Fear as a fact

I was walking home this evening from a restaurant after dinner with an acquaintance/former client who I really like. As I walked down the sidewalk a few blocks from home, in my favorite neighborhood in the world, lawns and gardens now in full bloom, the loveliest spring evening one could want, the buzzing in my brain wanted to drive me mad. A weird anxiety that very specifically wanted a drink. My brain was really riled up, I’m not sure why.

It was still roiling me when I got home Continue reading

Grief and old hang-outs

This afternoon I walked up to a restaurant/bar/grill a few blocks from my house to buy a couple of gift cards. Up until a couple of years ago, it was my main escape at 3 p.m. to do some work over a couple of beers.  They have a great list of beers on tap. Four bucks at cr/happy hour. I loved that place. Continue reading

Cravings, sugar, and resistance

It’s Sunday and my partner left on Thursday for a business trip. I had been having a cravey time of it and was somewhat concerned about the four days alone. I wanted to sit down and write to you all but then got busy. The cravings and general weirdness lightened up over Thursday and Friday; I managed to keep steering clear of sugar for some additional, very useful days; I stuck my head in a big painting/plastering job into Friday evening; and I’ve rolled much more contentedly out the other side. I’m reading The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown and listening to HOME podcast after HOME podcast. And I’ve done a lot of thinking. Continue reading

One of the biggest casualties of alcohol: Deep rest

On Friday, day 130, I was taunted and tormented by cravings all afternoon, unlike anything I’ve felt since the first couple of weeks without alcohol back in November/December. And I am home alone for a few days. Oh, ugh.

While I sincerely appreciate the little cravings for their reminder that my mind-(and body-)set can change in an instant — going from contented, grateful, and finding it impossible that anyone with years of sobriety under their belt would ever go back — the big constant flashback rattling ones I can do without. Ugh.

I was Continue reading

A stroll through the wine aisle, part II

I’m at day 116 and have both pulled past the constant awkwardness (as though I’ve been holding my body/mind/heart in a funny position for weeks) and, more recently, stopped paying as much attention to the number of days since my last beer. But I do still look over at that number every couple of days. It matters. At the moment it is a very strong deterrent to drinking, because boy do I not want to zap back to single digits. I love my triple digits and hope to stay here for a long, long time.

I am also aware that old habits are dying Continue reading

Chipping away at my secrecy

I’ve started letting people into my drinking secret. A tiny amount, with no plans to expand it substantially. But this is a big deal.

Like a lot of you from what I can tell, I went to comical lengths to hide my drinking. I guess it’s part shame. And for me it was also related to the basic fact that I drank to try to achieve privacy. Some weird not-grounded-in-reality need for privacy, because I drank even when I was as alone as humanly possible. Like, in a tent in a state park in Maine Continue reading

Seeing beer, drinking peach tea

I’m sitting in the corner coffee shop, 4:47 p.m., staring at the almost empty pint glass of beer on a table next to an acquaintance’s computer. Irritated that that’s not me.

Last week I stood in line here to get my coffee, behind another acquaintance who was buying a pint of a different beer. This one was from a brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado, that I love and that I visited several years ago as part of a writing project (that never got off the ground) on solar-powered breweries. I love that label. It’s about fish. Cutthroat Porter. Come to think of it, maybe I have a fish-beer-label theme — think Two Hearted. We chatted about the brewery while the barista filled his glass. I had to walk away.

Earlier this week I wandered Continue reading