First Whole Day of ZERO Booze
I woke up this morning when my alarm went off at 6:30am. I didn’t feel bad. (body wise, or mentally) This is saying something for me. Over the past 10 years that I have been slowly poisoning myself with alcohol I have grown considerably USE to waking up feeling like crap. Dry, terrible taste in my mouth, sluggish, head reeling and still dizzy from the night before. Not to mention the absolute feeling of “Ugh! I SOOO DONT WANT TO DO THIS DAY!” Over time I also started to notice that my hangovers began to be accompanied by terrible anxiety. A jittery feeling under my skin, that I can only assume happened due to my nervous system trying to shake off the sedative of the alcohol. This anxiety would last for hours. Sometimes days depending on how much I had to drink the night before. The anxiety started leading me into a depression. I see that now. But you know, it’s been such a slow slow process that I really never realized that alcohol could be contributing, or causing these problems for me. As I look back on the person I use to be. The person I was before I made alcohol one of my best freaking friends. I remember having no idea what a panic attack or depression was. I remember having energy and passion for things. I remember being able to focus and take interest.
I think long time alcohol abuse is similar to the technique used to boil a frog in a pot. If you place a frog in a pot of cold water, and then put the pot on the stove and begin to slowly heat the water, the frog will stay in the water unaware of the climate change. Slowly boiling alive. I think alcohol does the same thing to us. It slowly begins to break us down. Take our soul from us. Deplete our bodies and change our brains. It’s such a powerful poison it has the potential to turn ourselves against ourselves.
A few weeks back I told myself I was going to “cut back” on my alcohol consumption. I set stipulations such as, I wont drink alone. I won’t binge. I’ll only drink on the weekends blah blah. After my little episode yesterday it is very clear to me that I simply am better off if I just stay away from alcohol all together. That one drink is so sweet that one is simply never enough. Today has been my first full day of absolutely no alcohol since making my commitment to stop. The day has been pretty easy. Mainly because I had a lot of things to do today. Things that I would normally put off doing because I “didn’t feel good” *wink* or got a little carried away with practicing “hair of the dog”. Keep in mind I would never drink and drive mind you. No matter how tanked I have ever been that is something I simply wont do. Drinking for me means…staying home.
This evening, however, I had dinner at my parents house with my two small children. (Very hyper 2 and 5 year old little girls).My parents ALWAYS have alcohol around, and are ALWAYS drinking. Their usual routine is to come home from work, and drink until it is time to sleep. They are incredibly hospital people, and seem to associate alcohol with comfort and being social. With my kids running rampant, and my parents becoming more…shall we say…um relaxed..I begin to think about sneaking a “sip”. I try to push the thought out of my mind, but it’s a stubborn bastard and wont go anywhere. After about 20 minutes of trying to tell myself that ONE glass of wine wont hurt anything I ask myself. Why have I all of a sudden wanted a drink? Haven’t I been on a roll by NOT drinking today? That bottle of bourbon is still in the cabinet after all and I have been strong in not needing that. I suddenly realize that my breathing feels labored, and there is this uncomfortable tightness in my chest. I realize I wanted to drink because I was becoming INCREDIBLY annoyed. I wanted to drink my rambunctious children into the background. I wanted to drink to slow down my brain to where my parents were, so the conversations would start making more sense. I wanted to drink to feel comfortable.
I took a breath. I took a deep breath. I walked away. It took quite a while for the feeling to go away I’m not going to lie. But for the second time in two days I have said NO. And while controlling my urge for alcohol at the time I want it feels like absolute HELL…I can’t explain the feeling of satisfaction I experience after turning it down. I would LOVE to sit here and say that I KNOW I won’t drink tomorrow. But I can’t because I don’t. This drug is a very powerful one, and the addiction is even stronger. I can not see into the future but I do know this much, I will take it one second at a time. I am more driven than I have ever been and some how typing into this journal makes the processes seem a little more important. Like maybe if anyone is actually reading this, they feel the same way. Maybe they can derive some form of strength through my situation.