Hello Saturday sunrise, nice to see you

I’ve definitely been giving myself some permission to eat “comfort” foods since I quit drinking. I crave sugar a bit more, sure, but last night I had deep-fried, mac-n-cheese balls(!) dipped in marinara sauce with a salad for dinner. Lunch today was chicken-fried tofu and a HUGE spoon (OK, ladle) of mac-n-cheese from Whole Foods (the bomb) and three big chocolate peanut butter malt balls.

Hell yes.

I have no intention of gaining weight (it will be salad for dinner), but the 1-2 bottles of wine a night that I haven’t been drinking gives me a teeny bit of leeway. For now.

Last night with my fried decadence I also drank a non-alcoholic beer. I know this is somewhat controversial — does it make us feel like we’re “deprived” to drink “near beer”? Does it cultivate the taste for the alcohol, keep it alive? Is it a cheat because part of our brain is still going through the motions of drinking a beer, even if it’s alcohol-free?

I’m not even much of a beer drinker, but I tell you what: It worked. I was having a big craving for wine and went to the dog-friendly pub with my pup, Bub, because he loves it there and I wanted to get out. I wasn’t worried I was going to order a wine for myself (which used to be my habit there), but the taste of beer sounded really good, even knowing I wouldn’t get a buzz. I asked if they carried non-alcoholic beer, and they did.

It was perfect. I drank one with my meal and was done.

I suppose I can hear the argument that this is risky, but I guess I’ll play that by ear. If I feel a stronger urge to drink real alcohol because of it, I guess I won’t do it again. But so far, it hasn’t happened. I’m a vegetarian and I eat Tofurkey all the time. Why? Because after a lifetime of eating meat (until about 8 years ago), when I’m really craving a yummy turkey sandwich (which still happens, despite my powerful aversion to eating animals), “deli style” tofurkey, on wheat, with lettuce, tomato and mayo totally hits the spot. It just does. And no harm done.

IMG_6307I’m a rower. I just learned last spring and I’m completely in love with it. I row in an 8-person boat two nights a week (or more), and Saturday mornings. Since I moved to the advanced crew team, the start time on Saturdays is more than an hour earlier than it was when I was just starting out: a perfectly humane 8:15.

Still, when I was drinking, getting up at 6:45 on a Saturday morning to go row — often in the dark, wet mornings of winter — was tough. And I admit, I’ve missed a few. I just couldn’t get there.

This morning was a glorious, beautiful morning. Yeah, it was 39 degrees, but the sky was clear, the sun was actually warm on my face, and the water was smooth as a plate of glass. The bridges across the lake were spectacular in silhouette against the pink sky and rising sun. I had to take off a layer because we were rowing harder and farther than we have in a while. There were moments when I was in awe of how beautiful the city was, climbing up the hillside, float planes taking off and arriving overhead. There were times as we were really cranking, full out and breathless, that I got goosebumps, so grateful to be there on the water. So grateful to be there feeling good and clear and strong because I didn’t drink last night.

And now, the entire day awaits. So much to do, including a long walk with my sweetest, most loyal love, Bub.

I won’t lie: It’s Saturday and I find my brain wandering occasionally to the idea of having a drink still. Even now.

But I’m holding out for the promised bliss to come (BRING ON THE BLISS!), and if moments like I had this morning on the lake come along a bit more often, it sure will make it easier.

Day 7. Rachel.








17 thoughts on “Hello Saturday sunrise, nice to see you

  1. There will be bliss.
    My hubby drinks NA beer. He has no issues. I’m gluten free, but I will have a mock tail.
    It’s nice to indulge in food. Enjoy it.
    One early morning, soon, you will go out on that boat feeling clear and refreshed and you will be struck by the perfection of life.

    That is the truth of sobriety. Open eyes, open heart.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Last night, my wife and I had a lovely dinner out at our favorite Indian restaurant while the kids played at my oldest son’s after-school place’s parent date night ($40 for 2 1/2 hours, and the kids had a blast). As we drove to the restaurant, I said, “You know, you should have some wine with dinner. Sip one, if you want, but then chug two. Then I can kiss you and I’ll be able to taste the wine.” Unsaid was: I’ll get to live vicariously through you because three glasses of wine will get you TANKED. My wife just stared at me and shook her head. She had sweet tea with dinner. Ah, well…maybe I’ll try a NA beer next time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! I was just reading Annie Grace’s book last night and she was saying (in the chapter about “needing alcohol for good sex” how kissing/sex is only good when either both are sober or both have been drinking (disputable), but when only one has been drinking it’s awful. I can see that!

      Good for your wife. 😉 I tell ya, the NA beer did the trick. Don’t know why, but it did.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. If NA beer satisfies the cravings and doesn’t lead to “real” beer, there’s no harm in it. I don’t understand the panic about it. I haven’t tried it, but I realize the further out I get from beer the more I realize I didn’t really like the taste of it. But, if it works, stick with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I ate like a maniac for 3 months when I first gave up – sugar, sugar, sugar – I did care about putting on weight but I cared more about being sober first – that’s my just my justification and I’m sticking to it 🙂 . Oddly, when I was pouring booze down my throat I did’nt think about calories then. Go figure. Anyway,
    glad to see you doing well. What a beautiful way to start a Sunday! it looks so pretty.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Rachel!
    I drink AF beer once in awhile and it never led me to want the real thing.
    But then I was a wine drinker, too.
    Being out on the lake sounds lovely.
    Rowing is hard, so I am impressed!!

    Liked by 1 person

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