"I wish I had drank last night" said no one ever.
May 26, 2021 - 330 Days
I had my 55th birthday last week - quite a year it's been! In many, if not most ways, I would consider it the best year of my life; In a truly philosophical and spiritual sense anyway. I have had such a huge emptiness in my life. A feeling of yearning, seeking, 'if only's'.......It included blame, judgement, self-pity, self-hatred, regret, why-me's, why NOT me's, envy, jealousy, what-if's, anger, bitterness, and above all - a deep sense of loneliness and feeling that I was completely misunderstood: mostly by those who love me the most; my husband and daughters.
And then, I quit drinking. The light came on in my spirit. There was a shift so huge in my psyche I find it hard to believe it wasn't heaven-sent. It's so cliché to say everyone around me is different now. But they are. And it's because I am different. I am predictable, trustworthy, the edge has softened.
I am frustrated that it still consumes a lot of conscious thought. And then I realize it was the motivator behind all of my actions for many, many years. It was the ritual at the end of day, the reward to most mundane tasks. It was the excuse to host dinner parties, to go out for dinner with women I didn't particularly care for. It was the way to tolerate my husband and deteriorating marriage, to shut out the feelings of rejection from my kids. It was my only coping tool; the only way to fill the void in my spirit because any other way seemed like too much work for little to no perceived gain. I sometimes think that I could probably have a drink now and then; that I have fixed my bad habit, that I have now learned other coping tools and other ways to decompress Then, I ask myself, if all that is true, then what in the world would be the reason to pick up a drink and risk all that I have gained from NOT having that one drink? I read other people's stories. So many are so extreme, such damage to relationships and health. I think to myself I was never that bad. I didn't have x, y and z. But, I remind myself, I DID have a,b and c - isn't that bad enough? Isn't that the GIFT that let me get off the elevator before it became x, y and z? I can see the flash of concern in my daughter's eyes if I smell a glass of wine, or allude to having a drink in the future. After all, she is the one who discussed her concerns about our drinking, not once, but twice, with my DH (never me). I'm truly afraid to have the conversation with her about how my drinking affected her. I know deep in my heart that her honesty will be so painful, that I am not ready to feel the guilt and regret that I still have laying in wait in my deep conscience. I may never ask her. I might just continue to make amends through my actions of not having that one drink 'just to see'. I will never leave her with the responsibility of knowing she was the catalyst in this massive change in my life. I never want her to think any failure on my part was a lack of effort on her part. What I do know for sure is that every. single. story I read on my SM feeds where people think for a second they can now moderate inevitably results in the same habits repeating; and oftentimes worse than before. A great saying I keep close at hand is 'no one ever woke up regretting they had not drank the night before'. Without the dramatic backdrop of a monastery in Tibet, these last several months have been like a pilgrimage to my inner soul, providing moments of clarity so pure it is almost visceral. I suppose like any journey, it has hills and valleys and the only thing I must do is just stay on the path. Don't look back. Some days have hills that are harder to climb, But most days are easy paths that lead to views that are so stunning they can't be put into words.