I heard someone say the other day that drinking to lessen anxiety and reduce stress is like setting your house on fire to get warm. You may feel warm temporarily but you can destroy your home and kill yourself in the process….at least that’s how I took it.
As I sit here on day 31 of my alcohol free journey, I realize that while my house is no longer burning..I am having to take care of what was in the line of fire. I’m discovering new and old feelings that were hidden in the smoke.
Quitting drinking isn’t easy but as I replace my daily routines and habits..I continue to discover emotions. Triggers. Insecurities. Character flaws. Irritations. Figuring out what to do with them is harder than not drinking.
If I could put a theme on the last few days it would be self pity. I’m pissed off and annoyed. Most of the time I can’t even tell you why. The fire may have been put out but my nerves are scorched. I feel raw, exposed. Lost.
I find myself working on puzzles, watching tv, reading books..is it a new way to numb? If it is, it isn’t working. Somehow the journey seems to seep into every story line and missing piece.
While this delightful post may sound depressing..because it is. I have to say that I am impressed that I have gotten this far without drinking. If I am completely honest..I wish at least once a day I would have waited a few more months to address this…toxic relationship.. let me drink through the holidays, football games…family functions.
But I also let my mind wander once a day too. What if I had kept drinking? What if I had continued to let my house burn? How long would it have taken for me to do something really stupid.. hurt myself or someone else. Or quite frankly just gotten caught for something stupid I was already doing.
The truth is when you drink to get drunk. When everyday you look forward to the hour when you can grab your glass, ease into your chair and have quiet time with your poison of choice. When you brush off feelings and people knowing it’s only a few more hours until you can wash them away..you have a wildfire spreading inside.. One that will get harder and harder to contain if you don’t catch it in time.
My house has been burning for sometime. What started off as a seemingly innocent flicker grew over the last several years.
In 2018 my word was Grace. I knew when I chose it in January I would need it to pick through all the areas in my life I had neglected. My marriage, my home, my relationship with God, my parenting, my health….I knew they all would boil down to my relationship with alcohol..and as I unpack this baggage I realize that 2019 will be the year of Clarity. Because I have a lot of ashes to sift through. A lot of unopened doors to walk through.