Another sober morning and reflection of another day. A day that could have gone very differently, but thankfully didn’t.
We have to move my daughter from one apartment to another. She is in her senior year of college, and has already come down to school early so she can start her job. She goes to a big 10 school, and I think we all know what that means! Party, party, party, and I am usually ready to dive in! But this trip is turning out different.
I come home from work a little early, and we pack up and leave for the 3 and a half hour drive. I do a bit of work from my phone in the car, we listen to a comedian on the radio, but we don’t talk. I keep peaking at Facebook, which is an unusual habit of mine, I don’t like staying connected to social media all day. But I can’t help myself as I read posts on this site, and I read other women’s stories. I read stories of despair, of joy, of hope. I read women cheering each other on, giving sage advice, and holding each other up. And in the middle of it I feel part of it, and it is helping to hold me together.
My husband keeps asking me what I’m typing, what I keep looking at. Geesh! Can he just give me a freaking break?!!!! I put my phone away and pretend to listen to the radio while the miles go by. There’s a beautiful sunset taking place, so I look out the window and feel a sense of peace. And then I decide it’s time to talk. To let him know a sliver of what’s going on with me. Every time I try to start the conversation the words go back down my throat, but I throw them out there as he drives and the miles go by.
I tell him that I’m sure he’s noticed that I haven’t been drinking, and he answers yes, he’s noticed. I remind him of a couple weeks ago when we both woke up hungover as hell, and I was full of anxiety and shame and weakness and I finally told him I had to stop drinking. That I can’t control it and it’s getting worse not better as the kids are getting older and do not need me anymore, or at least not as much. There are no more sports practices, games, meetings at the school. He said he remembers. I didn’t ask him though why he didn’t follow through on his promise, that we will stop drinking and things will be better. We both didn’t stop drinking after that conversation, but that conversation did give me hope, and got me through that day.
I explain that I’ve stopped drinking now, that I don’t expect him to stop, but that I have to otherwise it is going to kill me spiritually and physically. He’s quiet, and says “Okay.” I tell him I’ve joined this group, and it is helping me so much, and that I may be typing, on my phone more, but it’s important to me. He says he’s glad, and he’s happy for me, but I know he is frightened. I think he’s frightened of how this is going to change me, us. We are drinking buddies. We do not fight when we drink. We almost seem to grow closer and open up more. Sounds weird I know, but I’m still trying to figure it out.
We get to our hotel where my daughter is already waiting for us. Usually it would be game on, let’s go get some drinks, let’s catch up!!! We would go to a couple bars and all talk, and in the back of my head I’d be screaming “What are you doing drinking with your daughter?” It always all seems so wrong, probably because I hold tight shame on drinking as they grew up, and now this seems like a slap. In the past we’d wake up, slightly hungover, laugh about the night while my insides twisted, and get ready for the big move or whatever other reason we were there. And I would hate every second of it because I’d hate that we drank the night before.
But this morning I woke up early, I am sitting in the lobby of the hotel so I don’t wake up my daughter and husband. I am doing my morning therapy on this little tablet, and I love my night last night. My daughter and I went for a walk. We talked and she told me stories, and we laughed together. My husband had a couple drinks in the hotel bar while we walked and talked. And when we got back in the hotel we popped our head in to let him know we were going up to the room. He came right up with us and we all watched a bit of TV and then fell asleep. We have a good day ahead of us, and I am so grateful.