The past few weeks have been tough ones, and the one thing I keep thinking is this: I'm so glad I'm not drinking anymore.
A few weeks ago, my partner was in a very bad accident. He is going to be OK, so I can write about it now, though this is my blog not his so I don't want to get into his personal info or his story. But there was some scary hospital stuff and major surgery and long waits to see how things would go, and every time I thought I was handling things OK a doctor would tell me some terrifying thing that had just been ruled out or that there was still some risk of. I spent most of a week at the hospital during the days, and I think the only thing that saved me was walking back and forth to transit stops and coffee shops on the way back and forth to the hospital. There's something about walking that keeps things real, and keeping some grip on the real world was very hard to do in the middle of all that.
A couple of days before he was released, I was running around one evening after I left the hospital trying to get in place some of what we would need to get him set up at home, and I became fixated on getting ice cream. He is on a blender diet for a month or so, and I decided that having ice cream in the house was absolutely critical. I had to go to a different grocery because my usual one was closed, and on the way I walked past the liquor store I used to frequent, which was, of course, open. Now, to say I wasn't tempted to drink would be a massive understatement. As I passed the store, all I could think was that if this had happened two years ago, I would have been drinking wine every night after coming from the hospital, and I would have been in no shape to do what I had to do, whether that was help make decisions or offer emotional support or or get the apartment ready for my partner's convalescence or just take care of myself. Two years ago, I would have used wine to "get me through it." Now that seemed so bizarre to me, and I was incredibly grateful that I am sober and present in my life and able to deal with this difficult stuff for my partner and for myself.
I didn't want to turn the accident into a pat silver lining story. It isn't one. It's just a terrible thing. But terrible things happen sometimes, and we live through them. And I'm not saying I'm all that great for coping. I'm just doing what I have to do, what we all do when there's coping to be done. But I am super 100% get-down-on-my-knees-and-pray thankful that I am sober while all this is going on. And I know my partner will recover from this a whole lot better with me being present and helpful, rather than being in any of the drunk/hungover/emotional-nightmare states that used to be what I called normal life.
I'm hoping to get back to my schoolwork this week because I really need to do that. By now we're ticking along OK here, and I'm learning lots of ways to make interesting and healthy soups and stews that might still taste like something after a whirr in the high-speed blender. (Today's special: potato-leek-bacon in pork stock with a little cream and tarragon. Yum!) This week I passed a sober milestone--16 months sober! Hooray for that! So that's where I am these days: there's plenty of soup and love and healing, and that's getting me through. That and gratitude for being sober and being alive.
Peace and love to you all. Be well.