Things are so not linear. The inner addict has been subtly angling for alcohol. Just a little. Just this once. (You probably know the drill.) Not two, just one.
Her current suggestion is to buy the beer that’s 2.3% alcohol. (It’s sitting in the liquor store right next to the NA beer. (I think it shouldn’t be.)) And then drink two. I tell her, that’s the same as one drink. It doesn’t matter if the alcohol is diluted — it’s a beer. We grab a pack of NA beer and go home.
Fortunately, this is her only trick at the moment. And she doesn’t pipe up with this more than a couple of times a week. But I do feel a general yearning for a few beers so I can just check out. Just check out. There aren’t any major stressors in my life. And I still want to check out. I want that physiological kind of escape. Meditation or sleep seem like they might provide that (meditation especially), but they don’t. Not exactly.
There it is, the state of things at day 169.
So I go along. The addict never gives a blood-curdling scream for alcohol, so my alcohol-free life doesn’t feel precarious. And I know that, beneath the surface, every day without it is giving me more solid ground, thicker skin, more peace, of new kinds. A greater ability to cast about and explore myself and explore the world. To sit out in the world with my own way of seeing, own peculiarities.
I love travel and I tend to go on a trip — whether for work, to see family or friends, to do a woodworking class or dance weekend — every month or two. (The woodworking and dance escapes are pretty far between though, unfortunately.) When I’m on the road, even though I love that life, I can get stressed, and when I’m out of my comfort zone, it’s easier for the addict to get louder and me (the other parts of me) to feel weak.
But I think I’m street smart enough in this walk away from alcohol that I can trust myself to do what it takes in those conditions to get myself safe. Get away from noise, obtain tea, get out of glaring lights or sun, sit down in a corner and rest. Crack open an escape book.
Yet right now I feel like my responses aren’t quite enough, aren’t quite right. There’s a dissatisfaction that I don’t recognize and can’t get to go away. Yes, I’m resisting it. Argh…