I spent the entire month of June drinking every day. I had a 6 day stay-cation over the July 4th holiday and was drunk every day and woke up with a hangover (with varying degrees of shitty-ness) every day. I told myself before the first day of the holiday that I had a lot of things I wanted to do but one thing I DIDN’T want to do was be drunk, hungover and lazy the entire time. Obviously that didn’t go the way I wanted. I write that as if I didn’t make that choice but don’t get me wrong, I know I chose every minute of it. On Friday and Saturday I barely moved from my chair in front of the tv and we had takeout almost every day, some days for lunch and dinner; we spent a lot of money. I even tried to drink stealthily on the 4th because B was at my house and she’s been sober for 9 months. I probably didn’t fool anyone. I drank almost an entire box of wine on 2 separate days, that’s 4 bottles of wine, I don’t think there was a bottle left in the box the next day, maybe 2 – 3 glasses; and I had the audacity to be surprised by that. I was left shaking and anxious every day and by Saturday I swore I wouldn’t drink but couldn’t stand the shakes and anxiety anymore, knowing a glass of wine would help, knowing I would feel better after I drank, I started in the early afternoon and just kept going until bed. Sunday I felt like death, I promised myself I wouldn’t drink because I needed the day to recover so I wouldn’t go back to work on Tuesday feeling awful. I went grocery shopping and the anxiety was almost unbearable; I wanted to run out of the store. By the time I got home I had to stop the shakes so I had the last glass available. It helped almost immediately.
Annie Grace talks about how it feels like alcohol is the answer because it makes you feel better when you do it but you don’t realize that alcohol caused that in the first place, drinking isn’t making you feel good it’s getting you back to not feeling bad. It’s like scratching an itch but you wouldn’t sit in poison ivy just so you could get the relief of scratching your ass. You wouldn’t purposely get a blister on your foot to feel the relief of taking your shoe off. RIGHT?!
I was able to keep it to that one glass of wine on Sunday but man I was in a horrible place all day. That drink may have stopped the shakes but after it processed it left me much lower than before I had it. Monday was better, I felt good, not so depressed but it was the last day before I had to go back to work.
So, ok, I ruined my time off, WTF, why do I do that? I have had so much time AF this year, 134 days total prior to June so it’s not like I don’t know how or I can’t not drink. FUCK. I could have had a fabulous, awesome, productive week but nope. And the worst part is I’m an asshole when I’m drinking and I know it. Instant lazy asshole, just add alcohol.
I didn’t drink all week after that, until this past Saturday and I let it get me. Dave! He sat on my shoulder and nagged and nagged at me until I said fuck it, I want wine, I’m having wine. I drank almost 2 bottles. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling awful and at first I couldn’t figure it out, I was thinking – but I didn’t even drink – for a second or two then it came back – oh but I did, didn’t I! Fuck you, you fucking fuck! I got up to get more water and poured the rest of that bottle down the drain. I woke up in the morning once again asking myself why I don’t just give it up? When it’s going to get into my thick cement brain that alcohol adds nothing to my life; I’m better off without it.
Somewhere I heard, it was probably Annie Grace, just make up your mind to not drink for a year. Then you’ll get through all of the things that happen in a year, all the holidays, all the stressful events and the celebrations. Then your neural pathways will be different, your subconscious will know a different reality; one without alcohol. Why am I hesitating to make the commitment? Is it a fear of failure or is it Dave? Am I afraid that I can’t/won’t do it or am I afraid that I don’t really want to, that I still subconsciously think alcohol adds something I can get nowhere else? Maybe it’s both (I’m hearing Forrest Gump in my head right now), let’s just say it is both, how do I change that? I’ve been listening to podcasts and This Naked Mind, what else do I need to do to get through to my subconscious and realize that drinking is a no-go?
If I do it, if I pledge, promise myself that drinking is not an option for a year then… what? I don’t even know what I’m trying to express. Does everything change? No! I know that, I still have the same shit going on that I had before, BUT I’m not hungover, I’m not losing days, I’m not wasting this one and only life, I’m not shameful, regretful and horrified by what I do or say because it’s all done with purpose not sitting on the toilet, raging and sending texts that could get me fired. If I do it, I’ll improve my health, I’ll feel better about myself, I’ll have more good days. I know there will be bad days, angry days, depressed days, sad days – life doesn’t get all rainbows and unicorns just because I choose to be present in my own life. There will be days when I’ll want to drink more than I want anything else and I’ll get the fuck-its. What will I do on those days, in those times of stress and craving and want what will I do? I know the answer is out there somewhere, everyone has written about it or done a podcast about it. I’ll find them.
I’m doing it.
I’m committing to 1 year alcohol free. NO MATTER WHAT!