Right to the chin.
It came from out of nowhere.
Or, at least I wasn’t expecting or anticipating it in anyway.
Last night, my (wonderful, extraordinary) mother-in-law invited us over for roast beast. Delisch. Amazing meal. As always.
The hubs and I were trying to get the babes fed quickly so that we could pile into the car and get to a movie across town. I was in the middle of loading up the babes’ plates before everyone else went through the line, and just as I was finishing them up, my MIL asked me if I could open a bottle of wine for her and her other guests (a couple who is dear friends of the family).
I froze for a second. My heart stopped. All of the usual cliche in-the-moment sorts of things….
The layer of skin just under my skin flared up into full-on itch-mode. My breathing quickened, and my mind started to spin around a cloudy mass of grey… No real thoughts or words, but just a feeling jumble of everything and nothing all at once. I was disoriented and shaky.
I reached for the bottle and the opener, opened it quickly, kept my eyes averted and did not offer to help get down wine glasses, and then went back to the plates.
The moment was over.
But I was still itchy and spinning.
I brought the babes’ plates to the table, dished myself a plate as quickly as possible, and then sat down and ate – again, quickly.
The friend and MIL had their glasses there… And I caught myself being more aware of them than I had been of alcoholic beverages at the bar this past week or two. I know it’s because of opening the bottle myself. … It wasn’t a trigger, but it did strike up a huge feeling of loss. The fact that I wasn’t opening the bottle for myself. That I wasn’t going to pour or drink any of it. It wasn’t a longing loss… It was … How do I put it? It brought my sobriety into stark contrast to What Used to Be. …. And honestly, had it been ‘Then,’ I would have had three glasses to their one, and hoped they wouldn’t notice how much I drank. I would have been happy, but guilty and nervous most of the evening. We definitely would not be taking the babes to a movie, because I most likely would want to head home where I could open a second bottle of wine, or dive further into an already-opened box and drink until I fell asleep or passed out. … In actuality, the sober punch was and is a better situation than what was – by far. I was just completely thrown for a loop.
I got to thinking, later, that if I had been hosting at my own house, I would have prepared for the moment, and would have opened the bottle without that screeching halt of all mental and physical goings on. But because I was caught off-guard, I got knocked off my feet. I know I can be around alcohol and people drinking without much issue, as I’ve done it four or five times in the past two weeks, but again. Surprise!
Oh, and let me point out my first reaction was to put my head down and charge through the moment, as opposed to looking around and asking for help from the hubs or something. What, me ask for help? Definitely not my first instinct, as is obvious by this situation… Must work on that. Thought I was getting better at it, but reflex-wise, definitely not. Putting that on my to-do list….
So. There you are. I wanted to share.
Talking to the hubs on our way to the theatre, I mentioned to him still feeling itchy about it all, and he said he’d wondered if I was going to be alright. He started speaking for his mom, and I told him I wasn’t mad at her at all. Not even a little. Just surprised. And again, itchy, which I am beginning to think is my physical association anytime I am significantly uncomfortable mentally. Add to the fact my MIL has significant arthritis in her thumbs and wrists, and that I was the one closest, and that (in days gone by) I am the one who knows my way blind-folded and upside-down with hands tied behind my back around a wine caddy, I get why she asked me to help. Again, just surprised. Since I’ve stopped drinking, it just hasn’t been present at family meals, which is crazy to think, because we would go through at least four bottles a week together in days of yore. I assumed she wasn’t going to drink last night, and then she did. Heck, even her friend was surprised I wasn’t drinking and said something about it. I just blew it off like some easy, breezy, carefree flippant thing, and all was fine with that.
But the bottle.
The action of opening the bottle.
I was thrown.
…. I’m better now. Reliving a bit of last night in writing this out, but also think it’s too important to skip over. Being the ‘feeling’ person I am, I have a bit of the itch back from last night, but once I get going for the day, I’m sure it will dissipate pretty quickly. The babes and I are off for a nature hike, and I am looking forward to that very much.
Day 50, still full of surprises…
p.s. Halfway to 100!!! *flex*