I have an alcohol free apartment.
This fact amazes me.
I moved out of my parents home when I was 19 and I have NEVER had a booze free living space since then. EVER. Certainly there were times when I wasn’t drinking, or wasn’t drinking much, years when I drank normally (whatever that means) or would just bring it out at parties because I never drank alone. The fact remained it was always in my home, wherever my home was.
And now it’s not. I love it. The last memories of booze in my life are incredibly unpleasant, and leaving the house I lived in during those few years of the “real bad” drinking was kind of a relief. Those memories were left behind too, at least physically.
My new place has no drinking memories and hopefully never will. I’m not talking about others drinking here; I have no problem with that. People are free to, and have, brought wine over and drank it and took the leftovers (leftovers? jesus!) home. That feels so great. Sacred ground for me.
My house, however, had something that this apartment never will. It had Tom and the kid and our lives in it. Those memories. Sometimes I have to sit down, quickly, when I get hit by a wave of “Tom was never in this apartment”. The kid has been by, but he’ll never live here. Just me.
I wonder about the trade-off sometimes, alcohol free vs. old life free. I don’t know how to weight it, really. I suppose I can’t. It is obvious to me that if I could have a drink and that would bring Tom back there would be no question but that I would have it. I know it won’t, so the idea of it is silly. Either way I still have all the memories , the life and the drinking in the old house. I do not have that in this apartment though. No drinking and no life besides my own.
I wonder if it’s apparent that I am on death watch right now, living in the first weeks of January that you think would be easier by now and never are. They get me in new ways every year. This, here, is this years model. Tom has never been here, held no space on this apartment, didn’t love me and I him here. We weren’t alive together here. The idea has been cutting at me, little jabs when I least expect it. Songs on the radio while I am cooking or cleaning that stop me in my tracks. Oddly, new songs. Somehow they remind me of him, out of nowhere
I started to write a post about the freedom of an alcohol free home and it becomes a soggy new chapter in the grief log.
I don’t know.
I’ve been trying to stay very busy, but tonite I can’t get anything to work on my apple tv, not netflix, no HBO-Go…nothing to escape into. I’m doing another Whole 30, mainly for sugar, so I can’t get something chocolate to soothe me. I don’t want to meditate or listen to dharma talks, there was no available yoga class tonite…I know. I am being obstinate now, but I don’t care. No way out of the feelings.
Except this. Writing it out, however it comes out. This is a help. It makes the feelings concrete, tangible. When I push post they are not just in me but out in the world, in a free fall. I have no control over them except in the release, and writing and pushing send has become a big release for me, one I am very grateful for, even as I think it pretty self-obsessed and masturbatory. (I just like to use that word, whatever).
I have to spew, I think. I can’t keep all of this inside and, frankly, don’t really want to bore my friends with it. My dearest friends will read this and see that I am hitting my mark, working through the week and know it’s as it should be. They can’t help, no one can. I just have to do this work every year, over and over until….? Forever probably, until I die. It will continue to confound me and work on me differently each year.
As always, if he hadn’t lived it would be worse. To not have had him would be so, so much worse. I do have the memories and the winks and the feelings. Maybe not in this apartment, physically, but psychically .
Just to round it out….this is the third anniversary that I haven’t had to drink over these feelings. Not that I wouldn’t like to, but I know it won’t help. In the house I was haunted by it. Here, in this new space, in this sacred, alcohol free space? Not so much. I know better and the desire has all but disappeared.
I have that vibe to protect and intend to.
(I wrote this Saturday night and thought I posted it. Oh well….2 today, I guess)