I had a great weekend, went out of town for my eldest son’s soccer tournament, spent some quality time – just he and I. Left home on a good note, it was our 15th wedding anniversary and the wife and I had some calm peaceful discussion about the nasty events of last week. Had a nice anniversary day even though I didn’t think it would be possible. For the most part I took a much needed break from my recovery obsession. While I know it is good to think about my journey, one of my defects is overanalyzing everything – even the good stuff – and I needed a break.
Having said that, Alcohol and drinking still haunted me, and it needs to be discussed.
The wife called and updated me on the middle child’s baseball tournament, and also mentioned how my Little League associates were indulging in some beer pitchers at the game (it was a non Little League tournament where drinks were served), she mentioned they were asking about me. I felt sadness, sadness that I would never be joining them again, sad that “fun Lance” was no longer there for them, and not just physically. The next morning I started receiving some texts from an old drinking buddy neighbor. I knew what they were doing and I miss it, but he is supportive so I gave him a call – turned out to be a big mistake, I just cannot stop going back…. While talking to to him I could hear another “friend” in the background, making sure I could hear, telling me about how my wife had come over and he had served her a “really good ice cold Corona,” he knows my situation. What a fucking asshole prick I thought, not that he had done it, but that he felt the need to taunt me with that information. I tried to tell myself that he didn’t understand and meant no harm, but the resentment hit me like a ton of bricks. I took some action that I had read about in one of the stories in the Big Book for dealing with resentment. I prayed for him, prayed for my higher power to give him everything I wanted for myself. It helped, but thoughts kept creeping back in all day.
On the other side of the coin, my sponsor was checking in with me to make sure I was ok. He was urging me to stay connected and go to a meeting down there, I looked up some meetings but didn’t go. I found it a bit overbearing, but he was just trying to keep me connected and I have to admit that he probably had the right idea. I also had 2 dinners with the soccer parents. Out of 20+ parents only about 5 drank and nobody had more than one glass of wine or 2 beers (yes, the alcoholic is still counting right now), the coach had an O’Doul’s. Normal drinking, good time, good meaningful conversation, no after party at the hotel pool. I reflected on how the old Lance would have taken it further, matched their 2 beers and maybe squeaked one more in without sticking out. If they had joined me great, I could take it even further, to the place I liked to go. I had mixed emotions. Once again I was sad, sad that in the past I could almost never drink like them, and therefore cannot ever again drink like them. But mostly I was relieved, relieved I could be in a place where I felt comfortable, where getting shit-faced drunk was not the goal of the occasion, relieved that I could not drink and still feel like I belonged.
The contrast of the different situations in the two above paragraphs is slowly hitting home with me. I realize that even in my sobriety, I need to leave that old place behind. I must minimize my involvement with the old place and the old people and I honestly am not yet ok with that, I am still seeking it out, trying to prove I can conquer it with sobriety, but I have the realization that I cannot and I am mourning the eventual loss. I am fearful to leave the past, and I feel guilty that I am taking their friend from them. I need to connect with new places and new people, things that feed my new way of life. I once thought it was just about going somewhere and not drinking, but it isn’t, and it is hard – I cannot tell you how hard it is.