Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sometimes, I drink too much...

Oprah talks about her spiritual practice of writing down 5 things she's grateful for every day. I always count blessings in my head, but I don't always write them down. Recently, I listened to a podcast that mentioned the effectiveness of making lists. Getting stuff out of your head and onto a piece of paper.

I've always been a big list maker. On paper. On my notes app. On Google keep. My husband coaxes, "Just tell Alexa." But I only see Alexa's list when I open the app. My paper lists I see every time I walk through the kitchen, which is roughly 475,000 times a day.

Then I usually remember to buy coffee, cheese, dishwasher soap ... to take the recycling, proofread, make doctor appointments.

For the past few months, I've been making gratitude lists. It's a great addition to my spiritual practice and naturally has had unexpected additional benefits. For instance, I see every day what makes me thrive and can focus on guiding my energy in that direction and avoid getting pulled down draining rabbit holes.

But it's also made me see areas that need attention.

This is so uncomfortable for me to write about, which makes me feel certain that it's exactly what I need to do.

Sometimes, I drink too much.

I don't think I'm an alcoholic. Most alcoholics would agree, right? Denial. If I'm being completely honest, many standard tests would say I'm an alcoholic even if I can't say that.

I say: Sometimes, I drink too much.

I don't drink and drive. I don't neglect my kids. I don't usually fight with people or become belligerent. But sometimes Lily tells me things I don't remember doing or saying.

I don't shake from withdrawal. I don't wake up "needing a drink." I don't hide my drinking. But sometimes, I wake up and don't remember how the evening ended or how I got to bed.

I don't drink every day. Sometimes, I have just one or two drinks. I don't drink to forget, but sometimes I forget because I drink.

I don't obsess about drinking or schedule my life around it, but sometimes I wake up filled with guilt and shame and text my friends to apologize for whatever I might have done that I don't remember doing.

More and more, this eats at me: Sometimes, I drink too much.

Here's the thing: Alcohol is part of our culture, and I'm afraid of what I'll lose by not drinking. Can I still go to girls' nights if I don't drink? What will I do in the hot tub at night, while Brad drinks whiskey and smokes a cigar? Can I sit by the pool and not enjoy Landsharks? Do I want to? Can I go to a paint and sip and not...sip?

This is hard for me to write. I feel incredibly ashamed of drinking too much. I feel really vulnerable admitting these things. I'm scared knowing that lots of people will judge the shit out of me. My hands are shaking as I prepare to hit the publish button.

And yet ... it's just one life we get. I know what I want to do with mine. Be authentic. Love wholeheartedly. Tell the truth...even when it's scary and painful.