My husband and I just had a rare child free weekend. Usually, I would be counting the hours until I could clock off and celebrate with wine. Here we had a more valid excuse than usual for having bucket loads of booze so I would welcome it with open arms. The opportunity to “switch off” and “recharge” always ended up with us drinking way to much, staying up/out late, spending far too much money and feeling hopelessly worse for wear when it was time to have the children home.
By Friday I was quite excited at the prospect of having a bit of free time but that was about it! We’d decided to forgo a hotel stay and just explore in London, eat out and generally treat ourselves. When I got in from work in the evening, to say I was a bit tetchy would be an understatement! I was so grumpy. I banged around the kitchen preparing dinner, sipping on my elderflower drink, feeling totally sorry for myself. Thoughts of ‘it’s just not fair’ and ‘how am I ever going to switch off and have some grown up fun’ were running through my head. Finally, once I realised that my husband had taken as much snapping by me as I could get away with, I decided to just up and say what the matter was. The weekend was a huge trigger for me to drink. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I couldn’t get my head round how it was going to be any fun, or have any point to it, without booze? ‘It’s months since I got to let my hair down, be a bit reckless’ I told him. ‘My life is just a bit flat all the time and now here we have the chance to really let rip for a couple of days and I can’t get excited about it if I can’t have any wine’
He listened to me ranting on for about 15 minutes, He didn’t say anything clever or helpful about how I felt, I didn’t need that, just needed to vent the feelings, to let them out. We ate, I had some chocolate after dinner and slowly started to feel better. Actually, as soon as I started to tell him what was bothering me, I started to feel better. I realised my life is not flat or boring. I am perfectly content most of the time. Day to day I am always happy with my lot, have tons to be grateful for and am ok, really I am. What I am not used to is the lack of drama and chaos, or excitement as I previously labelled it. I am not used to appreciating the simple things, like time? What is that all about? God, I think I must have drunk to speed up time, because I really don’t seem to be very comfortable when I have any abundance of it. That’s a learning curve, I need to work on how to just be.
My husband wasn’t at all bothered that he wasn’t drinking wine or beer. He is super supportive of me. He’s not drinking at home since I stopped. That didn’t hamper his mood at all. Our plans for the weekend loosely revolved around culture stuff, movies, shopping, eating and drinking tea. This didn’t bother him. He was really looking forward to it. It’s just a weekend, for fuck’s sake…it doesn’t have to be the biggest party ever?! Really?? Ok…
By Saturday morning I was over it and looking forward to finding great food and stopping off for tea and eating good cake. We had a really chilled, fun day and evening and I didn’t think about drinking again after that. I was relaxed and rejuvenated and by Sunday lunchtime I really felt like I’d had a relaxing break. Who knew!?
We picked the kids up on Sunday where we had lunch with my parents and the wine as always was flowing. I brought my special drink and got on with enjoying the meal and catching up with the kids. Another first here, is that when we were at home on Sunday night, I was thinking about the lunch and it occurred to me that I didn’t notice how much, what colour, or anything at all about the wine that had been drunk at lunchtime. I didn’t register. This is a giant leap for me as once I put my order in for my drink, I didn’t think about the beverage situation once for the rest of the meal. I cannot tell you how excited I am at this progress and can only imagine that this is how normal people feel about the drink situation when they are socialising!!
Life doesn’t really suck because you have a craving or you have to rewire yourself for certain situations. For an isolated few moments or maybe even hours, it can be difficult to navigate, require change on your part or you might need to just quietly be. Life sucks when you booze is all you care about, you drink too much, have hangovers and generally feel like a bag of shit every day of the week.