My BOYZ’n I had a rough night last evening.
I spent the evening by myself. Well, an hour or two. My son-in-law’s in the hospital waiting for surgery tomorrow. My wife and daughter had gone to dinner with “the girls” and then to a painting class.
That left me with my twin grandsons for dinner, to an open house at their school, showers and to bed. But the evening was not quite that easy.
I got into a bad mood which put the boys in a bad mood. Or was it the other way around? But… I AM the adult! S’pose to be, anyway! Suffice it to say, by the time they were settled for the night,
I was ready for a drink!
…Yeah, that was my thought. Kinda surprised me.
But – I’ve been having that thought – A few times lately.
It’s because I’ve been remembering the GOOD things a drink would bring. I’ve been remembering the pleasures. Like a margarita w/Mexican dinner. Or sharing a bottle o’wine on Friday nites with my WW.
I remember thinking: “You know, a glass of wine, or a vodka on the rocks, or a vodka and cranberry would just help take the edge off. A drink or two would actually help me settle down so I’ll treat my BOYZ better.”
So yeah – I was remembering the beneficial effects that alcohol could bring into my life and my relationships.
But there were two excuses I used when I was drinking. One was: “I’ve had a rough day, a couple drinks would just make it all go away and help me settle down.”
The second excuse was: “Wow, what a wonderful day I’ve had. It’s time to celebrate. What better way to enjoy myself than to have two or three drinks.” Did you catch the change?
“You know, a glass of wine would really help me relax…”
“You know, a drink or two would take the edge off…”
“You know, two or three drinks just to celebrate…”
But 4 years ago, I got to the point that one to even three drinks did not take me to a stopping point. My stopping point was when my daughter said: “Dad you can’t have my sons in your truck with you again.” The stopping point was at dinner on July 4th 4 years ago when it took me three days to remember everything that went on and all I said that crazy afternoon. A reason to stay stopped was when my WW told me: “…and U hurt me more than U think U did!”
So last night – because I have learned that I don’t stop until it’s too late, I did not start. I did not have that first one.
I’ve changed my thinking.
But I’ve been sober long enough to begin to forget the pain. I’ve been sober long enough to begin to overlook the damage my drinking brought to the lives of others. I realize this morning –
This is a dangerous place to be.
It would be easy for me to think:
“My family’s over the damage I caused.”
“I can enjoy it now, without the danger of having ‘too much.'”
“I can handle it. It’s been more than 3 years, and I’ve learned a lot!”
But… Not only has my thinking changed, my actions have followed.
So I went to bed sober last nite. I was lying in bed watching a John Wayne movie on my iPhone when she came home. This morning I awoke to my 1,162nd day somber. In a row.
The TWINZ’n I are friends again. I can still take them with me without having to ask their mother for permission. My WW is still my BFF.
I don’t have to worry about not being able to stop after two or three. I just don’t take the first one. If I take the first one, the next one is the second. Then the next is third. It won’t matter how far apart they are; minutes, hours, or days. The 2nd and 3rd WILL follow the first. Before I know it, sooner or later, I WILL lose count – and control, again.
I’ve discovered I CAN control my drinking! I don’t take that FIRST one.
I’ve also discovered that alcohol has NOTHING to offer me that I don’t already have – IN ABUNDANCE!
I don’t have to remember the bad times, I don’t have to risk hurting my family and friends because I’ve had too much. Again.
I just have to remember this –
DONT TAKE THE FIRST ONE!
It really ISjust that simple.
It ain’t always easy,
But it’s simple!