One More Breath


I want a drink. It is consuming every part of me, though today is better than yesterday. I don’t just want to taste a good beer or sip a warm wine. I want to get drunk. I want to get drunk and then I want to have a laughing, sprawling, too-loud-for-that-time-of-night party.

This would seem to be evidence that not everything is okay, I am not well. What I can’t seem to keep straight though is which came first, wanting to have a drink or being not well. I think I was not well before I wanted to have a drink. I think I feel like having a drink would help me to feel well, to feel myself, again. I think I’m honest enough to know it would take more than just one drink.

Here’s the thing. How exactly does one go about finding out who they are? And once they know who they are, or admit to it, how exactly do they go about being who it is they are? Seriously.

Yesterday morning I woke up and wanted to drink. By the time my sister showed up for leftovers lunch, it was taking every bit of will to not pour a quick shot of the whiskey in the freezer from the day before. “No one will know. You’ll feel so much better,” I told myself. The commercials on tv alternated between Crown Royal and Corona. I know very tangibly the moment that self-will fails, the feeling that tears at your chest. It started just before she arrived, pulling apart down the center, leaving me breathless, panicked. I didn’t have a drink.

It’s embarrassing to share just how hard it is for me to not drink. For dinner my boyfriend and I went to our favorite local gathering spot. I could feel the anxiety beginning in the back of my throat as we made our way through the crowd, me drinking Kombucha out of a wine glass. I pulled the kava out of my pocket, and sat at the bar to eat my salad. I didn’t have a drink.

I didn’t stop for coffee on the way home from his house today. I didn’t want to face a bunch of people I know. If there had been something to drink at my house when I arrived here, I would have drank it. I don’t keep alcohol in my house.

The entire time I’ve been wondering if I know who I am, questioning myself on every level, wondering if other people know who I am, doubting myself, doubting my relationships, remembering the past, wondering about the future, coming to decisions, forgetting them, fidgeting and anxious, always anxious.

I’m drinking iced tea.

This morning I sat writing a grocery list for this afternoon’s trip to town. I wondered if I was just playing the role, or if it’s healthy to push through daily tasks when all I really want to do is sleep. Maybe my boyfriend is right, maybe I just need to be busy. Am I supposed to give in to what my body keeps demanding, to allow myself this mood and sit and rest, or is better to continue to go through the motions, believing the mood will eventually pass.

I am exhausted.

But I got the grocery list made, and the house cleaned up, and an afternoon of errands ahead of me; because I don’t know what else to do. And the next time I want to curl up in an expressionless ball, I’ll probably just keep smiling and nodding through my day and wait for it to pass.

I haven’t had a drink in three months.

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3 thoughts on “One More Breath

  1. cherylamkopcak

    Beloved….check out this link. The battle in your head is oh so real. As of today….you are the victor! Celebrate just that….and please do check out the sight, extensively. I believe there are answers there for you.
    I love you….

    Reply
  2. John Predom

    Your boyfriend is probably right about staying busy. What’s the saying? An idle mind is the devil’s playground. I really have no advice on this subject. I’ve been able to give up most vices that I have had, except chocolate. Even chocolate, I realize when I have been excessive and wish I had self control. The only way I can control myself is to limit the amount I have available. With alcohol it is different, or is it? Knowing that if you have a little it will somehow eventually take you to a place that you do not want to be. That’s what gives me the motivation to stay away. Your strength and struggles inspire me and remind me of how life sends us curve balls. Stay focused on your long term goals and you will be successful. It’s not always a straight path.

    Reply

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