First, let me start by saying that there is no longer an “I think” or “I might be” in front of quitting drinking. It is now with complete certainty that I am quitting. I am all in on sobriety. February 5th may be when I started towards this path, but February 20th is my official Day 1 of a sobriety that I intend to keep.
It’s been interesting over these past three weeks to see how this has evolved from the “I might” to the “I am.” The conversations in my head and the conversations with my husband have been all over the place and quite frankly, those conversations have been going on far longer than the last few weeks. Admitting that I am done with alcohol without the lingering thoughts of “Can I ever get back to it?” or “Maybe one day I can moderate” has given me the clarity that I needed. With those thoughts and doubts swirling around my head, I can see that I wasn’t exactly setting myself up for success. Maybe that works out just fine for some people, but for me, I now realize that drawing a hard line in the sand might be the only way to keep me on the right track.
The weekend had its ups and downs, there were strong cravings and some serious triggers, but the overwhelming theme for this weekend was very encouraging. My husband, E, and I again spent serious quality time together. We started off Saturday morning at my favorite French café down the road with chocolate croissants and a shared French press. Even though I adore this place, I never find myself there often because I’m usually recovering on weekend mornings from the previous night of drinking, which leads to laziness on the sofa and little motivation to do much else. We talked about my choosing to be sober, and I confessed even more of my issues with drinking to E. I had previously told him about sneaking drinks when he would be in another room, but on this occasion, I also told him about the times I was slipping rum into the mug of tea that was accompanying me to work some mornings. I told him that I was nervous about sharing my sobriety with our friends, about being the one person in our group who had made this decision and of how strange that felt. Then, E brought up our upcoming trip to Las Vegas.
Now, the Vegas trip we had planned at the end of March had been sitting heavily with me these past weeks, but I hadn’t brought it up. I went from excitement about the trip when we booked it to feeling dread every time I considered it. We were going with another couple and I knew that it would involve a lot of alcohol. Reservations at hot cocktail spots had already been made and extravagant dinners were planned. Hours at blackjack tables were to be spent with cocktail waitresses passing by every few minutes, and I was trying to figure out how I was going to get through it. I knew full well that this was a bad idea for someone trying to get sober, and it seemed that E knew this, too. Thank god (or the universe). That morning, sitting in the café, he suggested we cancel the trip. I immediately felt bad about disappointing our friends, but E reminded me that they had booked first and planned to go with or without us. He also reminded me that my sobriety was far more important than disappointing others. This man, I tell you, he is something special.
I jumped at the chance to cancel. In fact, I was outright elated, but told him that I wanted to be completely honest with our friends about why we were doing so. After we headed back home, we started talking about where else to go that week, because it also happens to be our 12-year wedding anniversary and there was no need to give up a vacation entirely. Within a matter of minutes we knew it needed to be Arizona. I told him in January that I felt a great need to visit AZ this year, that it was almost like a calling. I’ve had such a passion for it my entire life even though I haven’t been back since I lived there as a kid. Little did I know that the trip would happen so soon. We changed the hotel and plane tickets and now we have an adventure ahead of us in just a few weeks. This will be my first sober adventure with the man that I love and who is committed to helping me see this through. I couldn’t be happier.
While I have not yet been able to fill our friends in on the reason behind the change, I did reach out to let them know that we were pulling the plug on Vegas. I explained that it would probably be best to discuss in person, but to my surprise they replied that they were also considering canceling due to a job change that one of them was going through. I still plan to fill them in on more of the details, but it was a relief that we weren’t causing much disappointment.
Despite some of my struggles and cravings over the weekend, this one highlight, this huge shift is what I choose to carry with me into the week ahead. I have so much to be grateful for, and so many reasons to keep alcohol from taking that away. On to day 7.