Day 104

Drinking is a conundrum. Rather, my drinking was a conundrum. On the one hand, I functioned well and I had my issue tucked away neatly where hardly anyone could see it. Hardly anyone knew it was a constant source of obsession and pain. I’d enter into a conversation about drinking with extreme measure. I’d make sure I talked about drinking in just the right way so I came across as someone that enjoyed their wine, but didn’t have A PROBLEM. I’d be open about drinking, but never too open. I would present myself as someone that used to party a lot, but now drank on an “acceptable” mommy level.

On the other hand, I was constantly in a state of debate with myself. I was constantly either overcompensating for a hangover, or overachieving because it would ‘earn’ me my wine. I’d have really high highs, and really low lows. And the lowest lows were always my fault. Everything was my fault when I drank. I was constantly evaluating how to rearrange the pieces to make it all perfect, but there was a piece that I was scared to change. . . drinking. How could everything line up with that in my way? When I looked into the future, I wanted to see a happy family with a successful mother at the helm. When I looked into the mirror, I saw an ugly person with puffy eyes and shaking hands, stuck in a cycle that wasn’t changing. I was weary from keeping up with appearances. I longed for a week away from everyone, where I could drink from morning till night to really “kick back”. I’d imagine a world where time could stop so that I could drink, but not lose any time in “real life”. The inner argument slowly got louder. WHY is that my chosen escape? What experiences would come from a week of drinking? How much life would I miss out on while escaping from life down the bottom of a bottle? What the fuck is wrong with me, and how did I become a person that thought that sounded good?

I really fought hard against being “sober”. Sober was boring and unexciting. I’m still young, still fresh! Drinking can still be ‘cute’ and ‘silly’ and ‘fun’! Sober meant I couldn’t “accidentally” get wasted anymore. No more escaping the ticking clock. Sober meant no more craft beer tasting. Sober meant no more fancy glasses of Framboise (or two) at a nice dinner. No more going into the void. Sober meant SOBER, and that’s a big, scary thing. Most of all, sober meant growing up and facing the world and all of its shit without running into the fog to escape anymore. Drinking was my rug that I could sweep everything under. It was an place and time for me to justify everything to myself.

My sister and I used to talk about my mom’s drinking, while we were drinking. We’d talk about her cyclical thoughts and make observations like “ugh, Mom won’t change her mind on this, you can tell she’s been drinking about it because she’s got all of her justifications in place and set”. It would annoy us to no end because while her issues seemed so easy to resolve, she’d hunker down with whatever (poor) choice. Now, this is probably a very common generational thing that happens with families that are untouched by alcohol issues, but when you can hear drunk rationale start creeping into sober conversations, it’s scary. When we recognized the cadence that came from ‘drinking about it’ during a morning sober conversation, it was eye-opening.

It was scary enough that when I started doing it, I noticed. I’d sit on my patio and fume about being the only person that did anything at the house. I’d sulk about being overtaxed and underappreciated. I’d argue with him in my head. I’d get more and more resentful towards my husband, and would focus on everything he didn’t do. I’d drink my wine and the battle would rage on in my thoughts. I’d imagine his rebuttals and reactions, and I’d seeth while winning every argument. I’d then wake up in the morning (post 3AM dread session) and be salty and disagreeable. Then it would all be my fault, and my conundrum would come to a full circle. If I just did more and didn’t waste all my time drinking like the deadbeat I was, it would just be done and I wouldn’t spend so much time being mean to him! My resentment would rise, but who cares because I was so worthless and awful, and I deserved it. My self-narrative was literally night and day difference, and the balancing act finally just got way too old.

Sobriety became an idea I’d toy with. I’d consider it, but then would crumple the idea up and throw it away. The night I took a pregnancy test, I got thrust right into it. There was no grace period, no slip-ups. No bartering, no schedules, no self-promises. It just was. The couple of drinks I had while pregnant were really just that. There was no sneaking more alcohol after the party ended. There was no hiding or lies about it. It just was.

And then the baby was here, and it was just me again. Me against the booze. I tried a barter system. I tried promises, schedules and caveats. I tried controlling it. I tried obsessing over it, and bartering with myself. . . but we all know where I ended up. I ended up hating myself half the time, and longing for wine the other half. It was finally the realization that I could keep doing that awful dance between the 3AM Dread, the 3pm Lies, and the 6PM wine. . . or I could just. . . not. And so it ‘just is’ now. No constant negative obsession, no tally points, no thinking about if last night I was too drunk or if I embarrassed myself. There’s no over-thinking it, no overcoming any hangovers, no rationalizing it, and most of all, no drinking to escape thinking about drinking. It’s all blissfully and unblissfully clear.









8 thoughts on “Day 104

  1. I have this one friend, a close one. Everyone in her family is disrespecting her, she’s soft and kind and works hard. The thing is, she loves binge drinking every weekend. The family have the power and the upper hand. There have been a few ‘incidents’ when she’s been drinking recently. I’ve gently suggested she stop drinking so that she can take back control and not live in guilt and overcompensate, but her response is “why should I? It’s my pleasure and I deserve it.” I so wish I could show her what you’ve written here. So much would resonate. Sadly, she wouldn’t accept it 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so hard when you’re getting on your own two feet, and then you watch people who are seemingly unaware that the real power lies in sobriety. I automatically rejected your comment initially because I thought “I have and always have had the upper hand!” however the more I thought about your words, the more they resonated that I was constantly gaining and losing the upper hand. Drinking would strip me of any progress I made during sobriety, and it’s still hard for me to grasp just how much I let slip when I’d slip. I feel bad for your friend, and I hope your suggestions take root!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Heavy fog indeed. You really captured that inner turmoil with this post. And I can really relate. My denial of my problem so thick. And once I filtered through all the BS in my own head, I realize that being sober is exactly how I was meant to be my whole life! Happy to find your blog, connect, and follow!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Yep to all of it. Especially the 3Am wake up & dread. Why is always 3 am! Fog is the best description. I am amazed at how many of us “functional” drinkers/alcoholics have a common theme…congrats on your sobriety praying it will continue👍


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