I have an alcoholic brain. I can remember many evenings, thinking as I opened my bottle of wine, I am going to get trashed tonight.
I now know, that no one who has a normal relationship with alcohol thinks this way. This is alcoholic thinking at it’s “best”. I can’t tell you why I would feel this way some nights, and not others. Other nights, I just drank “normally”, excessive, but not with the goal of getting obliterated.
Of course, after the evenings of obliteration the hangover and guilt were brain crushing. Self loathing would flow over me when I came to in the morning, along with the resolve to quit. I would quit, until 4 o’clock rolled around, then I would rationalize the wine I started to pour in my glass. You deserve it, hair of the dog, you worked hard today. I loved that voice that made everything okay, that allowed me to continue, that justified my every drink.
The usual mantra would begin, I don’t drink that much, I can stop when I want, and I will just have a little tonight. And the cycle would begin again. Tiresome, yes, but it was a way of life.
The reason I am reliving this 9 months after quitting alcohol is because last night I had to return to the scene of one of those “going to get trashed” places.
We were invited to some friends house for dinner last night. The last time we were there I got completely shit faced, got up from the dinner table, and went to bed. (Yes, we had been invited to stay over.)
I remember having that infamous thought as the host poured my first glass of wine, I am going to get trashed tonight. I have no idea how much I drank, as any good alcoholic, I never saw the bottom of my glass. I learned well at the knees of the alcoholics in my family, always keep the drink “freshened up”.
I can remember sitting at the table, listening to my husband and the hostess talk, refilling my glass as fast as possible. I then recognized that I would no longer be able to speak without slurring, so I excused myself, and went into the bedroom and passed out, believing that no one noticed. I find it interesting how I convinced myself that I was acting completely sober, when I was almost falling over drunk.
I remember the bedroom, the feel of the bed, waking up numerous times to get water, have night sweats and to go to the bathroom. I recall getting up in the morning, feeling like shit, and trying to choke down a cup of coffee. We went out to a cute diner for breakfast, which I did not enjoy because I was feeling so shitty. I wasn’t present, the only thing sitting at the table was the hangover, I missed making a memory.
Arriving for dinner last night, I brought my sparkling water and lemon. They were prepared, they already had many bottles of club soda in their refrigerator. I don’t know if they knew I wasn’t drinking. We had seen them in June for dinner at a restaurant, and I didn’t have any wine. I never addressed the situation, I still haven’t, I just didn’t drink.
We had a lovely evening, lobster, corn on the cob, and chocolate cake. (I had two pieces, oh well, at least it wasn’t two bottles of wine!)
I will eventually have to make amends for that drunken evening, and probably others that aren’t in the forefront of my mind. That will come with time.
It is nice to wake up with a clear head and a clear conscious.
Throughout the last month, my drinking cravings have been frequent and heavy. I am sure it has been the stress that I have been under. Drinking was how I coped with stress. Drinking was how I coped with EVERYTHING.
I feel good that I got through the evening, and didn’t have a craving, not even when I saw the wine glass at my place on the table.
As a side note to this, my husband has stopped drinking also. It has been a week or so, he says he isn’t counting days. I didn’t think his drinking bothered me, but I have to say, life is nicer this way.