I bought a desk this weekend, I found it at an estate sale, and as soon as I saw it I wanted it. I loved it’s lines, the size, the color of the wood. I loved the little cubby holes, and I loved the fact one of the drawers is locked and there is no key, There is something more to discover, and this is a comforting thought. Sobriety can carry a feeling of sameness for me, but this desk is now a reminder that there is always something more to discover. So here I am this early Monday morning, writing for the first time at my secret little desk.
I had a really hard time yesterday. I’ve been down in the dumps, but I’ve remained sober. I woke up early, did my regular morning routine. Make coffee, read, write, think about all the things I’m grateful for, but I just couldn’t shake feelings of sadness, and loss.
I went to yoga yesterday morning, and since the place where I bought my desk was right down from the studio I said I was going to take my husband’s SUV to pick it up, it would not fit in our smaller car when we made the purchase. But I was met with a swift answer, NO. My husband will be picking up the desk with his pal which meant he now has an errand and an excuse to have a few drinks afterward, maybe some lunch. I kept my mouth shut and went along with it so I didn’t bring bad energy into my place of calm.
I live in a house that my husband grew up in. We bought it because his parents were not capable of taking care of it anymore, and my husband could not bear to let it go. He has 5 other brothers and sisters, and inside of the house resides all of their childhoods. The attic holds letters, school notebooks, toys, and artwork. Nothing was thrown away. The house is beautiful, but an older, colonial style, and over the years I have made many changes because most of the rooms were dark and serious, carrying paintings of the Revolution, period style furniture, and the air was heavy with lack of sunlight. So I cried because nobody wanted to see changes in this house, but the darkness and the lack of me being able to make it my own slowly damaged my spirit. My in-laws and even my husband fought against me. They didn’t see me in the kitchen cooking for my family; they saw their parent’s in the kitchen cooking for them, and for many years it felt like my kids and I were guests, overstepping our bounds as I struggled to make a home for my family.
But over time I did. The dark shutters shunning the sun came down, my husband took a sledge hammer to the big brick barbecue that blocked the view of the lawn, white paint brightened the walls, and my things found a place to rest. But still, in the back of my mind, I’ve been waiting to have something that just belongs to us. I guess you could say I’ve been homeless because of my thoughts.
But I’m happy with my little desk, and taking one of the bedrooms and using it just for me. I’ve put one of my carpets that never felt at home in this house in this room, and it feels right. Little by little I’m going to fill this space with things I love. I don’t want anything new in my room, I want to find these things, and to have them hold time and secrets like my desk with the locked drawer.
When I was drinking I’d never bother to care about a desk, my beautiful kilims up in the attic. I would be too depressed over my behavior, and whatever crisis that was happening around me and I would not feel that I deserved to have a place of peace. I see a sense of my old self coming back, trying to make things special and lovely. I haven’t felt like that since my children were little and we were not swallowed by my divorce and loss of innocence.
Even with all of this loveliness going on I almost drank yesterday. While my husband was picking up my desk, having a few afternoon drinks with his pal, I was creeping around the thoughts of how lovely it would be to have him come home, set up my desk. and then go to a local winery and have a couple glasses of wine. We would come home, cook dinner together. We could talk and laugh like old times. This romantic picture kept playing over and over, and I knew that all I had to do was to get out of my yoga clothes, take a shower, put on make up. He would be all in and I’m sure a big shower of relief would cleanse him from who I am now. But I didn’t drink, and I let that image go. Because that image is not the reality, and instead of sitting here writing, I would be hating myself this morning. I would have that dry, icky taste in my mouth. I no doubt would have smoked, and my hair and pillow would carry stale cigarette smoke. My chest would be heavy and filmy, and I would want to just curl up in a ball and would fall back down into the rabbit hole.
I kept pushing the images of drinking out of my mind yesterday by keeping busy. My son and I visited my mom. She was happy to see us, and we went for a walk, talking. She repeated over and over again how tall he is, how handsome. The other women commented on how good looking he is, so her face beamed, and she said they will all talk about it for days. Such a little visit brought so much happiness.
I planned our dinner while my son did his homework and my husband drank. I went to the store, bought what we needed. The images of drinking lurked in the corners of my mind, but I pushed them away with activities. My husband called, he is back, but over at his friend’s watching the football game. Did I want to come over? I could hear the tiredness in his voice. I don’t think he wanted me there with my non drinking self, but I don’t think he wanted to come home so my presence would relieve him of his guilt of spending a Sunday with somebody else’s family. I gave him the gift of relieving his guilt, and went over there for a bit while my chicken was marinating.
I came back home, finished making dinner, my son and I ate. My husband did come home as I was getting ready to take my son to work, but I know he’d rather have stayed at his friends. I can see what is happening. At home he is facing me and my sobriety. He does not drink at home anymore. It makes him irritable, and there is a heaviness in our home between us. He wants to be in an environment that is free of my sobriety, of the problems of my alcoholic sister, and the new responsibility of my niece that is most likely coming our way. I keep thinking that if I can shake my seriousness, that if I can be more loving and kind things will fall into place.
I set an intention at yoga yesterday. It was kindness. I keep thinking that is key. SO HUM, I am kind.
Happy Sober Monday.