About a month ago, my sister Megan and I went to Missouri for a family trip. We were on the plane going to Kansas City and the flight attendant came by to take drink orders. I was focused on not barfing/crying (I’m a terrible flyer), so I passed, knowing that whatever went down, had a 98% chance of coming right back up. Megan got a tomato juice (it’s a Brantley thing, for some reason when they fly they crave tomato juice…. gross). A few minutes later the flight attendant returned with the drinks. The gentleman sitting next to Megan took a sip of his cranberry juice and immediately said “WOW. That had a kick. I don’t think this is mine.” Since there was nothing good on the headrest TV, I turned my attention to the scene unfolding next to me. The flight attendant realized she had accidently given that guy a vodka/cranberry that someone else ordered, instead of the just cranberry juice he wanted. She apologized profusely, he laughed it off, they moved on. They did… I didn’t. I was pissed! I thought “Oh my GOD! If that had been me, I would have gone crazy on the woman!”. I mean, here I am, sitting on over 200 days of sobriety, and I mean not even a sip of alcohol or a puff of a cigarette since January 1st 2015 at 2:01am, and if that had all been ruined by some stranger’s (innocent) carelessness, I would have lost my damn mind. I spent the rest of that three hour flight quietly, yet passionately whispering not-so-nice things about that flight attendant to my sister, who listened while holding a barf bag and nursing her bruised hand from my squeezing too hard on take-off (seriously, I really shouldn’t fly, ever).
Well, I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to the flight attendant for whom I’ve been harboring such disdain. Turns out that kind of mistake is pretty easy to make.
Last night, my favorite married couple in the entire universe came to town and we all went out to celebrate. It was a casual evening with the best of friends just hanging out at a local bar playing pool and laughing. When we got to the bar, my person, Lydia, not wanting me to feel left out, asked if they had any non-alcoholic beer.
I’ve tried non-alcoholic beer one other time, on St. Patty’s Day this year when I took my sister out and watched her down a bunch of real green beer. When I go out to bars now, I usually just get a seltzer water, or a Red Bull if I feel myself draining and it’s only 9pm (which happens a lot). The way I feel about non-alcoholic beer is how I feel about decaf coffee. I just don’t get it. If you aren’t intaking it for the buzz, why all the calories? (Maybe one of you weirdos holding up the line at Starbucks for a decaf frappuccino can explain it to me someday).
Neverless, last night was a special occassion and I was feeling a little left out of the drinking, so I decided a non-alcoholic beer may help me feel a little more “in”. St. Pauli’s non-alcoholic beer…. MMMmmmm…. skunk pee.
I’ve honestly been kind of frustrated with my sobriety lately. I started this challenge because I knew I needed to. I felt that deep down there was a lot of dark, twisty, beautiful, real stuff I needed to learn about myself and I had to go to extreme measures to figure it all out. As hard and heartbreaking as the first few months of this year were, it was incredible, and lately, I’ve really felt myself come into my own as this adult woman that I never knew before. It’s a great feeling. I haven’t blogged a lot lately because I’ve been saying more and more, “I think I kinda figured it all out”. I’ve started to think that the only reason I’m not drinking now is because I promised myself and all you amazing people reading this blog and supporting me, that I wouldn’t. I’ve been wondering if that’s a good enough reason to keep this up. In the last couple weeks, my sobriety hasn’t felt fulfilling, it’s become somewhat of a burden.
Being in that head-space and wanting to celebrate with friends last night, made saying no to alcohol, the hardest it’s ever been. I think the Universe knew I was struggling and decided to work in the mysterious way it’s known for.
I was standing near a round community table in the middle of the bar, half listening to the conversation taking place next to me and thinking “woe as me”. I reached down for my skunk pee, took a sip, and immediately thought, “Oh. SHIT.” I looked at the glass bottle in my hand praying it was green and I’d see that skanky St. Pauli beer maiden grimacing back at me, but no. The bottle in my hand was brown and belonged to a gentleman named Sam Adams, 5.5% alcohol by volume. My eyes got big, I thought “don’t swallow”, but it was too late. I had taken a sip of alcohol and I was SO mad!
My first thought was , “Well, screw it. I’m going to drink now”. My second thought was, “maybe you should run this by mom and Megan first”. I sent an SOS group text to my “sponsors”, but their responses, which were “don’t do it” an “it was an accident, don’t panic”, weren’t holding any clout with the party goblin in my brain yelling “who cares!” and “you might as well now!”. I stepped outside to call my mom.
I’m obviously not afraid to admit that even at 28-years-old, sometimes, I just want my mommy. I’m also not afraid to admit that most of the time, she knows exactly what to say to calm me down. After a ten minute back and forth debate, we concluded that last night was definitely not the night to break my sobriety, but it was definitely something to write about.
I think what happened to me last night happens to everyone in different ways. You set a goal for yourself or have an expectation for how things should work out, and if there’s a bump in the road or it doesn’t unfold as planned, your first instinct is to throw in the towel. If you’re like me, and have a tendency to bolt at the first sign of imperfection, let me tell you, don’t. To quote my Mama (and Mama’s everywhere), everything is going to be ok.
I woke up this morning relieved that I didn’t let my “oops” dictate the end of my sobriety and I realized, that maybe I’m not done, maybe there is a litle bit more left for me to learn this year.