God I’m sounding like a skipping CD (that’s just like a broken record but so much less cliche and more now) about the drinking aren’t I? Whatever. Sobriety wasn’t just a summer phase y’all. It’s still a primary focus, if you can focus on “not doing something.” The thing is, when you stop drinking life doesn’t just automatically stop being a pain in the ass and when life is a pain in the ass, that would normally be cause for copious amounts of alcohol consumption.
Just last night Sadie decided that the thing she absolutely did not want to do was go to bed. The night before she decided the exact same thing and then cried until she puked just to hammer the message home and to be sure that we would not let her cry the next time. Sadie is a master manipulator which you kind of have to respect. Most two-year-olds can’t puke on command. So when she was in hysterics last night I had to just lie still on Lulu the Lamb pretending to be falling asleep. I was trying to set a good example of what she should be doing.
She wasn’t getting it at all. While she screamed and I remained motionless, a lot of unwanted thoughts zipped through my brain. I’m not proud of 90% of them. The main thing I thought about was how badly I wanted a Xanax. I was feeling sorry for myself because I hadn’t been getting a lot of sleep due to Sadie’s new love of the nightlife and Mattie’s winter cold and blah blah blah it’s always something right? So I really really wanted a Xanax. But to be honest, I wanted three. Come on, have you ever had one Xanax? One Xanax would be like one cookie – pointless. One measly Xanax is not even medicinal. But three…three seemed like just the thing to unclench my jaw and make life seem workable.
I’m not allowed to have Xanax, obviously.
I figured that I could ask Jon really super nicely to tell me where the Xanax is that I made him take and hide. I could say, “I am so very anxious right now and I believe that it is a medical emergency that I take a Xanax so can you kindly point the way to the stash?” And maybe he would.
But if he did then I would not “officially” be sober. Okay I wouldn’t be “unofficially” sober either if you’re going to be a substance abuse nazi about it. But I was pissed. Pissed that because I’ve decided that I’m going to be this present person who doesn’t numb out with drugs or alcohol that I’ve now closed the door on EVER FEELING FUCKING GOOD AGAIN. That’s what was happeing in my brain in the moment and I didn’t think I would ever feel anything different.
I was also angry at my daughter for not wanting to sleep therefore refusing to give me a break FOR NO REASON that I could ascertain. “You’re not even sick!” I thought to myself while glaring at her with my eyes closed. “Mattie has a goddamned cold and she’s fast asleep! Go to sleep!” But Sadie was purposely ignoring my thoughts. While she was deep in the throes of her fit, I repeated a plea for peace in my brain over and over like a mantra. I felt absurd and not unlike Stuart Smalley.
Also there was the matter of an ahi tuna salad that Jon had brought home for me (because he’s lovely) to eat for dinner and it was just sitting on the coffee table mocking me with its deliciousness and I was hungry! And mad. Did I mention mad?
So this sounds like it would end with Sadie going to sleep, me coming out victorious and munching my salad enveloped in the love of my family and the warm fuzzies of sobriety right? Uh, have you met my family? No such luck. Sadie continued screaming until I gave up and took her and Matilda who can’t sleep on her own out into the living room.
Twenty minutes later Jon took a stab at the whole process and he luckily had success. Sadie is a bigtime daddy’s girl. By this time, the Xanax craving had passed and I realized how cunning addiction is. People who aren’t alchies and addicts don’t give drugs and alcohol nearly that much thought; the having or the not having is not a focus.
From what I hear around the way, this is all normal.
I am still getting so many emails from women struggling with getting sober. Here’s what I’m thinking: If you are in need of a little support, why not leave your email address in my comments and ask for help? A lot of sober women have been reading this blog lately and I know they’d love to email you and offer some words of encouragement. If you just want to check in and say how many days sober you have, let’s do that every Friday! It’ll be my new thing.
Regular comments are also always read and appreciated to no end.