Tomorrow it will be exactly nine months since my last drink. I haven’t gone that long in 32 years. And I never plan to drink again. Life is too rich and sweet and free from worry to go back to my old ways…. I’ve always been “terminally perky,” as I like to joke – but my life is better now, even happier than I dreamed it could be.
Speaking of dreams, I used to have a recurring theme that ran through mine. I’d call it “The House Dream,” and the setting was always different but there were always very symbolic similarities. Now – I should back track and tell you that, about 10 years ago, my two youngest children (daughters – at that time 22 and 19) began a long, slow, hellish descent into heroin addiction. Our lives changed, inch by inch and day by day, until our family was unrecognizable. I think that’s when my issue with alcohol really gained momentum. I was desperate for anything to get me out of my head – hell, I wanted a different life! I became obsessed for a time with the notion of moving (and would joke to my husband that we should leave no forwarding address.) I started drinking brandy – not because I loved it so much, but because it would give me an almost instantaneous buzz and numbness that would silence the demons in my head for a little while.
So, back to the dream: it was always a different house in each dream, but there would either be entire floors or wings of these expansive houses that would be unusable. Either difficult to access because of multiple convoluted staircases, or closed off, all the furnishings covered with old sheets and crusted with dust. And I would spend the balance of the dream unsuccessfully trying to make the house utilitarian.
So. I used to think those dreams had something to do with the girls’ addiction issues. That our family couldn’t be what it was supposed to until they got their shit together. And thank God or the Universe or the Drug Court of the town we live in – they are both clean and sober and happy.
But I realized recently that I haven’t had a “House Dream” since I quit drinking. Nada. Zip. Zilch.
And now I think what that dream was trying to tell me was that there was something holding me back from exploring my full potential. My house was truly in disorder. It’s not like I’ve found the cure for world peace or become famous since I stopped drinking. I still get aggravated and annoyed and I still hate gardening. I’m not ‘fixed,’ not by a long shot.
But now I feel like the world is my oyster, and when the time is right and the stars align and I have enough sobriety under my belt – the Universe will reveal itself to me. At least I’m hoping that’ll happen.
Until then, I’ll just be here in my little place in space, happy and sober and figuring things out.