4:30 am – just dropped the boys off for four days of National Catholic Youth Conference in Indianapolis. Nobody wanted a hug goodbye…..lol – not surprising. This will be my first time alone. I went by myself to Kansas City this spring for my first time away from my kids. I have sent them separately to Grandma’s house, they have spent an occasional night with their dad, just a block away, though that ended very quickly many years ago when they were too young to say no. But this is the first time for their own (rather reluctant) adventure. I am alone in my own house for four days.
One of my first thoughts, even last week, was how much drinking would I do with them gone? Right now I feel like – NONE, (it is 5am) but I know that will change in a few hours. That thought alone reminds me that I am an alcoholic. Instead of being excited, or sad, or relieved, I think about drinking. How much, what kind, planning my driving route around getting it. During some longer periods of sobriety I remember being relieved that the thoughts of drinking just flashed for a few seconds and vanished. Currently, they linger all day. Alcohol is sneaky that way.
Sobriety/relapse reminds me of my dog. When I leave him alone for a long stretch, he is so clingy when I come home. But when I stay home all day, he can relax and go to sleep. The longer I stay away from drinking, the more my brain can relax about it. The relapse makes my brain just swirl with the thoughts of drink/don’t drink, shame/relief. I watch my dog get anxious when we put on our shoes. He starts to pace and cry. Anticipation of a change to come. Does he get to ride in the car? Get a treat because he goes in his room when we leave? Somethings happening!! That anxious pacing is how I feel when I’m deciding to drink/not drink. I usually give in to stop that feeling.
Just now my dog ran in the other room and stole something. He senses my discomfort writing and his body knows that this is the usual time that the household wakes up. He needs to nonverbally let me know that something that usually happens now is not happening! Discomfort!!! Anxiety!!!
Drinking will steal my weekend from me. I don’t want that. My kids are facing their worst nightmare this weekend – being social! And I face mine – being alone with the alcoholic brain. They are being brave. I can too.
And the dog gets Mom all to himself. Happy 🐕💕