21:22 Today the weather was gorgeous, as it was yesterday. I woke up seeing the expanse of promising sky and the goldish mist in the valley and wished I could stay in that honeyed zone of existence for the rest of the day. But time marches on.
I had woken up feeling a bit disgruntled about marriage and wondering how to move a marriage forward when one of the key times the two married folks had bonded in the previous two decades was anytime there was wine or beer involved. I don’t think we were “drunks” the way many people would imagine “drunks” to be. We were quite normal in the way that much of North American culture is normal, at least where I grew up. It’s “normal” to enjoy life with a side of alcohol, or vice versa.
I know I keep bringing this up, i.e. this “normal” aspect, but it’s a key theme of “my sobriety.” (Still feel squeamish about owning such a term.) I feel I was a “normal” drinker, by western society’s standards (and in the last few years, that was by concerted self control; i.e. tbh I fantasized about being a wino on a bench some days), so it’s difficult to keep the motivation going sometimes. I am a very, very forgetful person. Honestly thank goodness I kept a diary or I don’t think I’d remember why the heck I’m doing this sober journey at all. The reason I’m doing this is because normal or not, I don’t think it’s healthy that we use alcohol every day just to enjoy life. It’s sort of like sugar. It’s there, ubiquitous in our society, but it’s not at all good for us. And for me, in the end, the negatives outweighed the positives.
And it causes so much suffering in the world. So many bad things happen that simply would not happen if there wasn’t alcohol involved. So building societal awareness is key.
But…. but. One could also say, but if there was no alcohol no one would have fun. Yes! This is my mentality, or it was before I decided to embark upon this journey. That shows the level of my addiction, “normal” or not.
So when I saw the promised sunny day and knew my husband and I had a day off together here I began to feel nostalgic about old times. But that lasted only a few seconds because I’ve trained myself not to go there in my mind. I next began to wonder how can one have fun with one’s spouse when “spouse” is drinking and “one” is not? Even “moderately”? It’s hard for him as well, being the “spouse” of “one,” I mean.
But it worked out fine. I wrote some stuff that felt fun and cathartic and then I went outside and straight into our seasonal inflatable-ring pool which we’d set up yesterday. The two younger kids were with me and for about five minutes, life felt jussssst perfect.
I was in such a buoyant mood, I acted just like I used to when tipsy. Free, fun, exuberant and loving life. I decided to pour a glass of Bonne Nouvelle (faux/pas wine, 0.5% alcohol) at lunch time, to celebrate. So I’m dancing around the patio in my bathing suit and then setting the table for lunch in my bathing suit (complete with my extra 10 lbs, I just didn’t care!) and the music is loud and we are all having a great time as a little family — and then a neighbour comes over.
She said she was trying to reach us by phone (I’d had it turned off, well it was Saturday after all) and wondering about meeting up with family friends at the lake and I said great let’s do it but she seemed so awkward and not warm, which I thought was odd. And I figured she must see my glass of (faux)(/pas) red wine and think I’m so happy because I’m drinking normal (alcoholic) wine, which would be confusing since I refused wine last time we saw each other.
And I suddenly had this weird experience of being judged as tipsy/drunk when I’d only had as much alcohol as might occur in a glass of orange juice.
And at first I felt really put out and annoyed by that. Because I give far too many f’s about what others think.
But later, reflecting back I realized, that in that moment, at least, I’d succeeded: I was having just as much fun sober as I used to when tipsy. Except I wouldn’t lose any motor control, I wouldn’t delay serving lunch, I wouldn’t have an afternoon hangover from drinking in the sun.
Basically I rocked.