Ladies Who Lunch met for a birthday Chinese buffet yesterday. One knew nothing of my recent crisis. One knew one story and two knew a bit more. I caught everyone up and ended with “and then I drank.”
Two can’t drink because of meds, one just has a few when friends come over and one has a drink most nights. One is late 20’s, one is turning 40 and two are early 50’s. You can probably put together the drinking patterns just based on age.
They cared and they didn’t that I drank. Their concern was much more about how I was holding up and what I was doing for help. Knowing that I was trying to not drink – they were sad that I drank because it was something I wanted. In the big picture it was certainly not a failure of any kind to them. Their focus was more on what I achieved than on a couple, in their eyes, much needed cocktails.
I told them I was still planning to not drink. “Whatever – that’s good…but what are you doing to take care of yourself?”
As a sober blogging community the focus is on getting and staying sober. I think we do an excellent job of working on self-care as a means to this end. Alcohol had been my answer to everything in my life. My self-care was alcohol.
For the past year my focus has been on getting sober. Rewards an Treats for for each day not drinking. Then I drank. I didn’t want to just have one. I didn’t want to fit in at a holiday party. I wanted to be alone and check out.
But it didn’t work. Somewhere in that Rewarding & Treating & Lunching with Ladies I found that self-care wasn’t to just get and stay sober. It is about caring for myself. The girls didn’t care about my drinking per se, they cared because it wasn’t a good self-care choice.
Amongst us Ladies we can easily see that one is a doormat to her family, another has a cheating husband, one is very controlling and one had to get back to work & prosecute two meth mothers and remove their babies. They don’t see me as the “alcoholic” in the group. I am the one with the continual crisis in my life.
For the past year it took my everything to quit drinking. It was so hard. Then I drank.
But I don’t want to go back to drinking because now I know. It’s like a secret. Once you know, you can’t unknow. Drinking doesn’t feel good. And now that I know what feeling good feels like I don’t want to go back to feeling bad.
My friends, sober or not, understood how bad I was hurting. Hurting so much that I drank because I couldn’t find the light. I finally get it. I am loveable. I can love myself and I can let others love me. That’s why they could care less about the alcohol – they cared about my hurting.
And I care that I am hurting.
I think that is my personal definition of what being an alcoholic is…….