I wrote the following post back in November and kept it as a draft. While I've shared bits and pieces of myself through this blog, to share some of the below felt I was exposing myself. After I wrote it I felt raw. I was doing really well with moderation back in the fall and, after writing this but not posting, it's as if I let myself get drawn deeper back into nightly drinking. Not like the year before but still with potential for mishap.
I have always been fearful of sharing for the reason that I didn't want my son taken from me. I know I'm being silly. First, I don't think my ex would do that in reality. Second, I've never done anything to jeopardize my son literally, just potentially put myself in some situations that could have. I have never driven drunk with him in the car except for wondering how much alcohol was still in my system the next morning during a school run. I've never missed any event, any task, that needed to get done where it concerned him. I never passed out and left him to fend for himself while he was awake. The biggest potential for mishap was that something would happen to him in the late evening and I would need emergency help and they would find me tipsy. Fortunately that didn't happen.
I was also worried about being outed by friends, colleagues, family, etc. But let's face it, anyone who finds this blog is probably wondering about their own relationship with alcohol so if someone figures out who I am, so be it. Actually, I am happy to chat with them. I have nothing to hide. I am happy to share my experiences. I have learned from others who have shared theirs.
Last November, I felt compelled to write something down about myself. I had a spiritual experience when I separated from my first husband that couldn't be explained other than through my spirituality and I felt funny sharing. But it's a near and dear story to me. Sometimes you just have to sit back and trust in a higher power....listen to what you are hearing in your head through all the other noise....
Once upon a time a princess married her prince. But it turned out her prince, well, was maybe not so much a prince, despite how much she desperately tried to hold on to that vision. She realized at about the 12 year point that her prince liked other princesses or at least he liked what he perceived they could make him feel. When she found out, she hung in there. She owned up to her part in why-ever her prince felt that way, thought they resolved the issues and felt they were on track to making the fairy tale last forever...that they were better than ever, stronger even. And they had just had a baby, even more reason to make things work. The prince consistently, always had, told his princess how much he adored her and how beautiful she was....so she believed him.
At the 18 year point the fairy tale collapsed despite the princess trying ever so hard to believe in it. On the eve of the collapse, while it was pouring (El Nino) rain outside, she sat on the floor and looked up at the rain drenched sky and prayed very hard for a sign to let her know that she was supposed to stay in Camelot, that it really could be Camelot.
The next morning, she found an email that showed she was no longer in Camelot and that her prince charming was still finding other princesses, had in fact found a new one. She confronted her prince who said he was trying to tell her all along that he wanted out of Camelot. Well, go figure, who knew?
Fortunately, having been told all along how pretty she was, how much she was loved, her self esteem didn't really suffer. While a very disorienting position to be in, better than having been abused.
The next day, let's call it the day-after-Camelot-exploded, she sat in the bathtub. As the princess lay back against the jets in her tub with her eyes closed, she heard music. Literally. She opened her eyes and still heard the music. A searing, wonderfully calming, melody. Like a hymn. It calmed her. It let her know things would be okay. She tried to focus in on where it was coming from.....the neighbor's house? No...and it faded away.
The princess went to work. About half way through work she felt something lift out of her. As if all the troubles had whirled up out of her body like a cyclone. Not that she wouldn't be stressed in the future, but she just felt suddenly that she would be okay. Later that day she was telling someone how she had heard this music and felt this "leaving" of her anxiety and the person said "oh, you have been touched", I was praying you would be touched...hugged even.
The person on the phone asked the princess what the song was and to the princess's dismay, she couldn't quite conjure up the tune. She could no longer remember the exact tune that made her, earlier, feel so calm. A bit depressed, she hung up the phone and went to make her bed, still unmade. She figured a little "order" would help calm her more. While she was making the bed a voice in her head said "Nearer my God to Thee". Literally out of the blue.
The princess went to her computer and googled the title and played it. It was THE SAME TUNE the princess had heard in the bath earlier that morning. To this day, the sheet music is kept on the piano and played when things get stressful. It was a sign to her and she calls upon it when she needs to. There is no concrete explanation.....or maybe there is....
Lately, I have been in a groove. I have been, strangely, having wine every night without having too much. I enjoyed a peaceful thanksgiving. I have been exercising and actually liking it. I have been grocery shopping and meal planning and liking it. It hasn't all been easy but it has been okay. I've been blaming myself for starting out November as alcohol free and not sticking with it after those that I started with gave up....but those same people are now ON it and doing great....but I've kept having some every night.
On the other hand, I haven't had too much. I don't want to say I am drinking normally because I still feel the danger zone is too close, it's as if I just need a little more time to commit. I can't do this only because I promise to pull others along. I can't stress if they don't stay with me. I want to take an extended abstinence again but I don't know when that will be. It will be soon I think.
I was wondering today why I feel so good on the one hand and yet so guilty on the other. Do I need to quit drinking totally or am I, oh my goodness, actually managing this? And why do I WANT to manage this poison? I was feeling very conflicted working around the house this morning when I heard the tune "I never promised you a rose garden" very, very loud in my head. Just like before only this time I recognized the tune and couldn't get it out of my head.
I beg your pardon
I never promised you a rose garden
Along with the sunshine
There's gotta be a little rain some time
When you take you gotta give so live and let live
Or let go oh -whoa-whoa-whoa
I beg your pardon
I never promised you a rose garden - Lynn Anderson
I felt very calmed. I understood. I don't have to have the answer right now. There are a lot of unknowns in my life right now...dealing with me ex, my career changing directions, me hubby's ex still dealing out stress, etc. But there are a lot of "knowns" as well. I am happier than ever, nothing like a year ago, not drinking anything like a year ago, a much, much better spouse than a year ago, a better mother than a year ago.
It's not a rose garden, but life is beautiful and we just need to find our own way through the thorns.
Hugs to all,
Day 10 today of my newfound extended abstinence. It feels good...really good.