Are there any reasons left TO drink?

15 Mar

2:29 am

I’m sorry, but it’s been a week since I last posted. Since then, I’ve been to Miami and back, have worked on another editorial project, landed an interview for a (extraordinarily underpaid) job in NYC, thought way too much about having kids, begun my “serious” half-marathon training (I’m up to about 6 miles on my “long” runs). A lot has happened/is happening. Which is good. Which is/are more reasons not to drink.

I think I need goals. I think I also need reasons not to drink. However, when I take a close look–I had the “opportunity” to do so the other night–my main “reasons” left TO drink are sadness and/or disappointment. I can deal with anger, with envy, with ennui; it’s being sad, or disappointed–with feeling like I have no power over mortality, over aging, for instance–these make me want to go blotto.

Yet, the worst/best part is: drinking is not a solution. At all. In fact, drinking is not that much fun…SO, there’s really no point to it. Right? Right. (Yet, I KNOW that wine still calls, and it does so for a reason: it WAS that good. Or…was it? No, it wasn’t. YES, it SO was. Nah…not really. ARG! Down, wolf.)

It really is that simple. No regrets, no remorse, no character defects, no amends. Just a simple truth: I’d had enough, and I don’t want–cannot have–what was, which was me, literally risking my life and losing more and more of my spirit and/or soul every time I drank. Fortunately, I suppose, there was no other option but to stop drinking.

I’ve seen my peace of mind–less depression, less anxiety–simply RETURN. As if, drinking was filling up a lot of my journal with obsessive, self-loathing thoughts, and not, these negative thought patterns were inherent to my person and causing me to drink. Yes, my power is coming back, my sense of innate “sure-ness”; I can make decisions without having to over-think them AND without even thinking about thinking about them. THAT is the magic, and it happens WITH NO EFFORT ON YOUR PART EXCEPT TO QUIT DRINKING FOR A SUSTAINED PERIOD OF TIME. For me, that’s taken until oh, about now. It’s not easy, but I never would have seen the simplicity of the solution had I kept drinking and over-complicating EVERYTHING.

It’s so much more that that, too: an increased awareness, an increased ability to have fun, more motivation, the feeling that there is ground and not sinkhole under my feet. More, and more, and more than that, too. Yet, the changes are subtle, and to keep them in place does take a bit of work, mentally speaking. That’s what the first 90 days–shit, the first 20 weeks in my case–are for: to get you used to the struggle so that eventually, it feels easy.

Will I drink again? Maybe. I mean, it’s not a bad thing, alcohol; it’s how I was using it, the emotional handle I didn’t have–the lack of awareness surrounding my own tendency to binge in the face of unaddressed emotions, stressers, etc. Will I drink again? Not now, no. I’m not healed; I’m not in a safe enough place. Will I use and/or abuse wine? I don’t plan to, no. That is empowering, and liberating. I don’t NEED to drink and somehow, I don’t really want to anymore, either. Hmm. Strange days, indeed. (22 weeks yesterday!)

4 Responses to “Are there any reasons left TO drink?”

  1. Belle (Tired2012) March 15, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    “that is the magic” indeed 🙂 it’s not easy, but it’s the best thing ever. and so so much better than the alternatives …

  2. risingwoman March 15, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    It’s amazing how our idea of ‘enough’ changes the longer we stay sober, isn’t it?

    Great job on Week 22!

  3. carrythemessage March 15, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    I think regardless of how we heal and recover from out alcoholism, the idea that we start to make new connections in our brains is a great thing. Realizing that alcohol does us no good and starting to do things in sobriety that we did in drinking starts new patterns, and we realize that are aren’t resigned to doing X, Y or Z only drunk. We get into a lot of “firsts” – first time on a trip, first time at a wedding, first time going to the store without picking up a bottle, etc. It sounds like you’re starting to land in a soft spot in regards to these things. I also loved that you acknowledged for yourself that you’re still in a vulnerable spot, that you’re not in a safe place yet…and I say that because I often see firsthand newly sober people jump into situations they shouldn’t…and they sometimes drink. So shedding ego and saying “I’m not there yet” takes courage and good self-awareness.

    Congrats on your 22 weeks and thank you so much for posting – been missing your posts!


  4. Lydia March 16, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

    My return to sanity involved understanding that for me, there is no safe place that involves drinking. I’ll never get there. Part of my miracle (don’t quit before the miracle) is that I’m OK with that.

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