I had a meeting about a music thing tonight. We were supposed to meet in the town we usually play in. The town where much of my damage has been done. I had MAJOR anxiety about going there. Envisioning the drive had me all worked up. It was so weird. We were going to meet at someone’s house. Not at a bar. Still, I had to listen to my feelings. Blech. Feelings.
Thankfully, my friends and counterparts are kind and supportive people who met me at a diner closer to my house. I’m very lucky. I explained the situation even though I can’t really explain it and they understood. No questions asked.
The good news is that it was very productive. It was nice to see my friends and I didn’t feel weird at all. Same stupid jokes. Easy conversation. Thank GOD. Thinking about it now, I was probably nervous about interacting without booze. Wondering if I could do it. If I’d be able to converse. Lo and behold, I was.
I went to a women’s meeting tonight. I wasn’t as comfortable at this one. Possibly because of my building anxiety about my music meeting. I was a bit distracted. I saw a few friendly faces and got a couple of hugs.
I don’t like to talk about this much but I have this mom complex. I have a mom, thankfully, and she is a loving person, but we do not really understand one another. We are very different and our relationship is complicated. It was very contentious in my teens and early twenties and while we get along well now, I’m not sure it fully healed. There’s been this barrier between us since I was a teenager that keeps us from being close. Too much static in the connection. I feel I did not meet her expectations – I’m not Catholic enough (at all); I’m not a good housekeeper (I have a good job); I am not home enough (pursuing my passion in the hopes that that inspires my kid); I don’t decorate my house (I hate frilly curtains but I love piles of books and yarn and art supplies); I don’t really cook or bake; I have strong opinions that I don’t mind voicing; and I mentioned the church thing, right? I have never really let my guard down. I’m generally proud of who I am, but I’m not sure if she is.
Anyway, not to delve too much into this because I don’t want to sound ungrateful or be hurtful… but having older women accept me warmly when I’m in such an honest state has been very meaningful to me.
I may delete that part later but it needed to come out for a minute.
I’ve never gotten this far. This is kind of crazy. In 20 years. I’ve drank through the flu; bronchitis; viruses. Sure, I’d go a day or two maybe if I was vomiting. But that’s about it.
Let’s play with some math. Let’s say I got sick 3 times in a year. We’ll call it 2 days without alcohol. I’ll subtract 270 days for 9 months of pregnancy. That’s 120 days out of 7030 that I didn’t drink. That is… 1.7% of 20 years. I did not drink on 1.7% of the days in 20 years. Holy fucking shit. Sure, I’m probably forgetting about a couple days here and there but that will take me up to what – 2%? 3%? Even 5% is fucking problematic.
Anyway. I went to another women’s meeting last night and that’s the way to go for me. I saw some familiar faces and met more nice women. I have another at 5pm today. I’m still feeling a bit raw and afraid to go out or even connect with people who actively drink. I need to protect my energy. First and foremost. We’ll see.
This “blog” is basically a microcosm of other journals in which I talk about how I need to stop drinking and never do. I literally have a decade’s worth. Some are hand-written. Some are typed. Some are completely electronic. All are repetitive laments about my relationship with alcohol.
There used to be relationship woes peppered in but at 42, I am pretty clear that the most toxic relationship I had was the one with myself. I had little to no self-esteem in my twenties. I had no idea who I was or what I wanted. What I knew is that generally, when I was drinking, I was pretty fun.
In my thirties, I began to feel more secure in who I am. Not completely, but the whole decade was a climb. I became a mom at 34. I figured that would be the end of drinking and smoking. But clearly I was wrong. I’m a musician, dammit. And when I play at bars, I’m drinking. Yay. Hi-five. Incoherent yell. Selfie.
This continued on into my forties and here we are. I’ve successfully cut down a bit. I don’t go out as much as I was. This turned into me drinking more at home. I’ve tried to curtail that and it kind of works. I broke up with wine because now I keep blacking out whenever I drink it. So I’m sticking with White Claws because I don’t get too crazy with them. When I drink, I want to chain smoke. The two go hand in hand and I get this grindy manic obsession where I have to be doing both of those things at all times.
I’m not sure why people even want to hang out with me because I’m always “going outside for a smoke”. I want to sit outside and chain smoke and drink. And it’s all like nervous energy. Sometimes I’m relaxed and enjoying myself but mostly… mostly it’s me trying to quell my anxiety about being out in the first place.
I think I mentioned that my therapist said I approach my problems in a very cerebral way. I know why I do things. I’ve drilled down to find the causes and reasons for my problematic behaviors. I’m good at it. What I’m not good at is finding the FEELINGS attached to those reasons. And my disinterest (or aversion) to feelings also leads me to numb myself (drink). See? I just did it again.
My face is starting to look it’s age. I’ve always looked younger than I am. My skin looks terrible. I don’t remember nights anymore. Who knows what a nightmare person I have been. I’m a middle aged woman for crying out loud. I need more gentleness in my life.