So here I am again, in the same place, both geographically and in my head, my poor tired head. Feels like a wrung-out rag or a twice squeezed grapefruit someone tossed onto the counter.
Since my last post over a year ago, things have happened but also things have not. I do not like vague innuendo so I’ll take care of it and just tell you – yes, I went back to drinking one day in February of last year. After 6 months of “not drinking, not drinking again, I don’t miss it” – I rounded some sort of corner and had the Sybil-istic thought of “what difference does it make anyway”.
I had been toying with that question for a while, it was in a couple of my earlier posts even. Perhaps it’s always been there, about everything. I do not mean to come across as flippant…when I made the “decision” to start drinking again, I was very wary, but also excited. I talked about it with my husband, asking him if he would think any less of me if I started drinking again? To which he answered – absolutely not! He talked about how proud of me he was and how I had proven myself to myself and shown great discipline and could certainly have a glass to 2 now and again. He exhaled and seemed relieved and excited too – about how we could go back to having wine together like in the old days and just have a few laughs.
I was relieved at his response and really wouldn’t have much appreciated a different kind of one, but also, then I felt like I’d betrayed myself and gone back on a promise – all of which I had done of course. Because it does “make a difference” and “matter”. Obviously it did, otherwise I wouldn’t be thinking about any of it at all right?
Pushing those thoughts away now that I’d made yet another “decision” for myself, I quickly passed away some time with a bottle of Gran Marnier, which led to a couple clove cigarettes outside on the porch in the snow, which led to wine, which led to a feeling of unwellness and frustration, because I STILL DIDN’T FEEL GOOD DAMMIT. I still felt damn shitty and anxious and now EVEN MORE SO.
Then came the thoughts of – did I just not give sobriety long enough to take hold? Did I not change things enough in my life to MAKE myself better? What was I missing? I always felt like there was this thing, something, somewhere, that would fill in the missing chunks. But I had no idea which way to turn at that point.
I’d done the yoga and the books and the podcasts and the walks and the gym and the diets and the therapy and the moving and the thinking and the NOT thinking and on and on…writing and not writing…drinking not drinking…2 jobs 1 job…city country ocean, hot cold…there were certainly things that I enjoyed but there were so many things that I was totally ambiguous about or plain old did not like. I could give 1000 examples.
So, I drank for a couple months, then didn’t drink for a couple months and upped my home yoga…same old mental routines…even re-tried Wellbutrin for a couple months…got off it again, because those pills are just bad for people. Was always reaching and never grabbing onto “the thing”.
Then a big stressor arrived at my home – actually 3 groups of stressors arrived, at 3 different times over that summer – and I drank during each one. Not to excess at all, but definitely out of boredom and the desperate need to “get along” and to relief some of the fact that they were such fricking stressors. Plus the other parts of my life that continued to infuriate me (my weight, how old I felt, my hair, my lack of direction, anxiety etc); but still not to excess at all. It all just made me feel more frustrated and more bored and more STUCK.
So I would cut it out again, even had a conversation with my mother about the whole thing at some point and she said to absolutely cut the drinking out, that it simply had to go and to move instead towards the light. I went to several AA meetings – 5 different locations I think – basically 1 or 2 per day for over 2 weeks. I liked aspects of them, did not like other aspects. The evangelising part of it, that several (too outspoken and repetitive) members partook it, was one of the things I did not like. Anyways….
All in all, 2016 was a very light drinking year. Was sober through all the holidays – the holidays still went BAD – lots of arguing and unhappiness and
Started Whole30 in early December, which was a huge lifesaver (had not been drinking for a couple months already anyways) because the vulnerablility of eating shitty or inflammatory foods causes even worse decisions to be made and a general feeling of negativity and again – unwellness.
Whole30 is still going on to this day and it is one of the best decisions I’ve made, so there it that. I did not have any drinks for 4 months or so, then had in 1 night like 5 nips of Gran Marnier – suddenly – on a Sunday night – to make myself more palpable and open to being close with my husband. To make myself “more fun”. Apparently I was more fun yes, to the outside wold. On the inside, I was convoluted, pissed, bored, frustrated, tired, ill, sad, disappointed, resentful….and then I blacked-out for a while…and then was smoking cloves out the window while making a 3 course meal by myself and desperately listening to music on Youtube trying to have some fun for once. The fun never got into my brain though. Never does. But the insane keep trying the same things don’t they. And then began the vomiting…and the realization that I’d made a mess of myself again and to no proper service to myself, there was no positive upswing to it. And now I had to do it all over again. “But we had a great time….” was what my husband had to say about the evening.
That led to 2 months or so more of no drinking, with just saying to myself, it’s not forever, it’s just for now. I would never say I’m never eating carrot cake again would I, even though I do Whole30. So ok no drinking, no interest, meditations…podcasts…then came no coffee/caffeine. Something I’d also done previously for 3 months or 2 I’m not sure, but I gave it a real try back in 2015. This time though, the no coffee and no caffeine, was really a good thing, I could really see an improvement in my anxiety and anger and general feelings of scattered negativity (much of the time). Also, I was noticeably less bloated. This TOOK TIME. I was tired and foggy for over a month y’all.
The no drinking ended yet AGAIN on Saturday. Same things, same reasons, similar results. I was literally stuffing my face with chips and dip while making lunch, as my husband and I had been arguing for over a week and deciding to separate AGAIN, I was feeling unhinged, bored (of course), unfun and that where was no fun to be had. I knew I could not create fun, but I thought well if I have some drinks maybe I can stop FUCKING THINKING ABOUT NEGATIVE SHIT for oh how about an hour? Is that asking too much for shit’s sake?
I got a 6 pack of pear ginger cider gluten free – I haven’t drunk cider in 10 years since that time in Newport, RI where we were bar-hopping with G + K and I was…you guessed it….trying to have a good time in a place I wasn’t crazy about (the bars – not Newport, I heart Newport and G + K). Anyways…I pounded and pounded and got no where fun mentally was just pissed and scared and disappointed. Knew I had to “start again” again. Drank the whole 6, minus the last 1/2 bottle that I just spit out, exhaustedly, into the sink.
Cried for 3 days off and on, at the desperation and stupidity and waste of time I am applying to my life and energy. Looking at apartments, retreats..the same as usual. Gotten nowhere…I think because I am simply not meant to “get anywhere”. I am there. I just have to maintain myself at this point.
My husband told me a couple weeks ago, while we were at Monswags having lunch – how what is fun anyways for crying out loud? What is this “fun”. I like you just how you are right now, there is no need for you to feel like you have to change for any reason whatsoever. And that was a big relief for my (though I drank again ultimately, because it’s not about anyone else really. It’s just about me, really). But it was of course good to know that my best friend liked me just how I was….
So – that makes 2 times this year of having drink(s) – wait – actually – I had 1 Amstel light a couple weeks ago – for the same reasons and with the same results. So that makes 3 occasions. I do not include that 1 beer in my thinking because it was so dumb, I don’t like that kind of beer, it did nothing, it’s just slightly boozy piss. I thought at the time for a second, well I don’t like it, maybe if I keep drinking I’ll like it. Then I was just like oh for crying out loud…no….and didn’t.
Here I am today…I am not really interested in counting at this point, because it seems kinda silly…I’m not sure even where I stand on the issue. BUT. I do know for certain a few things that matter:
- I feel BETTER – less BAD, when I Don’t Drink.
- I Look Better and feel less bad about MYSELF when I don’t drink.
- I am less of a traitor to myself and my true beliefs when I don’t drink.
- I feel ashamed when I drink, guilty
- I feel like I (and actually do) set myself back – mentally and at the gym when I drink
- I sleep better when sober
- I am proud of the times when I am sober and wish later I’d not deviated from them
I am in the same place…but then again maybe I’m not, if I can say all those things?
Then I surely know the answer and the direction?
I surely know the answer and the direction….I am not in the same place when I drink…I am only in the same place when I stay true to myself. Because I am in this good place…as long as I do not betray myself and open myself up to the bad spirits. I cannot take heed of the bad thoughts, because those lead to inappropriate action. Inappropriate for ME. To Myself. To who I am and want to be. To who I am called to be.