When she knocks

A person in love with wine like me asked how I'm doing this,
this not drinking,

How did you break up with her?

How do you hit 3 o'clock in your day and not have 5 o'clock to look forward to?

The truth is, most of the time
I have no idea.
Yes, I talk about a new calm
being present,

and that's all true.

But that peace and calm comes without getting to take the edge off
and that is hard work, yes.
My life, like anyone's life
is filled with angst and questions
and hurt and
yesterday was filled with
poop and barf
and whining
and disappointments
and sadness
and snotty noses
and we need groceries
and there's always someone climbing on me.

But I don't know. I guess sobriety teaches you that you have no other choice. I guess it's like anything else you have to do. You just do it.

You simply don't go to the liquor store. When thoughts, when wine knocks on the door, you ignore her while you plug your ears and say la la la...


I guess this much self-discovery and feeling while getting help forces you to take a look at your attitude, the very thing that makes or breaks you. That's easier for me to do when I'm not drinking. My mind and body are not so overcome with the obsession to make it to 5 o'clock, thoughts of whether or not there's enough in the house, or when I can get more. And my mind is less occupied by headaches and the guilt of not being able to hold back. There's room in there now to see other things, to make a decision to calm down and see beauty, more often.

And when I can't calm down and I'm obsessing about wine, all I can do is think,

Just for today
for this painful moment
I will make it without wine
because there's community and fellowship in recovery
so I have to make a call,
and there is comfort in a begging kind of prayer
and so I have to beg,
while I grieve my old back-stabbing friend wine.

I will allow myself to know that I want to sip wine while making dinner
so so so badly
but I can't
so I won't,
I'll just breathe
and sometimes pace
and get mad at it all
and find a quiet place or ask to leave
and I grieve
and surrender
because there's no other choice.

I'm new at this and I'm learning and I think knowing that I will learn things I never would have, I will overcome things I never could have, if I would have continued drinking...well, that's what brings the peace and fight in me to the surface. I would rather live free of the demons, my ways of thinking and not feeling that left me scared and lonely. They can't stay now, and that's what makes me want to dance. I'll deal with them one at a time and it will be painful and better than letting them sit on my shoulders, hissing.

Right now I can't be everything to everyone like I've always been,
until I'm spread so thin that I'm no one to anybody,
especially me.
Because we're all only one
and we need many
to be able to be anything to anybody at all. (say that three times fast.)

So I guess that's how I'm doing it. I'm struggling and finally asking for the help of many,
and I'm finding it's not such a bad idea.

45 clicked right here to comment:

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

I know the feeling. the feeling of just one more..whatever it is you're trying to quit or recover from. Hon- i am not there yet. I am still erroring and I am proud of you, because I feel spread so thin too- and I'll heed your words, to find that quiet spot and BREATHE

Kori said...

I know that for me, even after all this time, sometimes it really is just for the moment-but overall, my life has changed so dramatically and for the better than I still can't comprehend it-and people keep telling me that if I feel this way at 10 years sober, I just oughts see waht 15, 20, 25 years brings. And even when my life has gone to shit, I still hang out with those people because I love them and believe them.

And I also know this: with the variety of REALLY terrible things that have happened in the past two years at my house, if I was still drinking, if I was using it to escape the pain or the responsibility or the commitment like I used to, I would never have made it. I'd have been dead, or my daughter would have, or...so many other things. So keep that in mind, too-that life is still life and you will have some things thrown at you that defy belief, but everything you do today, this day and every day, is building the foundation that you will need to get through them all.

I am so proud of you.

LoveFeast Table said...

So many truths here!! Sometimes the most beneficial thing is to give to ourselves a little first. Give a little forgiveness, a little slack, a little less guilt and a little pat on the back...a little you're doin' it and it's going to be great!! It's good to give a little more time and a little more fun to ourselves too....

Glad you are finding along the bumps in the road...some high places, where you can see the vista ahead...and know it's going to be good!!

Continued blessings on your journey!!

Chris Ann

Lee of MWOB said...

Oh my friend. So good to see you, humorous you, in the middle of recovering you. You are doing so damn great.

And yes, you have a community of those who care about you and support you and I know you have many, but please know I am always here.


Becky said...

I loved this. This applying for everything. While I was reading I replaced "Wine" with sugar. I'm going to save this post and read it again and again.

Love you and THANK YOU!

Cameron said...

Great post... congratulations on your continued sobriety and strength. :)

Elena said...

I don't have any profound words of wisdom, but I just wanted you to know that I'm pulling for you, praying for you, and loving you from here.

P.S.-- I got an open ID error when I tried to comment using wordpress. No biggie, but just want to tell you in case it's on your end and not mine. How does one know these things? I do not know.

Megan Willome said...

I gave up alcohol for Lent a couple of years ago. I'm glad I did. It added some clarity.

Anonymous said...

Asking for help is so impossibly hard. It makes me all cringy just thinking about doing it. But do it we must, if we are to get through any of our battles. I'm proud of you and inspired by you.

mandiegirl said...

You are beautiful and I love your thoughts and reasoning.

Ryley @ That's My Family! said...

Oh man. I can't even imagine but GOOD FOR YOU!

I guess I know a small small part of your battle. Being a fairly recent convert to the LDS church (Mormon) I had to give up a lot of my past. I drank, on occasion, just socially. Never really enjoyed it much. but I drank coffee A LOT!
I knew it was something I was going to have to change to really committ to this religion and this lifestyle, but its hard.

Especially on days like today. I see a coffee cup from my old favorite shop and I just crumble.

I've learned trick. I get a big ol chocolate milk with ice and whipped cream. It fills in. Its almost the same, and calms my nerves for a minute.

It's a silly thing NOTHING like what you are going through. NOTHING.

You are so strong, and you are so right. There is a community around you.

Andrea said...

Absolutely beautiful. What an inspirational journey you are on. And so much is going right inside you. I love the honesty in your blog, even though I just found it a few days ago. I know those begging prayers. And I am so glad you are finding peace!

Christy said...

Heather - go you! I'm sending you a huge hug right now. You are so inspiring!

Kimberly said...

I want to be brilliant and say something so profound that you will be amazed and comforted and uplifted.


It's working the other way around today, and that's what you've done for me.

Love you!

amy said...

Truly inspiring and lovely. Your strength in embracing what you've got is incredibly admirable.

Heidi Ashworth said...

I recently learned that I have to give up gluten or it could eventually kill me. I'm not having as much success avoiding cookie and cakes and bread as you are with your cravings. LOVE YOU!

Elaine A. said...

Support is KEY, but I think you know that. I believe you are getting plenty of it. I HOPE you are.

You know, I gave up chocolate for Lent and though it's been HARD some days (used to have it in some form EVERY day) I realized it was kind of a "crutch" and that - hey look! - I can survive a day, and another, and another, without it! We are tougher and have more will power than we give ourselves credit for sometimes.

You're doing great Heather...

Jenn @ A Country Girl's Ramblings said...

I struggle with wanting to be in control of all and not asking for help from anybody. I don't know why I have this twisted idea in my being that refuses to ask for help. I just keep trudging on and at times it feels like life just wants to swallow me up. This post was eye opening! Thanks!

Boy Crazy said...

I think learning to ask for (and accept) help is the best thing we can do for ourselves. Proud of you, Heather.

Like Lee said - I am here if you need me. I may not understand from experience, but I care and love you dearly.

xo elizabeth

Angie said...

"Right now I can't be everything to everyone like I've always been,
until I'm spread so thin that I'm no one to anybody,
especially me.
Because we're all only one
and we need many
to be able to be anything to anybody at all."

That is amazing insight and so well put. I can see His strength in your weakness, friend.

And I still pray. Every. single. day. I make my suppers and I pour out my heart for you.

Sheryl said...


AmyLK said...

You are a wonderfully strong woman to realize when to ask for help. And it will always be there for you. Keep up the good work.

Sarah@EmergingMummy said...

I've been thinking of you so often, right around 5 o'clock (not sure if that's the same time zone even), just praying for you, just a "help her, Jesus" kind of thing. I found every word of this to be brave and true. Good on you.

twitchy fingers said...

Just like drinking without thinking became habit, so to will NOT drinking without thinking. Hang in there.

blueviolet said...

It's certainly not a magic cure. It's a day at a time. Always thinking of you!

warmchocmilk said...

We've got the pukes over here too. Bummer.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

You know, you say there's no other choice than to deal with this. And in one way, you're right.

But from another angle, you do have a choice. And that's what makes this struggle courageous and humbling and groping.

I read this and started thinking of all the things that people really don't have a choice about -- the death of a child, the disease of a loved one, the lose of a future. And yet, even then, we often choose to retreat from that agony by masking it with something else. "I can't deal with this, so I'm going to [drink, eat, do drugs, go crazy]."

You are facing the giant by choice. I'm glad you have a sling and a pocketful of stones.

Kazzy said...

I love the "la la la". So true that we just have to push through certain things.

I think you are doing great.

Robin said...

I tend to ask "When do I get to escape reality" for the evening? I mean, if I'm not drinking anymore, and smoking pot is ok but not really my thing, and I'm not gonna sit on my couch and snort lines or take ecxtasy, yadda, yadda, yadda....when do I get to get out of my head for a moment? Is it going to be complete and utter sobriety forEVER?

I didn't go so extreme that I won't allow myself to have cough syrup, and when I swallowed nyquil the other night, I thought to myself, "this is it. this is the farthest I'm ever going to escape." :)

But I'm ok with that, and at 6 months it seems a lot less like it's robbing me of my freedom and a lot more like it's giving it to me than it did in the beginning. I hope 1 year, 5 years, 10 years just get easier.

Thanks for sharing this.

TKW said...

You are right. Repeat three times. And again, should you need to.


sara said...

.....I guess it's like anything else you have to do. You just do it.....

yep, great words. and applicable to many things in our lives.

praying the pukes are out of your house soon!

nic said...

this feels like a gift: poignant and honest and so artfully written. thank you for this.

ZDub said...

Love you, Heather.

Jae said...

as usual, you say things i've thought before, so much more eloquently. :) loving the "la la la!" ... you're doing awesome. :)

Corinne said...

"But I don't know. I guess sobriety teaches you that you have no other choice. I guess it's like anything else you have to do. You just do it."

This, especially, struck me. I told my husband almost that exact same thing a few nights ago when he asked how I was doing. Drinking is just not an option.

And that's really, ultimately, the only thing going through my brain when I want want want want a glass of wine...
(and my word verification? "misin" Oh how I'm "misin" my wine!) :)

Keyona said...

You keep hanging in there. We are walking right next to you.

Kelly said...

When my dad was newly recovered from a heroin and crack addiction, people would ask him how he was doing it. He'd answer, "I'm doing it one minute at a time and I'm not doing it alone." I think those are crucial for staying focused and confident that, one day, it will get easier.

He's 15 years clean, so I guess he did something right (finding wood to knock on because, for the kids of addicts, the fear of relapse never goes away).

Anonymous said...

You are both beautiful and bodacious! (I hardly ever get to say that -- few people are actually bodacious!) Bravo to you and the peaceful, loving, rich, fulfilled, sober life you are creating. Destiny

L.T. Elliot said...

"They can't stay now, and that's what makes me want to dance." Oh, Heather. I'm all kinds of teary over this.

MommaKiss said...

One at a time. One day, hour, one moment, one second.

Debbie said...

Most people like to be asked to help. It is just so hard to do the asking. Glad you are learning how.

love said...

oh, heather, so much truth here. i'm so proud of you. for your honesty and asking for help. for knowing that if you have to take it minute by minute sometimes that is okay. i think of the STRESS of 3:00 around here and i can just imagine how much will it must take for you to say no to "just sipping a glass." i'm going to begin praying for you whenever i feel that 3:00 stress here.

Schmutzie said...

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Marisa said...

I love this post! Well said!

Unknown Mami said...

Keep plugging your ears.

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