Tag Archives: socializing sober

You stop complaining

21 Aug

9:35 am

Last night, I went out. That in and of itself is a big deal. LOL. (Not really, I’m just kidding: I do go out, but it’s actually quite rare that I take time off from work at night–I just work through–to prioritize what I used to, which is socializing for “no good reason” other than it’s well, good for me.)

So, anyway, I was there, talking to drunk people–some more drunk than others–and one or two or three people really struck me as complainers. And I totally get it. I mean, on a deeper level, and maybe one that they don’t get…YET. Because they have not put in the “sober work.” I don’t mean to sound high-horse-y, but it strikes me as true that when you get sober, you stop finding excuses and you stop complaining. There are no problems, only solutions (Bob Marley, in all his “simplistic” lyricism, knew what was up.)

The fact is, complaining is pointless and takes energy. I mean, I used to complain a lot when I got drunk. I used to blow things out of proportion, care about shit that was no business of mine, and put effort into everything BUT what I should be putting effort into: me, and solving my so-called problems.

Last night, someone was drunkenly bitching about some random stranger having a 9-month-old out to dinner at 9 pm. I get it, it’s lame, but…what are you going to do? I was like, Why on EARTH would you care, let alone get riled up, about something you cannot change? Then I remembered, I used to do that all the time when I was drinking–and, when I wasn’t drinking, in the back of my mind.

It just becomes pointless–useless–to complain. IF there is an actual problem, why not solve it? IF you’re insulted by the situation, change it. Or, change your attitude toward it. The goal for me, I guess, has become to make things as simple as possible, at all times. To not care about things that I cannot change. To change what I can, and leave the rest. And, to see someone struggling with problems that are not his–and doing so in an emotional, confusing way, which is what happens when you get drunk–it struck me as tiring. Exhausting. A waste of time!

I cannot tell you how glad I am to be sober right now–not just not drinking, that is an afterthought. I cannot even really express how being sober has forced me to change this problem-seeking mindset/lifestyle I was living–into a solution-seeking one. There are so many big deals (the brother’s crazy girlfriend, ahem) and little things that went into it, but a little over two years later, I am glad to say, I don’t give a shit about what’s not mine (well, I try). And this is grand. Because this allows me to see clearly what I can and should and need to care about, and how I can actually change it. Or not. Either way, it doesn’t carry over into my Hemlock Grove-watching time, or my writing time, or my thinking time, or my pie-making time.

Obviously, there are people who have a complaining problem with our without booze, and there are MANY well-adjusted, empathetic folks out there who do not! I was just noticing the former group at last night’s shenanigans.

Well, hope all are well. Sobriety is HARD work, no external solutions allowed! But, it is so worth it when you can finally sit back and say, Wow, this happened. I think I’ll keep being sober.

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Top five things about not drinking on a Friday night

26 Apr

8:30 am

I like to make these lists, from time to time, as you may have noticed. And, there are SO many good things about not drinking at Friday night “happy” hour, that’s it’s going to be tough to pick just five.

I’ll preface this by saying, I am sitting on the couch, feeling and hearing the ocean off my deck, at 8:15 am–sure, I’m a bit tired because I didn’t get enough sleep last night, but it is WAY better than being hung over. And, I must say, I would be hung over even after a couple glasses of wine, I know it.

I also must say, I felt ill enough from sitting all day at a training-type event that I simply could not imagine drinking at the happy hour-thingie that someone in the group was planning (jones’ing) for–even if I was still drinking. A LOT of the times when I was living and working in “the city,” I felt so office-sick after my days, I had to come home, hit the gym to sweat/detox; and ONLY THEN was I able/ready to go out and consume my shit-ton of wine. Maybe that was what helped me do it for so long, I had some preemptive metabolic support (shit, I KNEW what I was doing, but I’ll leave that for another post titled, How to prepare and maintain your body for a high-functioning alcoholic lifestyle).

Another thing: I felt SO calm, and SO not tired in the training session. I was a student my entire life, and a good one, but I was either always anxious or always tired. I thought that was “just me.” It wasn’t, it was what I did to me. In high school and college I didn’t drink, but I would only “allow” myself about six hours sleep a night; in college, it was worse, with me struggling to keep up with my pre-med studies, probably getting no more than four hours a night during most of my first two years! In grad school, I was basically either always hung over or exhausted, or both, from staying up all night drinking.

Yesterday was different, and it changed the story I’ve been telling myself all my life about myself as I relate to school: I am not inherently anxious about my abilities. Either by 40 years old, I’ve changed, or, I was simply always tired or anxious because (at least in grad school) I was always and constantly hung over.

It was a great feeling, to be the one in control, finally. If ONLY I had realized just how fucking hard I was making it on myself in grad school–how would my experience have been different had I not boozed it up every single night? If I had turned to yoga to ease my intense anxiety (the program was brutal), instead of making it WORSE by drinking?

Anyway, top five reasons to NOT drink on a Friday night:

1. No hangover on Saturday morning!

2. Feeling freedom, which is ultimately mega-empowering: I was not jones’ing for a drink at 5 o’clock. I was not “looking forward” to it during lunch, or toward the end of the training session. There was not the least bit of “running in circles” in my mind, trying to figure out where and/or IF I would drink that night, how much, with whom, or worrying about “missing out” on some shit if I didn’t go out. NONE. What a blank, wonderfully calm slate it is, a mind that is not thinking about drinking during the day.

3. Being able to work out and de-stress and detox after a long day–for real, and not for fake with a drink. All I wanted to do after this session was work out, sweat, move my body. And, I did. And, drinking–even ONE drink, even in “moderation”–would have prevented that.

4. Staying on track/maintaining momentum–this has to do with not necessarily feeling “guilty” because I drank (I wouldn’t anyway), but this feeling I have had for a while, and that just KEEPS BUILDING the longer I don’t drink on Friday (or any other) night. It’s like, an integrity, a wholeness, a circle, not a fragmented line. Doing my body good. Counting on myself. Never getting stupid, or oversharing, or being indiscrete, or being a dumb fuck. It feels GOOD to have that…long-term thing going. A sense of personal best, or satisfaction, or something. It’s taken so much mental work, but: a feeling of finally being convinced that even one drink is actually NOT better than continued sobriety. Maybe it’s called, preserving grace?

5. Plans are intact–I guess this relates to being not hung over (but that’s more of a physical thing), or to being able to count on myself (but that’s more of a feeling thing). The weekend is here, and my plans are intact, and I still “don’t need” wine. I have everything I need, and I feel free. I have some writing to do, and my part-time job to do, and packing to do (for our mini-vacay on Monday and Tuesday), and all that will get done.

Top five. The pangs still come and go, and I did still (after almost two years) feel a bit…weird, being the “sober” girl at the “happy” hour last night, but…NOT ENOUGH TO GIVE UP MY SOBRIETY, or my Friday night. Not even close.

I get “this” because I’m sober

16 Feb

2:08 pm

Today marks one month to go until I’m one year sober. Holy crap! I never thought the day would come, and, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about drinking in moderation (what’s that?) again come March 18th.

Numerous thoughts rush through as I consider that possibility, and there are a few that stand out.

Why bother? I am actually consistently happy now, and I would by lying to myself if I said that drinking would add anything to an occasion or a situation. It’s an escape at best, an excuse at worst–that’s all it is, and maybe it simply took me 20 years to see what a sham alcohol actually is. Drinking would not add; it would only subtract. This I know to be fact; it’s been a long road to accept this fact into my stubborn brain.

Do I want to drink sometimes? Sure, of course. I miss the buzz, especially when I feel slightly down, which is a lot of the time; I’ve been meaning to get on the antidepressants thing. And, sometimes, when I let my “can’t drink, won’t drink” guard down, I’m appalled, in a way, at how far I still have to go. Case in point: Last night, I wanted to drink simply because I was getting ready to go out–which I rarely do, and now I know why–and just the act of getting ready to go out made me pine for a glass (or ten) of wine. And, a previous conversation about an old drinking buddy earlier in the afternoon had me thinking about all the bad that happened while drunk, and then, shockingly, a longing for that bad–that out-of-control-ness, that sickness–hit me. It was weird to witness my reactions like this, as strong as ever.

These pangs tell me that maybe I haven’t come to terms with things, I’ve just put them out of my mind. I mean, have I simply cut people from my drinking past out of my life, and instead, need to re-engage with them to “work shit out?” It’s so confusing, and my heart says, NO. But, my mind wonders, Well, IF, in fact, merely thinking about what went down between us–the shenanigans, as it were–is triggering an almost-uncontrollable urge to “just go out and get fucking tanked,” then, maybe I have a lot more work ahead of me than I thought?

I have “this”–why, as hilarious, wonderful Belle once said, would I want to go back to living in a sewer? I mean, lately, I’ve been seeing the FRUITS of my labor. These are big and small, a slap in the face or a gentle tap on the shoulder. The other day, I had a “wow” moment, as in pink SKY, not just pink cloud. It happened when I was walking the dogs, and I came to the crest of a hill–I must say, the views here are astounding, and I don’t take them for granted. Usually, though, maybe I do a little. Anyway, it just hit me and it was a shocking thought: I get “this.” I get THIS instead of that. And, for all you who were reading about my trials and tribulations in the cold, foggy city whence I came, you can understand why this is so much better than THAT.

I get THIS because I am sober. It really is that simple for me. Getting sober was instrumental in getting everything else that I have right now: I get to live here, where I am, with hot weather, and trees, and water, and sun. I get to live on an ocean. I get my boyfriend–friend, partner, someone who saw me through the horrible times, when I had zero idea that I even needed to be seen through. I get a blossoming freelance career–a second chance, in a way. I get to work a low-wage, part-time job, which is gloriously easy (showing up and just getting paid to exist isn’t as bad as I remember it being)–I get to work to live, and I get to appreciate this now. I know it won’t last forever, but it’s good for now. This is really good for now, I see.

That. What was that, that I was living? Just two years ago, I was, as Belle put it, living in a sewer. I was drinking constantly–I mean, I don’t think I truly sobered up for weeks if not months at a time, toward the end–and I had nothing that I have now. Worse, I didn’t believe I could have it–an actual freelance career, a boyfriend/partner, the ability to juggle a low-wage job and my overachiever’s mentality. The chance, every day, to plan exactly how I want to live it.

And, the best part is, I earned “this.” I have never been able to say, unequivocally, that I earned something. I must have, right? I’ve always thought of myself as a fraud–no matter how hard I thought I was working, I was still cutting corners.

With sobriety, I know I earned it. And, I’m really proud–like, all the time, every day. In fact, I feel pride for the first time in a long time. And, maybe it’s this sense of constant pride, day in and day out, that remaining in continuous sobriety brings? It builds, too, and you just keep feeling more and more pride, or constancy, or something like wholeness; it’s like, it settles into your bones and you finally start to believe that this isn’t a fluke, that you have the right to be proud again, to be whole, to exist.

Life is just starting to get easier, and introducing a desire to “fix” anything–a mood, a thought, a fight, whatever–with wine will complicate the “savannah of my mind.”

My relationships are better because I am learning how to have them as a self-respecting person, you know? I guess I was always acting, always trying to please–that made relating to the opposite sex, especially shady men who were more than willing to take advantage of that lack of self-awareness, particularly bad for me. And, I am learning to let go of things that don’t serve me–like, worrying about whether or not my brother’s girlfriend likes me anymore.

I see just how much I value my new self in being sober, in the very way that they (people from my drinking past, I suppose) are trying to relate to the old me. That old me? She’s gone. I’m here now. Relating to people who haven’t changed, or who can’t or won’t understand a new you–it becomes impossible. Either they adjust to the new you–to some, she is probably jarringly unfamiliar–or they don’t.

Anyway, I get this, and not that. And I earned it. And this is why drinking again–even for “fun”–might never be in my cards. What good, what “better” could it bring? The thing is, I needed almost two years of abstinence–and one full year of continuous sobriety–to get to this point, a point that I never imagined existed let alone believed I could reach. Slow learner? Maybe. Do I want to put in that kind of work again? Nope.

Four more weeks! And then…what? Waiting for Godot…

Am I a lurker in my sober life?

27 Dec

11:34 pm

What a week, eh? Ah, holidays. Ugh. Even with my 280-some days, I had MAJOR pangs, which was quite unexpected! Again, not necessarily pangs to drink, but pangs to avoid what I really didn’t want to feel, or acknowledge, or confront.

So, quickly, let me set the stage. My boyfriend and I went away for a few nights, and all in all, we had a great time. We’d been to where we went before, and so there was a level of familiarity–and nostalgia–to the place. Which played against me this time, as you’ll see. On Christmas Eve, he sprung something on me that I wasn’t comfortable doing–honestly, I’m not sure I would’ve been comfortable doing it drunk, let alone sober. However, while other people do everything sober and don’t think twice; not me, so cue the whirlwind of “should I/shouldn’t I” thoughts!

I was also feeling surprisingly lonely. I mean, lonely for family in the sense of connection, of belonging, of “protocol.” You know, how it’s nice to sit around once in a while with your big, dysfunctional family because, well, it makes you feel like you’re part of something larger than yourself? That there’s SOME sort of order to the Universe? Now, I’ve been “un”-celebrating holidays for a long time, spending many of them alone, or doing random things around the world, literally–it’s not like I’m all that big into Christianity OR family. Why the HELL I found myself wearing shades en route to the airport, having a hard time holding the tears back, I really don’t understand. I think it was the combination of feeling a sense of loss–my old self, my old way of doing things, the old me who could party and be independent–and a sense of finality–how much I’ve gained, how far I’ve come, how much I’ve grown.

It was in this state of mind that my boyfriend sprang “the thing” on me. I sort of moped my way through dinner, feeling inadequate in a way because I couldn’t (wouldn’t) do something just because it would have been easier to do with a “glass” of wine to take the edge off. And then, we went to a salsa club. Neither of us danced, and it was the worst feeling in the world–because I’ve been the one to Not Dance out of feeling awkward and like everyone is staring at me SO MANY TIMES. And, it brings up the worst sort of paranoia in me: that I’m unable to enjoy the way others do, that I’m unable–worse, unwilling–to have fun, to let go, to just be. That I can’t do so many things (that make me feel unsafe and self-conscious) without wine.

And, then, I said, Let’s wander around the bar. And my boyfriend was like, And, do what? If you want to be part of something, go and do it, but stop making not being able to drink an excuse for not having the guts to do it. (I’m paraphrasing.)

Hmm.

Am I, in fact, a lurker in my own life? Have I always been? Duh. YES. I mean, when I was drinking, I was alone and desperate for connection, but I was afraid to go out and get it. I’d watch other people, looking for clues as to how to have a life. How to LIVE a life. Ten years ago, I started to walk around the city I lived in at night, looking into lit-up living rooms, craning my neck to gaze deeper, feeling the chill in the air outside even more strongly because the inside looked so warm. I’d DRIVE the fuck around after midnight, passing clubs and bars that I used to frequent, hoping to find…something I had lost, I guess. I never went into those clubs or bars; I was alone, after all, and way too scared. But, I wanted to know that nothing was going on without me. That I hadn’t really lost anything. Or that, I wasn’t missing out on all that much.

Nothing has really changed, it seems, with me getting sober. For years, I drank and drank and drank, and that gave me the courage–or alternately, the excuse to pass on events–to go to things, bars, events, dates, to initiate conversations, to maintain relationships. I had to drink to do it, I was way too scared to do any of it sober. It wasn’t that I was always drunk, but, toward the end everything and everyone in my life involved wine.

It’s been a struggle, and I’ve been trying to be patient with myself. These days, it’s not that I can’t do it, it’s more that I don’t want to. I gave myself a pass for these past 18 months, but more and more, I’m finding myself craving connection. And I see that my “pass” has become an excuse to lurk, to hide out, to avoid contact, to basically give myself the excuse to not do things, socially and professionally.

And, I can’t come up with one thing other than that horrible four-letter word: fear.

I used to pride myself on being the one who was up for anything, on being fearless, on making shit happen. Maybe that was just another story I told myself, because I’ve always hated dancing in front of strangers, for instance, unless I’m drunk. I’ve had an infinite number of conversations with people in my lifetime, at bars, in cities, in colleges and travels, under blankets and in between sheets; but once I got sober, I didn’t want to anymore. I simply didn’t have it in me anymore. I chalked that up to needing to conserve my energy, to finally focusing on me, to being able to at last say, Fuck it, to the shit that I just didn’t want to do–since that “shit” was making me drink.

I keep telling myself that when the time is right, I’ll get back to doing what I used to do–all of which was WAY easier because I was fueled by “liquid courage.” Won’t I? Or, do I need to push myself?

Have I been hiding myself away from life? I think the answer is yes. It’s a very difficult truth to embrace, but…I think it’s time to cut the cord, dive in, jump off.

It sucked balls to have to confront, on Christmas Eve no less, some of the things that have been fucking STARING me in the face before, during, and now, after getting sober. That while I needed to stash myself away for a while and avoid the “real world” of socializing–meeting people, making friends, forming authentic relationships–I need something else now. Something like friends. Girlfriends. Warmth through conversation. A sense of belonging, even community, with others. What irks me the most is that I know this has always been a sore point with me, and I’ve always been afraid of it. It’s why I drank, to avoid having to do what makes me feel uncomfortable–fearful, basically. To put myself out there, for me, is to confront and embrace human interaction.

I’m glad I didn’t drink on Christmas Eve; even now, I see that it would’ve made things easier, and probably more fun. However, in exchange, I got to confront myself and get a little bit closer to my truth, to the real story, as it were.

On that note, I’ve got a cold, so it’s off to bed (at least it’s a “legitimate” excuse to stay home!).

I’m the one in control–weird

18 Dec

11:26 am

Last night, I went to our annual (well, two years and counting) Christmas party thrown by our “rich” friend–needless to say, there were lots of corks popping.

Firstly, I brought chilled sorrel tea, and it was my lifesaver! (I also had my boyfriend, who doesn’t drink; he smokes weed, but that’s not a big deal to me unless it becomes the focus of the event, which it wasn’t last night.) If anyone has ever tried sorrel tea, it looks just like wine or a mixed drink AND, it’s quite thirst-quenching–I didn’t miss a belly-full of wine, in other words. And, it gave me the opportunity to observe, pretending I was “one of them” without actually being one of them.

Everyone was drinking, of course. “Being festive,” but really, this is a drinking crowd, so the “festive” was more like “pretty damn drunk” for some. No one did or said anything wrong; in fact, everyone was a good drunk. However, I did get to watch it unfold as it usually does: first, you’re chatting, being polite and civil and a little tipsy; then comes what I like to call the shit-talk and secret drinking games. Like, well, talking shit and doing what appears to the sober folks in the room be strange things: having long, whispered conversations about nothing, or topics you’ll regret the next day; two people suddenly racing up the stairs, only to disappear for a half hour and then, tumble back into the room, flushed, giddy. Hilarious, right? So much fun, right?

Right. The biggest thing I noticed–and, it’s not the first time, which is why I’m blogging about it–is just how out of control drinking makes you. How vulnerable. I mean, obviously, I KNOW THIS, from my years of putting myself in ridiculous situations–jail and car crashes and blackout sex are an alcoholic’s version of vulnerable, but there is a gradient, and you become part of it even if you’re a “social drinker.”

Vulnerable in that, you have conversations where you talk too much or say things too loud, for the most part; I don’t have to mention sitting on laps and flirting with people in front of friends. Now, I come from years upon years of overexposing myself emotionally and physically while getting shitfaced; I’ve had enough, and so I LIKE being tight-lipped, controlled, only allowing you to see exactly what I want. Doesn’t mean I’m not aware of this or a dry drunk; it means I like being the one in control, the observer, able to go home knowing exactly what I said and did.

My main question right now is, why on earth would someone make themselves so vulnerable by drinking too much? All you do is make yourself vulnerable–to talking shit, to having conversations that you might regret the next day, wondering what you said because you don’t remember it and then feeling scared and frenetic because you’re not sure what you said and you’re not sure how drunk the other person was and if they’re going to think you’re a complete dumb-ass for rambling and over-sharing. Not to mention, all the other terribly-exposing shit that comes with drinking–flirting uncontrollably, showing too much interest or maybe interest that you’re not ready to share with your friends; telling people about your abusive childhood; revealing just how bitchy you are, or how insecure you are, or how generous and happy of a wobbly drunk you are.

Why would you do this to yourself? At the end of the day, no matter how alone I feel sometimes in sobriety, last night taught me that I SO prefer to feel a little bit on the “outside” than be exposing myself and making myself vulnerable in exchange for being part of the “secret club”–which is what happens between drinks, not because of them.

I’m feeling a bit grumpy lately, mainly because of this freelance life I live, but I’ll move past it and keep working. I have 275 days today–goal is 300, so I’m almost there! My “alcohol-free” beer experience the other day made me go, Hmmmmm: not only did I see that drinking might simply not do it for me anymore, but, it also sparked a curiosity about wine. Maybe just one glass?

I’ll put it on the back burner–no, back in the package in the freezer–for now, where it belongs. I’ve got work and holidays and shit to do, no time for thinking about stupid drinking!

Own your holiday

28 Nov

1:48 pm

Happy Thanksgiving, friends.

Needless to say–but I’ll say it anyway–I’m so very grateful to have found this community, and to be a part of it. Just last night, I was feeling low, wondering things like, What’s the point of being festive without wine? Silly, and almost ridiculous after nearly 18 months of getting sober (and on Day 255 today of continuous sobriety), isn’t it? Maybe not.

I got some great insight from so many of your blogs, but the main thing I took away was to simply own my holiday. So what, I didn’t feel like going out last night to the first party of the season? I accepted it (after feeling bad about not wanting to go), didn’t overly dwell on how it related or not to my being sober, and prepared for today: friends in town, a new dress, a green bean salad, and homemade sorrel tea (my beverage contribution to the dinner we’re going to). I mean, I have SO many things that I didn’t have, let’s say, two years ago, it’s almost funny. Come on, at least I HAVE a dinner to go to, a dress to wear, and a body to put it on that isn’t being dragged around by my big, hung over head full of self-hatred. Yeah, there’s that.

I don’t know, I guess just owning my holiday is how I’m going to approach this season. I own my fun, my desire to socialize or not, my choice as to how I perceive all the “should’s” that go along with the holidays. I GET to own it, is the thing; now that I’m sober, I have a choice in everything. I don’t have to do what I don’t want, or what seems fishy or makes me feel weird. When I was drinking, nothing ever really felt right–especially my choices. Now, it feels like getting to choose what really makes me feel OK is what I can’t wait for, not the wine that made this all impossible to see clearly.

I can’t wait to see my old friends at the airport today–for many, many years, it was me going to them, and I’m glad that someone is actually coming to me this year.

I can’t wait to eat a HUGE fucking feast, and not feel too full because of all the wine I drank.

I can’t wait to watch others–yeah, I’m still in that place, but hey, it helps–get drunk and be out of control, compelled to drink more; and have it NOT BE ME. I am in control of my choice, and I choose freedom. At least for tonight, and the rest of the weekend. Whew, isn’t that a relief, too, to already have made the decision to remain sober? Now, I have the luxury of worrying about other stuff, like *everything worth worrying about.*

I can’t wait to put on my new red dress, and I don’t know, appreciate the color, the feel, and the fact that it’ll look almost as pristine after going out as before. I can’t wait to be that girl in the red dress who doesn’t “over-share,” or get sloppy, or get sweaty-headed (you know, that red, sweaty look you get when you’re drinking?). For so many years, I worried about people judging me for being too uptight (I was, I am, I own this now; I am guarded, and shy-ish), and so I drank and the pendulum swung HUGELY back in the opposite direction. I can’t wait to be controlled, to be direct, to stare at someone who is drinking and not flinch, apologetically look away, or make excuses for not imbibing. You can be you, but I’m gonna be me, mmkay? Here. Solid. Steadfast. Sober. And, fucking FUN to talk to for once–because I can carry on a coherent conversation. Shit, I can’t wait to be the “mom” to your 13-year-old tween. HA!

I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow and not have taken the security elevator in a blackout, not to have vomited on the “vomit shirt” that I won, not to have said or done something horrible to a stranger, not to have a blurred recollection of the yummy food I just devoured, literally mindlessly.

I could go on, but you get the picture.

Own it, people.

Nostalgia, not cravings

1 Nov

11:12 pm

I wanted to drink last night. Why? I have this thing that says, I can’t go out and not drink. I can’t hang sober. And, most importantly, I can’t get my “sexy cop” or “sexy nurse” or “sexy unicorn” on WITHOUT WINE. I just can’t do it yet.

I felt sad last night, too. I felt sad that I wasn’t in the big city I used to live in, that I wasn’t dressing up like I used to, that I wasn’t going out to marvel at the bazillion costumes on the streets; that I was here, at home, not able to care, unwilling to even try to pull a costume together.

It wasn’t Wolfie, though, because I didn’t actually want to drink. (OK, maybe I did, but it wasn’t a huge craving.) I just wanted what I used to have, which always happened to include wine! The number of things that I no longer do that coincide with me no longer drinking–well, that’s the rub. I changed a LOT in getting sober, including my job, my location, my friends, and my relationship status. And, in getting sober itself, well, you guys know, you change everything within all those sub-categories! So, sometimes I can’t quite parse out what, exactly, I feel and need to focus on from the mess of thoughts.

No, it wasn’t Wolfie-boy. It was nostalgia. For what I had, and for what I now don’t have.

So, I spent the night feeling sad, and then pouted, and then just went to bed. But, you know what? I got a pumpkin today. And, I wasn’t hung over. And, it’s been a hugely productive past few weeks as a freelance writer. I feel like my renewed focus and enthusiasm to work has been building–and, the past week or so, it just sort of popped! For instance, it seems that all of the sudden, I am pitching, not caring what editors think about me (they don’t), have started having days when the story ideas just keep coming (or, rather, I’ve stopped killing them before they have the chance to bloom in my head).

In fact, Belle was right on about something changing around 8 to 10 months–it happened to me, too. Somewhere around 9 months, things just changed.

I guess I sort of stopped automatically linking wine with relief. Stopped wanting it whenever my energy flagged, or my mood swung, or an editor rejected me, or someone was following me too close in my car, or the sun went behind the clouds. I mean, I still do have thoughts of wine–especially when I am feeling nostalgic and I want what “was” and not what “is”–but I don’t really feel the pull anymore to drink when shit hits the fan. As I wrote on Lilly’s blog the other day, it’s almost like “drinking is not fun” has become a fact, one that is simply impossible to deny. Drinking is not fun–fact. I have other options, like going to bed, or sitting there with a grimace, or watching tv and sighing, or petting the dogs, or going for a 15-minute run and then coming back to my desk and NOT GIVING UP. This idea that drinking is the answer, this emotional pull–it’s gone. And I never thought it would happen, honestly. I thought I would have to battle this pull forever, however niggling. I still do have cravings, but the urge to drink as reaction seems to have disappeared. Bigger fish to fry, Wolfie-fuckhead. SEE YA!

On that note, I am going to go and carve my pumpkin now. Maybe I should give it a wolf’s face? Happy All Saints’ Day, friends!

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