Such a great headline, right?! And I’ve been busy building the sassy, steady attitude to support it.
I’m arming myself with more tools. I’ve got AA Lite (no sponsor yet, but am understanding the program more and have been attending meetings regularly). I’ve got a therapist, who has been gently pushing me to get on the wagon for over a year and who is ready to hold my shaky, sweaty hand. I have a new sober friend who is really supportive. I’m reading Jason Vale’s “Kick the Drink … Easily!” (Thank you, Mrs. D.)
And, of course, I’ve got my sober blogs and blogger cheering squad. (Yay us!)
Monday night I attended an AA meeting with my new sober friend. Afterward, we went to Starbucks for a coffee and cookie. (Such a nice treat!) My friend’s drinking addiction plays out similarly to my own. We are both well-employed, financially stable, seemingly upright citizens. And we both love to drink ourselves into a wine stupor, despite the massive hangovers, the shame, the self-loathing and all the other well-documented consequences of over serving yourself on a nightly basis.
Throughout our conversation, and certainly at the vey end of it, we both commented on the stupidity of our drinking. We both have a crystal-clear understanding that our drinking is harming us, enslaving us, sickening us, and making us miserable. We both expressed incredulity at the fact that this self-inflicted harm has gone on for years and years.
We are smart women who have identified a problem, know a solution – and yet we don’t make the required change. WHY?
It baffled us both. And we ended the evening shaking our heads and laughing at the absurdity of it.
On Tuesday morning, I started reading Jason Vale’s book. He has an answer for our collective WHY?: “It’s because we believe that we are making a genuine sacrifice and are actually ‘giving up’ something worth having. We feel mentally deprived when we stop. This feeling of deprivation is the real problem because even if you do not drink for years, but believe that you have ‘given up’ a genuine pleasure, then the feeling of deprivation and misery will last the rest of your life.”
Amen, Jason. A-Fucking-Men.
This notion of deprivation is spot on for me. For decades I believed that my ability to relax, to Zen out, and to unplug could only be found at the bottom of a bottle of wine. And that is why, after 4+ months of sobriety earlier this year, I drank up a bottle of Chardonnay. I had had a shitty week, wanted to numb out, and picked up the tool that used to be my #1 ticket out of reality. Only to find myself, in the morning, not at the desired destination of Zen, but hungover and ashamed. Again.
So what am I really depriving myself of? The truthful answer is: $12, a massive hangover and more days filled with self loathing. Because, folks, that bottle is broken and no longer delivers anything but misery.
So here’s to sobriety! Let it ring throughout 2015, also known as: My Bitch!