I tapped into something I never consciously recognized that I possess.
You all know by now I’m trying to stop drinking because it is definitely not helping my depression. I think perhaps the coping mechanism was useful when I was young and not taking antidepressants but now I’m under the care of a prescribing doctor and I am on medication for depression. I don’t need to self-medicate and yet I keep doing it. It’s about the buzz, the disconnect from feelings — basically I get a vacation from my issues when I have my Pinot Grigio. I also like the shape of a wine glass, the cool liquid warming my insides, calming me almost immediately.
Truthfully, I become a nicer person at home. Calmer, less-critical. I take on this laze-afire attitude that I don’t normally have. My habit of self-medicating is good for everyone….
Except for me the next day. I’m tired and not as clear-headed as I could be. Productivity declines. I want a nap more than I want to go food shopping, clean the house or walk the dog. That is not good.
Ah, yes, willpower. That’s what I was writing about.
After a difficult day at work yesterday I was stressed to my limit. My brain couldn’t focus, I felt numb and as if all interactions were surreal. I yearned for relief. At about 3:00, I was on my own, driving to my son’s high-school soccer game and I considered how much I would like a glass of wine to ease an overwhelming sense of stress.
A voice, louder than the voice of addiction, chimed in and said, No, you don’t drink during the day. NEVER EVER. You don’t drink and drive. NEVER EVER. You don’t go places drunk when others aren’t drinking. NEVER EVER.
There are hard limits to my drinking. A new awareness came to me. Wow, I can control when and where I drink. I do have willpower.
Now, I must consider if I can transfer that willpower to the evenings when I’m not driving or socializing with others. Those hard limits vanish and I mentally justify a glass (or more) of wine. This week, I have been drinking mid-week, at night, after fulfilling all meetings and social obligations. Tonight I didn’t get home until 8pm due to a school meeting but once I got in the door, I went directly to a sparkling clean wine glass and poured myself a glass of mental relief.
I know I shouldn’t drink to hide my feelings. But, I do. I’m becoming more aware of my thoughts and I feel positive that this is the right direction for me to learn to change my behaviors.
I apologize for the fragmented sentences. I don’t write about this issue as well as I do topics requiring intellectual thought.This is new territory, this attempt of mine to express my relationship with alcohol. But, I am facing it head-on. I feel weak writing about it. Weak as in not strong enough to do the right thing even though I know what the right thing is. Pitiful, really. What the hell’s wrong with me? I know better.
I feel like all of you blog readers are telling me weakness is no excuse. “If you know what the right thing is — you do it.” or “There’s no reason to fall short of perfection.” This negativity brings me full circle and back to my previous post. The shame my readers feel could be “transference” and it’s the voice of my parents –not visitors to my blog or people in my real life. Maybe I’m not as weak as I’ve been raised to believe.
I’m thinking my new-found realization that I possess willpower could help me as I struggle to break bad habits that aren’t useful.