It’s a weird day for me. I feel at odds. Sort of wishy-washy, sort of… I don’t…. bored? Indifferent? Antsy?
In some ways, I blame my therapist. She put the fricking idea into my head that I am capable of moderating. She–like Rob–pointed out how I’ve already successfully done this in the past year. She even took it one step further and proclaimed my mindset was such that she thought it was very “realistic” of me to only drink when I deemed I wanted to. She even asked, “Is it realistic for you to not allow yourself a drink on a weekend night?”
I think I needed her to be firmer with me. To tell me that, “Yes, you need to quit. You need an extended break.” I think I needed her to look me in the eye and say, “From today, I don’t want you to have ANY alcohol for a full month. I want you to report back to me at that time, and we’ll talk about if it’s a good idea for you to try moderating again. Because you’ve said yourself that you feel you’re slipping back into old patterns. I can tell from experience with other patients, this is NOT a good sign. It’s time to put the breaks on again, Shannon.”
Instead she spoke of “grace” and “forgiveness” and not putting unrealistic expectations on myself. She talked about how I could go about moderating, offering me her own game plan. She even talked about pairing certain wines with cheeses, and really savoring the flavor of the red wine. She advised that I keep the glass further away from me on the table when I’m drinking so I have to reach for it (and therefore think about if I really need the sip or I can wait) before I take my next drink. She talked about timing how long it takes me to drink a glass of wine–she didn’t even ask me if I’m a wine drinker. Would she have been shocked if I said, “No, Becky, I like the hard stuff. How bout’ a three inch pour of whiskey or bourbon over rocks in a heavy lowball?” She said to only let myself have one glass of wine an hour then stop at two or at the most three. I mean, fuck, could she have made me crave a drink any more while sitting there in her office?
When I think back on her advice yesterday, it’s no wonder that I’m already caving on the idea of still trying to give moderation a go. Rob spoke to me last night about my birthday plans. He was trying to get a feel of which hotel I wanted to stay at downtown that Saturday night. I mean, seriously. Honestly? Can I picture myself getting ready in a super nice Marriott hotel room and NOT having a cocktail while I apply my makeup in that granite-encased, ginormous bathroom? Nope. Can I picture myself going down to that amazing, lofty lobby bar and NOT having a drink with Rob before dinner? I can’t. I simply can’t. So in my head, the idea of trying to do a 30 day break from alcohol is just not happening the month of October.
Which is why I’m truly thinking about doing an online course for the month of November. November is a good month for this. Yes, we have Thanksgiving, but since it’s just the one day (and I have to work the next), I think November might be doable. We do have our trip to Overland Park, but maybe this is when I give myself a cheat night (only for that Saturday), and put it on the calendar like Becky says??? I don’t know. Because doesn’t that refute giving yourself an extended break from booze? Do you truly see all the payoffs if you’ve cheated one weekend mid-month? But do I need to be so strict with myself, I hear both Becky and my husband ask. If the whole idea right now is to figure out a way to moderate in my life, do I really need to cut alcohol out of the picture for good as I try to get to this place?? I don’t know…
I don’t know what’s safe. I don’t know if I can trust my judgement. And the scary thing is, I don’t know if I can trust my therapist’s or my husband’s. For they both drink. And I have a hunch my therapist does it on a regular basis, is probably quite similar to Rob and I on the weekends. It was the way she talked about her glass of wine… it was almost lovingly. And not once has she advocated for me to give up booze for a long period of time. She really hasn’t asked me any hard questions about it, gone diving into my past to learn when it became a problem, even. It’s like she’s very “delicate” around the topic, and I don’t fully understand why. It sort of makes me question whether she’s the right therapist for me. So far, she hasn’t shown that she specializes in addiction; I’m questioning how much experience she has on this topic. What therapist doesn’t try to get all the facts before they give the okay to keep on drinking?