I’d Rather Be Home with My Dog

It’s kinda weird being in a pub on a Saturday night watching people drink and having a hot pink non alcoholic drink.  That’s what happened this last weekend when I decided to go with my SO to watch his soccer team play a friendly.  The Spurs supporters group always meet up at the same pub to watch the games.  Now most of the time, when it’s football (soccer) season, because of the time difference the games are usually early on Saturday or Sunday mornings-they can be as early as 6:00 a.m.  There’s no way I’m going to get dressed and sit in that place at 6 a.m.  Besides, I’m a die hard Chelsea fan and that group meets up in another pub.  Anyway, because it’s off season and Spurs are traveling and playing in the US the timeline fits and they were playing Juventus-my fav Italian team, so I agreed to go.  WHAT a bore! First of all, the game itself was boring.-Well, not for the Spurs fans, because they won, but even so, it was a boring game.  We sat at the bar and I told the cute, barely dressed bar-maid that I wanted something limey and non- alcoholic.  So she concocted something and it was really good.  I actually noticed her making herself one and then saw about 4 or 5 more being ordered from around the bar-so no feelings about missing out whatsoever.  As a matter of fact, after watching several people just order shot after shot, and drink after drink, coupled with the boring game, I told my SO I’d rather be with Bentley-my Doxie- and that I’d come back and pick him up later.  Which I did-and Bentley got lots of compliments.

What’s interesting is that if I’d been drinking, I would have been knocking them back too- and the game might-maybe-have been better for me.  When I lived in Mexico and I’d go out at night-which was a a lot when I first moved there, I had a little rule that I complied with.  If I had the thought, “I’d rather be home with my dogs” 3 times, I’d leave and go home. 3 times! The first time should have been enough but, no, I’d keep on drinking just to see if it all got better-or whatever it was I was looking/hoping for.

Why is it that we/I will keep on doing something when we know it’s not working for us?  Not just drinking-but staying in a relationship, staying in a job that we don’t like, whatever-there are tons of things that can fit that bill.  I get that there are times when it’s necessary to do something that we don’t like-say attending your SO’s award luncheon-which I do every year.  BORING!!! But that’s like 2 hours so I can just about stand it.  And, I can chit chat when I need to.  I think some of it is about a disconnectedness from our spirit.. I really believe that whatever it is you want to call it, our highest Self wants all the best for us.. Our highest Self doesn’t want us to abuse food, or booze or drugs or other people. For me at least, my highest Self scared the shit out of me!  So I did my best to squash it-drown it out.  But then, around 2:30-3:00 a.m. She’d show up.  Wake me up.  Whisper in my deepest part that I shouldn’t be drinking like I did.  Screaming at me to quit.  Telling me how much damage I was doing to both my physical and my mental state.  And, I’d promise Her that I’d quit. That day-or after my vacation or at the beginning of the New Year.  Over and over and over again.  She and I would go round and round and round.  I was always letting Her down.  Lying to Her.  Well, it wasn’t really lying, because by 4:00 in the afternoon, I’d forget that I’d ever made Her a promise. By the time I’d remember-about 3/4 of a bottle down, I’d remember. And we’d start all over again-doing our dance.  She trying to get me to be my best, purest Self.  And me being scared shitless of it all and wanting to numb it out.

She won.  And you know one way that was again confirmed to me?  Because the other night, the first time I thought,”I’d rather be home with my dog,” I got up and left.

With love

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