23:21. I am having a devil of a hard time right now. I don’t care about drinking, it’s not that at all… honestly drinking serves no good except to glue addicts happily together. Is that hard-core brutal? That’s how I’m blurting at the moment.
Seriously though. The only time I ever want to drink is if I’m around other people that seem to feel awkward about my not drinking. Then I just want to grab a bottle and start pouring, so that everyone can feel fine.
That’s why I mostly don’t socialize anymore. Does that sound lame? I suppose it is sometimes. But I’m kind of at this stage of my life where I just feel like doing other stuff than drinking to please people. And I’m not quite at the stage where I don’t want to please people. That one is going to take me a long while yet, I’ll guess.
So I made it through my mom’s memorial without drinking. I did that by remaining firmly addicted to typing on various digital pages. At first the not drinking was no big deal — at the memorial itself, it was mostly septuagenarians (my gods that’s a hard word to spell, I had to look it up to make the red squiggles go away) and upwards, we didn’t serve alcohol anyway, and it was honestly amazing to see and hug and talk to old friends and family.
But later, there was an after party at my dad’s house, well not a rager or anything, but you know, a gathering, with my sis and her gang cracking the bubbly, and one of my biggest weaknesses is bubbly. But luckily I’d found and bought some amazing alcohol-free wine, there was this white riesling I’d never found in France, it tasted so much like real wine I was in shock. But wine, even de-alcoholized, is crazy expensive in Canada compared to here in France. Hence, people drink less wine.
But they do smoke more pot. It’s legal now in BC, and there was a good deal of people heading out to hang with Colonel Puff on the back porch. Personally I cannot handle the stuff, I became a giggling idiot and then I just passed out if I smoked even a couple of hits, so that was no problem for me to avoid. But what is a problem for me is talking to people whose mental capacities have declined due to the influence of drugs and booze, for anything longer than a very short while.
So then I head upstairs (or downstairs) and start tapping words into my phone. And that’s pretty good fun for me, but it definitely makes me a bit odd at any gathering.
I could not grieve except in the middle of the night. Then my sister and I, who were sharing our mom’s bed together, jet lagged, would take turns bursting into loud wailing (that was me) or quiet sobbing (that was my sister). It was pretty good bonding actually except not enough time. She was only there for 2 nights that I was there.
The days were crazy full of admin tasks, helping my dad. Death is a bureaucratic business.
You might be wondering how I said “no” to drinking, to people who’d only known me as a fellow chugger of boozy drinks. Well, that turned out to be easy. I just said that since I was getting old and all (haha) wine started giving me headaches and anxiety that I didn’t enjoy. So I stopped drinking it.
I also had a plan: if I got high-pressured, I would pull out the one-year card. The one-year card being the pact I’d originally made with myself, then published on the internets, then self-sabotaged 50 days in due to having published on the internets and sucking the personal joy out of the goal, then starting this blog and thinking “one day at a time,” till now. But now I am so close to the one-year goal that it would actually be helpful to think to myself, though this crazy difficult period, that I just needed to make it through to the end of this year, at the very least. Meaning, make it through my mother’s passing, followed by heavy birthday season in our family, and then “home run” up to the 27th of March.
And I did pull that card. One of my uncles (well he’s not actually an uncle but a close family friend who I’ve known since a kid so always called him uncle) was big-time pressuring me, “Come on, you have to, for this,” and all that, and I was like nope, nope, nope, not going to happen. I’m doing this thing. I’m too close to give it up now.
Whether or not that was the right attitude, that was the one that made it through.
Plus, of course, thinking of all of you.
I am so sorry I’ve been MIA. The reason is I pretty much had very little positive or new (or both) to say. I’ve been having a brutal time of things in my head. And wow! It honestly feels good to say that here, even though I can’t quite process the reasons for it all quite yet. So thanks, thanks a lot for being here and listening. I appreciate it so much.
Love, xo n/stl
10 months, 21 days alcohol-free.
I don’t know why I called it devil in a green dress. That just popped into my head when I needed to title it at the end. Tree theme and all.