There is a lot to say about why I’m not drinking anymore. But before I get into all that, something that would help me get through these first few weeks is a list of all the reminders why getting drunk isn’t great. Seems like an obvious list to make and should be easy to write. It will help me to have it posted here so that I can reference it whenever I am having a moment where I want to go swimming in a pool of vodka and grapefruit juice. This will remind me that it isn’t worth it to jump in.
1. Most obvious of all: the hangover. I do remember a time when a hangover barely happened. When I could stay up till 4am drinking and then somehow manage to get up and go to school, and when I got older, to work. As I’ve gotten older the hangovers have progressed to the point where they eat up an entire day. Sometimes even spill over into a second day, where I’m not hungover anymore, but I still feel like utter shit and have no energy. There was a time when being hungover all day, smoking pot, watching movies, and eating greasy cheeseburgers at 3pm wasn’t so bad. But now, with two small children, a hangover is hardly an option in my life. For a while there I was getting pretty good at just ignoring it, sucking it up, throwing back a few Advil and a bunch of coffee and praying that the hangover would burn off by 10am so I could carry on with my day and be a good parent. But is that really something I should be good at?
2. I will not miss restless drunk sleep, nausea, headaches, or puking. Or any of the other bodily functions that may come along with drinking too much. Gross.
3. Spending the first couple hours after I wake up from a night of drinking wondering what stupid things I said. What mindless, annoying drivel came out of my mouth? Did I offend anyone? Did I admit extremely personal information to strangers? Did I give anyone my email address? Did I cry? Oh god, I cried, didn’t I? Why was I crying? Was it happy or sad? All of these are questions I never want to ask myself (or anyone else who was with me) again.
4. Having to actually talk to someone about anything I remember saying or doing. Or don’t remember. Shame, guilt, regret, and on and on. All feelings I could use less of in my life.
5. Being drunk around my kids. I’m not saying this has happened a whole lot. But it’s definitely happened. And although they are so little they will not likely remember me being drunk around them, I will remember it. In the last year or so, there have been more times than I care to count where we have been at a party, all four of us, and I have had one too many. We stay too late, I don’t want to leave, then we finally do and we go home and in a drunken haze I help get the kids ready for bed. Once they’re in bed, I go and smoke cigarettes and usually drink more. I never ever want to take care of my kids in a drunken haze again. I don’t want to forget any portion of their childhood due to alcohol. I don’t want to feel that disconnectedness I feel from them when I’m not sober and also when I’m hungover. I want to be with them and be there, mentally and physically.
6. Cigarettes. Literally the only time I ever smoke is when I’m drunk. I tried to have a cigarette while I was sober a couple months ago and it was completely disgusting, couldn’t even smoke half of it. I started smoking when I was in 7th grade and was a heavy smoker until about 26. Since then I have only smoked when I’m drinking. So it’s not every day, but it’s certainly more regular than it should be. Of course I went two pregnancies without a puff and a drink, but I will admit that I couldn’t wait to have a drink and smoke after I had both of my kids. Lame. It’s just gross. I won’t miss it.
That’s all I got for right now. It’s a solid list. For me, these are the things I’m holding on to when I feel weak. These are the reasons I have to stay focused. I’ve got 19 days sober. Looking forward to many more.