I woke up this morning and meandered downstairs. The rest of my family was still asleep, and the house was quiet save for our two indoor cats demanding food. The dog was still sacked out with my oldest son. I also fed our two outdoor cats, a big tomcat named Ben who’s missing the tip of his left ear and has world-weary eyes. His voice belies his size; he has a tiny, sweet meow though he looks like he should growl like a bear. The other cat is Sara, and we think Ben’s her father. She’s not thrilled with his relaitvely new presence; she lowers her head and makes a low, moaning sound which I interpret as I know who you are, but you haven’t been around for most of my life, and now you come in the backyard of my human? In my territory?! Not cool. Ben just blinks at her.
I put on my cozy robe and started the kettle. I looked around my kitchen and once again found myself enjoying the silence. And then, this thought: a shot of vodka would be nice. Hell, maybe two shots.
There was no vodka on hand, luckily, or anything remotely alcoholic (I’m not even sure if mouthwash is a good idea to have in the bathroom. Though I never went that route, I get it). I let the thought play out, and eventually it went away. I made some oatmeal and a cup of coffee and started my day.
There’s a difference between periodic thoughts of drinking and the obsessive drive to drink, the drive that would have forced me to arrange plans to sneak off to the liquor store after 12, get some vodka, hide it in the back of the freezer, and then start making bargains with myself that I’d only drink half of the bottle, only to drink the whole damn thing and then drive to get another one under the pretense that we needed something at the store. Dear lord. I don’t miss those days.
The thoughts of drinking are still whispering in the back of my head, so I’m digging into myself to find some Sunday morning courage. Coffee helps. Writing helps. My family and the animals with whom I share space help.
Deep breaths. I’m a recovering alcoholic, not a practicing one. I will get through the day and night without drinking. And tomorrow, I’ll do it again.