I can’t help wondering…now what? I feel as if liquor-free me is a newborn kitten. Small, fragile…adorable yes…but mostly fragile and new, in need of protection. I have spent the last six weeks being remarkably easy on myself. This is a good thing as I have spent my entire conscious memory being remarkably hard on myself. When I was five I would get furious with myself over missteps and social blunders, misused words and absolutely everything I didn’t know how to do. I taught myself to ride a bike without training wheels when I was 4. I wouldn’t let anyone help me because I didn’t want to be revealed as having not been born knowing how. I took it to the top of our very steep driveway and just pushed off downhill. I figured I’d learn or die trying. Problem solved. It’s really no wonder that by the time I was 35, I was exhausted. Exhaustion that was eased, or so it seemed, by alcohol.

The list of things I neglected while buying too many bottles of vodka, wine and beer is long. Tackling it is daunting. Anxiety producing. I don’t even know where to start. That sense of being overwhelmed…well, there’s that bottle of vodka in the freezer that would make me forget that I am overwhelmed. At least for a few hours. I do remember though that if I turn to the vodka tonight, everything will be worse in the morning. So I am leaving it in the freezer. I am, however, disturbed that I even thought about it. And it’s 4 o’clock in the morning and I’m writing about not drinking so I won’t drink.

I can’t stay in my safe little cocoon forever. The one where the only thing I make myself do whether I want to or not is go to the gym. And to work, I suppose we can count that too. I still have a mountain of unread mail, my car is filthy, I never even completely unpacked this house when I bought it 2 years ago. At some point in the not too distant future I want to relocate which will require selling this house, finding a new job, finding a new home. Heck even choosing a new location. But I don’t even feel that it’s safe to look at my taxes or go to a concert lest I get overstressed or swept up in old habits. I don’t put on music in the evenings because getting drunk and dancing it out go together like cigarettes and coffee. Yes, I know and I neither smoke nor drink coffee. Anymore. I have declined most social gatherings and stayed only a half hour at the one or two I attended because sober mingling seemed so tiring. I eat candy at bedtime. How long can I get away with just nurturing this new sober baby kitten? When do I have to face the world and my 401k?

I don’t know. I don’t know the answer to “now what?” I know I didn’t drink today. I know that tomorrow after six weeks of abstinence the last of the empty glass bottles will go out to the curb. I never put them all out every week because God forbid anyone see how many accumulated in just seven days. I know I wrote and wrote until at 4:30 in the morning, my eyes started to get heavy. I know that when I wake up I won’t be experiencing rebound anxiety from drinking. In an existence where I feel quite uncertain, I will take that as a win.




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