4 months without alcohol. 4 months without a hangover. 4 months without all the mental bullshit that goes with the shiny package of addiction. The first two months were tough. Not so much because of cravings but I just felt blah all the time. Crazy irritable ready to blow my top at the slightest thing. Thank goodness that’s passed. Although I still have my moments.
I wish I could say that I have a brand new life. That I am a totally changed person. It’s not the case. I still have issues. Things to deal with. Things to confront. Not drinking doesn’t make things magically disappear. Drinking just makes it easier to ignore things- to numb them away. And hey, when you’re spending most of your day thinking about drinking in one form or another, there’s not a lot of time left for other stuff – well except for drunk thinking. And that usually doesn’t have great consequences.
So, I just had my first (since I was a kid) sober vacation. It was a good trip and a stimulating one. Did some amazing things and ate great food. Never stumbled back to my hotel room. Actually, while I was surrounded by people drinking almost all the time, I never even really noticed anyone drunk. But I do find myself watching and keeping a tally of what people at other tables are drinking.
The other day we sat next to a table of 4 people at lunch. It was a pretty nice restaurant and being in Hong Kong the people next to us were Asian. Having a feast! At one point a platter of Roast Duck was brought to their table. It was beautiful and I know it was delicious. I used to love duck prepared that way. As a matter of fact, the first time I was in Asia and had it, I had 4 orders of it – that’s how much I loved it. I pointed it out to my SO who said if I wanted it, order it. But I quit eating meat and poultry over 5 years ago, mainly for ethical reasons. And so, while I longed to eat that duck, I knew that in the end, I would regret it. I would regret it for ethical reasons and I would probably feel ill as well due to the fact that my body isn’t used to eating like that anymore. More regret. Of course in the end I was glad to have passed on it.
I think I’m in that place with alcohol. At times I almost long for it, but know that in the end I will totally regret it. On so many levels. Is that what life is? A constant weighing and balancing of things? Maybe this is just a part of the process of learning to live in a different way.
4 months. Seems like a long time. Seems like no time.