I will be challenged daily.
People will make casual references that may hurt me. They may make references to times I’ve drank in the past and it will sting a little. People may talk about how they need a drink and I will remain silent whereas before it was an opportunity to plan how quickly we could get our work done and get to the bar across the street as close to 5pm as possible. They don’t know what I’m doing in August so they have no idea that these things are different to me now than they were last week, month, year. They don’t know how much regret, shame, and guilt I carry with me related to alcohol. They are innocent when they say these things, but they still sting.
Today I came back together with my work team members. To put it simply, the day was way too overstimulating. I was really happy to see these people and I genuinely like them but the day was constant talking, constant noise in both ears, constant working-talking-catching up all at the same time. There was also constant references to the big happy hour that many other departments would also attend and many references to the past year’s happy hours, one at which I was a complete and total drunk lunatic and one person will still not speak to me directly because I was such an ass to her. By 2pm I had a pounding headache and around 3pm I began to get teary. During a break, I went to the quiet bathroom and just sat there and took deep breaths. I told myself, “I am not hungry (I had a healthy breakfast, lunch and snacks).” “I am not lonely, I love these people.” “I am tired, I have a headache, I feel guilt.” I realized I had prepared for any physical discomfort/cravings I might experience but I had not prepared for the emotional aspect. I took some natural stress reliever (L-Theanine) drank some extra water and went back to it. I was thankful that I had plans with a family member to go to a baseball game and didn’t even have to entertain questions about the happy hour.
Although I thought about how good a baseball game beer can be, it was hot and I was too spent from the day to even begin to deal with it. When I was dropped off at my place, I walked by my car and thought, “If I was drinking, I would have waited for him to drive off and then I would have gotten into my car to go grab a bottle of wine.” I didn’t flip my car the bird, like I did the grocery store yesterday, but I did think to myself, “I’m not getting in you, I’m going inside to write my blog, read some blogs, and eat some ice cream.” Again, it was a satisfying feeling to knowingly and purposefully buck a habit that I would not have given a second thought to last week.
So, I made it through my first Friday night. Tomorrow I am spending the afternoon with a close friend. Maybe I’ll tell her little vague bits about abstaining in August and see what the reaction is. For today, it was helpful to know that I still needed to post when I got home no matter what time it was. Maybe I’ll apply the same strategy tomorrow. Or, maybe I’ll have to lock myself in for the evening and hide under my covers so I’m not as tempted.
All I know right now is that I did not drink today and it’s not on the agenda to drink tomorrow.