Almost One Year Ago Today…..

Exactly one year ago August first, our youngest daughter got married. It was a gorgeous day: sunny, warm, low humidity. Pert-near perfect. It was a late afternoon wedding, and my daughters and I spent a leisurely morning and early afternoon getting ready. It was low stress and almost pure fun. We got to the wedding site where our older daughter did her sister’s hair and makeup before doing her own.  All the bridal party assembled, on time, and we laughed and talked and enjoyed the hell out of ourselves.

The only fly in the ointment was that the judge who was marrying the happy couple didn’t arrive until about five minutes before the ceremony was scheduled to begin.  About 15 minutes before he got there, the bride-to-be asked the wedding coordinator, Julie,  if he was there yet.  Bless her heart – Julie put her hand soothingly on our daughter’s arm, took a deep breath, and very quietly replied, “Not yet.  But I have a handful of people to call last-minute if the need arises, which it won’t.  Can I get you a glass of wine?”

And other than our then 4-year-old granddaughter balking momentarily at the flowers she was to carry down the aisle, the ceremony went off without a hitch.

And the reception – perfect!  The food was wonderful, the drinks flowed…. And flowed.  And flowed.  AND flowed.

It was never my intention to get drunk; it just kind of snuck up on me, which was becoming terrifyingly normal.  I didn’t get blackout drunk, unfortunately. I remember each and every cringe-worthy detail: every slurred word in the discussion as my husband drove home afterward. Complaining about unloading the leftover food from the car and storing it in the fridge.  Losing my balance and almost falling over as I got undressed.

Ugh.

And that night was one of my final drunks as I finally decided that I. Had. To. STOP.

I wish I could have a do-over, but obviously that’s not possible. I still have overwhelmingly wonderful memories of the day.  Just wish it ended differently.

But I can’t change the past.

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Eleven Months Sober

Wow.  Eleven months!  This just blows me away.

And the day kind of….. sucked ass.  We had my husband’s aunt, uncle, and cousin over for dinner. Plus our kids and grandchildren and my sister-in-law.  A total of 13 people.  Not a huge crowd, but – haven’t had a big group over since New Year’s Day.

I don’t know how or where the wheels fell off the bus – but I was on the verge of tears shortly before everyone arrived, and practically ripped my poor husband’s head off and handed it to him. I just wanted to crawl out of my skin.

I was worried that there wouldn’t be enough food (jeez you think seven pounds of chicken salad would be enough for 10 adults and three little ones???)

I was freaked out that there wouldn’t be enough places to sit in the family room.

I was super DUPER annoyed with my adult son.

I wanted to scream every time my husband got “that look” on his face when I commented on anything above.

But.  And this is a BIG but – never, at any point, did I want to drink over any of it.

And today I’ll vacuum and wash the floors and get over my bad self.  And try to figure out what exactly went wrong and how to head it off at the pass next time.

But I think it’s gonna be quite a while before I take on such a large crowd again.

Counseling Update

I had a session with a new counselor yesterday. She and I talked at length about the history of my “mommy” issues. At the end of the hour, she asked if I thought I’d like to continue with her. I said yes – and we agreed that I could use some work on asserting myself in situations where I’m made to feel diminished. And – wonder of wonders, no urine testing was required!

On a side note, I’ve been having recurring dreams again. The theme in these dreams is that I need to pee but either there’s no door on the stall, or the toilet is in the middle of the room and someone keeps unlocking the door on me.

I searched some dream interpretation on the web, and it’s confirmed what I think my subconscious is telling me – and that some work in therapy is exactly what I need to be doing right now.

According to what I read, these dreams basically mean that there’s some stuff I need to get rid of, but that I’m feeling exposed and vulnerable.  My privacy is being invaded.

The symbolism seems pretty obvious here. I’ll be curious to see if the dreams become less frequent as I tackle these issues with this new therapist.

First Sober 4th and a Few Other Things…

My first sober Fourth of July is in the history books…. and, much to my surprise, it provided more challenges than I thought it would. Summer’s been harder than I thought it would be, even after almost 11 months of sobriety. It seems booze is in my face everywhere I go… Strolling down the main street of our town where people are dining and drinking outside, there are live bands playing every block or two and people are holding cups of beer or wine.

And – have you been to the movies lately? Have you seen the booze commercials before the movie? And here’s what I love: the slogan is all about “making the night unforgettable” with booze.  Hello?  Are you shitting me right now?

And I’m the allergic little kid staring longingly in the pet store window at the adorable puppies romping inside.

We went to a family party on the 4th where again, I was surrounded by people drinking beer, wine, mojitos… But guess what. Nobody but me gave one little shit about what was or wasn’t in my cup. (Diet grapefruit soda.) After I got over my bad self, I ate whatever I wanted.  And second helpings of dessert.

I was never at risk of throwing in the towel and drinking; I don’t ever plan to imbibe alcohol again. But the notion of being sober had faded to the background; become a thread in the fabric of my daily life. That fabric has become a little scratchy and uncomfortable lately and I just need to break it in a little bit –  it’ll be just fine.

Oh – and the counseling dilemma – I did go back for the second visit. We talked a little more and I was very honest about how deeply upsetting I found the breathalyzing/pee testing. And we agreed that this particular agency is not the place for me.  So the counselor there is going to come up with some names of psychologists she’s referred other people to.  She seems to think (and I agree) that short-term, issue-specific CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is what would be most beneficial for me.

So that’s what’s new.  My plan is to keep plugging along, doing my thing and enjoying my summer.

And I have confidence that things will get easier again, as long as I keep doing the next right thing.