13+5-ish, I think (remember, I’m bad at math)

07:18. Hi everyone… wanted to give a little update. I know I’ve been a bit absent on this blog. I don’t know how to manage all the blogs (newsflash: digital minimalism still not achieved). I just go with the flow and post (or unpost) willy-nilly where the energy takes me… perhaps that makes no sense. I’m quite sure it makes no sense… and/or maybe I’m not so sure.

Now I want to scratch that paragraph. I can’t write to “everyone.” It’s not possible.

Before I wrote that paragraph I’d started a different paragraph with just my feelings in the moment. Then I erased that (it was only a few words which I can’t remember now, sadly) thinking, “hold up, I’d better give a proper greeting.”

The path of good intentions, the path of good intentions, the path of good intentions… but wherever those lead me, the new first paragraph is the truth as well; however it’s just an apologetic and justifying truth, which makes me feel ill instead of well. This guilt we carry for insignificant things is what always will lead us astray. In my case anyway.

I had a rare long and lovely writing session this morning, I’d woken up very early from a mini-mare, and felt it quite significant; I very rarely have these mini-mares, so when I do, they always do feel like small keys that open big doors of perception.

I came downstairs after some time lying in the dark ruminating on it, and did a few next right things for the household, which helped my worldview a lot, and then I settled in to unwind my thoughts, and my intent was just to unwind my thoughts, and record them for my own satisfaction and benefit, and nothing more, and that felt great.

Why am I here… now… that is the question, always, is it not?

I’m still trying to answer it… five years past age 42.

***

Right. It’s a sobriety blog… I remember now what I came to write. It’s mostly for myself to note; I tend to record sobriety notes here rather than anywhere else. I am lately exposed to regular bottles of opened wine on the counter, no harm done, no harm done… but each time I see that bottle of wine half-finished on the counter, I want to finish it myself.

I wish I were that person that could finish it themselves… and not ache to open another bottle. But I’m not that person. It makes me want to cry inside. But that’s the truth for me, in this moment, at least.

So I still don’t take even one tiny sip. Much as that would seem harmless.

And if the bottle calls to me with its peppery notes I tuck it away in a cupboard, out of sight.

***

I saw something I didn’t like, on Friends, last night. We’ve been watching old episodes as a family. I feel that watching adult comedy shows with the kids offers so many teaching opportunities. I pause regularly to explain things to the younger ones, which they love, but it drives the older ones cray-cray. Eye rolls to heaven and all that.

Anyway last night we watched an episode in which Monica’s boyfriend “Fun Bob” turns out to be a 3-bottle-a-day-ish kind of alcoholic. My first thought was “how is that even possible.” I was unconscious by a bottle and an half, if I ever got that far, which was rare. But of course a larger taller person can handle a lot more alcohol and perhaps not show the effects, especially if a tolerance is built over time.

In past episodes I had been impressed with the show for not showing alcohol intake at every opportunity. In some scenes at Joey and Chandler’s place, for instance, the two guys stand at their bachelor kitchen-island/bar and sling non-alcholic drinks towards one another. Rarely are they drinking booze.

But in this episode I was disappointed in the end. “Fun Bob” became “Boring Bob” when he quit drinking. Boring in conversation, attitude, everything.

It’s just a sit-com but I thought it sucked that it left an incomplete picture. Non-boring Bob had just given up booze, yet apparently not taken on anything new. So he had nothing to talk about or do.

When we give up booze we need to fill the time we used to spend “partying” (which mostly involved sitting or standing around drinking, while “shooting the shit” about past drinking events) with something else.

Creativity helps.

Yesterday, long before we’d watched the show, I was preparing lunch. I was late for the schedule, admittedly due to blogging and due to reading others’ blogs. I’d also neglected to do the weekly grocery shopping in the morning (instead deciding to push to afternoon) so the usual lunch of salad and sandwiches could not be had. The (much-loved) chief gorilla operates on a shipshape schedule so he understandably clenches his jaw at things like that, accepting though he is about my differences from him.

But he is accepting about it perhaps mainly because I’m so often in such a good mood, quite as though drunk, but only high on life, dancing like a freak and creating something amazing (for me at least) out of what looked like nothing from all there was in the fridge. Eggplant, green peppers, veggie burgers (no buns, those are never in stock anymore) and homemade biscuites. Salt ‘n’ Pepa, “Expression” loud on Alexa. Lol, midlife, hahaha.

I was anything but boring me, I was just like I used to be with half a bottle of wine in me but I was not starting to slur my words and lose time nor place. The kids love it and I think my husband does too.

I don’t judge any of this (drinking me vs sobriety-embracing me) as better or worse in this moment, it’s just facts for the record.

Actually screw that I will judge it. It’s better for the kids, that’s my honest belief. Maybe if the kids are older I will just let loose and rock it up with wine again. But I suppose then there might be grandkids…

Who knows. One day at a time. And if possible, always end on a rhyme.

p.s.Β “Express yourself, you gotta be you and only you, babe / Express yourself, and let me be me”

(~ Cheryl “Salt” James, “Expression,” 1989)

39 thoughts on “13+5-ish, I think (remember, I’m bad at math)

  1. I agree, the fam enjoy us better when we are sober!! Yes – we must find something else to do other than drinking. I hadn’t noticed about the general lack of boozing in Friends but now you mention it, yes, they do a pretty good job usually of not making it a main feature. Keep dancing and salad tossing! πŸ˜‚πŸ‘

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    1. Thanks so much for the kind comment, SRR. :))) Yes Friends kind of toe the line on boozing, not sure if it’s bad or good but it just is, I guess. ;)) Re: dancing and salad-tossing, I will try my best. :)) πŸ‘―β€β™‚οΈπŸƒ xoxoxox

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    2. Hi… I just went looking for you today… miss you, and your blog. Hope you are ok. Sorry I was MIA… I have ongoing/intermittent issues. :)) Sending lots of love. πŸ€—πŸ¦πŸ’›πŸŒΏ

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  2. Really nice to hear from you! I don’t recall that episode of Friends but it’s everywhere this idea that you are only fun if drinking that it’s hard not to believe it. My fav thing to do right now is get the tunes on, get cooking and dance in the kitchen so picturing you doing the same was lovely! It is like a couple of drinks in fun that doesn’t then turn on you. Keep dancing and being you! Btw it is soooo much better for the kids and with adult kids myself I’d say whatever their age xxxπŸ’žπŸ’žπŸ’ž

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    1. Thanks DGS, nice to have the perspective of someone with adult kids :)) yes everyone must kitchen dance, I figure… but then at one point I used to think everyone (adult) drank while doing it, too… which I’ve since learned (since being more observant the past year) is not actually the case; go figure. πŸ˜πŸ™πŸ’•πŸ™ xoxoxo

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  3. Hi Nadine , Ive been patchy too as regards to visiting blogs, posting etc. Good to hear from you though as you are one of the original bloggers I started to follow when I started this journey. This idea of you can only have fun if you’re drinking is dying off fairly quickly with many younger people (sorry nadine you’re not in that category any more) and I’m certain that being sober will soon be the new cool. I keep telling myself that constantly. Keep dancing! X

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    1. Whaaaa???? I’m not in the younger category??? πŸ˜†πŸ™ Maybe I am though compared to you, Jim lol πŸ’ƒπŸΌπŸ•Ί;))) I agree it’s the trend to become more aware and less drunk among the youth, perhaps in very vague part due to ancient trendsetters like us and those who’ve gone before us hehe ;))) πŸ˜‰πŸ˜œ πŸ‘―β€β™‚οΈπŸ‘―β€β™€οΈ

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      1. That’s cruel, ageist and absolutely correct about me being a couple (cough cough) years older than you. Oh well C’est la vie (oh yes polyglot Jim). I like the idea of suddenly being a trendsetter- must rethink the clothes and the hair. X

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  4. Imagine the dozen halfwit writers sat around the workshop table offering up their scrappy ideas just to make an episode of Friends – a vague idea in every head mashed together into the lowest commonality.

    Imagine yourself in the early morning at your laptop, fingers tapping, writing out your real life or even the one of your dreams – a vague idea expanding into unique reality.

    Keep on keeping on.
    xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nick, as you must know, I’m a pretty big fan of your work, and to have a few of your beautiful lines jotted down here feels pretty expanded and reality-boosting. Thanks for firming up this vague terra. And thanks for the encouragement. 😚✌️ Decidedly likewise to you. πŸ™πŸ™

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  5. Hi Nadine, great to see you back and glad all is ok. I clearly remember the β€˜fun bob’ episode and now I view it with sober eyes it is totally the wrong message to send. I’m so glad you do the singing and dancing think. My boys tell me to stop but they love it really. My sobriety is as much for them as it is for me, maybe more so. That’s so important to remember so thanks for reminding me. πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ˜˜

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    1. We all must kitchen-dance onwards in spite of all cringes and/or ignorances to the contrary, mustn’t we, dear Claire… thanks so much for the visit and kind words. πŸ₯° πŸ’•πŸ™

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  6. When I watched shows like friends, I was always jealous of how people could do the mundane things in life without a drink in their hand. I also thought it was cool that they hung out in a coffee shop instead of a bar. Non-drinking me is almost identical to drinking me. Basically, I read, or I write. But still when I quit drinking, all I could do every night was just go to bed because it was so painful without alcohol. A friend told me that goes away in time, and it has. I’m sure Ross and the gang would label me boring-Jeff, but they probably would have still before I quit drinking.

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    1. I feel the same!! Two nights ago we watched the flashback episode. The coffee shop was a bar before. The show shows people moving forward through life in a positive way… I love that about it. And yes! I’m just the same non-drinking, too, but less slurry and stumbly when I go to bed. ;)) Thanks for the lovely comment Jeff

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  7. I made a deal with my inner Eeyore. I made a deal with him that before I took that desired drink, I would talk it over with someone outside my head. Eeyore wasn’t a happy ass. He’s always the negative nancy running in the back of my mind. Once I talk it out with another person, the power Eeyore and the alcohol has is gone. I know that if I could drink with impunity, I would but that’s not my style. I’m a full fledged, mean, angry, frustrate drunk. There were a few times where it was great, but most of the time there was blood. Sometimes it was mine. I have to remember what happens when I drink, what happens to my family, friends and pets. We are in an inclusive club. Only 10% of the people who drink, may be alcoholics. Of those that seek help, very few stay. Very few make it to a year, 10 years, or 32 years. We stay the course, just the next 24 hours and miracles happen.

    Just for today, Nadine, remember that you and I are miracles. Breathe in the good air, breathe out the bullshit.

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    1. Wow…. wow. What a wonderful comment… great to know more of your story. You’re such a love and light in this world! Sorry for the delayed reply, hadn’t logged in a while here and when I did I didn’t see these notifications at first. Much love, and thanks for all the good work you do.

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  8. so nice to hear from you! i have been sketchy on here as well but do try to check in a few times a week, even if i don’t post. I’ve never been a fan of Friends but my roomie loves it. Still, regarding your post and some of the comments, very relatable. There were so many times, especially in the first few months of sobriety when i was just so exasperate trying to find something to watch, usually on Netflix, that didn’t remind me how “boring” i had become.I found the series “mom” on Hulu and it made me laugh so much i watched all of the seasons twice…there aren’t many shows that do not have at least some drinking , and it’s so easy to NOT notice if you aren’t an alcoholic.I never noticed until i quit.It doesn’t bother me as much anymore, but sometimes i still get a twinge. Mostly, i still to documentaries:)

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      1. Haha I love it! Yes documentaries are good. I’ve never seen that show, “Mom”… I don’t have Hulu though. So true about the ubiquitous drinking references. I like shows in which the “bad guys” are the heavy drinkers… I think that often holds true in life. Not that anyone is inherently bad of course, but negative behaviour often goes hand in hand with drinking. Thanks for the comment, Lovie xoxo

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  9. Hi Nadine!
    I’ve been absent on here too but only because every day is about the same with this pandemic and I can’t think of anything to write!
    I love to hear how happy you are! Made me smile this morning! I still struggle at times with alcohol. It’s getting easier to push those thoughts back and I have made such progress since I first found you and your blog! I know blogs like this are just what I need for a jumpstart to my day! Today will be a good, happy day!!!
    Oh and tonight the school is doing something small for the seniors. With this pandemic and no graduation ceremony it has them bummed a bit. I am secretly soooooo excited and sooooo nervous as I think they may announce valedictorian for my seniors class, and my daughter has been working hard for 4 years to achieve that. I sure hope she gets it and my nerves are up as she will be so bummed if she didn’t. Life can be hard for her and I’m hoping for the best for her tonight!!!
    Thanks again for still being here!!! πŸ₯°

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    1. Hey sweet Jackie thank you so very, very much for these heartwarming words. I needed them just now. Huge hugs.

      It’s the same for me about being away. I don’t have much to say on the topic and it’s been busy with the kids all at home. But the other day I had quite a strong craving so here I am again. And glad to read your cheering words.

      Absolutely incredible that your daughter was working so hard to be valedictorian (whether or not she achieve/s/d it) — wow, that was the last thing on my mind when I was her age… she’s miles ahead of the game.

      I hope the night was beautiful. I’m popping over to see if you posted anything. Much love and thanks again πŸ€—πŸ’•πŸ™xoxoxoxo

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  10. HIIIII ANYTHING-BUT-BORING-NADINE πŸ™‚ It’s so good to hear from you (I myself have been very bad at showing up regularly enough on here – I blame the last chapter of my dissertation!). I’m (was?) a HUGE fan of Friends myself…. I think I watched all 10 seasons at least twice as a teenager and probably will again one day, maybe if/when I have lovely young ones to educate like you so beautifully πŸ™‚ Anyway, my humble opinion is that Boring Bob (I confess I can’t even remember him ^^) became boring because he ALWAYS WAS, not because he suddenly dropped the booze: The booze didn’t make him fun, it just hid how boring (i.e. how disconnected, how out of touch with life) he was πŸ™‚ I REFUSE TO THINK SOBER PEOPLE, provided they Recover too (i.e. get in touch with life and being alive), ARE BORING πŸ™‚ and obviously your post is the perfect illustration of the fact that you are the opposite of boring πŸ™‚ Sending lots and lots of very nonboring vibes and hugs xxxxx Anne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Anne, no worries… tbh I haven’t logged in to sobrietyland in ages either. We all have other stuff going on. Thanks for your awesome comment, and the compliments. You’re way too kind. :)) πŸ’›πŸŒ»

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