One and a half years
I have to do laundry and pack tonight cause tomorrow night I'm going home to Michigan to celebrate Mother's Day with my mom and my grandma, and of course hang out and spend some time with my parents.
I'm looking forward to it and yet I'm also just a little stressed, for some reason I'm often a little stressed when I'm going home to see my parents - I think I feel a little more judged by them. I feel that my friends are much more accepting of me and recognize all the wonderful things about me more than my parents do. Yes, my parents love me, but I often feel like they don't really know me, and I sometimes feel like they are disappointed in me. And I feel like they are sometimes very negative. And they are very different from me in so so so many ways - in personality, in what makes us 'tick', in our outlooks on life and all the little pieces of life, in just so many things.
When I was talking to The Meat yesterday I realized that my parents, especially my mother, are the kind of people who look for "why they/you/I can't do (insert thing here)." I like to be and always want to be the kind of person who thinks "I can do this and I can do that and you and I and we can do anything." But when I'm with them I feel that sometimes their negativity just seeps around me and I get moody and frustrated and defensive and argumentative with them, and often feel self-conscious and like I'm being judged. And I also feel like I sometimes forget who I am and can only see what I don't want to be.
These are all generalizations of course, and sometimes things are fun and wonderful. And sometimes my parents are in great moods and tease each other and are cute and make me happy. I like those times alot! And sometimes they make me feel accepted just for me. So hopefully this visit will be that way as well. My mom has been in a great mood for the past week, both when we talked on the phone last weekend and in her various emails to me this week, so that's a very good sign. And she got the two dozen roses that my brother and I ordered for her today (my brother said today was the cheapest for delivery and I picked the flowers but he ordered them so I had no say in the delivery day) and she sent a really really happy email to us. And she sent me another email today asking what I wanted to eat and drink while I was there so she can get me stuff I like - that's so sweet, and I'm only going to be there Friday late night to very very very early Monday morning!
Okay so in conclusion regarding my visit to my parents, a part of me is a little anxious about it, but I also have a good feeling of hope that this will be a good little visit.
Now, another thing, and this is a pretty cool and big thing even though at the same time it somehow doesn't feel like such a big thing. But - today is my one and a half year anniversary of being sober! I feel like it isn't a big deal because most days it's not even a big deal anymore. I don't have cravings very often. And the fews times I do, I've never come even close to slipping.
The hardest time in the past year was just in this last month when twice I had such strong cravings and I thought to myself, "I can do it just this once, just one time. I'll get off the couch, walk down the street and get a bottle of wine and drink it and then it'll be just this one time." Three things stopped me, in random order: 1) I knew if I did it once, I would do it again because the feeling of being drunk would be too tempting and I'd have broken my streak so it would be so much easier to drink again; 2) both times little James was curled up against my side sleeping and little Emma was on the couch near us, and I remembered well how when I would walk to the couch with a glass of wine I would feel like they were looking sad and disappointed and I'd always feel a little guilty, and I know they are so much happier now that they have a sober mama who doesn't pass out on the couch all the time; and 3) my relationship with Mr. H is the most important thing in my life, and the best thing that has ever happened to me, and my whole life and future is filled with hope and beauty and love now - and I won't risk losing or hurting that, not for anything and especially not for one night of allegedly blissful drunkness.
And besides those couple cravings this past month, and the occasional urge to drink when the seasons change or when I watch some movie that brings up the feelings, it's pretty easy. So that's why I don't feel like it's such a big deal.
Of course, the other occasional hard part is sometimes when I'm with other people who are all drinking - just socially of course but it still makes me feel self-conscious and left out and very conscious of the fact that I can't drink and very conscious of the fact that everyone else is drinking. I had a couple crying moments when I was in Vancouver. One when Mr. H asked if I would mind if he had an alcoholic drink when he was making us dinner, because he gave me the last of the juice in the house and there was nothing else to drink. I said fine and then I just couldn't stop myself from crying and it eventually became quite a weeping that I couldn't hide.
And it was also a little stressful for me when Mr. H and I went to a friend's house for dinner another night and there were eight of us total and a really big bottle of wine. Even the two children got to have a little tiny mini glass of wine each. And Mr. H was drinking his wine next to me, and I felt so left out and, I have to admit, also a little resentful of him for drinking. And then I felt upset with myself for feeling resentful of him because I'm the one with the problem, not him, and he never gets drunk and enjoys good wine so I can't be controlling of his behavior and prevent him from drinking. But if he hadn't have been holding my hand often throughout dinner, I would have potentially struggled to not cry.
Well so I guess it isn't always so easy. It's easy most days, but then there are the few days when it's not the easiest thing to be a sober alcoholic. And I rarely go out to eat with people here and rarely am around alcohol at all anymore so I know that's part of the reason I reacted so emotionally to being around it in Vancouver a few times. I still struggle with how exactly to deal with Mr. H drinking socially when we're around other people. I'm so conscious of it and I can feel the resentment even now, after I've written about it and am emotionally feeling it all again. I know I'll have to find a way to deal with it. And Mr. H has said that we won't be keeping any alcohol in our house. But I'll have to learn to be okay with him having a beer when we're out with other people, or having a glass of wine. It's hard for me to think about right now. And it's so much by far easier and more relaxed for me when there isn't any alcohol around as compared to when there is. When I'm somewhere where people I'm with are drinking, I am so super-conscious of it, of every glass of wine and bottle of beer. I'm conscious of glasses and bottles being raised to people's lips, I'm conscious of refills on the wine and fresh bottles of beer. And I'm unable to feel completely at ease or relaxed.
Okay, well I guess it's sometimes a bigger deal that I make it out to be, me staying sober for a year and a half now. I do occasionally think about my life with alcohol and how different it was, and how sad it was and how lonely, and how hard it was to know that I had a real problem and was controlled by my cravings for being drunk but not be strong enough to be able to stop it. I'm so so so incredibly happy that I stopped, and I am so incredibly thankful for the internal strength that allowed me to stop.
So - happy year and a half anniversary to me!!
[Writing all that has me in a kind of poopy mood now, kind of mentally tired and emotionally fragile. It's a little hard to think about everything all at once. It's much easier to just deal with the little cravings or little feelings of self-consciousness or resentment when they come up, one situation at a time, than all at once. So that's the end of the alcohol talk for tonight!]
In other news, I got new shoes yesterday and they are SO CUTE and so comfortable as well!!! I'm so excited!!! And I also got a DRESS the other day, a little cute summer dress! I haven't worn a dress in a really, really long time, and I can't remember the last time I wore a little summer dress. But it looks SO GOOD and it feels good and I'm actually excited to be able to wear it, and I already tried it on for Mr. H for the webcam a couple nights ago and he loved it! And he for sure pointed the easy access that it will give us this summer! :) And that's a PERFECT happy thought to end this post on now!!