Old Tendencies–New Me

The new job is intense.  I have been reading pages upon pages of policies and procedures  drafted by the pens of bureaucrats from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  I’m starting to think I should’ve went to law school before accepting this job.  On the bright side I now have a supportive boss who admitted that this will be the “steepest learning curve I ever encountered.”  She wasn’t lying.  Thankfully I am part of a sharp team of Policy Analysts who are more than willing to show me the ropes.  I think I will fit in quite nicely after my brain bounces back from a state of mushiness birthed from trying to make sense of intentionally convoluted federal policy.

On Wednesday I picked up my daughter from school, and now that I have a more demanding schedule–I picked her up an hour later than usual.  My baby adapts very well to change–so she was happy to see me when I picked her up.  We stopped by the grocery store to pick out dinner for the night and her lunch for the next day.  I must admit–I was for once ok with buying her a Lunchable…I was just too tired and overwhelmed to prepare her usual lunch.  I know–lazy parent, right?  I am just surprised that she would actually want to eat the pizza Lunchable–but then again, I loved that type of junk when I was a kid.

I have had a solid streak of not thinking about booze until we stopped at the grocery store that day.  After work I rushed to pick her up from school–and my nerves were a bit out of sorts.  As we were walking through the store I stopped and stared at the seasonal six packs that were displayed.  I looked–I thought for a moment, and admittedly salivated briefly…then moved on.  I got to the next aisle and saw rows and rows of wine–I licked my lips and recaptured a memory of uncorking a bottle, filling a glass and gently taking a sip.  Wait.  I never used a glass–I just uncorked that shit and chugged.  And, if I couldn’t find a bottle opener I eagerly pushed the cork into the bottle with a fork or whatever solid object would do the trick.  I remember many occasions when I actually consumed bits of cork with my cheap wine.

Yes, the urge resurfaced–but no I didn’t give in.  I thought about going from six months sober to zero days–and that was terrifying.  I tried to convince myself that I could drink normally–but that notion quickly left when random drunken memories surged through my mind.  My memories created a despicable collage of drunken moments–displaying pictures of me sloppy and sick.

I realized that given the passing of a good friend, the beginning of a new professional venture and a huge adjustment to Lila and I’s schedule–that I hadn’t gone to AA in several weeks.  I started to lose myself a bit–reverting back to old tendencies.  I was letting the stress of so many transitions take me back to the way in which I used to deal with perceived problems–drink, drink, drunk.  Drunk, drunk, sick and filled with regret, anxiety and shame.  No way–not going back to that life-style.

The next day I went to AA, gave the guys some man hugs and talked about the last couple of weeks.  I not only spoke–I listened and my perspective realigned with the new, sober me.  The real me.

I am thankful to be so busy–to have a new job, and that my friend is no longer suffering.  I know that Lila will appreciate me working hard and trying to advance–maybe now her and I can go to DIsneyland.  She will love that.  So will I.

I am grateful for so many things in life right now–and it hurts that I sometimes crave the one thing that could destroy it all.  The one thing that almost ruined my life.  Alcohol.  I will stay strong–and so will you.  I know it.  Have a great weekend my friends.

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