Monday, February 1, 2010

What It's Like

It is 6:15pm on a Saturday night. I'm stirring noodles in a steaming pot, and I'm angry. Finn streaks by naked, screeching at the top of his lungs. Greta is whining: Moooooom, I'm hungry, I don't want nooooooodles, over and over. Dishes are piled in the sink, the dog is barking, and my husband is in his workshop, tinkering away at God-knows-what. My head is in overdrive, a low roar forming in the back of my brain.

"FINN HIT ME!" Greta wails, and I cringe. Her hair is a mess, the kids need a bath, there is a huge pile of laundry to be folded. And the dishes need to be washed. Again. God, I'm so angry.

I want to run away, I want to scream. I want a drink.

Just one. I just want that warm glow, that peaceful, relaxed feeling that creeps into my limbs after the first few sips. I want to quiet that roar in my head; I just want to care a little less for an hour, or two.

"STOP IT, GRETA!" Finn screams. "MOOOOOOOOOOOOM!"

Shutupshutupshutupshutupshup, I think. God, just please shut up and leave me be.

Now both kids are crying. The dog barks louder. I snap.

"THAT. IS. IT!" I yell, and the kids' eyes go wide. I slam the spoon down on the counter and march out of the kitchen.

I storm upstairs into my room and throw myself on the bed. I'm too angry to cry. Images swirl in my head: happy, normal couples sitting down to dinner with a glass of wine in hand, laughing contentedly. I hate that I can't drink. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.

It has gone quiet downstairs - no barking dog, no screaming kids. I hear my husband come up from his workshop. I hear murmuring, and the television comes on at a low volume.

I sigh. I try to think of all the things I've learned. I search for gratitude, for acceptance. All I can find is mean, red anger. I don't want to let go of my anger, I want to hug it to my chest until I explode.

I close my eyes, and lose myself in thoughts of a drink. I picture the weight of the wine glass in my hand, the sweet buttery smell of a good Chardonnay. I let myself drink it, in my head. I feel my body relax. I smile. I paint a mental picture of what I wish drinking was like for me, and I mourn it for a few minutes.

Then, finally, I do what I was told to do. I think through the drink. I mentally fast forward an hour, or two. I picture myself crouched in my bathroom, grabbing in the back of the cabinet for my stashed bottle, because my husband is done with his nightly drink and I don't want to stop. I can't stop. I've never been able to stop.

There is nothing in a drink for me.

I go back downstairs. My husband is stirring the noodles, Finn is dressed and the kids are happily watching a show.

"Okay now?" he asks, raising an eyebrow.

And I am okay. It is going to be okay.

22 comments:

  1. Man that stinks!!! Why do we always want what we cannot have??? Ugh! I am send prayers of peace your way.

    Brandy

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  2. Well described, Ellie. I've experienced that...not with alcohol, but I've experienced it. Hugs honey.

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  3. I so relate to all of that, even though the things I want and can't have are different from yours -- but the frustration of that is very real to me too! Thank you for sharing and congratulations for getting through.

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  4. Hang tough Ellie. It gets A LOT easier as the kiddos get older. :)

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  5. Amazing post. I love the discipline of making yourself "think through the drink" -- how many things could I avoid by insisting on seeing it for what it is, not what I wish it were.

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  6. Oh, Ellie. I love this post and I hate it, too ... well, let's just say it hits very close to home. Thank you for sharing it. So true, so true.

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  7. Please include me in the monthly drawings-aquamarine this time! I'm 49 days without a drink today and a momma too. Your stories about your children crack me up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  8. Thanks for sharing. So perfectly stated. I like Julianne's comment that it gets easier as the kids get older. :)

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  9. Good for you. How incredibly hard.

    Sometimes I give myself a time-out, too - although it works better if I can do it before I get quite that angry. But that means remembering to put yourself and your needs into the equation.

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  10. Kate from the atlanta burbsFebruary 2, 2010 at 8:39 PM

    I like the visualization exercise--I think I'll steal that idea if that's okay. Good job.

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  11. Ellie, you've helped me in a way I can't describe two times today.

    First with your comment on my post--you said exactly what I was trying to say. EXACTLY. You may have even been one of the only people who truly understood what I was saying. And when you added that whole erasing thing, I just cried...a good, much needed cry. I've been feeling so so...I don't know...WRONG sober. So much like my drinking self, only not drinking. I've got a long way to go in figuring me out within motherhood, but your comment reminded me that drinking will not help. It opened my eyes to a big reason why I did drink the way I did, to erase myself, like I would be doing them a favor. Ugh. And then you said that the only mom they need is YOU, and that's just it. My boys need ME...just ME, just as I am.

    Then Maggie and I talked about it all tonight and we talked about thinking past that first drink and how it helps to do that. Then I read this and I really really needed to read it.

    OK, so now that I've written a post, I'll just stop by saying THANK YOU for talking about this. Thank you.

    Heather

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  12. I'm glad you got through it. God knows how hard it is when you have days like that!

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  13. Hi! I found your blog from your Etsy shop (LOVE the 'Fly Away Home' charm). Reading your post... I can so relate. I hate to laugh because it sounds like it wasn't feeling funny at the time, but the way you write about it is awesome and it put a smile on my face. Thanks! ~ Kim

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  14. Ellie,
    What a wonderful post - and a wonderful husband! That is EXACTLY what you needed. I just found your blog after weeks on BFB, and love it. More over, I love your beautiful jewelry!! Our house was robbed this summer and all of mine stolen. I plan on stocking up! Keep it up, girl! On all fronts. It's all worth it! Seattlemom

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  15. This post made me think of "we pause when agitated." You are so much better at it than I.

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  16. Thanks everyone, for all your supportive comments. It means everything to me.

    -Ellie

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  17. Thanks for sharing. So perfectly stated. I like Julianne's comment that it gets easier as the kids get older. :)

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  18. Please include me in the monthly drawings-aquamarine this time! I'm 49 days without a drink today and a momma too. Your stories about your children crack me up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  19. Ellie, you've helped me in a way I can't describe two times today.

    First with your comment on my post--you said exactly what I was trying to say. EXACTLY. You may have even been one of the only people who truly understood what I was saying. And when you added that whole erasing thing, I just cried...a good, much needed cry. I've been feeling so so...I don't know...WRONG sober. So much like my drinking self, only not drinking. I've got a long way to go in figuring me out within motherhood, but your comment reminded me that drinking will not help. It opened my eyes to a big reason why I did drink the way I did, to erase myself, like I would be doing them a favor. Ugh. And then you said that the only mom they need is YOU, and that's just it. My boys need ME...just ME, just as I am.

    Then Maggie and I talked about it all tonight and we talked about thinking past that first drink and how it helps to do that. Then I read this and I really really needed to read it.

    OK, so now that I've written a post, I'll just stop by saying THANK YOU for talking about this. Thank you.

    Heather

    ReplyDelete