I had a really rough last month. I was completely underwater with a work project, and I think I went at least three weeks with only one day off. It was hideous, but it is done now. I’m so relieved, and I can now take it a little easy going into the holidays.
I’m still sober, but I will tell you that I was pretty tempted to have a fishbowl-sized glass of wine after I finished my project. I didn’t do it, but, wow, was I was tempted! For like 5 minutes. The thing is that, generally, I am really not thinking much about drinking these days. Just a little bit, here and there. It is pretty comfortable for me right now, and I’m eyeing that one-year goal. So, even though I was all of a sudden feeling tempted, it wasn’t that hard to say “no.” And, of course, I’m glad I did. I may someday decide to experiment with booze again, or I may not. But right now, sobriety feels good, and I’m going with it. And, at 128 days, this is the longest I have ever gone without a drink as an adult outside of pregnancy.
One of the nicest things about not drinking is how I know I can be there for my daughter if she needs me. Another blogger posted the other day on this topic, and it made me start thinking about my own mom. My mom was a big wine drinker who considers herself an alcoholic and got sober (with AA) when I was around my daughter’s age. Like me, she wasn’t a black-out drunk, and she always went to work and paid the bills on time. And, she was actually always there for me when I needed her. BUT there were some choices she made (mostly around relationships) that weren’t great for me. And I ended up choosing to live with my dad and my stepmom after one particularly unstable year.
I think she controlled her drinking around me most of the time because I don’t have many memories of her drunk, but there is one incident that I remember from my early childhood where she was enraged and ended up spanking me, the only time she ever did. She must have been drunk that night. It is the only thing that makes sense to me to explain why she behaved that way that night. This incident was completely out of character for her, and obviously it made a big impression on me since I remember it all of these years later.
I have never hit my daughter in anger, but there were many nights when I was very drunk in front of her. She was always fed, always in bed on time, always read to, but I can’t help but think that she must have, on some deep level, known that I wasn’t 100% capable of taking care of her during those times. I feel a lot of regret about that. Obviously, I’m glad I’m not doing that any more. Even more than that, though, sobriety leads to being fully present with her much more often. Which is amazing.
I’m really looking forward to my sober Christmas this year, with a cozy mug of something yummy, snuggly in pajamas, and lots of love.
With much love and support to all of you!
Ms. New Leaf (AKA Leafy)