It’s Friday. Not only that, but it’s my husband’s–Rob’s–birthday. I’ve made dinner reservations at a new, swanky sushi restaurant in town called “Butterfish.” I’ve arranged for Rob’s mom to watch the kids for us overnight. I’ve wrapped presents, cleaned the house, washed the bed linens, bought candles. I’m ready.
Or am I?
It’s day 9 of no drinking. Even though I’ve read my daily dose of quit lit. Even though I’ve reached out for encouragement through my social media “sober” outlets. Even though I’m now blogging…. I hear the whispers of the “Cocktail Cunt” (as opposed to “Wine Witch,” since I don’t really drink much wine) in my head. She’s saying, “It’s Friday. It’s a special occasion. Surely you can have a couple of whiskey and diets with your husband.” Gah! Even writing the words, “whiskey and diets,” brings my favorite cocktail to life in my mind.
So this C.C. (aka, Cocktail Cunt) voice is trying her best to convince me that I can have a few drinks with Rob then call it quits again tomorrow. She’s pointing out that I have an overnight babysitter. Overnight! She’s telling me that I don’t have a “real” problem with alcohol; I just have a teeny tiny one if I get on a kick of drinking too many nights in a row. “Come on,” she hisses, “you don’t black out. You don’t wake up in the mornings and reach for the bottle. You’re just fine.” And I WANT to believe her. I want to feel like everyone else. I want to go back to the days of ignorant bliss.
Or do I?
Was it? Ignorant bliss?
I have to call “bullshit” on C.C. Why else would I be here, in this place, now, writing about an alcohol problem? Why else would I be so fixated on something I can supposedly give or take?
So, yeah. I’m ordering that cunt to keep a lid on it. I’m pulling out one of my strongest tools in my toolbox: my visualization technique. Here goes. IF I drank tonight, it would look like this: I would pour myself a strong cocktail while getting ready for the evening (perhaps the MOST tempting drink of them all), and I probably would top it off at least once before we backed out of the driveway to go to my mother-in-law’s. At her house, I’d have another drink (which she would most likely top of for me at least once), and I would be properly buzzed in leaving. I would wish for a drink in the car because the drive would be a good twenty to thirty minutes, and I’d be worried about losing my little “mood lift,” but I’d settle for ordering a cocktail AS SOON AS we were seated in the restaurant. Over the course of the meal, I would order another drink. My husband would then ask in signing the check, “Should we go somewhere for one more?” Because it’s his birthday, I’d say, “Yes!” We’d walk to a nearby chic bar and proceed to have a beer, maybe two before hitting the road for home. By this time, I’d be way past tipsy, maybe not full on blotto, but definitely in no position to drive. Who knows if I’d even remember the route home? I for sure wouldn’t remember what we did once we got there. Watched a movie? Attacked the pantry for late-night snacks? I’m betting we’d have sex, but I’m also betting I wouldn’t get much out of it, nor recall it. In the middle of the night around 3:00 AM? I’d wake up with a splitting headache, a sick feeling in my guts, and shit-ton of self-loathing. I’d assuredly not get back to sleep and would therefore spend the following day nursing a hangover, trying to hide it from the kids. All in all, I would feel terrible. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. TERRIBLE.
So, here’s the flipside. Here’s what I AM going to do: Instead of fixing a cocktail to get ready, I’m going to sip on a Kombucha in a fancy glass. I will head to my mother-in-law’s (driving the car), and once there, will pour the rest of the Kombucha I brought along into a nice wine glass. I will engage in conversation, actually listen to what everyone has to say, be mentally present (and not thinking about my next drink), and then I will drive my husband and I the thirty minutes to the restaurant, listening to upbeat music. I will order something new, a different mocktail than I’ve ever tried. “Surprise me,” I’ll chuckle with the bartender. Dinner will be whatever entre looks most enticing–to hell with the calories! I’m not drinking them. If my husband wants to go to another place afterwards, since it’s his birthday, I’ll say, “Sure,” and I will make sure to order another mocktail, perhaps something sweet as an after dinner treat. I’ll then drive us home safely. Rob and I will watch a show I choose on Netflix (because he won’t remember. Lol.) And then we’ll have sex, which I WILL thankfully remember. The next morning, I’ll wake up feeling great. So relieved.