13+19 – Influence? maybes

15:26. Or perhaps totes.

I sometimes feel like everything I do has no good in it. Though it’s all born of good intentions, my actions also always half selfish of course. (I don’t believe it altruism — every good act has its inherent feel-good rewards.) Does that nullify said actions? In my darker moments I definitely think so. I call myself awful names in my head (and sometimes even out loud) and I spiral down from there. Which, guess what, is good for a momentary reality check, i.e. for keeping one humble… but ultimately makes me useless.

Lately during this quarantine and having passed my one-year mark (which was a good mark to make, either way, in all honesty — since it’s a significant chunk of time, bringing me a stockpile of sober momentum to hang on to)… I more and more catch myself returning to passing thoughts of “yeah maybe now I’ve done that, I can just relax and have fun again.” People talk about needing a sober reset… I can’t remember where I read this but there’s an idea that sometimes we just need a reset and then we can drink normally after that.

Whether or not that’s true for others, I know in my heart it’s not the case for me, right now at least. I like the idea of drinking… very much. I know that just the fact that I pre-think drinking means I still like it *too* much.

***

the other night I was watching Lucifer with my husband and eldest son — it’s their favourite show right now. Contrary to the cover image on Netflix, it’s not as horrifying as it initially looked by a long shot. In fact, I’m becoming quite addicted… it’s got a copacetic philosophy.  The god character is not portrayed as entirely good, and Lucifer is certainly not portrayed as entirely evil. Far from it.

Anyhow, my hubs was having a few, and watching the characters interact at Luxe (the devil’s bar), and remembering good times. And he said, wistfully, as I came to join them with my glass of diet cola, “So is this non-drinking thing forever… or do you think you’re going to let loose a little.” Something to that effect.

I should mention, he and I actually met in a bar. Romantic eh? Actually, it was, and it took a year before we even kissed (not normal for me, believe me. I was a right kissing ho back then — but both he and I were used to others making the first moves). But yes we have a lot of very old memories, mostly very good ones, entwined with drinking events.

When we finally did get together, that was it, joined at the hip. But he moved 1600 km south, for an awesome paying job… and though it worked at first, the long-distance thing, at some point some other guy kissed me and I really liked him. I also didn’t feel ready for the whole life-long commitment thing, which is where my then-future hubs was heading. I really just wanted to continue to party, “study” (I was still in university, pubbing my way through a Linguistics/TESL degree — for me, the easiest option to pass *without* much studying), work (at a beer and wine store!) and be free.

I felt horrible about having kiss-cheated, and I came clean right away. Of course he was heartbroken, but at least I’d told the truth… so, wonderful guy that he was and still is, he wanted our relationship to persist anyway.  But soon after that, I broke up with my then-future hubs… on Valentine’s day (though I did not plan it that way….)

Three years (and three boyfriends) later, I came to my senses and we got back together. But he has (understandably) never forgotten this screw-up of mine.

While we were watching Lucifer, there was this scene with Maze in it. She is one of the main characters and technically a soulless demon. He jokingly (in front of our son) compared me to her. Bringing up the Valentine’s day thing as example.

I really felt pissed about that. Maze has her merits, but she’s a vindictive killer, the main torturer in hell and has little compassion for anyone in most situations. And though some of my worst anonymous blog-trolls have compared me to being exactly that kind of character as well (they’ve dedicated whole websites to this topic), I’ll have you know that I still allow them to suck my blood, and I’ve even advocated for mosquito rights. So yeah, but No. I might have my faults, but I’m not heartless, without compassion, nor technically soulless.

Of all characters!

Meanwhile I’d just been comparing him (also in front of our son) to Pierce (head detective — righteous and good).

Dude, it’s not right. And it’s sure as fuck not romantic.

Anyways, I’m running out of time here so I’ll finish with the punchline.

So after that, and while he’s drinking the beers I bought him on the last grocery run (his favourite kind; I’m such an enabler), and asking me if/when I’m ever going to drink again, the first thing out of my mouth was:

“I wasn’t planning on it, but who knows; there’s this demon that keeps tempting me.” 😁

I was of course referring to the demon alcohol.  As my son well knew –since for a while I’d been watching Disenchanted with the kids. So he laughed immediately. I love how that kid laughs at all my booze-related jokes.

And I stayed sober that one more day. Though my hubs, bless his beautiful mostly-kind heart, didn’t think it was very funny.

***

Oh right, no I can’t end it there. I had a point! And the point was this…

The next day, my poor hubs was a wee bit hungover. And he admitted he might have drunk too much…

and then I passed by the neighbours’ house — my favourite French drinking buddies, the awesome and fun-loving and hard-working ones I miss so much — on the way for more groceries, and chatted over the fence. Guess what? “On fait maintenant plus comme toi, Nadine… (we now do more like you…) on a arrêté l’alcool (we’ve stopped drinking).

I wish I could round this off neatly but have to run.

Anyhoo, chin up, and carry on, carry on. The race is only together won.

***

Edit 17:56 (added post publish)…

my point was supposed to be this: if you feel you are not really adding to the conversation, if you feel like a failure nearly every day, like I so often do (including after posting this post, anxiously ruminating, as you go about your timely tasks, cringing about every potential blurting/misunderstood misstep in the recent past)… I dunno. I think that maybe you might make some difference… and change is slow.

xoxox n/stl

[Edit (post comment-chat with msnewleaf ;)): title word changed from “maybes” to “Maze”] [and then changed back again. gads.]

29 thoughts on “13+19 – Influence? maybes

    1. Who knows… ;)) Actually he was very kind to credit me with it. They have a lot of other influences in their lives. One of whom (a previously heavy-drinking alcoholic, who’d been sober for many years, when I met him at one of their parties) helped influence me. Thanks for the comment, HP :))

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Maze!! Are you kidding me?!? Of course you aren’t like her. And you have trolls? So hard to believe, lovely Nadine! Perhaps I should read your other blog🤔 sounds interesting! And hangovers stink, and reminiscing about drinking is better than the real thing. In my experience, anyway. 🤗 ❤️🌱

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re so dang kind. But I’ve been thinking tonight and I’m not so sure. I’ve changed the title of this post accordingly; there. That feels better. ;)) Trolls are likely entirely products of my own imagination. :)) Thank you, lovely msnewleaf, you’re absolutely right about the drinking; it’s the same for me. 🙏💛🌿

      Liked by 1 person

  2. One more thing: I totally relate to the no real altruism thing. I do think we do good deeds, in part, because it benefits us. I used to wonder about whether I worked for nonprofits because it made me feel good about myself. But, on the other hand, our choices DO affect others for better or worse so there’s that, too. But you have to forgive yourself, too, when you make a mistake. Making mistakes is part of being human.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for this… and yes I have the same wonderings and ponderings. I know I’ve done countless things that, in the moment, are genuinely motivated by instantaneous urge to relieve suffering in others… not in myself.

      “But wait… or is it?” I then ask myself, right afterwards, since I feel so much better just after someone else’s suffering seems to be alleviated…. :))

      Thanks also for the reminder about mistakes. I can say that same thing to my kids, or just about anyone else, for that matter, till the cows come home… but I really needed to hear that myself, just now.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I commend you for your composure for the terrible comparison your hubby made! You show such strength! It’s also really hard when one partner is drinking and one isn’t. I’m sure he felt bad the next day as he does have a great heart!
    Your neighbors now don’t drink! What a satisfying thing to hear!! Wow! I love it!
    Your kindness and thoughtfulness is really shining through!
    I’ve really been driven by joining WP and you especially have been a staple for me. I admire your year alcohol free! I still go long periods, then drink, then go long periods again. I’m not beating myself up for it as I know I have control now, I didn’t before.
    Thank you for being, you! I appreciate you more than you know!! ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know if I showed strength, or reactive aggression, but I definitely thank you for having my back, Jackie. 😉🙌😁 Always so grateful for your uplifting comments; I feel the same, I appreciate you more than you know too. ❤️ Truly. Thanks, and likewise kudos to you for your beautiful continued evolving journey. 🥰🙏🤗🌷

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lots from this. First, I’ve never commented on a blogger’s relationship before even when I see signals I don’t like, but wow, lots of passive aggression hanging out in hubs. Not my place to say, I know, but it punched a button.

    One night thirty years ago, I got in an argument at a party… with the whole party. I was slurring drunk and I contended that there’s no such thing as a selfless act. Lots of anger with me, lots of wondering why I was allowed to stay at the party. I woke up the next morning coherent of the damage I did and how badly I had embarrassed myself. Your lead in brought that all back. BTW – I no longer believe that to be true. As a parent, I engage in selfless acts all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a lot, wasn’t it? Egads. Thanks for reading it. I always love your comments. He and I both have this default passive aggression mechanism, so I later felt bad for even mentioning it. It’s something that needs constant work from both sides.

      As for the second part… funny you should say that. I felt much the same kind of hungover feeling (though not from drinking), just after publishing this post.

      I hear you, on your second point. I did a few more such acts right after writing this… mainly for the family… they were acts done out of true (compassionate) love, certainly not for me… nor did I short-term benefit from them… other than having a nice (non-embarrassed) feeling afterwards. That good feeling of having done the next right thing. And it’s catching… now only if I could do those more often. ;))

      Thanks again Jeff, for your lovely comment.

      Like

  5. I can easily say, Nadine, you had a huge impact on me getter to my sober 1 year mark with all your love and support! And now it has just continued so many times that when I see post and receive comments from you I get warm inside and my heart smiles. You are definitely a super hero to me🤗❤️. Other people also feel this love from you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And now mine is smiling too. Dwight… sometimes I wonder if you must go around with a handkerchief in your man-bear pocket (well, pre-covid at least – now of course we can’t share anything across the fence ;)) to dry others’ suddenly-tearful eyes. How do you keep doing this? You just brought tears to mine — again. It’s been the same for me with regards to you, since way back in the beginning of this blog. Thanks to you and others for always pulling through when it counts. It’s life-affirming and reassuring. You’re a massive super-hero in my books. Such a tender and generous heart. Thanks again!!! ❤️🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m sorry, but your trolls do WHAT??? I feel very angry at them and protective of you. I can feel expletives mounting, and none of them are poetic.

    Aside from that, i am so happy for you that you passed the one year of sobriety mark. That truly is something to be proud of. No trash talking to yourself ok, you’re amazing. Very much so. I’m care bear staring you. As for the trolls, they can fuck off (sorry, couldn’t hold it in, but feel free to edit if you’re unhappy with it).
    Xoxoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ahahahah love it, Rachel. Made me lol. It’s ancient history now. I Thanks for all that care. And thank you so much for the encouragement and kind words. Means a huge heck of a lot. Care bear stare back. :))) ❤️xoxoxo

      Like

  7. Any time you post and share your life you are being altruistic and good, whether you realize it or not.
    Also, William Porter in Alcohol Explained writes about Fading Effect Bias, where the longer time goes by, the more we romanticize the good and forget the bad. I thought it quite interesting, and true for me… A reminder that the mind plays tricks…💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. my ex used to call it euphoric recall….i never forgot the phrase….it fits so well…we forget the horrible and remember the good…in some ways this is a good aspect of our minds when it comes to trauma( PTSD, etc)…but on the addiction thing it can be it’s own “demon”…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m the same as you… a Kantian: if I felt good about doing good I fmust have been doing not good, and thus I now feel bad. but Nadine!!!! 1) aren’t we absurd? 2) you strike me as one of the most compassionate, gentle, kind, altruistic people out there, who is just VERY hard on herself and would never treat another being as harshly as she does herself. But so un-Mazelike, never mind what those silly ignorant trolls say (One must be very bored in life to have to troll other people’s). It’s wonderful you inspired your neighbors 🙂 And thank you for reminding us all that after the “oh fuck it, just one” comes the hangover and the not so fun parts, the bleak reality. It really helped me, as I have been having similar thoughts approaching the 1 year mark. As usual: smaller scale will save the universe ! One day, one grain of sand at a time 🙂 Dung beetle style: patient and persistent. Sending un-troll-like mega hugs xxx ❤ Anne

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This comment is so sweet and caring that I hardly know what to say in answer to it. Basically all those things could have been said about you yourself…. Anne, I love the way you are with people, including me, it’s so compassionate and uplifting and it means a lot to me to read these words. Thank you so much for this. I think I needed to hear it. Hugs, and very sincere thanks. ❤️🙏🙏🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Nadine!
    All the people above had great comments.
    I wonder if your hubs had a bit of loose lips from drinking?
    In any case, you are doing such a wonderful job raising children, and staying sober!
    xo
    Wendy
    PS – In my case, I really didn’t see the biggest gifts of staying sober until year 3 and 4.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Wendy… it is so very awesome to hear that about the benefits increasing over time… I believe that’s true as well. Just thinking of Brené Brown and what she’s accomplished (25 years sober) is along these lines as well and something I keep in my mind. Thanks for the encouragement and for leading by example. :)) xoxoxo nadine

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh Nadine your husband was mean to say that! It doesn’t mean he’s a bad person but he did say a mean thing. And I can’t believe you have trolls! I for one think you are an extremely giving kind generous soul – like Anne says you’re very hard on yourself. I often think I’m really selfish too as all that I do for others has some benefit for me in it somewhere but I guess that’s just how it works? I too have moments of thinking life was more fun before now I’m passed the year mark but then I remember that passing out at home drunk wasn’t fun at all – be kind to yourself please! 💞💞💞

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, dear DGS. The trolls were mainly through another blog, but my problem was paying them any mind. I had to learn to stop looking over time. (Sometimes I still relapse on that front. ;)) Hugs and huge thanks for this very, very kind comment. So much appreciated. 😊❤️🥰❤️🤗❤️🙏

      Liked by 1 person

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