Missed a day.
Oh well, progress not perfection, right?
And I am getting busier, need to be packing not writing, life is waiting, or rather barreling ahead with or without me, whether I post or not.
But I did want to write little about something that happened today, something that doesn’t happen often, thankfully, but still does and certainly always will.
Today, driving home from the wedding I worked, I wanted to drink. Really, it sounded so good. So wonderful to stop, grab a bottle of wine so that when I got home I could have a glass with dinner and maybe a glass as I packed.
Right away you can see how this couldn’t possibly work, right? A glass at dinner, A glass, maybe (MAYBE??) as I started packing some boxes. That’s the first lie that my head tells me…2 drinks. I haven’t had 2 drinks in years, years. If I had one, there would be no stopping me. That is the truth that I have learned to counter that lie.
My head was also saying I deserved it. It’s a hard time for me, a little wine might ease that pain a little, relieve the stress.
Uh-huh. That’s a big lie because at the end of my drinking it didn’t matter how much I drank, I could not relive the pain or stress. It had stopped working. That little “click” that used to fix Brick in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof and that used to fix me, had stopped happening. I could drink all night and nothing would change; really, how could it? Drinking was my solution to the problems, that click, that escape… and that is no solution. That just prolongs the pain and the problems, right? I know that now but didn’t really then, until it stopped working. Then it was amazingly clear to me that I was, oh, Fucked! Deeply fucked. More truth to remember, sometimes in the same thought as the “I want to drink” thought…it won’t help, it won’t work.
Today it wasn’t all one thought, one of those really fast and correctable cravings. I really wanted a drink and really thought about how I could possibly make that happen. When that happens I have to check myself out…there is an AA acronym that serves me well. HALT. I ask myself am I Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired? Today I was really hungry, feeling very sorry for myself in a lonely way and tired. I was out late last night and up early and working today. I also had to miss my weekly women’s meeting because of the wedding, so that threw me off too. What else was going on? Well, going home to tackle some packing. Spending the afternoon seeing some peripheral people in my life and talking about the move. Feelings, many feelings. I find that when I have too many feelings I want a drink, especially the sad feelings, or painful ones, though I have been known to have a fleeting thought run through at some good news too. But it’s not the same….fleeting thoughts were not with me today. It was stronger, and that means, always, a “bad” feeling. I am trying to not label my feelings good or bad, and just accept and move through them in the moment. I do that pretty well but it’s not always easy. In those harder moments I have to do what Pema Chodron suggests and “lean into the sword”…allow those feelings to come up, be what they are and pass through me.
I lean into the sword when I want a drink. It’s a feeling, and I let it pass through me. I do not act on those feelings because if I did the “one woman party from hell” would begin and I would be really fucked.
So I lean in, write, eat (that helped a LOT!), call my sponsor (who happens to be out of town and who I haven’t talked to in a week…probably add that to my HALT list!), I ask others for help. I get to a meeting, even though I have work to do (there is a one hour speaker meeting right around the corner at 7pm..I will be there!), I ask the universe for assistance in making a better decision for myself than a drink. I de-romanticise that drink, think through it, following it through from the lovely pop of the cork to 2 bottles later passed out with nothing done. I read messages on the FB group I belong too and know others feel this way, that I am not alone. There is a passage in The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous about acceptance (page 417)that always helps me, so I read that.
All of this helps me let the idea of a drink go for another day. These are called tools, and there are many more. I learned them in AA meetings. Maybe there are other places to learn these things, I don’t know. I only know what works for me and I am grateful for it.
I didn’t drink by the way. I hope that doesn’t surprise you, I hope you knew I wouldn’t. That would mean that you understand that when I get up in the morning I make the choice to NOT drink that day. And I stick to it. Like a dear friend of mine says “tomorrow I can get all fucked up”…all bets are off tomorrow, until I make that choice, again.
All the work, except for the meeting is done, and another calamity has appeared…..I was filling the pool and I can’t get the water to turn off!
I don’t even want a drink, but damn, I’d kill for a plumber!