Once again, burying myself in the fog of a heavy buzz has become my nightly routine. Then clearing the empty wine bottle from the kitchen counter every morning while silently admonishing myself for drinking again instead of attending to my anxiety-inducing mountain of responsibilities, is how I start the morning. Not the way to start, or end, a day. I am having major surgery in a few days. I know that will mean no drinking for at least a couple of weeks. I am hoping that will jump start me back to a mostly, if not completely, sober life. I need to confront all the things I have been hiding from. I deserve better for myself. So back on the wagon I go.
Well, that was a bust. My usual bust I guess. I can go a few days sober and then I fall right back into my evening bottle habit.
I am trying to piece together the whys of this cycle. I know I will be better without alcohol. So what is holding me back? I want this. Don’t I? Frankly it is scary. Really, really, scary for me.
I know one fear I have is the “Never again” fear.
That I will never again share a fancy cocktail with my adult daughters or friends at a trendy cocktail lounge.
That I will never again be able to enjoy a glass of wine with a nice dinner.
That I will never again sit on a balcony watching the sun set with a glass of wine (how I love doing this!!).
That I will never again have an alcoholic drink as the primer and buffer that makes socializing bearable for me. This is a biggie. I am awkward and awful in social situations. If I know people I am fine, but crowds and strangers – I am hopeless. Alcohol helps me relax enough to participate at least minimally.
That I won’t be able to use it to calm my anxiety and OCD when my house is dirty and messy. (and it is always dirty and messy, so this one really sucks)
That I won’t have it to calm my anxiety about having my first real, salaried job at 50 and if I can keep up with work and school. (school is required for work for another year until my certification is complete)
Then there is the other big one. The super big one.
That I will never again be able to use it to block out the things I don’t want to address in my personal life.
And there it is. That is the big one.
My drinking got out of control when things started spiraling out of control in my marriage. I am a person who avoids confrontation. Alcohol lets me relax and not think about the things that are upsetting me.
I don’t have to think about my husband lying about having a Purple Heart.
I don’t have to think about my husband lying about being diagnosed with cancer.
I don’t have to think about my husband lying about how he lost his job.
I don’t have to think about how I didn’t even know these were lies for years and what a fool that makes me feel like.
I don’t have to think about my husband threatening to kill himself.
I don’t have to think about my husband lying and getting my car repossessed.
I don’t have to think about my husband lying, stealing from his work, and getting arrested.
I don’t have to think about how my husband lied to me about having a job, had me get up early for weeks and drive him to the job, and there was no job.
I don’t have to think about all of the other things that have happened.
When I drink, I can stop worrying, for just a little bit, if another “surprise” is about to drop and the rug will be pulled out from under us yet again.
People may wonder what part I have had in all the mess that is my marriage. I was definitely too trusting. I let him control all our finances. I stayed at home with our kids when they were little and didn’t develop any job skills. I was passive. I wanted to let someone else be in control. I just didn’t realize I had chosen the wrong person for that. I have started to fix those things, but it is hard. I can say I have never lied to my husband about anything important (Nothing more serious than claiming I did not know what happened to the leftover cookie dough) or cheated.
So I am going to start this again. I am going to look for some meetings or therapy. I checked on AA meetings once and the ones in my area all looked SUPER religious (not surprising, I am in the Bible Belt) which put me off. I am also going to join a yoga studio. Maybe going to yoga will keep me busy in the evenings. We will see. I have to try something.