Today I am thinking about how sobriety is a bit like one of those math tests I took in High School or College. Getting the correct answer is not quite good enough unless you can show that you arrived at the outcome in the correct manner. In that regard, I failed in sobriety this weekend. I was hurt on Friday night by (what I consider to be) some inconsiderate and selfish actions on the part of my wife. I tried using many of the tools I have learned about in the last 4+ months, at times I felt some mental relief, but in the end I just could not let go of the resentment. There was progress, I did not start yelling or screaming, but I was agitated and disturbed, dropped comments, tried to plead my case, etc. At one point I owned up to my part, which was basically my reaction to her behavior, and I thought I was free from the resentment, but I wasn’t. It kept coming back, triggered by the smallest thing. I realize I was looking for that one gold nugget: not necessarily even an apology, but her acknowledging that her behavior may have hurt me. I didn’t get that and without that I was unable to move on, simply unable to get past the feelings.
I write this not for the purpose of being too hard on myself, or feeling sorry for myself, but with the realization that there is such a thing as emotional sobriety and that I need to continue to seek it with full resolve. I once thought the whole Dry vs. Sober thing was some 12 Step bullshit, invented to make you do it their way, but I now believe it has merit. I know how I feel when I get into this state, and I know that drinking can temporarily “help”, so although my resolve might be strong, it is not a good place for me to be for any length of time.
At the end of the day (or the weekend in this case), I will take some partial points for the fact that I did not drink, and remain mindful of the fact that I am going to need to show my work in order to receive full credit.
P.S. Last night I was rewarded for my emotional dunken-ness with a nice drinking dream. It followed the typical pattern for my drinking dreams where I “accidentally” imbibe something that has alcohol mixed in and then become anxious about having to renounce my sobriety and start over.