I outed myself to more people yesterday. Namely, my Mom, Dad and sister. I was waiting on my Mom because she likes to get her drink on. Two years ago she fell and broke her hip. When the doctor asked her how much she drinks she said, “As much as I want”. I don’t care how sober you are, that’s a damn funny line and always will be. Years ago when I told her I quit smoking her reaction was “You’re not going be one of those non smoking bitches now, are you?” GOD, I was hurt over that for so long. Now it makes me laugh. You can see though why I was hesitant to say I quit drinking. I was pleasantly surprised. She was happy for me. Curious about my reasons for quitting, but genuinely happy. It made me feel good to hear her words of encouragement.
My Dad was more stoic at first. “Proud of you.” That’s all. No questions. I was waiting to tell him because he lives in the Napa Valley and his business is in the wine industry. He also sends me wonderful wines for Thanksgiving and Christmas that are usually GONZO by the time both holidays arrive. This year, they hung around for my guests to enjoy. To be honest I didn’t expect an enthusiastic response. However, after about ten minutes I got a follow up text. He said he needs to curb his drinking for health reasons and finds my sobriety to be inspiring. I was expecting the short answer. Wasn’t expecting the follow up. Again, pleasantly surprised.
My sister. The funnies person on this planet. Some of my funniest moments in life, involving laughing so hard I literally peed myself once, happened when drinking with my sister. Consequently, some of our meanest and harsh words have been spoken in a drunk stupor leading to times where we didn’t speak for years. She’s been very happy lately and I didn’t want to disrupt that by announcing I was sober. That may sound crazy, but her and I have the whole “oh so you think you’re better than me now?” kind of relationship at times. I wasn’t ready to drag that out into the limelight. But I did it. I said it. And guess what? She quit drinking 6 months ago and was hesitant to tell me! So that’s why she’s been so damn happy lately!
I’ve been toying with the idea of mentioning it on FB. I don’t want to be preachy. I hate preachy FB posts. Ugh! However, if there is anyone out there who was like me and felt like they wanted to quit but was afraid they’d be the only person on the planet NOT drinking; I want them to feel like it’s okay. Ya know, create a balance against all the “Look at my margarita” posts. Even if just for a scroll. Has anyone else exposed their life change on social media? If so, how did you say and how did it go?
Is anyone else’s “to do” list insanely long? This list started when I was drinking. When I got sober I imagined myself checking each task off the list with a smile. Ya, that’s not happenin’ guys. I’ve actually renamed it “Shit I should do but never will”. A second list has been created called “Seriously, do this shit”. I see a third list in my future. Really, this could be endless. It’s interesting how when I was drinking this list haunted me. It was as if I was able to keep ticking stuff off the list, I didn’t have a drinking problem. Now that I’m sober I don’t have a drinking problem! That of course means I don’t have to do anything on the list, right? Seems rational to me. 🙂
I have a great new list called “Shit I want to do”. This is my favorite list to add to and check off.
The room was hot. I was tired. Cranky. Grumpy. I’ve been doing Bikram yoga on and off for the last 7 years. I attribute the on and off part to drinking. It’s 105 degrees in the hot room and it’s a 90 minute class. A lot of sweat happens. If you’re not properly hydrated you’ll find yourself with a screaming headache and nausea so bad you’ll question if you’re pregnant, even if you’re a man. I’ve been going consistently since I quit drinking and have seen amazing results. No headaches. No nausea. Just feel good stuff. It’s my new haven. It’s 90 minutes of my evening that I would have spent drinking but now spend doing something to help myself. I’ve been downright giddy attending class fully hydrated and ready to sweat away the day.
But yesterday. Yesterday was different.
I flat out didn’t wanna go.
I almost turned around 5 different times on my way there. What kept me going was the faith I had that this feeling would pass. I’d likely have a kick ass class and feel amazing after. Well folks, that’s not what happened. I was utterly distracted by my continued lack of enthusiasm. If I was supposed to stretch my left leg, I stretched my right. If was supposed to be in one pose, I was in a totally different one altogether. A lot of sighing and eye rolling! I pretty much created my own half ass, “whateverrrrrr “attitude class. Yet, something happened. The class ended and I made it through. I laid on my mat in the dark hot room and thought about the woman in class who wouldn’t listen to any direction the instructor gave. I thought about the super hippy chick that snapped at the instructor for telling her she had to stay on her mat and couldn’t just wander around the room aimlessly (those crazy hippies). It made me laugh. Suddenly I was thankful I went. If not for myself, for the memory of these two goofy women doing whatever they wanted in what should be a regimented class. I suddenly felt like I wasn’t alone with my hopelessly chaotic mind that refused to shut down and just be.
Being sober is like that for me. It’s opened my mind to just staying with the uneasiness and finding out what happens. It means moving forward and having faith that it’ll be okay. It means keeping my commitment to stop the broken record of excuses. What’s on the other side of that hill that I’ve spent years trying to climb but kept giving up? Is there someone or something along the way I’ll miss if I chose to “sit this one out”? I don’t want to hide from anything. I’m so curious about this whole process and what it has the potential to mean to me. There’s going to be days that “I don’t wanna…”. Those are the days that I want to recognize and let my energy to be and do more kick into overdrive. And if it doesn’t, then put it in neutral and keep my eyes peeled for something new. Even if it’s just this….
It’s a Christmas miracle! No seriously, this is a revelation. Guys, my brain is working! I’m friggin on top of things.
When I started this path (52 days ago, but who’s counting?) I thought the biggest change would be how I view the external world. I had no idea how it would internally change my brain. So what did I do with this revelation? I googled it! Check out what I found:
Geeeeez, if someone asked me a couple months ago if I had a hole in my head I could have said “Ya, many!” 😀 I can’t wait for a year sober. No more holes. My brain will be as smooth as a baby’s bottom. Imagine that!
I’ve had a lot of time to read since getting sober. Every day I read at least one story about a drunk driver that caused an accident and lives were lost. If not lost, then certainly changed forever. I sit and think about the years I’ve read these headlines and have become desensitized to it. We’ve accepted this as normal. We blame the driver and that’s legitimate. But what baffles me is that alcohol is never called out to blame. We have a heroin problem that’s growing in this country at rapid pace. The headline of another overdose makes us shake our heads and wonder why anyone would want to get mixed up with such a clearly disastrous drug. You see where I’m going with this. How does alcohol get a pass? And worse yet, if you chose to irradiate it from your life you’re branded an alcoholic. Someone out of control with displaced values – forever! Forever! That’s a long friggen time! Once an alcoholic always an alcoholic? That’s quite the catch phrase. There’s nothing else we’d give up that would follow us this way. Nobody says “Once a smoker, always a smoker.” Or “Once obese, always obese.” Nobody even knows what defines an alcoholic anyway. It’s totally subjective. We change our lives for the better and it’s always encouraged, unless it’s booze. It’s so crazy! Choosing to quit drinking is quite the opposite of how it’s branded. Ugh, now I’m rippin’ mad! Haha! I’m going to find someone, slap a drink out their hand and call ’em an asshole. Level the hypocrisy playing field. Seems fair.