So let me introduce you all to Jane. She’s a newish friend of mine. Lets just say I met her around the same time that I quit drinking. I absolutely love her because she’s warm, honest, loving and lovely -and she inspires me everyday. She’s here to share a little of her story with you so that you can see that we drinkers are EVERYONE. Please leave your Friday comments here so that we can continue to lend one another support and also, please please visit Sweet Jane’s blog at Lights! Camera! Diapers!
I get why people drink, I sure do. This life can be ass-kickin’ hard time filled with constant constantcy of the constant angst. Constant to-do. Constant brain-chatter. Constant noise. Expectations and desire and you know, the missing pieces that we just keep reaching, striving and wanting. And I found that a little drinkee-poo was a nice filler, take-the-edge-off-er and all around salve for what just ain’t right.
I didn’t drink all the time. I wasn’t an every day type of a gal. I was a once-in-a-while-but-you-better-be-ready-to-duck kinda drinker. Do you know this type? Yeah, a FUN drunk.
You know, the girl you want to get drunk with. The one who wouldn’t make you feel bad because she stops after two. And maybe you’re done after four but oops, she might not be. And then you watch her slide into that slippery too-much place and that makes you feel a bit superior as she stumbles around slowly disintegrating. Or maybe you don’t notice that she’s out of her mind because she’s carrying on a perfectly lovely conversation about world religions and why Top Chef is such great television or how Europe is generally a better place because they don’t pasteurize the crap out of their dairy, but that doesn’t mean she’ll remember it. Oh, no, probably not. So please don’t embarrass her by talking about last nights conversation in mixed company, she’ll blush and look around wildly while biting her lip.
Boy it’s nice talking about myself in the third person, it’s feels a little less threatening to share at this level.
But let me just say this: For me, continuing to drink meant I could not be authentic.
And it was dangerous. It was Russian roulette with a loaded bottle pointed at my existence and the possibility of oh you know, a drunken foot on a gas petal. Or a drunken, harmful monologue to my fantastic husband. Or a lost friend due to some random moment that she hates me for but gosh if I can’t remember. I was tired of the excuse that alcohol gave me, as nice as it was…I was missing the good by running from the bad.
And I wasn’t getting pregnant either. In fact, this was the pattern:
1) Drink ‘normally’ for two weeks. (And by normal I mean sometimes one drink, sometimes eight…who knew?)
2) Then try to make the baby. Not drink for two weeks.
3) Find out not-so-much pregnant, drink heavily.
4) Rinse and repeat.
Then there was the pregnancy that lasted eight weeks. When that sweet feeling ended at the OB’s office with an empty womb a few days before Christmas three years ago, I thought it was an excellent reason to drink. Kinda was. Trouble is, you can drink your feelings away and even have some cool professional success and really alot of goodness can go down along with the champagne and excellent wine that you got at that fancy wine shop. But. Then you become Paul Giamatti’s character in Sideways all talking about the strawberry and asparagus in the wine but ultimately you are totally full of shit and like Miles in the movie. Because the escape hatch of wine was keeping you from your truth and your own personal brand of magic.
Ah I did it again, did you see that? Snuck it back out of first person. Sneaky little drunk. But, here’s the thing. Since I come from a long line of boozehounds, I happen to know that my body is seriously allergic to the stuff. If you’re like me you’ll know you’re allergic too because you black the eff out after as little as one drink. If you’re like me you know you can’t drink because you can’t trust yourself with booze. And if you are trying to control it, chances are, you might be like me.
I was lucky. No DUI, no jail, didn’t lose my husband or my house but I was losing little bits of my soul with every drink. Was it luck? Or smarts? I dunno. I just feel lucky to have chosen a different path. And I didn’t need a court order to realize that help would be um, helpful. So I got it. And despite all of my previous thinking, it’s been pretty fawking great. I’ve met extraordinary women who inspire and amaze me. I’ve learned so much about myself and how to safely unravel the darkness in search of some gems. Life is getting better all the time. Sure it sounds kinda cheesy but it is cheesy and true. My best, brightest hope for anyone struggling with this crappy, frustrating, physical addiction is that you too find some help. Get help and kick this hell and noise called booze to the curb.
Oh and by the way, I did finally get pregnant. Three months after I stopped drinking. He’s now eight months old and a little blessing that life gifted me when I got brave and dove back into said life. And it’s pretty magical.
Thanks to Stefanie for letting me bend your ear up here, it’s a privilege and an honor. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!