Ambling along

It’s not my ideal to go 48 days without posting, holy sheesh. I need to show up here more often.

I’m at day 148 and grateful grateful grateful for the beginnings of sober gravity taking place. I cannot express how much I detest the single digits and the teens. When my logical rational mind is in charge I very clearly do not want to drink again because all that would mean is I turn right around and start counting again with small numbers that creep by. I would turn right around and try to quit again because nothing is crystal clearer than that alcohol in my system is a bad idea, both in the moment and long term. (True, my logical rational mind isn’t the mind in charge when I have reached for a glass of wine/beer in the past after some dozens of days sober. But it does help to have it on board.)

I’m in a quiet, odd space these days. Focused on getting my workshop, which has been in process since July 2017, enclosed in time for winter. Siding on (vertical cottonwood boards) and solar air collectors installed (almost ready, fans were supposed to arrive today). Quiet odd space of taking very seriously my desire to be alone if I want to be. Which turns out to be a lot of the time right now. I don’t know if this is a temporary phase or a new normal. I think probably an average of both.

I had something of a challenge last weekend, which I sailed through pretty damn well. We had houseguests, which almost never happens, and it made me realize how well I’ve organized my adult life to almost never have guests or be one. I like to wake up and not talk for hours. (Or be chatted at, though I make an exception for that now because he’s so damn awesome in every other way.) I would a thousand times rather sleep in a tent and have my own little cocoon and make my coffee over a camp stove in the morning and sit looking at the trees than stay in someone’s home and have to be friendly before 10 a.m.

This is not how I was raised, apparently, because just typing this sends tiny waves of guilt through me. I am supposed to be friendly on demand. As my partner and I were talking about this after the guests left (I was processing things), I said, “I am what my mother would have called ‘cold.'” Half kidding, because most of the time I’m honestly friendly, but I don’t exert full effort.

This connects both generally and specifically to sobriety because (A) I know that sometimes I drank to get rid of the feeling that arises when who I am or what I want is threatening to something inside me and I feel compelled to resist or suppress it (alcohol can either do the suppressing or soothe me after I’ve done the suppressing myself — a truly all-purpose poison!), and (B) the guests who were here are people who I have, for some unknown reason, felt the need in the past to drink while I was around. They were in my home for two days, and I didn’t drink. (I go girl.) I actually thought about buying some alcohol to serve them and our other guest, a couple of different times, but it was immediately obvious to me that … bad idea. BAD. Plus, it’s probably a good thing for our home to be known to be a place where there isn’t particularly any alcohol served, though I don’t feel the need to make that a hard and fast rule.

(I wish I knew why I want to drink around them. Once it was when I was in my perhaps third month sober and we went over to their house for dinner, and I was like, YES I WANT SOME RED WINE. Another time during a bumpy period last April when I was off and on and off and on we had dinner with them and…. on. The weird thing is, they’re really sweet people who I like and find interesting and don’t find threatening or annoying. Huh.)

And, for your ironic pleasure, listen to this. After they left and Third Guest went back to where she was staying, I, feeling actually physically wounded inside from not being able to move around my own home in my own little accustomed bubble, went to a coffee shop to get some work done and collect my thoughts. When I walk in, there is Third Guest sitting at the table near the door looking at the door. I, surprised as hell and caught unprepared, mustered my best friendliest smile and said hello and kept walking, got my coffee, sat down in the other room and did what I came there to do. (See? Cold!) I just couldn’t. I just couldn’t … slay myself yet again for the comfort of guests. She reportedly thought something was wrong (I learn through my partner later) and comes over that afternoon (I wasn’t home) bearing gifts. One of which was (wait for it……..) (…) (…) ….. a bottle of wine.

Touche, universe.

I stare at this thing on my counter. (My partner knows I quit alcohol, though not how hard it was or the extent of my problem.) Huh. I say silently to it, well look at you. I do not want you here.

It’s in a cupboard now that I never open. I’ll give it to someone in the medium-term future. I could of course pour it out, but I don’t think that’s necessary. (If it were beer, even beer I don’t like, I’d have dumped it right down the drain.) It has a nail on the label, which I think is nice and nonwine-y and construction-y.

It has now stopped raining and so I will go out to the shop and continue working on the south wall. But first, I just glanced at my email and found some more touche-universe material. One is a sweet email from the guests who for unknowable reasons used to drive me to drink, and the other is an alert from Paypal saying my biweekly installment payment to Belle’s sober jumpstart class just processed. Evolution happens. God I love being present every second of every day, never leaning into a beer in the afternoon, never wondering when I can sneak one and not have it on my breath, never wondering when someone unexpectedly goes to my car or to my workshop if they’re going to see an empty beer bottle or bottle cap. Life is so much simpler and calmer this way, even if I do have to come face to face with me as cold 🙂

Happy sober Sunday.



10 thoughts on “Ambling along

  1. Wow. I could have written this myself, or something along these lines for sure, especially about forced friendliness before 10am. When my mom visits us, she greets me every morning (unless she’s already talking on the phone) with a loud and energetic “good morning!” I loathe this and often reply with “no” or “not yet” or even “it isn’t.” If you’re cold, then I’m a bit of a bitch I guess. ☺️


  2. Hi Adrian!
    So glad you dumped that poison!
    I like my quiet time, too! In fact, I am happy with just one visiting day. Have to decide on one or two days visiting family on Thanksgiving.
    Being sober definitely has made my life calmer!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 🙂 Part of figuring out sobriety, for me, is figuring out how to create that alone-and-peaceful-in-the-woods feeling in other ways. Small ways that can exist at home. One thing I’ve been realizing lately (whose connection to the tent and coffee question might not be obvious) is how nice it is to wear exactly what I feel like wearing to some event. Expectations be damned. (Obviously too there’s a limit to this, but I haven’t found it yet.) What I end up wearing is often comfiest jeans and green or gray sweater, with silk scarf if needed for cold and color. The jeans/green/gray harken to the tent and coffee, I think.


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