I miss you. Goodbye.


Yesterday was eight weeks without alcohol and I feel alright. Not spectacular, but alright.

Something’s been nagging at me for a while, and that something is a man. He hasn’t been nagging me on purpose, but it’s the thought of him and the last time we were together that has been tightening its grip a bit. Scratching at me like the tag on the back of my t-shirt, suddenly driving me ape shit and forcing me to pay attention.

The last time we were together just over eight weeks ago. He came over to my apartment and noticed the calendar on the wall that counted off the days in big pink numbers, 1, 2, 3…all the way to 19, before starting over again. 1,2,1,1,1 2,1… When he arrived at my apartment at midnight, I had already drunk a bottle of wine. I’m sure he could barely tell — a bottle of wine over the course of a few hours would have hardly been noticeable on me then — and he’d had a few beers of his own, I think.

We didn’t sleep together, if that’s where you think this is going, but we talked a lot and laughed a lot, and I fed him a late dinner, and after he ate that bowl of pasta he moved over to sit next to me and hold my hand.

He’s wicked smart — well-known for how smart he is, in fact — and he laughed especially hard once when he made an obscure reference I understood. He said he loved it that I got it and he didn’t have to explain. I loved it that he loved it.  That he appreciated me that way. And I loved that he was holding my hand.

We’ve known each other more than 20 years and we’ve both been through a couple of marriages in that time. We’ve both been through plenty of brutal heartache. We’ve hooked up a few times over the years, but only now are we really both single at the same time.

But single isn’t the same thing as available.

I’ve been focused on me. I’ve been consumed by quitting drinking and staying quit. And as anyone who has been through this process knows, in the early days it takes pretty much every bit of extra energy one has. Extra energy, which includes all the energy it also takes from one’s work, social life, mental capacity, diet… all of it. Quitting drinking is so much harder than anyone thinks it’s going to be, and it’s all-consuming for a good while.

He’s focused on him. He’s going through a messy, contemptuous divorce with a woman who keeps saying she’s changed her mind. He’s having to sell his house and parent his kids and work through his own massive life transition, which leaves him racked more days that not.

And, he wonders if we have known each other too long. If what he really needs is a fresh start. Despite the fact that he says he trusts me like he trusts very few people, he wonders.

So. I’ve stayed away.

I made a promise to myself after my last really big relationship blew up in a spectacular fireball of hell that I would never again invest myself emotionally in someone who can’t meet me in an equal place. Who is ambivalent. Who isn’t emotionally available. I promised. And I know it was the right promise to make.

And in the more than two months since last seeing him, he hasn’t reached out. He hasn’t inquired. He hasn’t asked about how I’m doing or tried to connect. He has a lot going on, but that’s no excuse. We all know that. I know that.

And so I’ve stayed away…until today. It felt like it was time to get my answer (because sometimes I need to force my own hand and kill any sprouts of hope I might be harboring by taking a machete to the ambiguity) and I finally decided to reach out to him. I would give him the opening he didn’t actually need. I would say hello.

I got my answer. He promptly responded and nicely answered my questions but still didn’t ask about me. He didn’t inquire. He didn’t keep the conversation going. He didn’t wonder.

And tonight I want to drink. I’m not going to drink, but I want to. I guzzled a couple of fizzy drinks and stuffed my belly with enough food to give me that full feeling that would slow down my drinker’s voice. I breathed and said out loud

Ouch. This hurts. I need to feel my feelings but this fucking hurts. I hurt. 

I’m not going to drink about it, but I want to. And I’m excruciatingly clear why: I want to squish these feelings and at the same time I want to feel loved. Desired. Worthy. I want to blot out this pain and sadness, and at the same time I want to feel held and comforted and included. I want to forget, and leave for a while, and fucking let go and not care. And I want to feel deeply and care with all my heart. I want to feel so much.

I know alcohol only makes it worse. All of it. I know it does’t fix anything. And I believe I won’t move forward if I drink. I won’t heal. I know.



I’m feeling my fucking feelings. I’m going to go for a walk with Bub and then I’m going to get in bed early and read. And sleep. And I’m going to pray and hope the Universe has big plans for me. HUGE FUCKING PLANS. And those HUGE plans include bringing my partner to me. Someone who will do all the things this guy isn’t doing and then some. Someone who wants me and more importantly, deserves me. Someone who is my champion and makes me feel like I’m amazing when I’m with him — because I am.

I know, I know, I’m supposed to fill up my own damn hole, but goddammit, tonight I just want to be loved, and desired, and held. And that’s okay.

Tonight I will let myself feel this shit and mourn the hope I had that this rare amazing man and I might try something new and cool. That we might be just what the other needs and we were there all along. That it would be a new season for us.

I will mourn that and accept that it isn’t going to happen.

My coach might advise me to ask myself and the Universe, So, who else? Who else is out there?

So, yeah, okay, I’ll try that, but not tonight. Tonight I will hurt and miss him. And tonight I will let him go.

Rachel. Day 57.


21 thoughts on “I miss you. Goodbye.

  1. First off, 8 weeks is spectacular. Did you keep the big pink numbers going, because, again, 8 weeks is amazing. …. And, Rachel, I am so sorry you feel lousy and shitty. And he is so stupid for not being awesome through and through and seeing and realizing and wanting Your kind of awesome. He’s just stupid, even though he’s smart. Because, let me tell you: You, Madame, are brilliant. And if he doesn’t see that? Then he is a royal idiot. … Also? I know you’re hurting, and I’m sorry you are. Especially with the wanting a drink to soothe the pain. The worst. And so frustrating. Bub is a good go-to. Early-bed is a good go-to. Eating all of the ice cream is an amazing go-to. Letting the feelings be Real and Present is scary and sucky and painful. But, in all of those feelings, you are there being brave and honest and vulnerable. Be proud of where you are and what you’re doing. It may not look so pretty today, but you are incredible. And you are doing it! …. Lastly, about the being loved. I know it’s not the same, and I know it feels like there is no one else right now, but I know. One-hundred percent. That there are a shit-tonne of people in that world of yours and in this world here online that think you are fucking awesome. Because you are. And while, no, it isn’t the romantic, hot and sexy love that might have been, we are all people who want to know more about you. How are you. What you’re doing. How you’re feeling. We all wonder. We do. So you definitely have people. People to cheer for you and root you on through the shit. …. Be sad. We’re here with you.* -HM.

    Liked by 5 people

    • HM, you are so amazing. Thank you so much for being there last night. I read it and couldn’t yet respond, but mostly because I was all bunched up and quickly exhausted. I ended up going and getting that damned gelato and eating half the pint before pouring the rest down the drain. It’s been two months and I’m ready to start coping in healthier ways, getting my body a bit fitter and investing more in me. But yeah, better to eat ice cream than drink for sure.
      Thank you for being there and for caring. I didn’t expect it to hit me as hard as it did, but I guess I had been building pressure about it for a while. I popped my own bubble on purpose because it’s better to have done it sooner than later.
      You rock, lady. Seriously. So much. Thank you. R.
      p.s., I saw you posted a comment on one of Laura McKowen’s posts a while back (I love her). That’s the great thing about “Heya, Monster” — there’s no one else like you! I’m going to her retreat on Bainbridge Island, WA, in four weeks and I’m super excited. I’ll be 12 weeks AF then and it seems perfect timing. This is all about coming back to me. Finding me. Knocking down the barriers I’ve built for myself so I can soar. Oh, and I don’t think I’m going to wait until 1 year for my tattoo after all! I just have to design it, but I’m going sooner, just like Laura did, as a prayer and promise to myself. I’ll let you know when it happens. 🙂 xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • Aw, well, it takes one to know one (Awesome Lady, I mean). *smile* Also? I tooooootally hear you on the healthier choices bit. I have been trying to motivate myself for the past 6 months to exercise, and I finally started. This week. ha. … I love that you are focusing on you, and I see down below the estimated timeline of January for maybe dating. Rachel, you sound really good. Even with the shit, you sound really good. And a retreat?! Gah. I am so excited for you! (And a little jealous.) But more excited. Please, keep us posted on the whole experience. As well as your tattoo. Yes! Love it. A prayer & a promise. Beautiful. Sending more hugs today. Luff, -HM.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, I feel for you. Heya Monster had amazing advice and comfort for you there (wow! Great girl to have by your side there), I just wanted to thank you. You’re so honest and it’s inspiring to see how strong you’re being. Well done for resisting the drinking and staying with those feelings. He is a royal idiot and you are fucking awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, BS. Heya Monster IS amazing, isn’t she? (if you don’t read her blog, you should. She’s awesome.) Man, that is the strongest the urge to drink has been since I quit for (I hope) the last time 58 days ago now. Kinda crazy — it feels like a really long time and no time at all, all at once.
      And I’m so glad today I didn’t drink. I grow my sober muscles a little bit every time I don’t drink through shit like that, and HE ISN’T WORTH A NEW DAY ONE. That’s for sure. This day is for me. 🙂 xo

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I got in a relationship too soon and I started drinking after 7 months. So, you are right in your gut. You needed an answer. He used to be the easy answer because you didn’t have to do the hard work. I think it’s awesome that you made the decision to call him and look at this with sober eyes. Sober makes really good choices 🙂 I’m frustrated as well by how raw my feelings are too. I’m loving the speakers on the free Recovery 2.0 if that helps you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes! I watched some on the first day of Recovery 2.0 and was too upset and exhausted to watch much yesterday (I really wanted to watch Holly Whitaker and Meadow DeVor), but will try to catch one or two tonight.
      That’s so scary about drinking after 7 months. Did you drink because you wanted to fit in or because of the emotional turmoil of dating? Both are pretty damned intense. 🙂 Belle’s rule of thumb is at least 180 before dating (that puts me into January, which seems like good timing), but seriously dating is my biggest fear. I was just telling some sober folks yesterday that I need to just OWN it. That’s what Holly does. It is going to take some work! Thank you so much for posting. It really helps.


      • I drank to fit in. Then I went right back to wanting to drink alone. Before I started to quit drinking I went with three different guys with long term sobriety. One 26 years and two with 8 years. Even though we only dated a few months each, all 3 ended up drinking! I kind of feel responsible. But I had no idea what being sober was back then. I was just doing my thing and figured they were doing theirs. I liked Holly’s answer about dating. You just can kind of tell right away when you are honest and own it.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello my dear, I’m sending love from The Sober Garden and a bravo squeeze for 8 weeks and another one for the awesome insight you show in this post. It’s honest writing. And authentic. I’m sorry you were hurting there but I also want to shout, ‘Go for it Rachel!’; you’re doing great. x

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, TSG, really. Man, it fecking sucked (as you could tell…), and today I have a little bit of an emotional hangover, but I do know that I choose ME now. I want change. I want to grow and evolve and have a bigger life, and that fool isn’t going to come between me and that. Ah well…maybe my true love is still out there. I’m holding out hope. 🙂 xo

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so sorry it has been hard for you, but I think you’re so brave for confronting this head on and choosing to do what’s best for yourself and your recovery.
    I also love Holly Whitaker, I saw her interview on Recovery 2.0. I love how empowered she is through sobriety. I want some of that for myself too!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So just last night i was texting with an old friend and I started telling her how i was suddenly missing an old love who i have known for 26 years, since 9th grade. All the loose ends there that must stay loose and abandoned and my exact words were “this fucking hurts and there is a bottle of vodka on the table but I’m doing this stupid thing where I feeeeel my feelings.” Then we wondered how many people in the world are struggling with the exact same thing.


  7. Hi Rachel,
    You are doing such a great job of staying sober through hard feelings.
    It is so hard.
    I have a single friend who like you, has had such a hard time finding someone who really loves her.
    She has the same feelings as you have.
    But I know she will find it.
    I know you will, too.
    Much Love,

    Liked by 1 person

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