Two Secret Lives: Then and Now

Oh, my friends…. how much can change in one short year!

I think we all have two lives in many respects: the life we’re given, and the life we make.  Or the life we show the world, and the one we live in private.

I’m no different.  A little more than a year ago, I looked exactly the same.  Well, maybe about five pounds heavier.  Same hair, same clothes.  Same smiling face that I showed to the world.

But what was going on inside was very different than what my exterior portrayed.  It was nearly impossible for me to allow myself to feel any intensely uncomfortable emotion: anger, frustration, sadness…. I’d push those feelings down or just far enough away to hold them at bay – until I could have a drink.  And then they’d dissolve – temporarily.  And, oh – how I worried about my relationship with alcohol.  How I’d create opportunities to drink.  I felt so much guilt over how much I looked forward to it.  I’d promise myself over and over that I’d drink less often. And break that promise to myself, time and time and time again. How I struggled, keeping my concerns to myself because I knew if I shared them with my husband, he’d be terribly concerned about my drinking.

I finally reaching a tipping point.  A point of no return, when I realized that I could no longer drink in safety.  That I might have already done permanent damage to my health, although I had no symptoms as such – yet.  I simply couldn’t continue the way I was going.  I absolutely could not imagine a life without alcohol.  But I knew in my soul that, for me,  a life that continued to include booze would be tragically abbreviated.

So what’s my secret life like now?

I gotta tell you, it’s friggin’ awesome. I’m learning to show compassion to myself.  When I make a mistake, I own it, try to learn from it, and move on.  I find myself getting lost in moments of pure joy – just like when I was a kid and would play for hours and hours, losing track of time.  I’m still reveling in this new found, wondrous, child-like simplicity. To have a ball-crusher of a day and reward myself with a decaf and a couple of chapters of a trashy romance novel?  Who’da thunk it? Talk about simple pleasures!  And the best part is, no dark shadows in the back of my mind, like I struggled with/pushed away/drank over for years.  It’s just the best, BEST feeling to be clear of mind, heart, and conscience!

And – I feel a li’l bit superior, I have to admit.  I’ll take life, straight-up, no chaser, please! I’m so proud of myself for making this decision and sticking to it, come hell or high water.  I have this glow I feel, deep within, that I’ve done something that few people can say they have. It wasn’t easy – as a matter of fact, it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.  I’m really the most bad-ass grandma in town.

Almost every single choice we make has pros and cons.  But, honestly?  Not this one.  It’s a win-win-win: for me, my family – the world!

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11 thoughts on “Two Secret Lives: Then and Now

  1. Yes yes yes.
    Me too.
    And it continues, that ability to feel wonder and joy in the moment.
    I read some,where that overcoming addiction was one of the most profound paths to enlightenment. I agree. Eyes open and living whole heartedly!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG-I can relate to this SO much-except for the grandma part:) Someday …I hope!
    Childhood clarity and joy, a glow within, and Yes, One of the hardest, if not THE hardest things I have ever done but SO well worth every second. I too am approaching my year sober anniversary. Congratulations to you! Be proud and embrace all the joy that is coming your way-you’ve earned it.
    (Sober treats always help the celebration along too:)

    Like

  3. I’m enjoying reading all of your posts…I’m in the thick of it right now…I know my relationship with alcohol is SO unhealthy and I wake up every morning feeling incredibly guilty for what I drank and ate the night before. It’s a sick cycle that just repeats itself daily. I know what my path needs to be, but can’t quite pull the trigger…yet. It helps to read your posts and to hear first hand how good life can be on the other side. Thank you!!

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    • Oh, Marnie –

      I understand all too well where you are right now. I can tell you that the thinking was harder than the doing, as far as quitting drinking was concerned. Are you on Facebook? There’s a private group you can join – comprised of people who are in various stages of success in terms of walking away from booze. Wonderful, supportive, non-judgmental…. Let me know and I’ll let you know how to get in. Have you checked out the blogs, “Tired of Thinking About Drinking?” or “Mrs. D is Going Without”? “UnPickled”? There’s so much support out there!

      I can promise you that life is SO much better without alcohol – and I wouldn’t have believed it before. It really is!

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      • Thank you so much for your encouragement! I’ve just recently discovered the blogs and it’s so nice to be able to read other’s stories of success–and struggles. I am on FB and would be interested in that private group…thanks again!! 🙂

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  4. Pingback: Two Secret Lives: Then and Now | life without vodka rocks - SoberCoach1

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