Kicking and screaming sobriety, that’s what this is. I normally end relationships that are this difficult. If I have to work this hard to make you stay, we’re probably better off going in our separate directions, know what I mean?
I wrestle with my personality when I’m sober. I have expectations of myself that are harder to meet if I’m not slightly…well, enhanced. This happened the last time I stopped drinking, too. I forgot, for a while, how to interact socially. I forgot who I was. I thought that I wasn’t as interesting, as entertaining, as enjoyable to spend time with, in my sober state.
I adjusted, eventually, but it took time and I was in an entirely different set of circumstances then. Without offering an opinion as to whether one is better than the other, I will say that making the social adjustments that come with sobriety is a much different experience inside of the church than it is out.
I should remind myself that I made most of these friends, entered into most of these relationships in my life, while I was sober two years ago. They know who I am.
Last night I went to catch up at the local watering hole after my shift at the mini-mart. I arrived close to midnight and met a room packed full of costumed revelers. What is it about holidays that make us want to drink so much? I couldn’t help but wonder as I looked around and watched my friends enjoy themselves, what would I be doing if I was on my third or fourth beer. Dancing upstairs to the punk rock band? Leaning in to share a laughing story with a group of girls? Kissing my boyfriend? I felt on the outside looking in.
It’s important to remember to ask myself what I would have been doing after my sixth or seventh dark beer, or, later, after I’d switched to wine and was powering my way through a bottle. Saying something insulting to my sister? Fighting with my boyfriend? Driving my car home through the snow? It’s hard to say. I wouldn’t have remembered anyway. Because that’s how I drink. And that’s why, even when my life wasn’t falling apart and rehab imminent, I stopped drinking again.
I like my sober life much better than my partying life. I like having productive mornings, a clean house and healthy relationships. I like having memories.
It’s hard right now, to not run and hide from the stress of everyday life, especially an everyday life under attack. My best offense is usually a hasty retreat. It’s hard right now, but it’s worth it.
It’s a new season, a new winter. This time, though, it’s going to be different.
This time I’m going to make winter my bitch.