So I went on my trip. Even though anxiety was telling me that my house was gonna catch fire and my cat would die while I was gone. I got up that morning and I did laundry, I cleaned out my car, I took out 60 gallons of recycling, I cleaned out the refrigerator, I cleaned one bathroom, I hung curtains and then I packed up the dog and we took off for my birthday week.

I met my mother, my brother and my new sister-in-law at the cabin where we used to go every fall growing up. We have not been there since my dad died. I felt like it was time to go back. It was lovely. And my brother who eloped in a hippie mountain wedding several months ago was introducing me to his wife for the first time. We don’t live in the same state so I also thought this would be a good way to get to know each other and show her a place that was special to my brother and our family. She was great and really appreciated the significance of the place. My mom seemed to enjoy it too. New sister-in-law asked if I wanted wine, I responded “I’m on hiatus from alcohol” and she graciously did not follow up with any questions.

I really had not thought about how to answer offers of alcohol as I step back into social affairs. I think because this is a person with whom I hope to develop a relationship, “no thanks” seemed not enough and “ohhhhhhh, girl, I drank way too much and had to stop!” seemed like too big a share. For just a moment I felt defective. Like I should be able to say “Yes! Let’s get a bottle!” But it’s my choice. I don’t want to lubricate my social interactions with alcohol anymore because it really led to superficiality and emotional isolation. I want to be present in my life.

I also survived a vice presidential debate watched with my mother and grandmother and HOURS in a car with my mother listening to Dr Laura. I hate Dr Laura. A) false advertising because not a psychologist or psychiatrist B) SELF HATING SHREW WHO ABUSES PEOPLE WHO CALL HER FOR HELP. The answer to everything is basically “your problem, dear, is that you’re a slut.” Somebody who is naked on the internet in pics taken by her married lover should REALLY invest in some nerf rocks because those stones she’s throwing will crack her glass house.

Anywho, this caller lady got as far as “I’m a recovering alcoholic” before she was cut off and informed there is nothing respectable about calling yourself that and then that two years of sobriety is too short to be getting married. Not-a-doctor Laura told this woman she should spend at least five years just being sober, working and going to AA meetings. My fury was rising. Not qualified to give advice, she tells a woman to basically spend five years in a life time-out.

Fuck you, Not-a-doctor Laura, and fuck that horse of shame you rode in on. That same old worn out 1950’s thinking that if you abstain from alcohol then you are sick and must treat yourself like a leper. If you drink “normally” (whatever that is) then you’re fine but if you don’t drink because you saw behind the fucking curtain then you can’t be trusted to participate in life. Bitch please, if drunk people wanted to keep missing out on life, we’d STAY drunk. The whole reason I’ve quit drinking is to soak up life. Not to sit in time-out because I was a bad girl who drank too much. Yes, yes…unhealthy amount of rage at a voice in my mother’s radio but feeling the feelings is what I do now.

I wasn’t the most engaged I’ve ever been because I was dealing with low-level anxiety about my house and money and all that grown-up shit I’ve neglected. I was more engaged than when I was secret drinking airplane bottles of hibiscus vodka at night when I went visiting. It was a victory that I went at all when the anxiety was so revved up. It was a huge victory that I enjoyed a lot of it. Double victory that I did it sober. I wish I could have been more fully present in the…present. But for me it was progress even if not perfection.

Learning to be happy NOW, not LATER when everything is perfect….that was something I needed to work on before I started drinking and it was right here waiting for me when I sobered up. So I’m sober. But I’m still me. I have all the same issues as before I started drinking plus the issues I acquired while not drinking away the first set of issues.

I dreamed that I drank half a beer after work before I remembered that I’m not drinking. I spit out the beer in my mouth as soon as I remembered. In the dream I was really mad at myself for forgetting not to drink but then I was happy that I didn’t want to get drunk. I really don’t think that I’m going to end up being a sofa drunk again because I really want better than that. More than that. Slogging through these growing pains seems to be part of the deal so slog I shall.

 

 

10 thoughts on “Yep, still sober. Still me. Still hate Dr Laura.

  1. I really like this post and just love the term ‘life, time -out’ it sums it up doesn’t it. That caller should be embracing life and living it from day 1. Yes part of that is concentrating and spending time on her recovery and self care. I doubt that ever goes away but come on, the best gift sobriety has given me is being present and actually living my life for real! For too long we have lost part of our lives to alcohol its time we took it back and lived! X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To me it’s about fixing the things that led to me being drunk alone in my living room with That 70’s Show reruns as my closest friends. Neglecting myself entirely, uncontrollable anxiety, grief, loss, self doubt, stress…all of these things must be managed and healed in order to not end up back on the couch drinking until I flop spinning into bed. That’s about making a life that is cool to be in, not white knuckling along terrified that I will be sucked into a bottle of wine. Just what you said…living! If all I did was go to work and to meetings to talk about not drinking, I would driiiiiiiink.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Dr. Laura sounds horrible. I’ve never her show before but man, those kinds of programs seem to be a dime a dozen these days. Everyone is some kind of “expert” and people seem to forget that they can look inward to find the answers most of the time.

    Glad to hear you made it through successfully 🙂

    Like

    1. She’s been on for 20 plus years telling women how horrible they are. Sluts, homewreckers. She never mentions that her first marriage ended in divorce. Then she let her married lover take nudies of her in her furry 1970’s glory. Then she took up with another married man, shacked up with him til she got pregnant and he left his wife and 3 kids to marry her. Self hating shrew who turns all her disdain for her own self out onto everyone else. I know this bc my mother has been listening to her since the mid 90’s lol.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I love getting out and living now that I am sober.
    I am so glad you had a successful trip.
    It’s not always easy, that’s for sure.
    But with each day, I learn new lessons on what I missed when I was drinking!
    xo
    Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My mom listens to dr.not a doctor Laura too. That’s funny. I didn’t know that about her past. I thought she got kicked off the radio for calling one her callers the “N” word. Made me laugh. I’m glad you got to go. It was my birthday yesterday. Happy Birthday!

    Like

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