My husband is on a ski trip until Friday, so I’m home alone. I had a holiday yesterday, went to lunch with a friend. I had to disappoint her, tell her, that I’m not drinking because I’m sure she was looking forward to a boozy lunch. She played it off okay, but I know for sure that if I was drinking and out to lunch with a girlfriend I would have been disappointed.
We went for a drive to the dunes in Michigan, watched children, parents and dogs sled. We got out of the car and looked at the milky turquoise water of Lake Michigan in mid winter. Had our proper lady like salads, her a glass of wine and me my sparkling water and lime.
So I go home to my quiet house. And reflect on my feelings of wanting to have the wine. To sit in a comfortable fuzzy space which makes the conversation flow more deeply. To release the melancholy of the moment as we discuss marriages, kids, growing older and general stuff middle aged women discuss. I listen more than talk because I’m learning listening is a gift. So in my clear headed, albeit sometimes boring sobriety, I try and be a gift giver.
I look around the house trying to figure out what to do. In the past I’d crack open another bottle of wine, run to the store to smoke cigarettes. With the cold winter outside I’d most likely start the gas fireplace. I’d make a makeshift ashtray out of aluminum foil and I’d smoke and drink the afternoon and evening away; sitting on the floor, on the dogs bed, blowing smoke up the fireplace so it didn’t stink up the house. I’d look at old Facebook posts and look at pictures of my children. I’d think about all the life that was in the house just a short time ago. I’d sink into the memories as I place them around me. I wouldn’t get shit done, but I’d be sinking, sinking, sinking, into trying to find something that can’t be found.
Instead I put dishes away and eat a bit of chocolate. Thank you sugary treat! I lay on the couch, and watch an hour of television, Tiny Pretty Things. A silly indulgence. I take the dog for a walk in the cold silent air. I watch World News Tonight. I give myself a face mask. I take a bath and read a book. I make a salad for my lunch tomorrow. I drink tea. I watch another episode of my silly show, and then I go to bed.
The lessons I’m learning alone are how to be alone without running away from myself. I’m learning how it is okay to just do mundane things. That I’m allowed to watch silly things, to do non important things, and to take care of myself. These new habits and revelations take the edge off of the routine of drinking. And by God, I think I’m settling in.
Happy Sober Tuesday,