I spent a lot of money over the last month. I didn’t exactly mean too. Part of it was probably just because I left the house regularly. Funny how much money you can save if you don’t get out of bed. But get out of bed I did. I bought new bedding and new curtains because I care enough to want to make my bedroom a calming little cocoon. I bought a lot…a LOT…of sushi because I love it and because octopus is insanely healthy. Google it. Miracle of the sea I tell you. I bought new sneakers because I finally noticed that mine were 3 years old and no longer fit for daily use. I bought some Vans because I wanted to. I bought new pajamas. I got my nails done. I bought all the vitamins. All. Of. Them.
The point is, I kind of accidentally went through several hundred dollars. But it wasn’t really an accident. I decided after nearly 10 years of neglect to take care of myself. At least half of those neglectful years did not include alcohol but the last few sure did. This self-care has been incremented in stages. A year ago I went to a therapist to work on anxiety. I didn’t mention that I had become uncomfortable with my drinking because I’m that girl…I won’t even tell all my problems to the person I’m paying to help me with my problems. But my learned healthy coping skills got a good tune up none the less. Then I started going for hikes on my days off in the winter. Six miles alone with my thoughts. It was a step. Spring came and I joined a gym. I made a commitment to myself that I would leave work at seven because twelve hours is enough and because I will no longer allow myself to rot away doing nothing other than serving my employer (ok and also humanity but never myself). I weaned my drinking to one standard drink every other day. Quitting entirely as a goal did not occur to me. Just get it under control. Get the beast back on a leash. Just drink on weekends like the normals.
These changes were leading me to the night I realized I had already passed on my nightcap two days in a row. The next logical step in my quest to reclaim my physical and mental health seemed obvious. Take a break from alcohol. Take 30 days off from drinking. At least 14. Try for 30 but it seemed like a really big number. But before I knew it, day 30 came and went. What had seemed like it would be a really long break, enough time to reset things now seems like the first few wobbly steps. When I went to bed on day 30, the last thing I wanted to do on day 31 was pour a glass. “Let it go” I hear myself say from somewhere deep inside. This relationship with alcohol that has become abusive toward me, just let it go.
Day 38 has come to a close. I’ve had to slow my spending roll due to not independently wealthy. It was fun to indulge my comforts and aesthetics for a bit but there is nothing I can buy that will fix whatever made me feel so bad that I just wanted to drink myself to sleep. Peace may not be cheap but it’s not for sale. It’s bought with hard mental work, not money. I may not be there yet but I feel like I can at least see which way to go. My face looks alive, I laugh a lot. Really hard. I don’t avoid looking at myself in the mirror. If I don’t accomplish anything else in a day, I drag my ass to the gym and sweat. Some days I stay in bed reading and writing. Some days I make progress on the to-do list that got REALLY long while I was drunk. Every day I choose to make myself better and if I can’t do that, I can at least choose not to harm myself with alcohol. It’s a work in progress. Not perfect, not guaranteed but better than 38 days ago.