When, oh when will I feel less exhausted?! It made sense in the first couple of weeks, but I thought that by Day 29 (cue the fanfare!) I would be feeling 10 million times more energetic.
Everything has been pretty low-key on my end. The days are flying by and I haven’t had much in the way of cravings, until last night. My best lady friend and I had plans to run after work and I sent her a message as I left work to confirm. Turns out, she’d had a stressful day and her response was, “I’m sorry! I think I need a glass of wine instead!”
It was a normal quip, made by a normal drinker on an abnormal day.
Here are some more examples:
- Boy, do I need a drink!
- I finished my project! Time for Happy Hour!
- Ugh. Most. Stressful. Day. Ever. I need a beer.
- It’s 5:00 somewhere!
And then there is my brain. My brain who craves the drink, who is selfish and thirsty and never shuts up.
Absurd quips, made by an abnormal drinker on any given day.
- Well, you weren’t planning on drinking tonight since you’ve been hungover all day, but, you made it through this shitty day so what’s one drink to celebrate? [of course, one drink equates to one bottle]
- Husband is going to be out all evening? I’ll have enough time for a whole bottle of wine and then some! Plus, I can be in bed before he gets home so he won’t even know I’m drunk.
- I have to meet everyone at the bowling alley in an hour, so I’ll have a couple shots of whiskey right now. That way, I will save money not buying drinks at the alley. [proceed to buy numerous drinks at the bowling alley, duh]
- I should probably drink all of the wine in the house so that I am not tempted to drink it tomorrow.
“I’m sorry! I think I need a glass of wine instead!”
It kept playing over and over in my head. I imagined meeting up with her, bottle of wine in tow, just like so many other evenings. Ceremoniously uncorking it and pouring two tall glasses. Sitting on the couch and discussing the days events, letting wine’s warm embrace embellish the accounts.
If I am being honest here, and by golly I am, I really miss it. I miss the ritual of it all. I miss feeling tipsy with friends, and laughing too loudly and watching bad movies. Some days drinking really wasn’t a problem. Sometimes, I drank like a normal person and had fun and wasn’t hungover the next day and everything was flowers and candy and unicorns.
I know I can do all of those things without alcohol. I have done those things without alcohol, but when my best friend has a rough day and wants to bitch about it over wine – what’s the substitute?
We ended up going for a really long walk. I was able to listen to her without thinking about where or when we were going to drink. It was refreshing, but the rest of my evening felt a little off.
Some days my inner monologue is, “Yahoo! Go get ’em! Sober forever!” and then in a matter of hours (sometimes minutes) it tumbles downward to, “What are you doing? This has gone on long enough. You’re never going to have fun like that again! You are missing out on so much.” The whole process terrifies and exhausts me. I don’t want to fight with myself forever.
I’m treating myself with kid gloves today. Extra coffee, a nail-painting date with my favorite Netflix drama tonight, and a strawberry banana smoothie (possibly even for dinner). I can’t go back. I know that. Yes, sometimes I drank normally, but most of the time I didn’t.
So, I will mourn the loss of those handful of times I was able to drink normally. I will grieve for my past numbness. I will cry and get angry that I can’t celebrate or cope the way I used to. And then I will move on. I will celebrate the abundance of days to come where I am not thinking about wine. I will look forward to a future filled with actual memories, and not hazy recollections, and I will be ready for the day when, “I’m sorry! I think I need a glass of wine instead!” doesn’t throw me for a loop.