The Research Phase

I am one of those people who either researches the hell out of something or I dive in blind and reckless. There is no middle ground. I don’t know what propels my reckless, blind dives. I don’t know why saying yes to marrying a man I barely knew was something I could do without thinking, but getting sober is requiring PhD level research and planning. Whatever the cause, right now, I am in what I will refer to as The Research Phase of my sobriety.

So far my “Reasearch Phase” phase has consisted of binge listening to sobriety memoirs on Audible and taking numerous on-line questionnaires about my drinking and even googling AA meetings in my area. Which- btw – in my particular little part of the Bible Belt, they all had a definitely Christian bent that I makes me think I would not be welcome as a liberal agnostic at best. Of course at this moment I am typing, listening to I’m not even sure I can call myself an alcoholic. I definitely could have taken on that mantle at one point in my life, but now? I’m not so sure.

So I listen to these “sobriety memoirs”. I just finished We are the Luckiest, by Laura McKowen and I am currently listening to The Sober Diaries by Claire Pooley. I have ordered Drink by Ann Dowsett Johnston in book form because, well, it just struck me as a read, rather than a listen. I notice as I look through lists of sobriety memoirs, they are all written by women who had incredibly impressive jobs and backgrounds. They have six figure salaries, high-powered positions in big cities, impressive educations, endless social lives, and tend to be younger than me by a good bit. They are difficult for me to connect with. I barely have a social life. I have difficulty making friends. I am 50 and I have been a mom for most of my life. I just got my first salaried job of my life this year. I am still in school getting my Master’s degree. So, while they are a good listen and I occasionally find myself relating to what they are saying, I wonder where my story fits in all this.

My First Blog Post

Where are the ones like me?

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

I am writing this to help me explore my quest toward sobriety, however it may develop. As I write this I have spent the last few days cleaning house, folding laundry, making food, listening to Audible versions of sobriety memoirs, all while drinking glasses of red wine. I admit, I feel a bit guilty listening to the struggles of others to get sober while sipping vino. But frankly, I’m having a hard time relating to these posh women with their 6 figure high-profile careers in big cities. I love hearing their stories, but I don’t relate to their stories the way I want to. I want to find people who are more like me. The quiet ones. The ones with normal, everyday lives. The ones who were once so much worse, but still, though better are not ok.

Hi. Meet me.

Hi, My name is Mila and I’m not ready say I am an alcoholic.

I’m not ready because I don’t know if that is what I am. I am certainly someone with a long and complicated relationship with alcohol, but an alcoholic? That doesn’t seem to fit.

So here I am. A middle aged lady, writing a blog, trying to figure out her relationship with alcohol and sobriety, and life.

Why am I writing here? Because I can. Because writing helps me clear my head and order things in my mind. Why not a journal, I’ve tried and failed at that. Plus it is so much easier to clean up a blog post.

My life is messy. It has always been messy. I have never figured out the art of a beautiful life, though I have tried. I know that alcohol is adding to the messy. I know I am using it to ignore things I should be taking care of.