Busting out of prison (Don’t quit before the miracle!)

Don’t worry, I’m here. I’m alright. I’m sober.

I just had an intense weekend and sort of lost my buzz (pun only partially intended) for blogging every day. When “blog every night no matter what” went head-to-head with “avoid overwhelm,” the latter won.

It was a really intense weekend and maybe I’ll recount some of it in the coming days. Need to get back on the proverbial blogging horse somehow, so here we go. Baby steps. Tonight was another intense evening with the person who shall go unnamed for the time being, so here I am, still up way past my bedtime.

Not good. I’ll try to sleep a little longer tomorrow to catch up, ’cause Lord Knows I need my sleep.

Anyhow, today a woman on another private FB group I follow posted the most amazing thing. I won’t say her name as I want to protect her anonymity, but I do want to give her credit, so I’ll use her initials, C.C.

I just loved it, and it really has me thinking about things in a new way again. Like I’ve been peeling the damn onion on this non-drinking thing since last fall, layer-by-layer, getting to the root core of what I really think and need, and changing in layers too. Morphing. Coming to terms with what alcohol means in my life on my own terms, and by listening and learning to so many others who have come before me. It sometimes feels like a bit of an Escher painting, spirals and spirals that appear to be going inward — but look again, they are moving outward. The learning, the growing, the morphing…the learning some more…

Here is what C.C. said today:

Hello my friends! I am noticing a lot of folks struggling in recent weeks. Spring is here, weather is warmer, the allure of seasonal drinking and memories of alcohol drenched summers will be calling to us. I just wanted to share some thoughts I’ve been having lately.
I just passed the 6 month mark last Sunday. How do I explain how different my life is? Everything is different. Everything. I never realized what a prison I had built for myself with alcohol. Alcohol governed my entire life. It was the Donald Trump of my soul. It was the center of my universe. I woke every morning and my eyes were on the clock for when I could open my wine. And if I had a concert to play that night, I was in a shitty mood all day because I wouldn’t be able to drink. And if I couldn’t drink, then I had nothing to look forward to. It controlled my life. It stole favor from my husband and children. From my job, that isn’t even a job, (I mean for crying out loud, I play the cello and I’m lucky enough to get paid for it). And I resented my amazing career, because it was an impediment to my drinking. I guess what I want all the newbies to know is how much BETTER life is to be out of that prison. So many of you are thinking, as I did, that “I’m not that bad. I’ve never gotten a DUI. I’ve never spent a night in jail.” But you are wrong. That’s a bunch of crap. You spend every night in jail, in a prison. Alcohol is your warden. There is a whole giant life out there waiting for you. There is a huge part of your brain and heart that awaken in the months after you take your last drink. And you realize that you have been operating on half power for years. You’ve been living life with the dimmer switch on. And I’m not going to lie, it’s not always awesome. Life doesn’t always look perfect when the lights are on full power, but by God at least you can see what the damage is and have half a shot at making it better. And the good stuff? The good stuff is still there, but bigger and brighter than you’ve ever seen it before. Take off your shackles. One day at a time. One hour at a time. Don’t quit before the miracle!!!!!!! Trust that the discomfort will dissipate. At six months I rarely even think about alcohol. But at six days, I thought I would literally die if I had to make dinner without my glass of wine, or do laundry without my glass of wine, or watch a stupid animated movie with my kids without my glass of wine. I thought I was being punished. But then slowly, the changes started happening. I slept like I have never slept before. Deep, thick sleep. I had energy in the morning to have a good attitude for my kids as we did the frantic “get out the door, dammit, why don’t you have your shoes on, what do you mean you haven’t brushed your teeth” routine. I started telling my husband when things bothered me. I was more direct. I wasn’t drinking at my feelings anymore. I wasn’t drinking “at” people when I was angry. So, that shit had to get out, and when it did, real conversations started happening. And guess what else? I’m a better cellist now than I was six months ago. My brain is clicking faster, clearer. My reaction time is faster. Yes, I still have an occasional bad day, when I fantasize about being a normal drinker. But then I remember that I was NEVER a normal drinker. Alcohol always came with a C.C. sized penitentiary attached to it. And I never want to live in those four walls again. So what am I calling for? Nothing short of a massive prison break. Bust out of there and join us. The world is a big beautiful place and life is short. I love you all and thank you so much for supporting me through my escape. And in gratitude, I will be here idling the get away car as you rappel down the walls of your Alcatraz.

LOVE.

I have a wedding all weekend starting Friday in Portland, and then I leave next Friday for my 2.5-week trip to Europe for work. I’m going to keep this and other favorites in my pocket. I’m newly inspired to not “quit before the miracle!” and I will keep on pushing until I stop caring about booze. I do feel it coming, bit-by-bit, layer-by-pungent layer. 🙂 I’m closing in on it.

(and I will write again tomorrow…)

xo Rachel. Day 18.

 

21 thoughts on “Busting out of prison (Don’t quit before the miracle!)

  1. Good to hear you’re doing well. Thanks for that great quote from your friend! Wow! I’m going to love thinking of alcohol as the “Donald Trump of my soul” from now on. I’m just at 6 months sober (this time) too and your friend gets it exactly right! I’m going to print that one out and keep it where I can read it in a pinch.

    Avoiding overwhelm is always important in my books. Good call. Enjoy rocking those upcoming events and being newly inspired! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for posting this–I’m inspired, too! I already (day 76) feel 100% better than i did day 7 or 6, so I’m with you, not quitting before the miracle! I actually feel like the miracle has begun. 18 days is great–you’re really building up the momentum now! I also like the thought that we are morphing(:

    jaded
    xo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m on day 326 and miraculous describes the changes I feel comparing my before to my after. I am thankful every single day for my sobriety. It hasn’t all been sunshine and rainbows, but my sober highs are crystal clear and glorious. Facing each moment with everything I have is exhilarating and empowering. I am so excited for you!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Ooo that was a good read – thanks for sharing 🙂 So much trust (that things will get better) is needed at the beginning. I’m on day 136 and looking back I can see I’ve come on in leaps and bounds, but I still have to trust that things are going to continue to improve when I go through the rough patches 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m at 2.5 months now, and i’m in awe at how much my life has changed without alcohol. It still sucks sometimes, but at least i don’t physically don’t feel like crap all the time anymore, and that keeps me going through hard times.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 2.5 months is awesome. Good for you! I really do feel better without alcohol (I’ve been on this process of quitting since early last fall. Have probably had 6 bottles of wine since then – total) and I feel like one of the last hurdles is the anxiety in certain situations. So we’ll see!

      Like

  6. I’ve been thinking of your prison analogy all day; it’s a great one. Sometimes we forget that we hold the keys. I’m new on the journey and am just starting to allow myself permission to be excited about what this change will do for me. Thanks for your post.

    Liked by 1 person

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