That’s right, folks. You read it correctly. Days of living, and loving, and doing, and laaaaaaaaaughing, and self-confidencing, and playing, and creating, and exercising, and Being Myself. 180 days to be exact. *smile*
(1) Mission accomplished.
And it really does feel like a mission. All last spring I was just tired and sad and more tired and not sure why I was so sad and so tired. I was doing things! I was prepping for two summer shows, I was spending time with friends pretty regularly (for me), and I was running around like a mad woman keeping the overall look of me from cracking. And every night I was REWARDING myself with wine for making it to another 5 or 6 o’clock. On the days it was 6 o’clock, I was itchy and antsy for that first glass – and it was only an hour ‘late.’ During the evenings I would ‘relax’ and ‘veg out’ and ‘recover’ from my busy days so that I would be ‘rested’ and ‘ready’ for my next busy day.
The Me-who-is-Now calls Bullllllllshiiiiiiiit on that Mess!
I honestly had no idea how much the alcohol was negatively affecting my life. Not one iota of an idea. …. Okay, well, maybe one. I thought I was a little tired in the mornings (due to massive amounts of wine the nights before (but at the time, I thought they were ‘normal amounts’ and that everyone was doing it, they just weren’t talking about it)), but I thought I ‘deserved’ the Reward of letting go of the daytime world and getting some ‘Me-Time.’
(I am using quotes like a crazy woman. …. (Sorry-not-sorry. (Because there’s probably going to be more.))
And then June 9 came along, and I just decided ‘Enough.’ (Appropriate use of a quote, for the record. (And yep. More.))
For those I’ve read struggling to begin their Day 1’s, or having trouble committing and sticking to the no-drinking plan, I want to say that June 9 was not the first time I thought I should give up drinking, nor is it the first time I tried to quit the drink. However, it was the first time I was too tired to fight anymore. That whole ‘admitting powerlessness’ is really what happened to me, I just didn’t know it at the time. All the other times I had decided, ‘Okay, no more. I swear, double-dog-pinky-dinky-swear I won’t stop and buy wine to drink tonight’ …. Well, by the afternoons (on every occasion), I would talk myself into buying the wine and just letting myself have one, maaaaaaaaybe two glasses at Most. I would decide that everyone else in the world was unwinding at the end of their days with alcohol, so it was only fair that I would get to, too. Plus, I would convince myself that I could drink a regular amount today, and again – the one or two glasses of wine would be my bargaining chips in my head. (And then fast forward to later that evening, and the one or two glasses would multiply into one or two bottles.)
Every. Damn. Day.
June 9 showed up and I knew I could not win. I could not bargain. I could not deal. I could not balance, or make sense of, or distinguish, or feel, or regulate, or be, or find, or explore, or lead, or jump… Not in the midst of all the wine. Not in the midst of being shackled to the daily buzz/stupor. Not in the midst of choosing Wine over Me.
So I gave up. I let go of trying to hold on so tightly. So desperately. I let go of planning every day how I would ‘get to’ drink. I had urges to drink. I wanted to drink. Some days I convinced myself that I would drink, but then I reminded myself of letting go, and I would let go over and over and over on those days.
And do you know? It was the most liberating action of my adult life. Minutes, hours, and days have opened up with opportunities, relationships, and fun because I have been there to Live inside of them. Choosing to move alcohol from the center or focus of my world to the banished cold and icy mountains of doom has allowed me so much more freedom! Now my life moves around My Life. As dorky as that sounds. But it’s true! It’s my Life again. Not (wicked) Wine’s. And even though it took years of frustration and circling and considering and bargaining to get there, on the day I finally let go, it/Life became so easy.
There are still days when I start to consider ‘just one,’ or wonder if I could be like ‘other people,’ but then I play the scenario out, and boom. Drunk. Sad. Alcoholic. Horrible. Miserable. Crushed. All over again. So, I let go of the idea again, and move on… Sometimes for a minute, and the thought creeps back, and so I bang it away again, and sometimes playing the scenario out just once is enough. Depends on the day. But? Even on the days the creeping thoughts return again and again, I still go to bed sober, because I know – over and over – that wine is not my way. Not anymore.
Oh, Hello, New Way of Life.
I am now looking forward to a couple of mini-sober-challenges, which are:
- My true 6-month-aversary on December 9th.
- A few more days to reach the Winter Solstice on December 22nd.
- Set my sights on my Year goal, and subsequent first tattoo. (Woot!)
- While simultaneously resetting the clock for another Solstice-to-Solstice challenge to get me into the Summer.
So here I am. 9 am, contemplating a wonderful sober life, and cake. Lots and lots of cake! *smile*
Day 180, You can do it, too! (And many of you have – my Heroes!)