When I was drinking, there was truly only one soul in this world that understood how alcohol was eroding my health. There were certainly plenty of people around that witnessed my behavior, but the fact of the matter is that only one person wrestled with me, every morning, about my drinking habits: me. It was me that woke up, hungover and in a dense fog….. not yet alert enough to remember what happened the night before: what did I need to remember? If I was in the security of my home, sometimes I woke up on the couch, with a sofa pillow propped under my head, and my dog’s blanket providing comfort. Sometimes, I woke up in bed. On rare occasions, I would wake up in the spare bedroom, and on THOSE mornings, I really had to rack my brain to try to remember why? Sure, “falling asleep” in front of the TV is normal, but something emotional and monumental must have happened in my pickled brain the night before, if I was waking up in the bedroom normally saved for my guests.
Was the emotion from the night before still lurking in our household, unleashed on my children and my husband?
Do I go into the kitchen and pour a cup of coffee and act as if nothing was wrong, or do I slam the cabinet doors to reinforce a position that I have no memory of?
Or… do I wait in the guest bedroom, scour my phone for clues… and if there are no resulting revelations, should I just wait until they all leave?
The only person who truly knew WHY I thought the discussion last night was worthy of stamping off and pouting in a bed, alone, didn’t remember: me. The desperation that enveloped me during those mornings was thicker than the fog found in Cape Disappointment, Washington…. I knew I was unwell.
And Yet, I consoled myself, I wasn’t really that bad, “not yet”. I didn’t drink and drive, after all. Not Yet.
No, I didn’t burn the house down when I failed at my attempt to bake a frozen pizza after midnight, inadvertently leaving the cardboard disc underneath it, and “falling asleep” shortly after putting it into the oven: It’s a good thing I used the “bake time” feature to stop the scorching after 20 minutes! I didn’t start a fire; I just woke up my family to the obnoxious smells of burnt garlic and cardboard. Nothing bad happened; at least, Not Yet.
Even when I drank way too much when I travelled, I never woke up with a stranger in my bed. At least: Not Yet.
So on this particular morning, when I stopped lying to the person in the reflection, I admitted to her that yes, drinking alcohol was playing with an internal fire, and only I knew how bright it burned. The only person who could help me was staring back at me.
And Yet. I hesitated.
And Yet. I floundered.
And Yet. Deep down, I knew. These hidden feelings of knowing, but not able to change them, lurked for 10 years, to be honest. This wasn’t a snap-of-the-fingers transformation.
Today, as I filled up my double-insulated thermal coffee cup, I pondered about how far this world has changed over the years.
At one time, the best way to maintain your coffee to a delightful temperature was to pour it into a glass-lined carafe…. well, until there was a hard shock to the thermo, that is, and the glass shattered!
But today’s travel cups boast of medical grade stainless steel, proprietary insulation methods, and the capability to keep the hot or cold inside, for hours. As I looked at this particular cup, I saw two words, and remembered how my slowly growing convictions morphed from a broken glass vessel to the battle that I fight to conquer today, and everyday: Yet. I.
When I first tried sobriety, deep down, the me that looked at me in the mirror… she knew that being sober was something that she could do, but she hadn’t done it, yet. So on that first day, I said, but Yet, I will try. But Yet. I can make it through today. Because if I get frustrated and full of anxiety, those are temporary feelings and Yet. I am worth it. I may feel cravings but yet I am stronger without alcohol.
Alcohol has not conquered me Yet. I can do all things without it.
Life is a beautiful gift that I haven’t experienced yet. I love me, and I will become sober. Yet I persist!
With a big sigh of relief, I am proud to say that my fear of the “Not Yet”s has diminished, because I was finally honest with the only person who could change me. My new life is filled with hope, and commitment to me, because it was time for me to do it. I was finally ready.
I don’t know when it is time for you, but if you are telling yourself, “I can’t stop drinking”…. we get it! Just follow that thought with a big fat, “Yet”. I can’t stop drinking YET.
Yet, I will stop soon. Yet, I can be sober, today. Yet, I will try again today.”
Protect your Quit. ❤
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