Yesterday was an odd Sunday for me. I woke up quite early already carrying the gloom of having to go to work on Monday, which is my least favorite way to start any day out. I haven’t had that feeling in quite some time and have had much success managing the stress at work, but for some reason the weight of it decided to hit hard this weekend. It was a such a beautiful day and the time spent with my husband was very nice, as always, but I could not shake the overwhelming dread of what was to come. Despite all of the tools at my disposal, the heaviness on my chest was determined to stick around. That heaviness turned into a strong, and I mean very strong desire to drink.
I was resting comfortably on the sofa with golf on TV late in the afternoon when my struggle to fight off the worries over work turned into a battle to get thoughts of alcohol out of my head. I fiercely tried to change my thoughts around by reminding myself about how badly I would feel afterward, but I still wanted to have that one glass of chardonnay or shot of whiskey. It didn’t matter what it was, I just needed to feel the warmth of it running down my throat. I reminded myself of all the work that I’ve been doing and how I want to change not only my future but want to help others with theirs, and how could I possibly do that if I had a drink? But that voice inside was persistent that it didn’t give a fuck about any of that. It didn’t care that I would have to take my 75 days of sobriety back down to 0 or about how anyone else might think of me. It didn’t want to consider any of the ramifications, it just wanted to lift a drink to my lips. My feelings were so overwhelming that I was nearly overcome with the desire for the old tool that I used to keep them at bay.
My husband could tell something was not right and asked if I was doing okay. I tried, but I couldn’t quite put what I was feeling into words, but I did end up confessing that I really wanted a drink in that moment. After a bit of talking through it, but still feeling the temptation, I decided to take myself out to the back yard to water my flowers and plant my bare feet in our cool grass. It was only for a few minutes, but that sensation has always been one of my favorites. Standing there in the grass, in the beauty of our yard at the home that I love made me feel grounded again. My anxiety didn’t totally disappear, but it relented enough that I was able to carry on with the rest of the evening without feeling like I was going to make a mad dash for a bottle.
I’m not new to this, I’ve talked about random urges to drink here before, but that doesn’t mean that these events don’t still surprise me, especially when the desire is so insatiable. I’m pretty self-aware these days and already have my suspicions about where all of this came from. It may have been part anxiety, part hormones, and part what I like to call the Sunday blues. No matter what the reasons, I am most importantly reminded of how precious my sobriety really is to me. Even when things seem like they have been flowing much steadier and I can loosen my grip, I can still come up against a vicious tide that tries to sweep my feet out from under me. I do know that it won’t always be that way, but for now I will fight to keep myself grounded because it is so much better here in the calm.
76 days and counting…