To my utter surprise, I’ve had practically no cravings today. And I’m going on the end of day four. Maybe it’s because I had so much to do and simply didn’t have the time. I’m grateful, is all I can say.
The only craving I had today was on my walk home from my run. Thankfully it was light and lasted only about 15 minutes and concluded with me resigning myself to the fact that no, I can’t get buzzed and yes, I have to be sad. Done. Over. Kaput. There is no changing this fact and there is nothing I can do about it, so just accept being sad for tonight. Now, however, I feel good, distanced from this feeling that physically resembles being unable to breathe and simultaneously wanting to literally inhale wine; I feel an itch, a flutter at the base of my pelvis that circles up like flames, touching my stomach, sending plumes through my chest cavity all the way to the back of my throat. Today, I feel like I actually accomplished not only getting through the urge, but also a bunch of stuff on my to-do list.
I’m a to-do lister at heart. And, really, at this point, after putting getting drunk first and everything else second for the past 8 years, give and/or take all the times I was “functioning,” it’s the little things that I can check off my to-do list that SHOULD, I think, make me happy. Or, rather, scratch my itch? In fact, I think sometimes I’d prefer getting shit done to having a real life, a real relationship, a real craft. But, I do have a real craft, don’t I? Ugh. It’s these types of thoughts that make me crave the acidic blend of stimulation and sedation that wine always seems to provide, at least for the first few glasses: that burning sensation going down, the immediately sour stomach, a precise lightness to my blood, the adrenaline, that surge of LOVE, of “at-ease-ness” in the world; the excitement over the mundane, and the idea that it all really DOES matter, it’s all part of some overarching plan, some spectacular journey — this is how wine makes me feel. For the first two or three glasses. Then all goes to hell, I can’t stop, and I end up downing two bottles and feeling like absolute ass the next day, effectively ruining the entire buzz (not to mention, ruining the night in some way, shape, or form). Anyway, I’m hoping that my ability to listen to the voice of reason (my good angel) is part of an improved discipline to abstain and not simply the effect of having gotten shit done today.
So, what did I do that made me so happy? Well, I got up early. At 8. Lately I’ve been barely able to peel my eyes open and force myself to fall out of bed before noon, taking into account the fact of having gone to bed at 3 am and needing a full nine hours sleep. Maybe I’m finally getting over the flu? In any case, it all added up to me feeling GOOD about myself. I went to the PO and mailed some shit. I came home and actually WORKED. Yes! I sent some emails and did some networking, reaching out to a handful of people I know to inquire if they need any freelance writing/editing help. I went for a jog, which happened to be about five miles. (An important fact to note is that I’ve been unable to jog for years due to minor injuries all over my legs and feet, which in turn made me think I’d never be able to run again, which in turn made me feel sad and frustrated and want to drink, which I did. Over and over.) I shaved. I exfoliated. I hard-boiled some eggs. See? The little things.
Moreover, I think it’s the feeling of actually maybe possibly making progress on my dream — the goal of which is to line up enough freelance clients, both technical and journalistic, such that I can work from home/ANYWHERE. (I know, sounds fab, and who wouldn’t want to oh, I dunno, write from an island?) To put these plans into motion, to ACT on them, to prove to myself that yes, I can do it, I am good enough (or at least as good as my colleagues) — it makes me feel like I got shit done today.
Which brings me to the question: After such a good day, and so little craving to drink, should I risk it and go out tonight to a bar with my friend? Ugh. I haven’t tried going out and not drinking for a long time, it seems; when I have, I’ve recently ALWAYS caved. It’s so easy to say, Oh, just one. Then, when you’re not feeling the one, Oh, just one more. And when two hits — cuz you’ve downed both in about 15 minutes — you can’t stop yourself from ordering number three and by that time, all you want to do is drink to blackout (at least that’s how it goes for me) as soon as humanly possible. And, let me tell you, my blackouts are consistently ALL BAD, ALL THE TIME. We’ll get to those in another post.
(Btw, I’m going to start time-stamping these on my own. Apparently, this design template doesn’t do that and it seems relevant to the concept of a drinking journal, since you always want to drink and you feel different about that fact as every minute passes, it seems.)