So here’s how my December went. On day 27, as you all read previously, I slipped up on the night I hosted the holiday party (how fucking predictable, I know). And then I carried on drinking the next day, and the next. Not a ton, but some. Enough to demonstrate to myself that what happens when I drink one day is that I want to drink every day. Even if it’s not to excess (although it often is), what I can’t seem to get around is that need, to like, even out. To regulate my imbalance that comes from the previous night. The unbearable feeling of being hung over and miserable, paranoid like I want to hide from life, and feeling like general shit about myself. Guess what? One glass of wine (or maybe two) makes all that misery just disappear. And often, I can have just two or three glasses that next day. But I can’t not have them. That’s what’s freaky.
So what would have been my day 30 was instead day #1 all over again. I was not feeling nearly as motivated when I started over. I sheepishly wrote my blog and wrote Belle (from tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.com) and asked her to restart my 100 day challenge. And guess how long I made it? Seven days. Yep, that’s it. And when I decided to throw in the towel, it was also predictable… my cousin and her husband who are big partiers were coming into town and wanted to see us. We went to dinner with them to one of my favorite places and of course, I just ordered wine without even really thinking it through. “Fuck it,” I basically said to myself. “It’s the holidays. I’ll start at the new year.”
This time of year really does press upon us the idea that indulging in whatever we want it perfectly okay because we are all going to get healthy or get back on track come January first. And who cares, really? Do we ever think back and say wow, in such-and-such year I fully stuck to (insert goal of choice here)? It’s arbitrary. So dinner led to everyone coming back to our place, I threw caution to the wind and drank as much as I wanted (which was a lot), and totally disregarded the reality that I had to work the next day. Disregarded my goals. Disregarded the thousands of reasons why I don’t want to drink anymore. Even disregarded that my husband and I are trying to conceive. Yep, I’m getting brutally honest here.
The next day while driving my cousin’s husband to his car on my way to work, in a fog, I said something about how I couldn’t believe I drank so much when I had to work. He said, “yeah, well, I figured you must be in the clear for getting pregnant, and you were just letting loose.” “I’m not in the clear,” I stated, as I realized myself the impact of that and how terrible it sounded, what a horrible person I must be, what an unfit vessel to bring another life into this world, and how I don’t deserve a baby if I can’t even stay sober. “Well,” he responded simply, “it’s hard with our lifestyle.”
The wind was sucked out of me in that moment. For reasons to lengthy and complicated to list here, I have a hard time with my cousin’s husband. He is, at times, awesome. He has lots of good qualities. But he is also, a lot of the time, an out-of-control partier, with substances including more than alcohol, and his “lifestyle” has caused him to treat my cousin in a way that I would rather her not be treated. Most of the time, she seems not to be as concerned, but I have witnessed behavior that is totally unacceptable to me and that I don’t want to be a part of my world. I consider myself far, far from being like him. For HIM, of all people, to say that “our lifestyle” is remotely the same shocked me to my core. And then I saw myself in a different light.
Why wouldn’t he see me the same way? All the years that we have partied together… for some reason I have always envisioned myself to be different, better in some way than “them.” Those that take it to the next level. But in that moment I realized, I am not that different. I have my own issues and they may not be the same, I may not cross certain lines that I look down on others for crossing, but I am crossing lines that are not okay with me. And I’m ignoring that. And that makes me feel horrible about myself. It flushes my self-esteem down the toilet.
So. Back to that morning. Did that stop me? No way. I drank every day for another week straight. On one of those days, I only had one glass of wine. Literally. I patted myself on the back for “tapering.” But the next day, I had three glasses with lunch, three more while watching the sunset, then skipped dinner altogether and had two more. WTF?!
I am being honest here because I don’t know what else to do besides take a cold, hard, look. Yesterday, I did not drink. And today, I am not drinking. But I haven’t recommitted to Belle yet for 100 days (take three), because I am afraid that I can’t make it tomorrow night through new year’s eve. We invited people over, which I asked my husband to cancel at first but then today I backed out because I feel bad, we have relatives here from out of town and we already committed. But man am I ready to quit hosting events and take some time for myself.
I desperately want to wake up on new year’s day (as cliche as it is, I do) sober. And clear headed. But I do feel like I’m in limbo, like I’m on day 2 but not sure I can start counting yet, until I successfully navigate NYE. I am attending a yoga-meditation workshop in the afternoon of new year’s day, and I want it to feel clear. I so, so, soooooo want this. I feel, today, like I can do it. I am arming myself with sparkling water, martinelli’s, etc. I have a couple friends coming who are from yoga and who are not big drinkers at all and who are not triggers for me in the way my cousin and her husband are.
I am going to do whatever it takes tomorrow night and remember why I’m doing this. Why I have to do this. Wish me luck and I’ll be writing whatever happens. Literally going to take it an hour at a time.