I had my ladies night on Saturday and I didn’t get too crazy. In fact, I got a headache. I’m not sure if it was from dehydration or from exhaustion but it was a doozy. I barely slept the night before due to the Pup wanting to go out, the little guy wanting to come in, and regular old general anxiety. I had a nice breakfast at the diner with the girls and then went home to complete some chores.
I went back down about 3:30 and had a few hard seltzer’s before the headache started it’s strangle hold. I just wasn’t feeling it. I wanted to go home but I felt bad, so I stayed. A beloved friend was in from out of state so I wanted to be sure I spent time with her. Unfortunately, it was getting to the point where no one was making sense and kind of talking over one another. Sometimes, I feel like I somehow missed the wave everyone else is surfing on and then I just can’t catch up. And ultimately I’m fine with that because I’m so tired. And cranky.
I had intended on staying over and really going for it, but I left around 1am and put my throbbing cranium on a pillow. It’s weird that I couldn’t just leave at like 9 or 10 when I wanted to. I always feel like I’m going to be seen as a jerk if I do that. And I have a crippling need to be liked. So this is what I do.
We had a nice family day on Sunday. Lots of outside time. Reading, My little guy and the dog running around the yard. We went out for dinner and I had a glass of wine but that was it. All night. I went to bed at a reasonable time after watching a Doris Day movie.
Tonight, I am struggling. I honestly do not WANT a drink but I’m craving one. Does that even make sense at all? Like… many body wants it. I guess that’s why they call it addiction (sung to Elton John’s song). It’s such a shit feeling. I’m sort of caught between “oh go have one” and “no, just ride it out. Prove something to yourself.”
The second one is yelling louder. I’m listening.
Have I mentioned that I am a performer? Maybe not. I mostly perform in bars and at (alcohol fueled) events. This weekend’s gig was an overnight. It’s far. So we took advantage of the situation. A bunch of middle aged folks unleashed from having to drive anywhere. Mix in the fact that we’re in gorgeous mountain country. It was a recipe for celebration. We were out until 4am. I slept well and the mountain air did me good. I love it up here. Today I feel relatively gross but not terrible. I’m also pretty sure I smell like a barroom floor which is horrifying.
I’m still listening to Claire Pooley’s The Sober Diaries for my long car trip. I’ve also cued up Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly but haven’t started it yet. Pooley’s story (and her honesty about her drinking) resonate deeply with me. She almost makes me believe that I can do it one day. I’ve reached the point in her story where she discusses her diagnosis of breast cancer at 46. Women who drink excessively are way more likely to get it. She also discusses Edith Piaf’s death from alcoholism at 47 from liver cancer. Like… what the fuck am I waiting for here? I’ll be 42 in a few months. I’m honestly terrified to go to the doctor for anything because who knows what is brewing in this cauldron.
Right now I am in famous hippie town having a lovely lunch and drinking a blood orange iced tea that is delicious. Can’t I drink things like that when I’m out (or in)?
I worry about how my relationships would continue. My friends and I have a very deeply rooted drinking culture. Staying out well into the morning hours, drinking bottles over bottles while making a mountain out of an ashtray. These are therapy sessions. Summits on solving the world’s problems.
I’m scared of losing that.
When I try to break down what that would look like… I see more day time hangs. Maybe more like outings – to DO things? A museum, a show, a yoga class? Even if we did dinner, I doubt there will be a shortage of things to talk about.
Truthfully, I’m afraid of who I am without drinking because I don’t know her at all. I’ve been “self-medicating” since I was 24. I don’t know if she has ever even existed.
I DO know that the person who drinks is a loud, rambling chainsmoker who loves to interrupt you and talk about herself. The alcohol free me can’t be any worse than that. I also know that before I drank I was not a talker AT ALL. I was an observer. I would take EVERYTHING in. As an artist, I’m going to guess that will only benefit me.
I think of the extra energy I’ll have. I’ll lose weight. My skin will clear up. I’ll be fucking healthier. I’ll likely keep the majority of my friends. Ugh.
Wow. I lasted what – 2 days? 2. I can’t say I am surprised. I CAN say though that last night, I didn’t even want a glass of wine and had one anyway. What is that?
It’s funny because I went through all of the old tropes with myself too. “Well, maybe I’ll just not drink alone at home anymore.” Or “you deserve it because this is a stressful time.” Or “three drinks maximum if I’m out!” I know these. You know these. They’re meaningless. My dream would absolutely be to just drink when I have a fun social gathering. To get a little warm and fuzzy. To leave before I’m rambling at some poor, patient soul for hours. To do what normal people do. And I don’t know how many times I’m going to have to teach myself that I am not normal people. It’s a lesson I refuse to learn.
I don’t even know what to say. There’s nothing to say really. I’m not going to beat myself up. I’m going to try not to slide up to my shoulders in this. I am frustrated. It’s not fair. (Wahhhhhhh.) But it fucking isn’t.
Anyway – moving forward. I have a very busy week ahead. Rehearsals, a show, my art class, and more vet appointments with the Pup. I’ve also enrolled in an online class taught by one of my favorite authors/ artists. I’m trying really hard to keep focused on the things that I’m doing. And not to pour alcohol all over them.