Things Normal People do Sober

I think it surprises a lot of people that you don’t just wake up feeling like roses once you decide to cut back on the booze.  If I hadn’t done this so many times before then I might be pretty upset at the three days I’ve spent in bed this week, at the splotchy mess my face is in, and the overall sense of blah that’s descended upon my life.  As it is, I’ve just tried to roll with it.  And it hasn’t been an easy week to feel like shit.  One job interview, two family dinners, three minor children, and a partridge in a pear tree…

It’s got me thinking, though, what other normal human experiences have I been drinking my way through? Family holidays are a big one, of course, but what about just simple meetings with friends? People I like and enjoy hanging out with? Very rarely do we get together for something other than drinks. And parenting? I think I’ve done a pretty good job of keeping my bad binges away from the kids, but I can’t say I’ve never had a beer or two before having a difficult conversation with them. Not every time, but enough to be a pattern, and surely they’ve noticed.

Cleaning house, doing yard work, fixing the car. Check, check, and check. And remember, I’m not even a daily drinker! But still I’d find myself sucking a few down in order to complete these mundane tasks, as if I’m the princess incapable of sleeping even one night in the minor discomfort that these pea-sized tasks cause.

I’m going to be honest with you guys: I really thought I’d get up and drink a few beers before my job interview. And I went into family dinner without a real plan, too. But my counselor’s, “everybody relapses, and I say this not to give you permission but so you don’t beat yourself up if it happens,” has been ringing in my ears. A few today, a few tomorrow, then clean up really good in time to start over yesterday for my next group meeting, is sort of what I was thinking, but the thought of starting all over again, again, was daunting. I’m starting to see the wisdom in the next group homework assignment. “Why Now?” Why did I reach out to the treatment center? Why am I forking over my hard-earned cash to sit in a room full of drunks three times a week? Why is it important for me to change the way I deal with life? These are things that I need to be thinking about, things I need to remember, things that I can hold on to and maybe even take a perverse comfort in, in moments like I had this week, when it would have been be so easy to say fuck it.

Back to bed for me, now. Just another fucking Friday night on the wagon.

2 thoughts on “Things Normal People do Sober

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