This being sober is a strange business. I feel better overall. My skin is clearer. My eyes are clearer. I know I am emotionally starting to be more in tune with real life. My foggy thinking is getting a lot better. I don't want to go back to drinking again, because I know there's nothing there for me except oscillating between oblivion and pain, and I would much rather figure out how to live without having to numb myself out of any meaningful existence. (Does that all sound like I'm coughing up a big recovery-induced hairball? I don't know. It's true though, no matter what it sounds like.)
But last night, oh my god last night, I wanted to go to the wine store and buy a bottle of Joie Rose and drink it, and then go back and buy some red wine and drink that, too. Any thought of not wanting to be numb was, at that point, sheer nonsense. I was one giant prickly mess of "Get me out of here!" I can't tell you where "here" is, but I wanted to check out of it into fuzzy oblivion, pronto!
I didn't go to the store, or drink any booze. I pretty much knew I wouldn't. But it was very, very hard to ride it out. I told my partner that I was having a hard time of it and didn't want to talk for a bit, then sat on the couch and read blogs and wrote a bit until I got a grip. The moment (OK it was an hour) passed, and I felt a bit better later. Quiet and a bit knocked out, but better.
How is it that one person can, at the same time, know that drinking is a really bad idea, and really really really want to drink? This addiction thing really plays with your head, doesn't it? Because I know, of course, people are all riddled with contradictions. But those contradictions are so much more comfortable when they are happening to someone else, or when you see them from a safe distance, looking back at your formerly unenlightened self, as opposed to when they are happening to you right now. Last night, sitting on the couch, I felt like I was two people at once. I was me, the person who has committed to the not drinking plan, and who sees that it's a better way. And I was also me, the person who has, for years and years, drank, so much so often that it had become part of the fabric of who I am. I wanted to find a way out of living through the moments of painful contradiction, maybe not be either of the people for a while, but of course, there is no way out. Maybe it sounds like I'm over-dramatising here, but it doesn't feel that way.
So all that stuff I was saying a few days ago about not drinking not being that hard? Sure, that's true, except when it's freaking hard! Drinking won't solve anything, and I'm not going to do it. It won't get me out of anything, unless consciousness is what I'm trying to avoid, and if that's what I want to be clear of, then I can just go to sleep. But I can't stay asleep.
Not a lot of wisdom or answers here today. I am wondering whether I should consider going to an AA meeting. I went twice early last year, and I had what is probably a predictable reaction. The first week I thought, "I love these people!" The second week I was appalled, and I thought, "I have nothing in common with these people." Neither is true, of course. I would probably like some and have trouble with some, and I would have something more or less in common with all of them, but I wasn't ready to call alcohol the problem it really was at that time. Not yet. Now I know it is one. I would still like an easy way out, one where I can just put the drinking behind me and smile my way into a whole new better way of being me. The fact that reality doesn't work that way doesn't stop me from wanting it sometimes, any more than the fact that drinking really sucks doesn't stop me from wanting that sometimes, too.
Anyway, here I am, 49 days sober and holding on, feeling pretty darn good about that in the big picture if a bit uncomfortable in some of the moments. I'm not going anywhere. I won't drink, and I will figure this out. For now I'll just sip my fizzy water and stare out the window at the snow that's been piling up all day. It's pretty. And I'm not out in it. I'm grateful for that, and that's a good moment to be in.
Thanks for reading. Peace and joy to us all.