to share dinner with my colleagues and really listen and share with them because I’m not looking for the waiter to refill my glass or trying to figure out if it’s socially acceptable to have a third glass of wine.

And the more I figured out what real fun was, the clearer I could see what addiction was.

It’s not fun.

It sucks ass.

And it tried to kill me.  Dead is the ultimate in feeling flat.

Sober is just feeling.

Namaste

One is never enough…two is too many.

You know what I hated more than hangovers?  More than slurred speech, drunk texting and sleepy slits for eyes? 

I hated the feeling I had when I only had one or two drinks.  And I always have.

I could never, from the first day I started drinking, only have one drink.  I hated that “sobering up” feeling you get when you’ve had a glass of wine at lunch and now it’s 4:00 pm and no one else wants to go drinking.  Hated. It.

I never understood people who could do that.  Now I see that they are “normies” and that people who are not alcoholics do that all the time.  But then it truly baffled me.  I thought there was something wrong with them!  I actually used to tell people that I didn’t see the point of stopping for happy hour before going home.  What’s the point of having one or two drinks if you’re just going to go home and not drink anymore? 

Now I know why they looked at me like I had three heads.

Guess I should have known then that I had a problem.

Aw fuck who am I kidding…I knew.

Because it was never about the taste, or the “winding down from a hard day”, or the office get together.  It was ALWAYS about getting drunk.  It was always about getting back to that place when we had the best time EVER.  It was always about recapturing something I thought existed but, in reality, probably never did.  That time when the hubs and I shared all of our intimate secrets with each other and were just so in LOVE.  That time when all of the gang got together and just has so much FUN.  That time on the business trip when we went after work for drinks and dinner and just BONDED.

You know that time.  You’ve got them too.  Those times were just so FUN.  No way would they have been that fun if we’d all stopped at one drink and just gone home right?  I mean, we needed the alcohol to prime the pump right?  To loosen us all up?

Yeah…maybe.  But so what.  After those fun times everyone else went back to their normal lives and their normal drinking patterns and filed those memories away where they belonged…in the past.  But me?  I kept trying to get them back.   Tried to recreate them only to be disappointed when I couldn’t.

One drink?  Puh-lease. 

If we’re only going to have one or two than I’ll just have Diet Coke.  That way I won’t have to feel irritable and discontent later when I begin to sober up and I can sit here and laugh at you all while you drink.  Then I’ll feel all smug and superior because I abstained.  And see?  If I can abstain then I must not have a problem right?

What a complete and fucked up mess I was.

I have, however, managed to turn that particular feeling into a positive for me because that’s where my head goes whenever I think, “I’ll just have one.  It’s okay.  I’ll be fine.”  It goes to that dry mouth, slight headache, irritable and discontent feeling I always had with just one.  And since that was worse than my hangovers to me, I’ll stay sober thank you. 

Because, if I’m brutally honest (which I always try to be), I’m not picking up unless I can get good and drunk.  Otherwise, what’s the point.

Just sayin’.

Namaste