Sunday, September 2, 2012

Notes on Dry August

Yes, I'm posting this in the middle of the night on a weekend in hopes of burying it.

And this isn't an inspiration post or a motivational post.  It's a true life post.  So hold onto your hats, boys and girls.

And when you read this, please don't freak out.  I PROMISE...I'm all good.  I'm all back to ME.

By the time you read this, it will be September.  Which means Dry August is over. Which, by my own rules, means I can drink again.  My friends are calling this new month "Sloppy September."  Let's take a step back.

July was a rough month for me. I ran into some heartache that I wasn't expecting. And I chose to numb it with alcohol. A lot of alcohol.  Every night for three weeks, I drank.  And on the weekends, I drank more.  I was sad.  I was heartbroken.  I was lost.  And I was headed in a direction that was unfamiliar and dark and scary.  And I was worried about myself.

So I decided to stop.  I decided to take some time off from drinking...prove to myself that there wasn't and isn't a problem.

I won't lie...the first week or so was hard.  I have a glass of wine each night while I write.  I thoroughly enjoy that habit.  And it was hard to train my mind that I didn't want or need that wine to enjoy writing to you.  Within the first two weeks, I did have three sips of drinks that I hadn't tried before, and far be it from me to be rude and not try a new drink.  Some called that cheating.  I didn't consider it cheating.  Not sure why, but I didn't.

I was holding my own...not finishing off the open bottle of red wine on the counter. Not finishing off the open bottle of Skinny Girl Margarita in the fridge.  I was successful.  Until I went to Portland.  I ended up having two and a half drinks that weekend (I could go with the "it was a new drink" excuse again, because it was, but I had drinks in front of me, so that won't fly).  So 2.5 drinks in a social setting. Yes, I failed.  But that didn't bother me too terribly much for some reason.

From that point on, I started a cleanse, I was eating properly, I was still not drinking, I was feeling great...until last Sunday.  That mess up, that fail...that is the one that haunts me.  Last Sunday, stuff got a bit crazy around these parts and my heart and head went to the dark side.  And my mind tormented me, asking for a glass of wine, telling me that it would calm the anxiety...the anxiety that I hasn't felt in a month.  Wine was all I needed.  I said no, eat.  Have some dinner, a huge glass of water...FIGHT.  And then I lost.  I failed.  I poured myself a glass of wine.  And I cried.

The difference between these two fails...yes, I had 2.5 drinks two weekends before, but it was in a social setting. And I nursed all of them. And I was in control.  Last weekend...I didn't have control.  And I succumbed to my mind's craziness. And I failed.

I went to brain therapy last week.  My therapist asked about Dry August and I told her about my angst over failing.  She said that she sees my concern...drinking to cope vs. drinking while socializing.  But she told me that I should be proud of myself for taking the self-imposed challenge.  And that I did prove to myself that I don't NEED a glass of wine every night.  And that yes, last weekend was a set back, it wasn't the end.  She thinks I should accept that I accomplished my goal, and that I should be proud.

I love my therapist.  She is amazing.  I'm working on accepting the fact that I was able to say no most nights...when things were heavy, when the world was dark...I said no.  I'm working on it.  But I still think I could have, and should have, done better.

Thanks for listening friends.  You're awesome and I appreciate you!


My-cliffnotes said...

Life is about learning! Drinking 2.5 drinks isn't a failure. Love yourself and be happy! You deserve it.

Nikki said...

You my friend far from failed! You are a strong strong woman who can do anything that you put your mind to. If ya need me ya know how to get me!


Jenn said...

Friend, there was nothing failing about this. You accomplished so much just by recognizing that you needed dry August and then actually doing it! You rocked August -- good job friend :).