The Beginning of the End
At 7:53am the intercom from downstairs buzzes. “Yes?” “Qdelivery.”
I had sold two separate items on Facebook and they were being picked up. One lady told me they’d pick up between 10am and 7pm. The other from 2-3pm. He was there to pick up both. Before 8am.
I wasn’t ready.
I ran around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to prepare the packages, snapping at Lula to go find bubble wrap. She kept looking at me with eyes wide like I was a crazy person. I was.
That’s how my day began. Not a big deal, but too much stress before my coffee had even kicked in.
Sometimes It Doesn’t Take Much
The day went downhill from there. Not for any particular reason. Nothing monumental happened. Just teeny tiny things that annoyed me, made me angry, had me in tears and got under my skin. I can’t even remember what my day was like yesterday. I just know I desperately wanted a drink and was so angry that I couldn’t have one.
By the time 3pm rolled around, I’d had it.
I should’ve called someone, but I didn’t want to call anyone. And anyway, once my mind is made up, there’s not a whole lot anyone can do to change it. We were going to visit with some friends’ that evening, and I was going to drink. And nobody could stop me!
I’m a Rebel. I’m Sorry.
You see I’m a bit of a rebel. I don’t like to do what other people are doing and I DON’T like other people telling me what to do… including myself. (That gets a little tricky and a bit schizophrenic sometimes. The inside of my head would make you curl up in fetal position.)
Anyway, I’m not that kind of rebel. The smug kind. I’m not smug. At least not to your face. Never to your face. Smugness is so uncool.
But in my head? Maybe a tiny little bit. After all, I’m an Individualist. (See Enneagram Type 4). I like to go against the grain. Since lots of people drink, I actually like that I’m quitting. Again, I won’t throw it in your face. Not cool. But in my head I feel unique. If everybody quit drinking, I’d probably start up again. Ha! This is my greatest asset and my greatest weakness.
He Knows Me… And Is Scared
Jay knows this about me. About me not being interested in changing my mind. So when I texted him around 3pm and said, “I’M DYING,” he didn’t send fuzzy promises that everything would be OK. I don’t like to be coddled. Oh my gosh, don’t coddle me! I will lose my flippin’ mind!
One time early on in our marriage I was crying about something, and he took me in his arms, patted me on my head or back and said, “Shhh.”
I managed to get through my crying jag without losing it, but later told him not to ever pat or shush me again when I was crying unless he wanted a black eye. (I’m not really violent. I just like to say violent things.) Now he’s scared and has no idea what he’s supposed to do… still… 20 years later! I think I’ve traumatized him in more ways than one.
Is That Blaire or Me?
Digression… so… I was beyond prickly yesterday and Blaire was so loud. “This is stupid. It’s not even working. You’ve GAINED weight even though you’re consuming less! How’s that working out for ya? Your face is a mess and you actually look OLDER! You can’t sleep. This is so pointless. Who even cares? You’ve gone 9 days. One little break won’t kill you.”
Unfortunately Blaire sounded a lot like me yesterday. This is a trick of the alcohol voice. Distinguishing you from her. Yesterday I couldn’t. It sounded like I was harassing myself so I couldn’t tell Blaire to shut up.
And by prickly I mean I felt like stabbing someone. Sometimes you just get edgy and need something to help you calm down, destress. Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of tools that help me do that.
How to Handle a Caged Lioness
At some point I was ranting to Jay and said, “I can’t even smoke pot! (Which I’ve never done before in my entire life but thought seemed like a good way to calm down at the moment if the option had been available.) I have no way to destress. I feel like I’m going to explode! I hate yoga. I hate exercise. I have nothing else that helps get me off the edge!”
He stayed calm. Wary. Like a beta lion sitting quietly, waiting for the circling alpha to rip its head off if he made one wrong move. He suggested cancelling with our friends. He was very calm.
Finally, when I think he realized I couldn’t be talked off the cliff and was looking for permission, he said, “Why don’t you just take a mulligan tonight? And then next time you can go twice as long.”
This sounded very reasonable. It’s what I needed. I needed permission to do what I wanted to do because I hate being told I can’t do something. Hate. It.
It also helped me calm down. I had a way out IF I wanted to take it. I didn’t have to. But I had an option. And I needed an option.
I Had an Escape
Blaire quieted down. I quieted down. I was still in control. This was still my life, my choice.
Apparently Jay had also warned our hosts of the dilemma I was going through… first telling them I wasn’t drinking, and then that I might be. I didn’t know any of that, but it was sweet of him to prep them.
When we arrived, I felt good. A little edgy, but not like stabbing anyone anymore. That’s good when you go to visit friends… to not want to stab them.
They asked us what we wanted to drink, clearly a little nervous that they might offer the wrong thing based on Jay’s texts. I had taken some grapefruit Perrier with me in case I needed a backup. And they had prepared some water with lemon and limes. Very kind.
Secret Tip to Drink Less or Not At All
So I started with water. I’ve found this is an excellent trick even if you are planning to drink. Start with water or something else and tell yourself you’ll have alcohol later. That way you fill up a bit on something nonalcoholic and satisfy the tactile need to hold a glass and sip.
I did this the last time we went to these friends’ home because we tend to stay later and drink more there. So I started with water and didn’t end up drinking nearly as much as usual! So… tip for those who are trying to cut back. Just start with something else. You can always have alcohol later.
When Later Came…
And that’s what I did. When the “later” came, I didn’t really even want wine, which was what was on offer. They also had homemade apple strudel pie. (They’re German… need I say more?!) It was delicious and so filling. The idea of a glass of wine was honestly not appealing, but for some reason I chose to have a glass anyway, and I didn’t enjoy it.
I didn’t need it. It was actually a relief to realize it wasn’t enjoyable and I was absolutely fine without it. Honestly I’m glad I had a glass. Even though I have to start my count over. It was a good reminder that I can live without the stuff and really feel so much better without it.
I also noticed that the wife didn’t drink any alcohol while we were there and nobody cared!
It’s funny how worried we get when we decide to quit drinking or even cut back. We think people will make fun of us or think we’re weird. We worry we won’t be able to have fun. Seriously, NOBODY cares! You can still have fun. And once you realize that, it’s so freeing. You can just do your thing.
Time For Some New Tools
Now… back to this issue of being prickly and stabbing people. I’ve really got to get some better tools in my box for when I’m feeling that way. I went through a list in my head and nothing sounded appealing when I needed it most. Maybe I should’ve taken a shower. Or listened to my favorite music on my headphones with death stares to anyone who tried to interrupt me or ask me a question.
Next time I’m feeling that way, I will try something and then something else until I feel better. I’ve already started creating a playlist to help me.
But for now… back to day 1. Reset.