It's 6pm on a Sunday night and I have almost made it through my second sober day. I'm 42 years old and I have two children, age 5 and 7.
I have been drinking since I was 14. I have a drink-free night every six weeks or six months, which I have falsely used to give myself permission to continuing drinking. I have tried to quit completely in the last year. Last summer, I told a friend, "If I drink tonight, I am going to put myself in rehab." She said I didn't have a drinking problem and poured me a glass of wine. A few months ago, I told my husband I wanted to go the week without drinking, and when I got home from work that night, there were six new bottles of wine on the counter. (He doesn't drink that much wine.)
Almost every morning for the past six months, I wake up thinking to myself, "I really need to stop drinking." But by the end of the work day, I am home again downing another bottle of wine.
Yesterday morning, I decided that I needed to do this for myself, not for anyone else.
I put a hair rubber band around my wrist to remind myself of my commitment to myself. We didn't have any social commitments except kids birthday parties this weekend so I thought it would be pretty straightforward.
Except when the host of today's party poured me a big glass of wine. I held the glass of wine with my hand with the rubber band, and didn't have a sip. That was hard.
I am glad I made it through the party, but I am worried about the week. The rubber band is still on my wrist.
I would love to wake up in the morning without saying anything like this:
"Was I bad last night?"
"Ugh, why do I bring a glass of wine bed with me?"
"Did I really drink that much gin?"
"Did we stay up for the whole movie?"
Or for goodness sake, I don't ever want to have to check my sent items and texts to see what I was writing, especially to my boss.
I don't want to go to work hungover, barely making it through the day (which is 7 of 10 days).
I definitely don't want to be hung over giving a presentation to a room full of 400 people.
I don't want to drink myself through a 7-day beach vacation.
I don't want to eat a cheeseburger and fries and a real coke to feel better.
I don't want my children to bring me ice for my head when I am laying in bed.
I don't want the flight attendant to look at me funny when I order my fourth wine.
I don't to sit on the train, the only one drinking wine on the commuter train, once directly from the bottle because I forgot to ask for a cup (small bottle, but still embarrassing).