GIRL. PSSST. YEAH, YOU. YOUR EARLY SOBRIETY IS SHOWING. AND IT’S OKAY.

I’m forgetting what has been happening lately so when I sit down to blog, I’m starting to draw a blank. Not because things aren’t happening. I think I’m just not being as observant of the progress I’m making as I once was. And I think the sober firsts were coming so fast and furious at the beginning that I almost ALWAYS had something to tell you whether you wanted to hear about it or not. Everything was shiny and new and impressive. YOU GUYS I’M MAKING LASAGNA AND I’M NOT GOING TO THROW UP ON IT! DO YOU LIKE MY APRON? *spin around* -or- GUESS WHAT?! I WATCHED A MOVIE LAST NIGHT AND I CAN ACTUALLY REMEMBER WHAT WAS EATING GILBERT GRAPE! BE PROUD OF ME! -or- I’M AT A GROCERY STORE SHOPPING AND I’M TALKING TO STRANGERS ABOUT HEIRLOOM TOMATOES, HUMIDITY, AND WENDY WILLIAMS! -or- I JUST POOPED NORMAL PEOPLE POOP! COME LOOK! IT’S SO CUTE!

I keep taking the lovely and amazing moments for granted, I think. Obviously not intentionally. But I have a few really fantastic and through the roof days of pure bliss and somehow I repeatedly make the very dangerous assumption that the happy days are here to stay. And then I wake up one morning with the soupy poopies, aches and pains, and a general feeling of malaise. WHAT. THE. FUCK? I was just on cloud nine. Where did this come from? How can I STILL be feeling bad. And I’m not stupid, you guys. I know all about PAWS and that the symptoms can persist for months and months. Even years. But when the intoxicating pink clouds roll in (and they are intoxicating), it’s very easy to forget that I’m not really well yet. It’s easy to falsely assume that maybe I’m different and that PAWS is over for me and that I’m one of the lucky ones and that somehow my recovery is better than your recovery and I fast forwarded somehow and EVERYTHING IS OKAY AND I’M READY FOR A FULL TIME JOB AT BETTY FORD. Then the sudden jolt of a random migraine, back pain, gloom and doom outlook and I’m right back in the thick of it. And I must confess that when I land back in the thick of it (which isn’t often), I do get a bit panicky and just like I assumed the good feelings would never fade, I also illogically worry that the bad feelings are now here to stay. But they never stay. And I always end up back on the other side. And cumulatively, the good days are by far outweighing the bad.

Last night, I was watching Gordon Ramsey tear off the heads of young cooks and shove them up their own asses on Masterchef. It was so beautiful. I’m fully aware that trash television can’t be good for me but it’s better than alcohol. Boyfriend got a text and said, “Oh God. Betty White and Richard Simmons are at the wine bar down the street and just texted to ask us if we want to come meet them.” I’m using fake names here to protect the identities of our friends and also to further the careers of two national treasures. “Well. I’m not going. Do you want to go?” I asked. “Not at all,” he replied. “You aren’t just saying that because I won’t go, right? Because you need to do what you need to do,” I said. “Nope. I don’t want to. But I don’t know what to say to them,” he lamented. “Just tell them no. That we are in for the night and thanks for the invite and maybe another time,” I concluded. So that’s what he told them. And although I really had no interest in going, I got a little frustrated that I’m not at a point where I can throw on a pair of pants and take a 2 minute walk to a bar to see a friend and sip a soda water. Actually, I know that if I really wanted to, I COULD do that. But I would be uncomfortable, distracted, bored, and wouldn’t have any fun. So aside from the obvious need to avoid alcohol, why would I put myself through that? I wouldn’t. And I didn’t. But I must say that I really do look forward to the day where I am comfortable visiting with someone regardless of where the meeting place happens to be. The fact that my early sobriety forces me to choose between myself and my friends sort of pisses me the fuck off. And it’s not like Betty White and Richard Simmons are big drinkers. I’ve never seen them drunk, really. They are sophisticates that sip one glass and eat fucking olives. So the fact that their location was a wine bar was merely arbitrary. But then I wondered what I would have done if Betty White and Richard Simmons sent the same text and asked if I wanted to meet them at the frozen yogurt shop. I WOULD HAVE STILL SAID NO. Because I’m old and it was almost 10PM and I’m not eating sugar and even thought I really truly love Betty and Richard, this was not an invite I had any desire to say YES to. Which led me to the very eye opening conclusion that my frustration with the situation was not over the fact that my sobriety limits what I can do with Bett and Rich. My frustration was over the pressure that I feel to PLEASE Bett and Rich and that I have genuine anxiety about how I will be perceived if I don’t show up. Am I a bad friend? Will I still be in Betty’s last will and testament? I mean, she’s loaded. I don’t want to blow that.

What are my motivations? Where are my loyalties? Why am I loyal? Am I loyal or am I actually just insecure?

Every single day I’m sober and do this very hard and sometimes exhausting work, I unearth new shit that needs dealing with. It can be somewhat stifling. But all I can do is continue being honest with myself and make sure that there is never a drink in my hand.

Ok. Enough whining. Who’s ready to sweat to the oldies?

 

 

15 comments

  1. Oh this is very uplifting to read & remember the early days because I felt thee same way!! Now mind you I’m not an old timer 3 yrs, but, these obsessions do go away and you CAN go eventually without feeling like you got shorted in life…keep it up my friend you are doing it! P.S. I look forward to reading this everyday 🙂

  2. Thank you for that post. Yesterday I had a golden day and forgot about PAWS and thought that I literally found the answer to life’s never ending questions. Then this morning I woke up feeling like I was a lost soldier at sea and maybe I should spend my time volunteering for kittens..but then I realized that would make me look more lonely so maybe “The 6 year hangover” will snap me back to reality…And you did. Thanks for that.

    1. See!? We’re doing this together! When people told me that one of the biggest keys to making this work was to reach out and be around other alcoholics, that was the LAST thing in the world I wanted to do. But we get one another. And if we want to drink, our serenity is just a phone call/blog read/text message away IF we are willing to put off the drink for just a few minutes to reach out instead. XO

  3. First of all, I f-ing LOVE Gordon Ramsey and MasterChef. Secondly, I can completely relate to feeling anxiety over people pleasing in the same type of scenario you described with Betty and Richard. I am newly sober on my 9 millionth attempt and this is exactly the thing that I find really challenging. You want to just cut out the alcohol and live the same life. Unfortunately, as we are both finding..it’s not that simple. It will come in its own time but right now we need to nurture our sobriety like it’s a fragile baby. Like the old adage says, Nothing changes if nothing changes. You have to protect your 2+ months at all costs and that means opting out of social situations that could be triggery or plain uncomfortable and saddening. It sucks at times but those pink clouds are just on the horizon. Even if they only stay for a few days..it’s better than starting all over again. We can never drink normally again..even if we wanted to. We are ruined in the knowledge that we are alcoholics. Even if we wanted to take back our self declaration…drinking would never be fun again. Thanks again for another amazing post.

  4. Yesterday your simple post helped me to survive another day and to get up this morning and decide that my motto is “Fuck You Alcohol No More” so today I say to you keep going with your good work, you are doing so well and I will have a lemonade (with ice) in your honour tonight 🙂

    1. WHOA. You just made me get all weepy. I can’t believe that telling my story can make things a little less painful for you. That’s amazing. Thank you for telling me that. I love you, too!

  5. I love your blog! I just gobble it up as soon as I see a new post. You have helped me to remain sober for almost 14 days. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes rough. You are inspiring, funny and are a great help to me. Thank you so much x

    1. So great! So glad you are here with me! Congrats on your 14 days. That’s a huge huge accomplishment. I hope you say hi from time to time and keep me up to date with how you’re doing on your journey. XO

  6. Love this post. It really helped me for you to make the connection that it wasn’t the sobriety it was that you just didn’t want to go. I am also a people pleaser and mixed with social anxiety fueled a bit of a alcoholic nature. Thank you

  7. I think this is a challenge for me too. I do think you should give your bf the freedom to participate if he wishes, and not turn down all invites because you are not ready yet. Someday perhaps you will be strong enough to. It is nice that he stayed home, just be sure not to restrict him and let that decision be his choice. This is tough, my spouse still goes to these types of things, but honestly at 10 pm he would not go out either. I feel like the sober thing is mine and i must own it for me.

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