Yesterday was a difficult day, and I want to thank those of you who stopped by this space of mine to show support. Your words and just knowing that there are other people who can relate on some level, meant more to me than I can express. Today, I am filled with gratitude for you.
I’ll admit, when I posted yesterday, I was sitting in my office feeling like the walls were closing in. I was carrying so much guilt for the drinking over the weekend, that the heaviness of it actually made me want to grab another drink so that I wouldn’t feel it. To make matters worse, I still have a membership to a winery from a Napa visit we made two years ago, and as I was sitting at my desk with this weight on my shoulders, guess what showed up? The two bottles of wine being handed over by the FedEx driver was like a big, fat slap in my face. I didn’t know if the universe was trying to punish me or test me. Instead of drinking, I wrote that post. I knew I needed a release and that was the form that I chose, thankfully.
I’m not unfamiliar with the fact that alcohol is used to numb out, but I genuinely don’t think I recognized that it is feelings that I seem to be running from. Feelings are hard. Feelings are something that my therapist has been trying for over a year to work with me on allowing to surface. It isn’t that I don’t have them, I’m not some rock hard person who doesn’t have an emotion, but I don’t really know how to have and allow a painful feeling yet. Running from them has been my way of life, it is how I survived as a child and an abusive first marriage, it’s all I’ve ever known. They make me feel awkward, uncomfortable and quite frankly, judged.
After dumping out those words yesterday and experiencing a small release, I was finally able to start using my tools of self examination. Something had happened to me as I moved into the prior weekend – as good as I was physically feeling without alcohol in my body every day, I started to grow anxious. I was snapping at my husband and easily irritated, which is not something I am prone to at all. Underneath this, there had been a couple of memories from childhood that had popped up out of the blue to say hello, and I found it much harder to push them away than normal. I didn’t quite see it when I was in the midst of it, but I had what Oprah would call an “A-ha” moment yesterday when I finally saw, and I mean really, truly recognized, that I have been turning to alcohol to get away from my feelings. It’s odd, I’ve been completely aware of this idea, but must not have been fully buying into the concept, until I found myself face-to-face with it.
I didn’t drink yesterday. I made it through my work day while the heaviness slowly lifted. I spent time on self-care and even gave an online Smart Recovery meeting a try for the first time. There is a lot to learn there, I’m not sure yet how I feel about it, but it definitely seems worth checking out. More importantly, the hour I spent as a part of that meeting was an hour where the alcohol obsession took a back seat. Today I meet with my therapist, which should make for an interesting conversation, but I will be nothing but honest with her. Today, I also will not drink.