#100daysoberchallenge - 'check'! I found the secret to life.....
Updated: Aug 20, 2021
The deepest realization, the aha moment of all time. 100 Days of not pouring booze on my head. Such fucking clarity: The problem was ME the whole time……..
Never will I have again the love of a man who will always put my needs above his own. The look of adoration in his eyes. The vulnerability of a man who had become invulnerable because his life took on the necessity of protection for his dad and siblings. He learned to deflect and be the funny guy to offset the sadness and chaos in his home.
Not a whole lot different than me becoming the ‘good girl’, the high achieving girl, the “I’ll make ‘em proud” girl.
We are so much more the same than we are different.
Listening to Canon in D. A punch to the belly, a slap to the side of the head. Our wedding song.
How did I get so lucky to find a man (that I had to move all the way to Manitoba for) that after 35 years we are still laughing with each other, giving knowing looks, starting each other’s thoughts, and still trying to be considerate of the other.
A father that would drop everything for (as I would a mother), to help his daughter. Just as I drop everything to bring a lunch, give counsel, proof read a paper, iron a shirt, HE is there to fill a gas tank, kill a spider, replace a light bulb, change the oil. We are more the same than we are different.
What man would be thankful we gave up income (a lot of income) so I didn’t work and could spend time raising our daughters? What man is thankful I am independent enough to encourage him to hit the road, working very hard, while I was at home, oftentimes cleaning up the ravages of the stomach flu.
Alcohol changed me. I became someone I didn’t like at all. I was hard. I was cruel. I was unpredictable. I was selfish. I was impatient. I was unkind (which is different than cruel, and almost worse) I was resentful. I hated myself. I thought there was better. I honestly felt at times that maybe if I wasn’t married then things would magically change. It would be easy to quit drinking because I wouldn’t be in a relationship that ‘made’ me all those things. I believed that I was stuck in a situation that would only improve if I left it. Poof. Snap of the fingers. There, all fixed. Now what?
I was looking for the ‘secret to life’. I was looking for a switch to instantly make me wake up one day, flip my life on its end and say ‘Ah that’s it! There’s the secret to life!’. I listened to Deepak, Oprah, Eckhart, Brene Brown, Emmet Fox. I went back to church. I journaled. I went to self-improvement retreats. I ran. I swam. I ate healthier. All the while, I poured booze over my head. And nothing changed.
On June 30th, 2020 I had my last drink. And everything changed. I found the secret to life. There are 2 defining moments in this journey that have made me look inwards: My youngest telling me how proud she is of me that I am always trying to be a better version of myself and my husband looking at me with tears in his eyes, thanking me for doing this. That he cannot comprehend how different I have become in these last 100 days.
You see, it was me the whole time. We became each other’s drinking buddy. And because he is bigger and a man, he can put away a lot more booze than me. But I was the one who was the horrible drunk - for all the reasons described above, and more. He has given up booze for periods of time in the past and never stuck to it. I wonder why? Shit, he had to live with me every day! So he quit drinking the day after me and he will celebrate his 100 days tomorrow.
There is no word in the English language for this kind of transformation in self, in a relationship. It might be hard to believe, but I haven’t read one word from any of those enlightened authors in the last 100 days. I have written my own words, and read those of others who have led the path before me and quit drinking. That is all that it took. I found the secret to life. I quit pouring booze over my head.
My thoughts are clear, my emotions are ‘fuller’ and more colorful. I can hear the depth of my own laugh. I see my authentic self reflected back in the mirror. I feel a sense of inner peace in my belly that literally feels like that first glass of wine. But when I sit back and reflect on how lucky I am, I have that feeling several times a day, and I’m not chasing a wine buzz to get it.
I told my husband in June that if I didn’t quit drinking, that it would eventually kill me. Because it was; little by little, every day, it was taking more than it was giving. I had no idea how much it had actually already taken until I just stopped. I am eternally grateful. I sincerely pray that whomever is reading this will see a tiny bit of themselves in this and make the bold move. Seriously, Day 1 is the hardest day, but also the best day. You too can have the secret to life. Just jump in, the water is warm!