I had an “a-ha” moment yesterday. Actually, it was more of an “oh shit” moment…
I’m starting to feel things a lot more. I feel like a cliché country song admitting to this, but I think I’ve been using alcohol to numb myself.
This epiphany shocked me a little bit. I never remember thinking “I don’t want to feel this, so I’m going to drink”.
I wonder if it was a side effect of how much and how often I was drinking. I didn’t need to think about drinking away my feelings, it just happened that way. Or maybe I’m just in denial about my position on the previously-blogged-about spectrum.
I don’t know when or how the numbing side effects of my drinking started, but I do know I’m beginning to reap what I’ve sewn.
I was getting ready for work yesterday, when out of nowhere I thought “Oh shit. I had a really bad break-up a few months ago”.
You’re probably making the same exact face I made when that thought crossed my mind. My forehead wrinkled and my eyes crossed a bit, as my upper lip scrunched towards my cheekbone, and I thought, “Where did THAT come from?” And then I spent the next 3 minutes holding back tears to prevent crying off some freshly applied mascara.
This break-up happened three months ago. When it happened, everyone around me expressed how shocked they were that I was handling it so “well”. I remember my sister looking at me with this uncertainty, like she wasn’t sure if I was about to explode into a pile of ice cream and Nicholas Sparks’ movies or if her baby sister had finally just grown up into a very mature, emotionally-damaged robot.
It was a passionate, whirlwind romance, ten years in the making and it ended abruptly… via text message, but I seemed fine. I felt fine.
I contributed my lack of tears to my strong, “I am woman hear me roar” attitude and the fact that this guy I thought I loved turned out to be just another moron. “I’ve been in enough bad relationships to know who not to waste my tears on”, or so I thought.
If you were to illustrate my drinking with a line graph, it would start at fairly normal levels in January/February/March of 2014, and then begin a steady increase right around my birthday (April). The summer months would show a more significant escalation, so by the fall, I was really at the height of my habit/addiction/problem/whatever I’m labeling it these days.
That’s when this break-up happened, end of October/early November.
I definitely had a glass of wine the night I got that massive, confusing, final text message. I probably had a few glasses that night, and every night that week and the weeks following, but that was how I had been living for months, so it didn’t feel like I was “drinking my problems away” or trying to numb myself.
Yesterday I realized, it didn’t feel that way because I was already numb.
I anticipate what happened yesterday, will happen a lot more this year. I think Day 8 of my sobriety will include investing in some waterproof mascara.