Glimpses Within

I’m on day 11. I did not have a drop of alcohol this past weekend. I’m really proud of that. The cravings came and went like ocean waves, but I rode them out, I moved past them. What worked best was picturing going to bed at the end of the night. Knowing that I wanted to get great sleep and not wake up at 3:00 AM full of self-loathing and wrestling with a mild hangover. I set my sights on the next morning, planned out my “break of dawn” workout, all the things I wanted to accomplish with the house and with the kids, how I wanted to feel the next day.

What also helped was our busy schedule:

Friday, my son went to his high school varsity football game with a few friends. Just knowing that I needed to bring them home afterward solidified my resolve to not touch a drink. No way would I risk driving a handful of kids with alcohol in my system. But what sort of annoyed me was that my husband chose to drink. He was still fighting off a virus, we didn’t have any plans to go out, nothing going on, and yet, he felt the need to have three cocktails while just sitting on the couch next to his wife and daughter, watching TV. “Buzzed Robert” came out of the woodwork. He spoke louder, played more roughly with the dogs, was easily distracted, and by the end of the night, just overall more self-absorbed. When we finally retired for the bedroom, I was turned off by him, had lost my desire to do anything between the sheets. I just wanted to go to sleep so I could wake up next to “Sober Robert” the following day.

Saturday, I had to work from 10 to 5. But like I wrote about in my last blog entry, I had time in the early morning hours to put in a good workout. So awesome. A total benefit of not drinking the night before. The day passed rather quickly, and once I walked through the door at home, the night followed at the same pace. My husband and I took our daughter and four of her friends to a huge, haunted attraction in our area. Once again, though, Robert decided to drink. He downed two-to-three cocktails before we left to pick up the girls. Why, when our whole night we’d be responsible for a group of 11-year-olds? We were ALREADY doing something fun. Arriving back at the house afterwards–finally (around 10:45 PM)–we went immediately to bed, where I had to lay next to a snoring husband. Needless to say, I didn’t fall asleep until well past midnight.

Sunday was a day of getting “shit” done. Because I did not drink the night before, I again woke up with energy. Our family went to church, then my daughter and I ran errands. The kids had tennis in the afternoon, and my son had a friend over late in the day. I picked up the house, did laundry, organized some cabinets, and all in all, just had a productive day. Robert, of course, got into the booze by late afternoon. He drank a couple of beers while making chili (and watching football), then had a lowball of neat whiskey in the evening. By the time our show came on, the one we watch religiously every Sunday night, he was sleepy-eyed on the couch. Yes, he made it through the episode, but I could tell it was a struggle. I was tired, too, but at least I was “present” with him. He seemed rather dazed and again self-absorbed.

Thinking back on our weekend, I definitely see a pattern there. One I’ve seen before. A seed of frustration has planted in my mind. My husband’s drinking–while I’m abstaining–shines a light on problems that could grow into much larger issues if we don’t figure out a way to work through them now. It’s hard enough to try to look forward to my weekends when I’m planning on not drinking, but to deal with the knowledge that my husband will imbibe to excess every single night of every single one of them? It doubles the difficulty, if not triples it.


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