I came home from work on Friday and I’d had it. I was emotional, raw, hurting, scared, frustrated, and charging into my head with absolutely no love or compassion, especially not for myself.
I have been struggling lately and I am letting my head get the best of me, and even when I know I need to put on my gratitude big girl panties they are falling down around my ankles, like even the elastic is too tired and saying, “I can’t hold you up anymore, this is just too hard.” I’m tired too because I’ve been letting my feelings back away, as if they aren’t important anymore and I have to keep trudging forward even though I’m going to fall off a cliff, despite the fact I know better. I’ve been feeling like anything I talk about nobody cares about so all I’ve been doing is listening and once again forgetting that I matter.
I came home from work on Friday a shaky miserable mess. A week or so ago I found an old stale pack of cigarettes in my glove compartment. I can’t even remember when they were bought, but when I saw them they made me look hard. But I didn’t toss them out. They stayed in my glove box, just in case. So in my sorry state of feeling sorry for myself on Friday I took them inside the house so I guess Friday was my just in case. I believe I didn’t throw them away to erase who I was, but I kept them and brought them inside the house so I could remember. I poured a glass of juice and soda water, and took my 2 cigarettes outside to sit on my deck to try and feel. It didn’t work.
I smoked those 2 cigarettes and they made me feel queasy. As I was smoking and sipping my pretend cocktail I was trying to conjure up some fake drinking time. I was polluting my body again, and here it was feeling so strong and healthy. Or at least it did on some days, but on other days I was getting tired of feeling so damn good all the time. Where was the euphoria of being in my sober strong body? When did that leave me and was I really going to make it feel like shit again just so I could get that back?
There was a can of beer in the fridge, which has been there for a long time. Beer isn’t my thing, and through all of these sober days it held no threats. But somewhere lurking in the depth of my mind I knew it was there all along. And the house was still empty. I knew what I was supposed to do. I knew to have something to eat. I knew to get out of the house, go for a walk, go to the library, call a friend, eat something. But I did none of that. I was caught up in my alcoholic sister and her poor little daughter, my aging mother, my friend dying, my job eating me alive, my indifference, my anger, my boredom, my resentment to my husband and it all took hold of me and whispered devilish things in my ear.
So with the devil on my shoulder howeling nonsense I finished my 2 cigarettes and got in my car and bought another pack. I came home to a still devoid house, and cracked open the can of beer. I took my first sip. Nothing. It didn’t taste good, and it didn’t take my feelings away. nor did it give my feelings back. I lit another cigarette. It tasted like shit too, so nothing was working. And then my husband came home. He opened the sliding glass doors, and just looked at me and said “What are you doing?” “I’ve just had a really bad day.” I said, and he closed the door while shaking his head. I wasn’t sure if he was coming back to talk to me, or if this was it for the night, so I just sat still, secretly hoping he would come back outside so I could talk to somebody. I was tired of being strong, I was tired of being a good listener. I needed somebody to listen to me. He did come back outside, and his eyes were softer, kinder. “I’m going to the store to get something to drink.” he said. I asked him to get me a bottle of wine.
And so we went back to our normal behavior for a small space of time; sitting on the deck, drinking, smoking, and talking. For the first time in a long time I opened up to him about everything, and he told me everything was going to be alright, and a piece of me wrapped into the words and I believed them and him.
The next day I tortured myself. I woke up in the morning and began my assault, but my husband held me tight, and told me not to beat myself up, that maybe that was my whole problem, this constant beating I am always taking. So I stopped the abuse and started trying to put things in perspective. I don’t miss drinking do I? Was there anything miraculous that happened while I sipped a beer, had a glass of wine and smoked the cigarettes? I replayed the night, my feelings, over and over and over again, and I made discoveries. I discovered the allure lies in the movie that runs in my head, and not in the actual act. It lies somewhere in between the lines of remembering and romanticizing a moment, but that moment never truly exists. It is a notion, a trick of a memory. And now I pray I know this.
These last few days I’ve discovered I cannot do this alone. I need somebody sober in my life, so I’m going to have to reach out, go to meetings perhaps, or reconnect with my one and only sober friend. I am isolating in my head and in my emotions, despite my physical body is here there and everywhere. And it is not good.
My worries are tight that I am seeing that the only time I really talk with my husband is when we are drinking. I’m constantly scared that drinking is the only thing that held us together, and he did not plan on a life with a non drinking wife. My sober self watches him, judges him, and I’m ashamed to admit that beneath my constant thinking, my so called wisdom filled sober thoughts, that I brush him underneath because surely he is not understanding. In my sobriety I have been shutting down the rest of my life and the balance is not balanced at all but leaning to one side which leaves me stumbling. Because there is nothing else to hold on to. Just me, me not drinking, memories. So my relapse was small, but made me feel like shit, but I’ve forgiven myself because it took the mystery away and left me naked and open to what was really happening. All these years I’ve been telling myself that if I just quit drinking my entire life will get better. Well, I quit drinking, but problems still exist and there is still work to do.
These past few days I’ve been trying to understand the lessons I learned and paid for. I’m going to remember to put things in perspective. I’m going to try and not focus on the negative, but remember the positive. I’m going to remember to believe in myself, and to give everything and everyone a break around me. I’m going to remember I’m able to imagine all kinds of things and worst case scenarios, but that is my imagination, and perhaps not my reality. I’m going to try and learn the difference.
Happy Sober Wednesday