Scared of Alcoholism

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So, my new man could barely spit out the word “Are you saying your an … alco…hol…you know *gasp* …ic?”

You should have heard me giggle. The look of horror on his face clearly exposed his “normie” status. When he saw me smiling he wasn’t sure how to take it. Obviously he expected this to be a SERIOUS issue.

He said he was really looking forward to taking me out for a nice meal and a bottle of wine. I said, even if I hadn’t quit drinking I didn’t drink when I was out. He said it sounded like I drank because I had a lot if sad issues. So if I wasn’t sad and only drank when I was happy could I have a beer with him then?  I said, I never had ANY alcohol and drove so even if I hadn’t quit drinking I would not have had a beer at his place and drove home. He said that he wouldn’t be able to have a beer in front of me. I said why? Because, he said, that would make me feel bad because I couldn’t have one.

Oh my, so funny. I know you bloggers have written all kinds of this stuff before, but I haven’t run into it yet. Absolutely classic response. If I hadn’t read about how “normies” think this may have bothered me. But every line by him had been addressed in these blogs. His response was surprising but I quickly saw the pattern. I was also relieved because I didn’t know what kind of a drinker he was.

In my past (you know, last year & before, when I was a drinker) a date would come to my house and I would have poured the date a glass of wine and I would have poured myself a third glass of wine, cuz I was nervous before the date a needed a couple glasses to relax. Date would drink the one glass and not want anymore. I would be smashed but no one could tell. After a few more dates, the guy would wander away from the relationship. He wouldn’t be able to really say why, but I just wasn’t the one. It was subtle that drinking, but that sense of just ‘not clicking’ with someone was felt. I had gotten to the point of not even crying when the inevitable call came.

This will be my first sober relationship. Well, at least on my part. And I have freaked him out. We have had, I know this is crazy in less than two weeks, but we have had 2 lunches with the work staff and 6 meals at my house. He hasn’t brought alcohol to my house for any of the meals. He did say he had a bottle of wine in his fridge that had been there for two years and should he bring that? Naw, that’s (GROSS & abuse of good alcohol!! Two years are you f*ing kidding me!!) okay. I’m good.

I mean really, is this not funny! I was just having a normal relationship, as normies do, but when I talked about being sober he got scared. So interesting. I am getting a real sense of why it is hard to convince doctors and politicians that addictions need more compassionate thought. If you are not an addict, drinking isn’t an issue and alcoholism is scary.

I know he is worried. I can see the wheels turning in his brain imagining a perfect evening out. He wants to give me a beautiful romantic moment just like on the tv commercials. One of the greates gifts being sober has given me is the ability to see beyond that tv moment. To be creative with my time. I’m learning what I love to spend time doing.

I hope he realizes that we are already having a sober relationship. I know what it would have been if I was still drinking and I know this is better. He doesn’t have that same reference point. New is scary. I am a new type of human to him. One he has not encountered. I am an alco…hol…*gasp*… ic!

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Bubble of Serenity

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Still don’t know about my father in law. My ex left a message saying he was being treated for frostbite and blood clots. My son asked if they were going to visit Grandpa in the hospital when he went on Saturday but Dad said no because Grandpa just sleeps a lot. Just…wow…

New man in my life is still going well. I even stayed up until 11:00 on Friday! We have decided to just run with the idea that this will all work out. We are too tired and old to play games. Though he is having fun using “My Year of Yes” theme when I am reluctant to do something.

So, it goes like this “Let me help you.” No, that’s okay I can do it myself. “It’s your year of yes..” Big dramatic sigh by me-and then I accept help.

I read this line in a Tess Gerritson book this morning, “It was not that their hearts had hardened; it was because they could do nothing about it, and powerlessness leads to its own form of serenity.” I feel like this. I have been unable to change my surroundings – so I drank. I left by means of disassociation. My own drunken serenity.

As I fantasize about what life would be like with a partner, I realize that I have been just biding my time waiting for my kids to graduate. It is interesting to think about actually letting some of my dreams come true. An organic garden, chickens and dare I even say it-having someone to take care of home & car repairs. I imagine what it would feel like to not have every burden be mine alone.

He hugs me. Longer than I am comfotable with because I am constantly moving. He says I should not talk while kissing. My friends at work laugh hysterically at this because they say it would be good to see me stay still and quiet a bit more! So I am going to say yes to relaxing during a hug. Standing stiff until a hug is over is not how it’s done I am learning. And kisses are not some annoying prerequisite to taking your clothes off.

It’s stupid moderation again. I can’t do one drink-or even one bottle. Why bother with one kiss or hug if your not going to get naked? I haven’t figured this part out yet but it seems important to him. He says it’s called affection not foreplay. Interesting…..sounds like letting my guard down, not controlling the outcome and then having a feeling. Stupid feelings.

My heart is not hard but I have felt powerless for so long and have created my own bubble of serenity. I want to drag him into my bubble. He is inviting me to peek outside of it.

Small Town Dating

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So, it’s been a week since I started talking to a single guy here in town. We talked on the phone every night. On Saturday I went to his house to meet him.

Holy crap, when he said remodeling I thought he meant the kind we see on HGTV. To put it very kindly, not quite a scene even worthy of a before picture. More like post apocalypse. Sigh…

The coversation was still good in person and he has a sweet dog, so I invited him back to my house for supper. My remodeled home does look like an HGTV after photo. My dog looks like a small horse. He brought his homemade canned spaghetti sauce and we talked about our love of fresh food and gardening. We watched some HGTV  together holding hands after he finished drying the dinner dishes. I sent him home at 8 because it was half an hour past my bed time. I also gave him some of my homemade apple bread to have for breakfast. Which he also shared with his dog. Bonus points.

Sunday I needed to go to work to move crap between offices. I invited him along. My tire pressure was low and he has an air dohicky thing right in his machine shed that puts air in tires. Huh. I just figured the tires would just feel better when the weather got above zero. Cars aren’t “my thing”. At the offices he hauled the crap, which was nice. Then I got a few groceries and he pushed the cart. We hung at his place for a while trying to figure out if there was any physical chemistry between us. He wasn’t my Jamie from Outlander, but, ya know, mm mm Jamie…. oh yeah I guess I’m no time travelling nurse who can rescue her man either 😉 I invited him back for supper again and made potato soup & garlic breadsticks. We watched some more HGTV Log Cabin Living holding hands. Kicked him out at 7.

Last night I had to leave work early for my son’s dental appointment and I had an extra hour. I invited him to go to Walmart and he drove. (He’s the one who told me about my father in law.) We returned some crap and I bought an air filter. Then I asked him in for supper. He offered to install the air filter but i said no. That is my son’s job. I did baked beans & made from scratch cornbread and we watched The Ridiculous 6 on Netflix with the boys. Beans, cornbread & a Western comedy was a good fit. Kicked him out very late, it was almost 8! My kids wanted to see the end of the movie so it was a late night.

Some of the small town drawbacks to this easy friendship:

  • We know the same people. We saw a guy at Walmart – I like his wife and our kids are the same age. My guy has had a feud with this guy since high school.
  • He doesn’t get along with his brothers. His brothers wives are or have been teachers for my kids.
  • He know about me from the rumor mill. I have never heard of him but I did work with his then-wife at the greenhouse in 1999.
  • Because I live on the main road in town EVERYONE can see – and comment- on his car in my driveway.
  • Mutual friends of both of ours have been trying to set us up for amost two years. Up until now we have both said no. They are watching carefully to see if “we take”.

Family/Small Town Frustrations

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I heard a rumor that my father-in-law drove off the road, had a stroke and some of his body parts froze off. My ex won’t return my call and I don’t know what to tell the kids about their Grandpa.

Grandpa is an alcoholic and my ex owns a bar. Oh, by the way, have I ever mentioned that I used to own a bar? From what I have heard there isn’t a replacement yet for the bartender that was fired. My co-worker is upset because my ex’s wife has been bartending and isn’t showing up to help teach at church in the morning

I’m afraid my kids are going to hear news about their Grandpa, which supposedly happened Saturday, today is Wednesday, at school or Cathecism tonight.

This town has about 1700 people. My ex can operate a phone. Someone needs to tell me what the F is going on.

My imagination goes to the alcoholic wife of my alcoholic ex serving my VERY alcoholic father in law and he drives home 6 blocks from the bar just like he does every single day. This is going to be ugly and written off like alcohol didn’t play a factor.

So frustrating and so incredibly sad.

Word of the Year – Doer

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I don’t know if Doer is even a real word but it fits what I want exactly.

The concept came from A Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. Dreamers vs Doers. I am a dreamer. I LOVE to plot and plan and organize myself, my family & my staff in cute calendars and planners with fun stickers and bright markers. But…what really gets DONE? Not much.

I put in what I will clean, who I will call, how many bills will get paid, the appointments, each meal & snack. But the dreams…oh the dreams… those have a separate Mead 5 Star notebook in different colors and always the #2 Ticonderoga perfectly sharpened, obsessively sharpened, yellow pencil.

The dream notebooks are my journals. Every “I wish I could stop drinking” sob story, the weight loss & exercise plans, the self-help quizzes and self-discovery, grocery lists, plans for travel, the future me.

Last year my turn around point was applying “Massive Action” to my drinking problem. I DID something. Rewards, treats, actvities and most importantly – people. Real humans. Not case studies in a self-help book.

I believe that there are two things that change me.

Movement & People

Interactions & exercise. Get out of the chair & go to lunch. Blog & take the dog for a walk. Join a group & find a real-life yoga teacher. Go to a movie (both people & movement). Sounds great right? But…

With this movement & people action, sadly comes failure. When I am home in my recliner, writing my dreams I can control the outcomes. When I leave this safe place bad things can happen.

And they did.

This last one took me down for two months. I found myself and my kids not getting dressed for a week. Ordering our necessities online instead of going to the store. Streaming tv and downloading books. Not blogging or reading. I kept making my world so small that I could control it again.

Maybe I’m just healing? I really wanted that to be true. I wasn’t depressed but I was disinterested. I had lost my desire to get up and try again. I just wasn’t doing…anything.

So this year is going to be about doing. Being a DOER and a dreamer. Movement & People. Less isolation and more interaction. TV and treadmill. Walking and talking. Reading and writing. Failing and getting up. And getting up…. And getting up… And getting up…..