I am sitting in a pacific beachfront home with some of my favorite women in the world while they are sipping red wine and I have no desire for it. This is a freaking miracle.
A few years ago I got sober. I would have never believed that I could be sitting in such an idyllic setting for overindulgence and not have it affect me. Not only does it not tempt me, but you couldn’t pay me to drink because at this point alcohol is not only poison to my body, it’s poison to my soul.
I love my new life. But, I spent years wondering if I had a problem. Years waking up to a pounding head full of regret. I was a party girl.
Being a party girl in your 20’s has its benefits and a certain amount of intrigue. In your 40’s it’s dehydrated skin and a recipe for self loathing, anxiety and depression…not so sexy. In the first stages of sobriety, I had regret. Why didn’t I reign myself in at 30? Even 35. If I had, then I would be a “normal” middle aged drinker. But now I don’t have those regrets, I view recovery as one of the best things that has ever happened in my life. And who am I kidding, I never had a normal relationship with alcohol to begin with. It was a fiery passionate love affair from the first sip. And we all know there is a lot of drama involved in those types of affairs.
There were years of knowing alcohol was not good for me, but no consideration that I would ever give it up. The plan was always to cut back. Not spend so much time together. It would work for a while. I would think I was in control of the relationship but in reality, alcohol ruled my life and would give me just enough space to believe I was ok. I was in denial.
The pattern was that every few weeks, I would wake up in the morning wondering what the hell I had said or done the night before, nursing my throbbing head and inevitably vomiting to make myself feel better. Then I would swear to myself, never again! I would be a responsible drinker. And I would. For a few weeks, sometimes even longer. And I would feel like I had taken control. Then a slip up would occur and alcohol and I would have an intense date. An all nighter. Never planned, more of an “I was on your side of town and thought I would drop in” kind of slip-up.
This pattern continued for years. “Party girl” grew up and evolved into “have a drink every night woman” because I deserve it, or I need to relax or I do really stressful work or because its Thursday, There was always a justification. Some nights were fine, 2 glasses of wine (just enough to take the edge off)…but many were a bit over the top.
The path to sobriety was not a quick, direct one. I took the scenic route down the rabbit hole to find my way.