Today was a gorgeous sunny day in my part of the world.
I grabbed ten minutes in the sunshine at lunchtime when an old familiar thought popped into my head.
Sunshine + long day at the office = nice cold glass of wine later
Arghhh…where did that come from? Shit. What a shame I can’t look forward to a nice relaxing drink after a hard day at work. In reality, a glass of wine would have meant the whole bottle, maybe more, a late night and tomorrow would be a shitty day and I would be hungover and miserable.
Instead, i went for a run, listening to a new playlist, through the park in the early evening sunshine.
It was glorious and I am so glad I dismissed the wine thoughts and did something else with my sunny evening. One small change in my patterns of behaviour that I hope my brain will register. Every little victory counts.
In an email to one of my sober pen pals I wrote this some weeks ago…
The not drinking bit of it is going super well. I have no desire to have a drink (apart from the very odd glance at a glass of wine when someone else is having one, in a sort of. I wish I’d ordered one of those…oh well I will just have this, kind of way) and I have settled nicely into a routine at home of preparing dinner and drinking what the kids are having and it’s not stressful. God, worrying about whether there was enough wine, is it too early to start, or should I just nip to the shops before it gets too dark, that was stressful. Will I be able to stop and not have a hangover for work, that was stressful. Being with my kids isn’t. I spend the evening with them, no more table for one at my bar in the kitchen anymore.
Because I stopped for a few months last year, I think my brain has fallen back into that non drinking at home pattern quite easily this time and I am grateful for that.
All of these experiences that are part of my life, each time I go through one of them I know that the next time my brain will remember (maybe not completely, but somewhat) that I don’t need to associate alcohol as being at the centre stage of all of these things. It doesn’t have to have the starring role at every event in my life. It may happen to be there,in the background, while I am doing all of these things but it won’t be at the forefront. And one day,although it might still be there, I won’t even notice it, much less care!
Everytime I choose not to have the drink, a little bit more rewiring happens, some more healing occurs, I grow stronger and it gets easier.