Coping and Movement

Well, we’ve moved and are pretty settled in this new space.

I’m adjusting-I don’t think I’ll ever love the kitchen or even really like it.  But, it works okay for the two of us.  And, for yet another time in my life, words I’ve said in the past have come back to me.  So often, when people would remark on my cooking or not having enough space to cook I would say, “If you can cook, you can cook anywhere!”  Well, bite me in the butt! And so it’s true.  Of course that doesn’t mean it’s enjoyable…..

I got through the move without breaking down and succumbing to the pull of a Margherita.  It was really hard for about a week. All I wanted to do was have about 6 Margheritas at one go.  I didn’t.  When I started to think about it and question what was going on with me-internally-that was making me crave alcohol after 18 months of going without and having virtually no cravings, I realized something.  I realized that there was a part of me that wasn’t feeling heard.  A part of me that wasn’t feeling accounted for or taken into consideration.  I realized that there was a part of me that was feeling denied for who I am.  And then I realized that this is how I felt all growing up! My whole adolesence I was asked why I couldn’t be like other kids.  Why couldn’t I calm down? Why did I always have so much energy? Why couldn’t I fit in the peg that the rest of my family thought I should fit into?  Why was I so different?  Now, I will say that I was adopted-at day one of my life.  And my parents never tried to hide it.  I struggled with it for many years and the unspoken message that I got was, “well, she’s just different!”  To be honest, I’m not sure that anyone in my family ever thought of me in those terms and they probably forgot that I was even adopted-but this was shit running around in my psyche.  And so, from an early age-like 15 I learned to medicate myself.  The first time I drank was New Year’s Eve 1971. Two friends and I locked ourselves in one of their mothers’ car and downed a couple of bottles of Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill.  I remember the mom knocking on the window, pleading for us to come out.  We finally did, made it upstairs to bed and passed out.  I still remember the hangover I had the next day and going home, putting on my pajamas (I still remember those!) and getting into bed only to get up later and eat some boxed Chicken Noodle Soup-the early 70’s version of Pot Noodles.  And even though I felt sick, there must’ve been a big part of me that was like, Whoa!  This is great! There’s a way to dull and cope with all of these feelings and messages of not being good enough.  A way to fit in.  A way to make it all dull out for while. I can’t wait to do it again!” And so began my long career of self medication and alcohol abuse. Drinking Screwdrivers on the way to school-high school! Freedom to skip classes in college because it was too nice of a day to be inside when we could be in a beer garden enjoying the weather-or too rainy to go outside and catch the shuttle bus to campus.  Or whatever.  And so on through the years.  Always an excuse or reason to drink.  Too wound up.  Too stressed.  Too happy.  Too much work.  Not enough work.. Anytime, any reason.

Then I quit.  And except for some fleeting moments of wanting an ice cold beer or glass of wine, haven’t had any real struggle or cravings.  Not like this.  And why now?  Because the same stuff was being tapped into.  All those old feelings of inadequacy or of not being recognized for who and what I am.  That old part of me really wanted to deal with it as I had in the past.  That old part of me really pled a very good case for why it would be understandable to drink. After all, I was under a huge amount of stress and discomfort.  BUT, I didn’t.  I got through it.  I DID IT!  Without alcohol.  Or Xanax-which was the other thing I was trying to talk myself into.  Instead, I had a conversation with my SO.  I talked to a friend.  I wrote about it all in my journel.  I recognized it for what it was. I made the connection. WOW!

The other night, I was walking around this whole condo area with my sidekick, Bentley the Dachshund.  The next day was garbage day and recycling pick up.  Now at our old condo, the recycling bins were communal.  We all used them so while you could see maybe a paper bag filled with stuff in a bin-knowing that came from one person, you really didn’t know which person it came from.  Here, we all have individual bins that we put out on the curb to be picked up.  So I had the oppportunity to look in everyone’s bin a as I walked around.  Most had no visible wine, liquor or beer bottles.  Some had maybe one wine bottle. I saw one bin with like 4 beer bottles.  Can you believe that? Out of like 100 or more bins???? Thank God I quit-otherwise I would definitley be hiding my wine bottles and carting them off somewhere off the premises to dispose of them so no one would know my “secret”!  Yea right! Do you think people really don’t know when you’re a heavy drinker?  I always did.  I thought if I went to a neighborhood happy hour and only had a glass, they’d never know that the reason I left early was to go home so I could have my “daily allotment” of a bottle. My God! How that all ruled my life and actions!

So it’s all good.  It’s all growth-although somewhat uncomfortable at times.  But at least it’s not enhanced by hangovers and guilt.

With love

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