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.


6 responses to “Willpower

  1. This is powerful indeed, realizing you do have what it takes. To transfer that absolute willpower to other situations that don’t seem as critical right now. I get it. You can do it!

  2. Dear Daylily, imagine your world. Imagine it to be one where there is no shame, no guilt, no “you will never be good enough”… Now, go and live in it, my friend. This physical world has used shame and guilt as mechanisms to control us. We have created these concepts – we have made these into our reality. With that, though, we also have the power to create a new world for ourselves…one where we accept who we are and honor who we are. I keep thinking about how much time I have wasted worrying about others’ expectations of me, worrying about not measuring up to this western world that I live in, worrying about not measuring up to the eastern world I am from. At the end of the day, does it really matter? I am creating my own world , one where I accept myself and honor that which I am; one where I honor those around me too. Want to come live in this world with me?

    • I have replied to this comment 2 times already and each time it vanished before I could hit “approve and reply”. How frustrating. I hope wordpress fixes that bug soon!

      After reading your comments (all 5!) I was touched so deeply that tears came to my eyes and I cried. I know it wasn’t your intent but I felt sad that I have no one that reassures me that I am good enough. And I do not feel that on the inside. You are right that I feel shame and guilt and have never really given myself self-love. I have to in order to make this final change with alcohol. I must want to do it to be my best. I am having a hard time changing my thoughts.

      You have no idea how deeply your words touched me. I wish there was a person in my real life telling me these things. Thank you for reaching out to me. –Daylily

  3. Dear Day…I am a person in your real life. I know what you meant but I want you to know that even though I am not in your life on a daily basis, I am with you. I know that we are all connected and I am connected to you on a soul level. Our paths have crossed because we share similar pain. Perhaps it is to inspire one another to keep on. It is difficult, I completely understand that. I can be totally fine one moment and feel like the world is going to fall from beneath me in the next. Your words of encouragement to me have soothed me as well. And, I do care. I care that you care enough about yourself to love yourself. You are sooooo worthy. I can see the depth of your intelligence, what a wonderful mom you are and what a great abilities you must demonstrate in your career. You probably walk around, given the impression of complete control (I know that all too well). Forgiving ourselves is, to me, the final frontier, in our healing. So, go on, girl, start living the life you were meant to live…

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