So it's been almost 10 months since I quit drinking. It's one of the hardest things I have ever done. I think the only other thing that was more difficult than this was when TJ got diagnosed with autism....but that was different. That was a smack-you-in-the-face-holy-crap-your-life-as-you-knew-it-is-over-and-things-will-never-be-the-same kind of thing. This is more dragged out, more subtle, and repeatedly smacks you in the face. Or it doesn't. It's been very strange.
Before I get into that, let me paint a picture for ya. I have been described as "the life of the party". I've always been very social. And ever since I can remember, I have not been that girl who can have 1 glass of wine and be done. It's always been more. And I thought many times before that it may be a problem, but quickly pushed those thoughts away so they wouldn't interfere with my good time.
Fast forward to last summer when I was away for a girls' weekend. I had a few too many, yelled at a couple of friends, and cried. Embarrassing, right? Well it was embarrassing enough for me to say "enough is enough". I had lied to myself for long enough. That was it.
That, and my sister had called to tell me she was worried about my drinking too much. That did it, really. My sister saying it to me made it real.
Real enough to quit.
And that was that. I haven't had any alcohol since June 30.
The "firsts" have been hard: first birthday, first Christmas, first New Years (that was the hardest), first book club, first party, first Valentine's....you get the picture.
I've had a lot of times when it hasn't been hard at all. Those feel great. Those times when I can hang with my friends and not even think about the fact that I'm not drinking.
But randomly, and without warning, I get smacked in the face with it; everyone is having a drink but me.
Those suck. And they come out of nowhere.
My friends are amazing - asking what they can do to help, to make it easier on me. One thing that is important to me is that I don't want to be treated differently now that I'm sober...I still want to be included in everything I would have before. I don't want them to stop drinking around me. I don't want anything to change.
But I think what I have forgotten to address, for my own well being, is that things have changed. I've changed. I'm still getting used to it, and I can't expect to go from all to nothing without any effect on my spirit.
Sometimes I just have to leave the party. Sometimes I have to RSVP "no" if I don't think I can handle it. Sometimes I have to suck it up, hang out with everyone enjoying a cocktail, and just get through it.
It's unpredictable. And I have to remember that my friends know this, and are ok with it. They don't mind if I have to leave. They are proud of me and support me, and I don't owe it to them or to anyone to be "the life of the party". They tell me this all the time.
I've just been so focused on putting out there that "I'm fine", that I haven't been that fine.
BAD LAUREN!!! How silly is that? We can't all be fine all the time, who have I been kidding??? I am NOT that good of an actress!!!
So the Jackhole award goes to me (clap clap clap...) for thinking that I have to act fine all the time.
Thank you for this award. However, I reject this Jackhole award because I will be Jackhole no more! HAHAHAHA!!!!
So for those of you who have been asking why I've stopped drinking, there it is. So bear with me. Just like everything else, it's not all good or all bad....
It is what it is.
PS - you may have noticed that this post didn't mention how Sean deals with my not drinking - that's because with him, it is a non-issue. With him, I have never pretended to be ok when I'm not. He's a dreamboat, remember? This is no different. Thank you, Sean, for being my rock. I love you.