I’m starting to string days together again. The thrill of waking up every morning hangover free feels great each and every time. The satisfaction of knowing I beat the wine bitch feels powerful. But I’m not going to get seduced again into the pink cloud syndrome. As a chronic stringer of dayers, and a chronic relapser I’m trying be a realist and finally realize this is not an easy ride on a pink cloud. This is a rollercoaster with steep dives, twists and turns, and it can all end with a quick and jerky stop. Through all my reading and listening and lurking I’m really trying to use the tools I learned about, which I thought I was using, which I wasn’t, because maybe I was afraid of trying too hard.
I’ve been having these thoughts lately about why I go back to drinking after knowing all the things I know and after all the crappy feelings I feel. I think it’s because I’m afraid that if you take the alcohol away I won’t have any excuses. I’ll be left with a bare me, a naked me, a totally flawed human being me. She may really be empty. She may really look old. She may really not be that great at her job. She may just be a negative person. She may not be that great of a mother, wife, friend, daughter, sister. She may not have any depth, or value to add to the world.
You see, drinking is a great excuse for me: Well, I did a shit job on that presentation because I had drinks the night before. Well, I sat on the couch and didn’t interact with my family because I’m fucking hungover, and I cooked dinner and cleaned for everyone. Isn’t that enough? My God, I look like shit this morning. I shouldn’t have drank that wine last night. I can hide behind alcohol because I know it’s my scapegoat, it’s my excuse for not being enough or brave enough to lead the life I want to lead. It is my shield against myself and the world.
I so want to be brave enough to get to know me to really be me. To learn that it’s okay to be flawed. To learn it’s okay to just be doing your best, and when you aren’t at your best to let it rest. Because that’s what it is to let yourself be human.
I had a great day yesterday as I relished the days I’ve strung together, and feeling all clearheaded, fresh and healthy. I cooked, read, talked to friends. I finally finished the damn puzzle a neighbor left in my mailbox. Then I realized I never did the online yoga I had planned. I didn’t go outside, get any air because of the constant drizzle of rain. It may not sound brave, but I said screw it. I threw on an old pair of tennis shoes and a rain jacket and went for a run. at first it was hard and cold with the rain drops and wind. But then it turned exhilarating, raw and authentic. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that cleansing run in the rain. I returned home with my hair soaking wet, my shoes drenched. And I felt brave and determined. I won this day, and it stretched and strengthened a sober muscle.
Happy Sober Sunday!