My name is Renee. I have three amazing, incredible, wonderful and sometimes annoying children. I am almost divorced. It’s possible I am an alcoholic…I don’t label myself. If I were to label myself I might say I have a problem with limits which goes beyond drinking. I don’t drink. I smoke which I am completely embarrassed about but not enough to actually stop.
I work for a theatre company and run Education programs. I get really passionate about education and theatre. I can be really passionate about politics and volunteerism (aka giving a shit about the world…I think we all should) and human rights and nature and exercise and animals. I write a blog about sobriety. I do it because it’s allowed me to focus on the journey of sobriety. And it’s kept me honest.
Last night I ran an event and near the end we brought everyone on stage and asked them to introduce themselves. Then the students asked questions. I was the moderator. After it was over I had dinner with two friends and they mentioned that they wished I had introduced myself.
I said, “No one cares who I am.”
They disagreed. And I wondered why I do that? Why do I discount myself or make myself less important than I am. I do that. I’d like to stop doing it.
That’s thought one for this lovely Friday evening.
I haven’t been blogging. It’s been since my soberversary on January 21. The reason I haven’t blogged is, well…
I’ve been kind of a mess.
Signs I am a mess:
1) I cry all the time. I have become a crier with sobriety…but the last two weeks I can cry without even meaning too. I just cry. I am like a leaky faucet. It’s stupid. I hate it. I found out last week that my propane tank was empty and it was nearly $600 bucks to fill it. I started crying on the phone with the gas lady. Who the hell does that? Messy people.
2) I cannot keep track of my keys. It’s like they hate me…the keys. I suspect they jump out my purse and dive underneath things just to mess with my mind. It’s working.
3) In the past two weeks, while driving, I have missed my exit or gone in the wrong direction more times than I care to admit. I’m not thinking. I am distracted. It’s real bad.
4) If I don’t write it down, I will forget. Nothing sticks. It’s possible I didn’t introduce myself last night because I don’t actually know my own name. What’s my name again?
5) I left one of my kids at Target last week.
HAHA. Just kidding. I was just seeing if you were paying attention. I haven’t done that…yet.
6) If I spill coffee on myself I might freak out and go coo coo for co co puffs. It might have actually already happened this week. But spilled coffee is really upsetting. When this happens to you, I recommend doing what I did….yell at no one in particular and then cry. Repeat this for other minor things like breaking a nail or getting a paper cut.
7) There have been moments in the past two weeks, when I have desired the feeling of being wasted more intensely than I have in a year. There was one day last week where I actually plotted the destruction of a year of sobriety. It was that bad…the longing to escape from myself.
But I didn’t do it. I am better now. Things have calmed down. But that desire is scary and it made me realize just how careful I have to be. I have to be really careful not to let depression or anxiety take over. I have to stay as centered as I can be in these turbulent times. I could totally become the crazy wasted divorced lady. Like something out of a Lifetime, made for television movie, that could be me.
Ok, I don’t actually believe that. Not really. Cause I am such a different person than I was a year ago. But I have been climbing a very steep hill and I have almost reached the top. I am weary from the stress. My divorce is almost final. The decisions I am making right now affect me for the rest of my life. I am scared of being on my own. I am scared I won’t find a job that pays enough to support me. I am scared I will be irresponsible with my savings and piss it all away. I am scared I will never be able to make another relationship work. I am scared my kids will never recover from the trauma of this divorce. I am scared of so many things I can’t count them all.
And I am sad. Divorce is hell. There is this promise, this commitment, this intention that you had…the hope and dreams and visions of the future. You have to let go of all of it. It’s sad to say goodbye to it. Even when you are certain it’s the right choice for both people…it’s still really sad.
So that’s overwhelming. Sadness, worry. Then my youngest had a minor surgery. Then he got some random horrific illness. He’s been out of school for two weeks. It’s my first post divorce crisis. So that’s stressful on top of stressful.
Stressful + Stressful = wasted Renee
Nope. That didn’t happen. But it could have. I may be sober for a year but that doesn’t mean shit when it comes to the heaviness of life kicking your ass.
And figuring out how to navigate through super crappy times without some substance via margaritas or wine or a few bong hits is difficult. Ugh…the last few weeks have sucked. But they sucked sober. And I think it’s clear to me they would have been much suckier if I had thrown it all away and gotten drunk or stoned. Yeah, I am sure. There were a couple of moments last week where I might have said something else. But today I am sure.
So that’s my second thought for today.
I got a text from a good friend yesterday. She was having a bad case of drinking remorse. She had gotten wasted and acted the fool. I suggested she commit to never drinking more than two drinks in one day again. I considered that when I was trying to decide what to do about my drinking. That’s the reason I ended up quitting entirely. I knew I couldn’t do it. I knew I could SAY I wouldn’t have more than two drinks but after two drinks I would likely have another one because after two drinks I wouldn’t care so much anymore. I knew I would never be able to guarantee that I wouldn’t behave badly again if I kept drinking, and that propelled me to just quit entirely. I am not doing AA but I think that falls in line with the idea of being powerless. I felt powerless to control the drinking. I chose what I knew was a guarantee.
My friend went on to lament why this happens to her sometimes. Why she can have a few drinks sometimes and be fine and other times she has a few drinks and ends up completely wasted. I don’t know the answer. I asked myself that same question many times. I played games and asked questions about my drinking for years and years and years. I made deals with myself and explored options on more occasions than I want to admit. So I simply loved my friend through the moment. She’s young. She isn’t ready to quit yet. She will probably quit someday. When she is sick of it like I was.
But the point of relating this story is this: When you have to have conversations with yourself about your drinking…more than say…once or twice in your lifetime…it’s a sign you have a problem. The inner dialogue is a clue. You can make deals with yourself, plan to limit your drinking, promise to only drink beer or never drink Vodka again or Tequila or whatever…if you are making promises to yourself and suffering from repeated incidents of drinking remorse…you HAVE a problem.
Accept it now. Accept it later.
Or drink your life away.
But that nagging voice won’t go away. It will get louder and louder and louder. It was screaming at me when I finally quit. I couldn’t shut it up. There wasn’t a substance strong enough to quiet it.
That’s it…that’s all I’ve got. It’s late and I am super tired. Sorry for the long rant…it’s five blogs rolled into one.
PS: Here is something funny. Cause sober people need laughs.