I’m experiencing not drinking in kind of a different way today. There is something in me that knows I can not drink. This feeling is both sad and relieved at the same time. It’s like if I were allergic to peanuts. I might really love peanuts, miss their taste, and feel a bit envious when people are eating peanut butter sandwiches, but I wouldn’t attempt to eat peanut butter because I KNOW how detrimental and dangerous that would be for me. There is a letting go that is happening with booze, like saying goodbye to an old friend and an old enemy at the same time. What will be there instead?
All day today I’ve thought about drinking. I had a particularly stressful day. Still new on the job, still learning and making mistakes. I am incredibly hard on myself. I thought I said something stupid today in a meeting and I berated myself for it for way too long.
Immediately I wanted to drink.
I thought about getting bottle of wine after work (who’s kidding who, I am still thinking about it), drinking it down, forgetting about my stress, listening to some tunes (getting drunk and listening to/exploring new music was my latest pastime).
And then I thought about how sad I sometimes feel when I drink alone. Desperate. Out of control. I think about how bad things got for me about a month ago. It was a nasty time for me. How utterly alone, crazy, and reckless I felt. How I thought it might be better if I went away somewhere- to rehab maybe, or away for good. How careless I was with my emotions and some of my relationships. Crying on the couch in the middle of the night, wishing to be somewhere else, or someone else. Feeling like I’d fucked myself up so badly how was I ever going to recover? And then thinking about how I would wake up in the morning and feel like death. Nauseous and with a splitting headache. Blurry eyes. Dehydrated. Making it to work but loathing every minute of it. Making even more mistakes because I am not focussed. Feeling like a fraud, a failure. Making my original issue- stress of being new on the job- about 100x worse by adding in all that drama and pain and sadness and reduced ability to do my job.
And all I have to do, to not invite all that craziness into my life… is not drink today.
The solution is simple. Not easy, but simple. I can’t drink.