Annoying day at work. Nothing tragic happened, just…not enjoyable anymore. I really liked this job for a solid 2 years. It has taken a turn. By hour 11 I was quite resentful about not being able to slip into the fuzzy glow of a drink after getting home. But that’s not true. I can drink if I want to. I have all the fixins for a great bloody mary right here in the house. It isn’t that I’m not able to, I choose not to.
Two days ago I was putting on my sneakers and I fell into the doorframe with my shoulder. Not drunk, just clumsy since birth. My deltoid muscle is sore from the collision but I noticed that there is no bruise. I have some mild soreness but no ugly purple and yellow bruise marking my arm.
What if that perfectly describes the difference between drinking me and sober me? Yes, I toppled over because I don’t control the gravity and yes I bumped into a doorframe because that is where the doorframe happens to be. But it has not become a big ugly bruise that will last for days and days and hurt when my shirt brushes against it.
The boyfriends that turned out to be definitely boys and definitely no friend to me. What if I had just bumped into that doorframe of a boy and it hurt a little but didn’t scar me, didn’t mark me up or hurt worse and longer than it should have? Drinking too much trying to have fun or too often trying to quiet my unquiet mind…it turned people who shouldn’t have impacted me any longer than my doorframe did into big, sorrowful emotional tailspins.
The jobs I didn’t like but should have moved along from or at least left the frustration at work instead of bringing it home. No job should hurt worse than bumping into a door. I don’t control the financial reality that I have to work if I want to sleep inside. But I do control whether I sit and stew in my discontent or get up and find something better. Pouring a drink after work never undid what I was drinking to escape. I didn’t escape those things either, I just collected them like bruises.
What if when I stopped drinking I also stopped making things worse than they are? And I stopped putting myself in such a weakened state? The kind that makes it hard to tell the difference between friend and foe? And if I brushed the thick shadows from my map and I can finally tell north from south again? And what if I know the difference between happy and numb? What if I don’t feel like abusing MY liver because somebody ELSE is a jerk? What if I can actually get through most of life’s ups and downs with barely a bruise?