I’ve gone back and read Alcohol, Baby and A Ghost more than once, and even went back to where the ghost house once stood, long torn down. It felt surreal, as if I was visiting a grave site. I took pictures, and will post if I can ever get them off my camera. The writing of that story was depressing, and it brought back a lot of awful memories, but it also felt like I was finally letting that story rest in the universe, instead of taking up space in my head.
So onto Day 8! There’s a pattern I’m living through as I test these sober waters. Wake up, feel great. I read, I write, I run in the early morning and don’t forget to be grateful for this second chance! So I thank God, FOR EVERYTHING. I get ready for work with a go get ’em attitude! I peer into the mirror and look for a change in my appearance. Do I look less haggard? Is my skin smoother and clearer and are my eyes bright and sparkling? I even look at the skin on my hands, looking for the veins to decrease and youth to be restored.
I’m more productive at work and more focused. I’m more assertive and sure, and I am a better communicator. I eat a healthy lunch, I go for a walk when I take a break. I marvel at how I am sober, and I can interact like sober people do. I don’t feel like I’m looking up from under my eyelashes, trying not to communicate with my eyes what my evening looked like the night before, and what terror of a hangover I am flinging myself through as I go through the day. This day belongs to me.
At some point though I have to go home, and this is where the danger lurks. During my drinking days by 4 o’clock I started feeling better, and deceptive thoughts would peel away my shame from the morning, and it would put that fire out as I planned my evening. What will I make for dinner? I’d look up recipes, and even on a week night I might make something extravagant. I’d send a text to my husband letting him know what I needed from the store, and most days he’d have it all sitting there for me, waiting for me to get started on my evening.
I’d open that first bottle of wine, sit outside and drink and smoke a couple cigarettes before I got started. I resented it when I’d have to get up and start cooking, but I did. I still have my youngest son at home and he needs to eat! So I’d grab my wine, and drink while cooking. My husband would have a cocktail and we would talk about our day, the kids, the dog, our jobs. We’d take a break from cooking and go back outside and smoke. My son would come in and out to tell us something, not even giving a comment to our drinking and smoking and cooking and talking. One big happy family………….
But I digress. Now that I’m sober that drive home is brutal as I think about how much I miss my wine, my time on the deck with the cool night air, and conversation. Now I come home, with a small plan for dinner, and grab a cranberry, soda and lime. I try to sit outside with my husband while he has a cocktail, but it’s all too familiar, and now I don’t know what to talk to him about anyway. What will I ever talk to my husband about again? My nerves are brittle and my craving is so strong it takes my breath away. I begin telling myself to just have one glass of wine. You’ve proven yourself! You can moderate! But that is the voice of my addiction, not the voice of who I am trying to let out. I remember my online support group and all their words of wisdom, I remember this blog and my promise to myself. 5PM – 8PM. I look at these 3 hours and think of all the pain they have caused to myself and those I love. These 3 hours out of 24 hold such power. I finally am realizing that I need to grasp onto those 180 minutes, and treat them as the enemy until they are defeated.