Husband and I hosted book club brunch today at our apartment. My dry spell of hosting has been officially broken! I baked brownies and southern biscuits and Husband baked quiche and made a salad. I had the Christmas up on Wednesday and we hung stuff on our walls to look more settled and it was brunch time. It was a good bunch to have over, friends that I’m comfortable and we had a book to talk about which made the conversation always have a place to go if needed.
I served mimosas, enjoying popping the cork and I also enjoyed pouring the leftover half bottle down the sink as soon as Husband said he wouldn’t drink it.
Life has been busy lately, so busy that I haven’t really thought too much about drinking or non-drinking. It has been a non-issue this past week. The one time that drinking was a thing was during the hike I went on this past week-end. As we hiked there was so much talk by few individuals about the anticipation of drinking when we were done with the hike. There is so much reward and ritual tied up into drinking. Do we really feel it or have been socialized to believe it. Hearing it on the hike did trigger me in the truth of it: the truth which has been manufactured for us to consume and normalize the need to consume in all contexts.
Most Thanksgivings of my adulthood I was hungover. The Wednesday night before Thanksgiving was a Wednesday with a day off the next day! Live it up, connect with old friends home for the holidays. It’s one of the biggest, if not the biggest, drinking nights in America.
As I ride into work on the Friday after Thanksgiving I am both so grateful that I am sober today and sympathetic to all those struggling with a hangover and wishing they felt better so they could be more present with the day. I send out healing thoughts and strength to those who decide to say enough! You can do it!
It’s Thanksgiving and my husband and my sober AA friend and his family are having a traditional thanksgiving meal….at the Irish Bar across the street from where we live. We did this last year and I think I was drinking IPAs at the time trying to moderate and not knowing my sober friend was a sober AA friend. “And more will be revealed.”
Thanksgiving used to be my favorite holiday, is my favorite holiday? I have liked how it hasn’t become commercialized like Christmas and it can be about sharing food from the Americas, being grateful for what one has in life and brining people together. (ignoring the genocide and the betrayal of the people who shared their harvests)
Right now I’m a little bummed about not drinking IPAs. I’m bummed that my Thanksgiving options are choosing between bars that are offering it up. It brings up childhood thanksgivings where my mom made the whole perfect thanksgiving dinner for the extended family at the expense of her having no fun at all. But I also have beautiful thanksgiving memories at my grandma’s house, in numerous countries, with Husband before we even kissed. I’m not bummed really about the IPAs, I think I’m just ho-hummed this week in general.
This is the time to channel gratitude. Make the time (this time, this day, this life) what I want it to be, hold up the mixed bag of memories and say thank you and hello to all that went into it so I could be here on this bus in China, healthy, sober, safe and more in my life than I ever have been previously.
I woke up angry today. Not helping was waking up 15 minutes late with an accidental snooze and the fish tank filter sputtering for attention. So I didn’t do my yoga practice. I then yelled at the dogs for walking so fucking slow, seriously. My anger is leftover from yesterday’s conversation with a colleague that left me feeling put on, put out, powerless, bullied, angry at others for not doing their jobs and unappreciated all wrapped up together. There is a bundle of resentments to unpack! While my situation exacerbates my feelings, they are my feelings. These are not new feelings or feelings unique to this work place. I need to go inward and work on that instead of deflecting it on to others.
I’ve started step 4, and started working through my resentments with my dad. Much of those resentments are scattered throughout this blog and revisiting them have been emotional. No matter how much I think I’ve let it go, my emotions are still strong over my experiences as a child.
I have let those feelings seep into all aspects of my life and just like my current mood, they are my feelings and they will surface and seep into unrelated relationships when I am not being vigilant. They are outdated and reactive to a danger that is true but not real anymore. That is my contribution to the resentments I hold.
Maybe a sign of progress is that even I’m tired of digging through my childhood traumas. I know enough of the details to see the patterns that have been imprinted on me: I didn’t feel emotionally safe, I’m angry that I wasn’t take care of by the adults and made to feel inadequate for their love.
I might switch my focus from the tired examination of my dad’s faults to look at my current resentments. I bet that what I resent about people now will be refractions of my mom and dad’s faults and how they made me feel growing up.
I feel better now that I have written this out. Thanks blog!
I used to drink with the best of them, but I don't anymore. My life is so much better for it.
-Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp