I'm back after a week with limited wifi and privacy because I was a chaperone on a Ski Trip with students. I spend the week with 9th graders snowboarding and supervising evening activities and at night and in between events devouring the books Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp, Almost Alcoholic: Is My (or loved one's) Drinking A Problem? by Joseph Nowinski & Robert Doyle and started, After the Tears: Helping Adult Children of Alcoholics Heal Their Childhood Trauma by Jane Middelton-Moz & Lorie Dwinell. So while I was not blogging, I was doing massive reading and diving into the healing part of sobriety. I cried, I felt understood & exposed, connected, lost, scared, angry and empowered at different times of the week. While a physical week of beautiful mountains and fun routines, it was emotionally exhausting and I felt a bit haggard by the end of it.
After reading the first two books, I had this knee-jerk reaction to a trigger and concluded I needed to get a divorce. What the hell? That panicked feeling lasted about 12-hours until I listened to The Bubble Hour episode on Adult Children of Alcoholics and was like, "Fuck! That is how I react when I'm scared-I cut people and emotions out and start planning the logistics of my exit strategy?!!?? " I backed away from the divorce cliff and tried to peel away at the armor protecting my emotions. I have an instinct to "go-go-go" when I have dark emotions: drink it down when I can or distract myself through the dark with work, busyness, travel, task-completion...you name it to avoid feeling those feelings. I don't need a divorce, I need to work through my emotional baggage that I carry around, and the Bubble Hour led me to a book that is a good starting place.
I started reading After the Tears and I have been a weepy mess ever since, as I relate to the stories and the ugly traumas of my childhood surface because there isn't a shield of booze holding them down. My knee-jerk reaction to strive is a common reaction for people with a traumatic or alcoholic childhood.
I came home and told my husband everything and we had a big heart-to-heart about our marriage, our roles, our strengths and our areas to grow. I don't know how he can love me sometimes-I'm a mess, and yes that is a common feeling of those who grew up in an alcoholic home: not feeling worthy of love. Along with the guilt. And the fear of dependency. And fear of intimacy. And the discounting and minimizing pain. And the knee jerk reactions to push away the one person who both knows me and rolls with the best and worst parts of me. Ugh, it tears me up. I have such gratitude and fear and shame.
What a week.
I spent this evening researching a couple of books to start reading. The two that I decided on are: Almost Alcoholic by Joseph Nowinski & Robert Doyle and Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp.
I realize that while I don't want my life to revolve around being dry instead of drinking, I do need to keep it in the forefront to process and grow. Also, I have been noticing the last couple days I have been fighting mental flashes drinking. It comes out of no where: "I want a drink!" And a flash feeling: "I deserve a drink," and just plain thinking "I want to get drunk." I miss the feeling of being drunk. It has been a long time (for me) and that little voice is getting more persistent that this dry schnanigans has gone on long enough.
That little voice I'm going to call Shelly for right now, who was one of my alter egos when I got drunk. She is the trashier, cruder version of my sober self. Fuck off Shelly.
I hope reading about recovery and other people's journeys will help me outwit Shelly's attempts to peer pressure me back to the party. She's telling me while taking a break is a good way to reset, that my drinking wasn't that bad to begin with and I could handle my liquor, I had fun, and life without booze is too extreme for my balanced life philosophy.
I need to gather evidence and remember experiences that demonstrate consistent inability for me to be a normal drinker. This is part of the reason I chose the book Almost Alcoholic to start off my sobriety reads. I'm unsure if I really classify as an alcoholic and want some scientific evidence if I can rehabilitate myself to be a moderate drinker or if this is a forever thing. Shelly is requesting that read and crossing her fingers. I'm still on the fence.
Right now I only have this blog, Mrs. D is Going Without, and The Bubble Hour for community. I listen to the Bubble Hour and they always talk about the importance of community, not only to stay sober, but to heal the issues that are lurking under the drinking. They reference all sorts of books and blogs and go to daily meetings. Where is the time for all that? Is that what I really need? It's so focused and I usually only have 2 1/2 hours each night to cook, eat, chat with Husband and anything else bedfore bed. I want to workout, get 8 hours of sleep, read good fiction, listen to all sorts of podcasts, work on my puzzle, pet Dog Face. How do I fit in more community as all my free time is eaten up enjoying my dry life? I think I need to read a sobriety book-I'm ready to give it a chance-as much as I don't want the dry in my life to be the emphasis, I do need to keep it close. There are so many books to choose from. That is my goal this week: a book to build community and help with my healing.
Any suggestions you silent community? Throw me something!
I arrived home easily and unpacked. I looked more closely at the little box of chocolates that CG gave me to share with Husband. I read the label to see what kind were in there and underneath it said "No Alcohol." It brought tears to my eyes, it does again now as I type this out. Gratitude to CG to make sure a filling didn't have rum in it, gratitude that a chocolate company thinks of this in the first place, gratitude there is a market of people who need a box of alcohol-free chocolates.
Chocolates and alcohol brought up a memory of a guy I worked with during summer break of a college year. He told me he ate a Bon Bon once and that he itched for a drink for weeks afterwards, even though he had been sober for 23 years at the time of the Bon Bon. I clearly remember the word "itch." I was probably 19 years old and had not started drinking yet. It hit me hard that a little rum in a Bon Bon could be such a trigger. I remember thinking, "that sucks for that guy." Now, I'm proud of him, so proud of his resilience.
My first sober traveling trip a success-I stayed dry! I leave tomorrow morning to go back to Egypt. It's been a fun trip, even without the Belgian beers. I had polar experiences with meeting up with old friends while here. I told my friend CG I was not drinking anymore and she took it in stride without asking any questions besides if I minded if she got a beer with dinner. Of course I didn’t mind and then her beer never showed up and she didn’t mind. Again, something I could never do. Her husband stopped drinking a few years back so I thought we might have some conversation about all of it but we didn’t. She didn’t ask many questions and we talked about other things-our adjustments to our second foreign-country, differences in our new schools and a bit the other friend I was going to meet up with and how his drinking has isolated him a bit in their new community. We worried about his drinking together. I did express my concern with meeting up with him and the other friends visiting him because of the drinking and she said she was available to meet up afterwards if I needed an exit plan. At first I wanted a therapy session with her when I told her I stopped drinking, full with “oh my God! That’s big! What’s going on….why? I’m so proud…” blah, blah, blah, me, me me. But I realized through writing this that her actions were more practically supportive than my desire to talk it out. She normalized the situation when we hung out and was there if I needed her. That is a friend indeed.
I left space to meet up with BT and TA. She texted me at 6am in the morning saying she was up and parched and we made plans for dinner later that night. But she canceled way after the time that we should have met for dinner. If I fill in the blanks: she got into Brussels the previous night and the group partied hard, she woke up really dehydrated and texted me before going back to sleep. They got a late start for their day trip, continued to drink, got back at 8pm and couldn’t handle much more. She texted me at 8:15pm, saying they were wiped out, sorry she was a bad friend but they were in for the night. I’ve done that many of times-tried to make multiple plans for the day and drinking prevented me from having the energy to have more than one plan a day. I was a bit relieved actually; we can always get on Skype to catch up and I don’t have a one-time encounter to try out a new dynamic with my old drinking friends.
I had a feeling they would flake, so I went to an afternoon movie with CG and her girlfriends and had a light dinner as I waited to hear from BT and TA. We went to see the movie, “Fifty-Shades of Grey.” What a guilty pleasure to see it with some lady friends and laugh at it and analyze it for its implications for young women and relationships with controlling men. We went out for pizza afterwards and no one drank…strange new world to realize that this is normal for people. If I were drinking, I would have ordered a drink and I bet that would have encouraged at least one or more of them to drink too. I would have been the drinking ringleader. I always was the one that was starting the party, many times without even realizing it. What I'm learning...
So exhausted at the end of my first Dry Anniversary. One month. 30 Days. Countless hours. How tired I feel today is a global feeling of the month itself. It's hard work being present all the time and having so many first sober experiences. I am tucker out. Time to go to bed!
Starting tomorrow it is definitely new territory for me-there is no way I have ever been dry for more than a month in over 18 years. Another milestone, another first. Yay me!
When I return to Egypt, I will have to celebrate this moment a little. But right now the biggest gift I can give myself is more than 8 hours of sleep.
Today wore on me a bit-I'm out of my bubble. I'm at an IB training at Brussels. I knew there would be Belgian beers and wines in all the restaurants but I did not expect there to be a wine and beer BUFFET at lunch! They don't skimp. My previous self would have done her best to get a good buzz on for the afternoon session. I would have taken a big pour of wine, gone back for seconds and then would have plotted about how to get more without anyone really noticing.
One realization I've had, is that along with the goal of getting buzzed, I would have thought of the "saving." Free wine? I have to get as much of that as possible! I'm such a cheap ex-drunk. I even thought that a little bit at dinner last night. I ordered the mussels and fries and it came with a free beer. What a waste to not drink it! Its free! But I asked for a soda water instead-still free. But not as cool as a free beer.
If I did have wine at lunch I would have been distracted and tired at the session, thinking about more booze and then after the session at the official reception I would have thrown back a couple glasses fast before settling into some conversations, drinking both beer and wine, and stayed until the end to take advantage of the free booze and then ordered more at dinner. I'm at about 6-8 drinks at this point? At least most of it was free my cheap-ass drunk self would say. And The school's paying for this too, hahahahaha.
Instead, 10 minutes into the reception I left with another participant who also wanted to walk back to the hotel in the daylight. A 45-minute walk through beautiful Brussels, a nice conversation, and I took myself out of scene that was starting to cause me strife-Belgian beers and wine everywhere, everyone seemed to be drinking but me. That can't be true but it felt like it. I started sweating the questions that might be asked and wanted out, and found a way out that was both social and healthy.
I'm back safe in my hotel bed. I'm going to walk to the the training again with the participant. It could be healthy book-ends to each day of training, a way to relax and re-energize instead of scouting out a pub and drinking in with strangers.
I'm at the Cairo airport, drinking a cappuccino and blogging! One idea that I fully embrace from the sober community is "the firsts" of sobriety. The most mundane thing can be the biggest shake-up or realization that it has been decades since I [fill-in-the-blank] sober. Airports are one of these experiences. Airports had become a place of luxury, excess, and pub crawls. Husband and I would book longer layovers to avoid stress and to allow us to bar hop around the airport-finding the perfect environment and the IPAs or types of wine we couldn't find in whichever developing nation we currently lived in. We would spend tons of money on booze and bar food and brush it off-it is the beginning/ending of vacation-we deserve it!! It was mostly fun, but then I was be so dehydrated on the plane, have to use the bathroom and be too foggy to read whatever beloved book I had planned to read for hours straight. Remorse usually set in: too much $$ spent and precious time lost reading on planes.
I'm traveling alone today and going back to my solo travel style of my early 20s when I was too poor to drink in airports. I will sit here with caffeine, reflect on my new dry experiences and read some of my book when I'm ready. I'm feeling good all of this.
When I'm feeling good, this all seems too easy. Stop drinking? No biggie! Just decided and here I am. Then I re-read yesterday's post or many of my previous posts and realize that I'm manic and really don't know how I feel about all of this. (and the obvious: I have never been successful at stopping my drinking before) It really is an experience that starts close, inside me and slowly my understanding and sharing is rippling out, little by little to my life. I image it to be like a little kid explore her world. First you know your house, then the yard and driveway, then the street, around the block...exploring out in rings from your home, from your center into the greater world. One step at a time when you feel ready.
My center: in my own head and my immediate actions.
First ring out: Husband and Dog Face
Second ring out: my inner circle friends
Third ring out to infinite: uncertain
So, I'm about to see old drinking friends and I feel really shaky about it. Too far out from my center.
Yesterday was so busy that I didn't make time to reflect or post. But the power is off again and here I sit with candles and Dog Face and some anxiety. This is day two of my first sandstorm. I liked the novelty of the sandstorm, a cool first experience, but it caused an 11 hour delay in my flight for a conference I have to attend. So stressful, I so wanted a whisky as I searched the web and called airlines to try to figure shit out. Instead I ate ice cream and peanut butter, using pieces of dark chocolate as a spoon. Sober indulgences! And now I have a stomach ache. But I did luck out and get things sorted before the power went out.
As for the title of today's post. In Brussels I will meet up with some old teacher friends who are big party people. I made plans to meet up with them before I stopped drinking, and now I feel a bit out of sorts. I want to see them, maybe for dinner, but after that I know it won't be fun to be around them and dangerous for me. And how to tell them I'm not drinking. Should I be casual? "I'm not drinking now...health stuff" and let the questions come and not dampen their party mood? Or be straight up and say, "I stopped drinking so I'll just be joining you for dinner" or say nothing and keep ordering club sodas? Can I even muster the phrase, "I don't drink anymore." That is conclusive. I can barely say that to myself, this past tense of drinking. I don't know, I don't know.
I'm also traveling with a collegue, when we go out to dinner and she wants wine, do I say I'm a non-drinker (another version of I don't drink anymore)? Just say none for me tonight? I don't know how much to reveal and how to just act natural. Not every one drinks with every meal, it is not strange, it is not strange. IT IS NOT STRANGE. It is strange for me, at 38, to not have drink with dinner.
Then I think about the new people I will meet in the future, what will I tell them? And then a thought crossed my mind and I heard myself say, "I used to be a lot of fun when I drank, but don't any more." Am I mentally preparing for apologizing for not drinking anymore?!?! Ugh! Gross! See? One of many problems I have with my drinking is I still associate it with enjoying life, being a adventurous, liberated woman not being a square (very important). Unconsciously, I feel I'm loosing those things about myself by not drinking and in association not being part of the crowd I find attractive, I am purposefully being a square. Sigh, I caught a glimpse of my 16-year mindset (just want to be cool...I'm a rebel....fuck fill-in-the-blank), That mindset of mine will take a lot of convincing that I am a non-drinker AND I'm fun and I'm me. And I'm not a square.
On Day One, very hungover, I did not drink at a party. This past week-end was my first dry party with my inner circle of supports and a real sense of clarity. I felt both strong and that I was in a sociological experiment.
My little posse got there on the earlier side, snacking and watching the last preparations of dinner. People were sipping some stuffs, nothing out of the ordinary. Then the second wave came in and beers were out, Pimm punch poured, wines popped. Party on. Then the third wave came in hammered-the birthday boy and golfing gang came in lit. Squinty eyes, red faced, slurring smiles and ready to bring the party up a notch.
One lady "disappeared" and was taken home suddenly with an drunk induced asthma attack, the golf gang kept up the pace even with gentle reminders from partners to drink some water now and then.
I heard someone say, "I love drunk [name]!" I used to hear people say that about me. I was amusing and obnoxious when drunk. I had egos that got drunk themselves. I usually took it as a compliment, felt popular. I wondered if this praise fueled this guy's drunken ego too.
If I was drinking, and the more drunk came in, I would have hung out with them and done my best to join their level of fun as quickly as possible. I would have been oblivious to the conversations of amusement and concerns. I never considered that others would watch and assess my intoxication through my walk, face color, eye shape, slurs and topics of conversations. I wouldn't realize there was a population that did not find drunk me fun to be around. I always thought everyone was as drunk as me. When drunk my world was what was right in front of me, the rest of it melted away. I would have stayed until I was the last one there, slept like shit, been hungover all day, cancel the desert hike and ordered pizza.
Being on the outside of the drunk and looking in was a revelation; a theory turning to practice. I didn't miss out on anything by being dry. I could see the facade a little easier-surface level bonding, shallow conversations that loop or didn't make real sense, but not in an interesting way. They were having fun, they really were, but I bet they paid for it the next day and had blurry memories of what made it fun.
Another thing I noticed was that the drunks didn't notice that I wasn't drinking. I bet they assumed I was as drunk as them. I know that was an assumption while I was drinking, and the next day it was a hope: for forgiveness or forgetfulness of whatever I might have said or done the night before. How often did I make a fool of myself around sober people when I didn't know they were around? I cringe thinking about it.
A good learning and self-reflection experience. Needed too. All of this is needed to remember why I need to keep on keeping on with my not drinking.
I'm uncertain of how to talk about me without drink. There definitely is venacular as I read about sobriety, and I'm not quite comfortable immersing myself in it. I know taking on the language of a group is to become part of that group; I'm resisting a bit. I'm not ready to call myself an alcoholic, so I don't label myself as "in recovery." Some of the expressions are a little kitchy for me, some words too loaded. Lots of use of: "a gift" "sober friends," "my truth," "journey," "recovery," "celebrate" "disease" "addict."
I think I need to stop calling myself sober. I'm dry. Sober is used to describe the somber, the unfun, "what a sobering thought" and it is such a particular state in the 12-step world. I read through a comment section about a woman who smoked pot. She was wondering if she still was considered sober if her problem was alcohol. Many responses said no and we're adamantly telling her to restart her sobriety date back to day one. I guess I consider the word sober to be only about the drink and when you are off drugs, you are clean. "Clean & sober" is an expression too I hear thrown around. But smoking cigarettes is still passable. Why?
I guess I'm sober, but I'm not that hardcore in my need to be 12-step textbook sober. I prefer "dry" as an identity more than other labels thus far. No to addict. No to alcoholic. No to recovering. Yes to a problem and dealing with it. I've gone dry. I've dried out.
This has been a great week-end overall. I've feeling pleasantly sleepy, after an early walk in the desert with Dog Face, while EA and another friend ran 13k. I have been talking about going to the Wadi Degla since I got here, but haven't gotten my act together. And it was so early-we left at 7:30am, any boozing the night before would squashed that idea. But not today!
We got back and Husband and hosted brunch for 9 people in our new place. And strangely, there was no booze around, no one drank. I can't remember a brunch where Bloody Marys, Mimosas, white wine, sangria....some booze was not the center piece of brunch. Three weeks ago I would have been going crazy on the inside if I was at a brunch with no booze, thinking, "what the fuck people, lets get this thing going already, what are we waiting for?" and eventually would have helped myself to something and encouraged others to join me even if I wasn't hosting. If I was hosting three weeks ago, the fridge would be full of white wine, I would have had a pitcher of Bloody Marys chilling, and be pouring as people entered in the door. But not today! Husband didn't take over that roll either, and I didn't really notice this lack of drinking to about halfway through brunch (again because I obviously just think of my own drinking or non-drinking needs!)
Dog Face got a bath, Husband and I took a walk to get cables so we can hook up our computer to the giant TV in our TV room. Movie nights! I'm going to do a little work in a few minutes, go to yoga tonight and call this a very successful day. I am loving my sobriety right now.
I've started my support group outside the household today. I've had two women in mind who would be good dry friends. We are friends but not super close friends, we hang out in the larger group and meet every couple months for our little book club. They are cool ladies that overall I want to spend more time with but also not big drinkers. E is recently pregnant and EA just isn't into drinking, maybe a glass of wine, but doesn't need to finish it or another bottle afterwards. One of those. "One of those" that I'm so appreciative of to have on my team.
It worked out that the three of us got a little alone time together before a party we were all going to later. EA and I drove together to the mall, I was all over Ikea for new fixings for the apartment and we went to pick up E on the way to the party. I didn't know that was the plan, but it was so perfect for what I needed. I was expecting to ask them to meet up for dinner and tell them then, but this was even better, no set up. I was nervous, I didn't think through what I was going to say exactly or what I shouldn't say. What I did end up saying was, "I need your guys' help tonight. I've stopped drinking and I might need some support around all the drinking..." I shared that it has been a few weeks, that I've been keeping it on the DL and that at first I thought I could just carry on normally minus the drink but that I actually need to figure out new things to do and that I'm nervous about it all.
They asked thoughtful questions that were not prying, talked about their own relationship with drinking and basically put me at ease and they seemed excited to start planning activities that did not revolve around the little expat drinking scene we are drowning in. E is a big crafter and we are planning a crafting night during every few weeks, we talked about exploring other neighborhoods and restaurants, getting dressed up to go somewhere, anywhere that doesn't revolve around the Ace Club.
I was so grateful for them, grateful for this opportunity that fell into place. And so surprised at their excitement to find another friend in me that wanted to break out of the drinking scene too. I haven't really thought much about how it would be for people like E and EA, their partners and the friend circles here are drink centric. I used to be in that center of drink with Husband and their partners along with everyone else, I thought. I really did think stepping out of the circle was stepping into dark isolation. I'm not alone, I've just been opened up to community that has been here all along. One more surprise in this journey and another reminder at how small and self-absorbed booze made me.
I need substitution ideas because I'm riding the bus home after a shit show sort of day with my bag full of work to do over the week-end and damn it, I want a drink, x5. And a cigarette! I usually only want cigarettes when I'm buzzed. But I want to relax, shed the stress. It was a day where I couldn't complete my tasks because others didn't complete theirs, and no one showed up to my professional development session and students swarmed my office with claims their reports are wrong, unfair, etc. Ugh.
I could drink a drink and be controlled tonight. I could, just 3. But I'm not going to do that. I like the number 21, I don't want to start over. I've come so far. But this is the type of situation where solo drinking sounds so nice. It's my Friday night, Husband's at trivia, it's been a long week...me and drinking should be hanging out with Dog Face. I'm not talking to drinking anymore, we broke up.
I sound ridiculous. I feel ridiculous. My frustration at the day is turning into anger and not having a drink is one more thing to be pissed at. I need to reclaim the evening. I need a game plan for the 3 hours from home time to bedtime...
The last time I drank was at trivia night, with Husband and three dudes. Rounds of IPAs kept showing up without asking; I lost track after 5 IPAs. DY was the fastest drinker and every time he was out, he brought a round back to the table. We all drank at DY's pace that night and were hammered. We actually won trivia and celebrated with a big whisky on the house. I got so drunk and was terribly hungover the next day. That was my day one.
Tonight we are supposed to defend our title. At first I didn't really think it through when it came up and I said that I was in, but I started to get anxious about having to say I'm not drinking. It's a bar. It's trivia. They are my drinking friends. I'm not ready.
Wrapped up in this is a reminder of why I shouldn't drink: I started to think about who could be my substitute. At work I asked another friend if he wanted to be my replacement, if he had heard about trivia night. I talked about how I didn't really contribute much to the answers. He looked at me and said, "I was on your team last time. You don't remember? I guess I was the one who didn't contribute much." And this was in front of my boss. So embarrassing. So embarrassing! Then I had to apologize, and say of course I now remember, I was so drunk...and then he said he didn't remember walking home. I think that is forgiveness?
I didn't remember he was there until he reminded me. Another black out, or is that a brown out? Now that memory gap is filled in, but fuck. I'm so glad there is a grow space between my black outs and present state of mind. As time passes it will be something I did, not something I do....regularly.
First off I've discovered another trigger last night: the power going out. Here in Egypt it can happen a couple times a week or everyday for a couple of days, or not for weeks. The point: it is part of life here. The desire to drink hit me really hard too. Instead of pouring a drink I played tug-of-war with Dog Face and let a few minutes pass. Husband came home and the danger zone passed. But wow, the thought of the whisky glinting in the candle light, the sound of the ice cube crackling, and peat floating up, siting on the couch with candles lit all around sounded so beautiful, romantic and sophisticated. It breaks my heart.
What can really replace that feeling? FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE? Hot cocoa? Feh. I don't want sweet drinks. I need another bitter sipping drink retreat. I have been liking bitters in soda water, taking my coffee extra strong, drinking green tea. But what else? There just may not be something that has so much wrapped up in a glass for me. At least for a long time. I have to remember that there's 20 years of habit-forming behavior behind a drink.
Today I had a huge appetite-basically two breakfasts and two lunches and then on the way home ice cream popped into my head-I bought some and ate it before dinner. I don't crave sweets ever-but I do now. I remember a friend telling me that the body will crave a regular supply of sugar but it doesn't recognize the source. Maybe I'm entering a phase where my body is really feeling the lack of sugar and calories from booze and is asking for more. What do I do with that-indulge healthily or continue on with my normal eating best I can? I need to do some research about this.
Another quote from Husband. And it is true, since I've stopped drinking I've been excessively productive, more so than my normal productive self. There are two main reasons for this:
#1. Keeping busy keeps me from drinking. I'm substituting activities for when I usually would start drinking. This is especially needed on the week-ends when I would get bored and start drinking at lunch and continue until bed. This probably why we are in a new apartment right now. It was Thursday night I started this search and Saturday night we signed, next week-end we moved. I've also joined a yoga class and am enjoying the nesting. I bought a puzzle! Next week-end I have a packed social schedule. Busyness.
#2. This is who I am. I get shit done. I think I was self medicating on some level to control my anxiety. I've always had anxiety about free time, about missing out on life and I can't relax, can't focus. I have to figure out healthier ways to deal with stress and anxiety. When I first started teaching I couldn't turn my brain off to fall a sleep- a drink would help, pot would help, Benadryl would help...a little. But since I've stopped drinking I sleep deeper. I don't need ear plugs every night and some sort of sleeping aid.
I was thinking how small my world had become. Everything revolved around drinking. All I needed were bottles at home, a couple bars and restaurants within walking distance and a few friends who drink as much as me. I haven't even been to the pyramids yet! I've been here 6 months and haven't been to really any sights in Cairo, because it all sounded too hard to organize... let's just go and have a drink instead...we have plenty of time to see the pyramids.
I've been wanting to take the dog to go run in the desert for 5 months too, finally I am going this week-end. It is going to make Dog Face so happy. And me happy too.
I told Husband everything yesterday. I was a bit nervous and he was nothing but supportive. He responded exactly how I had hoped-full of love and concern. He took me seriously and made it clear that we are a team, and we are going to do this together. He talked about how he probably drinks too much too and me not drinking will help him cut down. I guess we will see if he is a normie or not. I know if I were him I would just drink by myself-I loved drinking with him and by myself. Both were so rewarding...until they weren't.
Another successful day of non-drinking. And I lost 2 pounds!
I started off doing this really naively and thought life would continue mostly as normal. It would just be me not drinking and not spending long nights at the bar-that would be the change. And I still feel that way much of the time, then I start looking at sobriety blogs or listening to The Bubble Hour. From there I learn about all the complexities to lifestyle, identity and loved ones that sobriety impacts. After I read or listen about sobriety I’m left teary-eyed, with a knotted stomach and slightly panicked. I can’t tell if this information are veils being pulled aside to help me see some truths or if they are causing unneeded angst about situations that don’t parallel mine.
I did not realize how far reaching my non-drinking quest would become in my life. Sometime sobriety feels like these tentacles growing out of me and wrapping themselves around everything around me, it affects everything. I don’t think I need to make sobriety the center of my world like some people need to-I’m not going to do a career change to focus on sobriety, I still don’t want friends that are specifically recovering alcoholics, even though I’d like to ask a resource person some questions face-to-face as I go through this. Fuck, only at Day 16! Doesn’t feel like such an accomplishment sometimes. I feel like I’m learning how to roller skate in front of everyone that are professionals and not picking it up very fast. They are staring bemused and I’m feeling so stupid and an object of ridicule. Ugh. So much unnecessary shame.
I need to tell Husband what I’m planning to do. It’s time, and we are now moved into our new place, love it! I have some weeks under my belt to prove to myself and show him that I’m serious about this and I need his support. I don’t know what that support will look like yet, we will have to figure it out together. I hope he does not come to resent me taking the fun out of our lives. I hope that this brings us closer and does not divide us into drinking and non-drinking camps. That is the worst fear of them all-will there come a point that I have to choose between sobriety and my husband?