back this afternoon from a much needed and enjoyed short break. tired and grumpy this evening with travel and re-entry into the NOISE of family life. at which point the drinking voice starts up and goes on for over an hour, in a way that it hasn’t for months, to be honest.
in a novel approach, it says things like: “perhaps you’re so good at being sober now that you don’t even, you know, actually have to be sober? is there some way you can be so ultra-recovered that you can drink – can we call it, mindfully – and it won’t ‘count’?”*
rewinding over last couple of days:
there is currently three-quarters of a bottle of white wine in the fridge from when my husband had one glass with dinner on Sunday night. and then he opened a bottle of red tonight so he could have another sodding one glass with dinner tonight. open wine in the house does not normally bother me.
out for dinner last night at restaurant was asked if I’d like a drink at the bar before dinner. I replied, “No, thank you.” at the table was then asked what I’d like to drink and I ordered a cranberry and tonic.
at which point the waiter then asked, “And would you like to see the wine list?”
I damn swear that the next time I’m asked that question I am going to smile sweetly and reply,
“No, thank you – I’m an alcoholic.”
it just kept niggling me, afterwards. the thought that I have a lifetime ahead of me of saying no thank you – and CHEERFULLY, for fuck’s sake, because what the hell is the point otherwise?
what else triggering me at the moment? maybe coming closer to the two year mark? I know it’s looming larger in my mind. like taking backward glances over my shoulder as I round the next bend. to make sure I don’t want what’s left behind me, on the road I have already travelled.
thinking about it more deeply I wonder whether this is a symptom of underlying change with which I am uncomfortable…. whether I would rather go back to the familiarity of my old problems, the devils I know?
and no, I haven’t drunk tonight, and yes I would pour both of those wine bottles out without compunction if I thought I was at risk of it. but I think I’ve known for a while – maybe since the one year mark – that if I were to drink alcohol again, it would be in an apparent split-second decision, made seemingly lightly on the surface but deep down there would be a lot of subconscious bargaining and deal striking that had been happening for a while.
and part of that is not telling people when the urge arises, partly out of shame (when my blog goes on and on about how happy I am and how I hardly ever think about drinking nowadays…)
and partly that I worry I will upset readers in the early days of sobriety who need so badly to hear that it gets easier. which it DOES, honest injun – but maybe there will be a bad hour and a half now and then, every few months, when you are tired. which will be a hell of a lot better than a bad twenty three hours and forty minutes every day of your life ie the time in every day which is not the first twenty minutes that you drink.
did the usual: ate my head off while reading sober blogs. which did the trick. if it hadn’t I would go for a run, have a bath, or read my moderation notebook (always terrifying, those months of heartache and self-recrimination. I don’t read it very often. it’s too sad. but I need it to answer the voice which says maybe I could moderate. because I can’t.)
if those hadn’t worked I would email/text a sober pal. I don’t know what I’d do if that didn’t work – it always has 😉
so I’m here to say that, oh look, I’m 21 months sober today (actually, yesterday now) and apparently the damn bear hasn’t gone away just yet. but that’s ok. I know he’s there, and I’m going to keep walking in all of the squares.
happy Wednesday, folks! thanks for listening. you’re just the bestest. Prim xx
* no – there isn’t.