Oh, how easy it is to get down on yourself! Sometimes it honestly shocks me how comforting it is to slip into the easy chair of sorrow. Just a few weeks ago I decided to cut alcohol and refined sugars out of my life for 50 days. I just wanted to feel somewhat healthy for awhile.. Waking up with the stale taste of a long night in my mouth was just getting old. So I embarked on this little journey with as much determination as I could sweep up and prepared myself for change. The first week was hard. Seriously, hard. The sugar didn't really bother me, I'm a spicy/salty girl myself, it was the drinking.
You always hear that people who have substance abuse problems never think they have a problem. And those people are so silly because it's so obvious that they have problems, right? Maybe that line between okay and not is a little more blurred than I imagined. No, I'm not saying my life should be put on hold for rehab but I am okay with admitting if hadn't stopped when I did I was only a few bottles of Kettle One away from my personal invitation.
So, how did I recognize that I missed the booze a little too much? It was facing my daily emotions sober that really knocked me on my arse. I mean, who really cries sober? In my former opinion that was simply for the weak at heart. But there I was on day 4 without my most beloved friend Mr. Merlot and sure enough there were tears falling slowly and then furiously. This was the last thing I expected to happen as a result of cutting a few vices from my diet. If anything I thought I was going to lose a couple lbs in the process and be on my marry way to a congratulatory shopping spree. But there I was balling like a baby in sunset cast traffic. Awesome idea Charlotte.
But it was in fact an awesome idea. Because once you have a chance to mourn the all the shit that is going wrong in your life you are faced with another choice: pick that bottle up and drink that frown upside down or actually do something about it. I surprised myself and continued my non alcoholic (and sometimes painfully boring) journey. I layed out a plan for myself. I was going to face some serious fears. And I did! I was slowly flicking each stone that weighed down my chest and began to feel the heavy wheeze become a gasp for this increasing fresh air.
And then I failed. On day 24 I gave in to a very convincing red sangria. And you would think it was because I had had such a terrible day but no this was not the case at all. It was a gorgeous day and everyone around me couldn't help but notice that I was much lighter in a mental and physical sense. And this is when I assumed I was in control more quickly than I had expected. My reasoning? I had made it 24 days! I deserved just ONE drink, right? Ha. Silly me. One drink ended up only being four and I did have a great time. I was finally completely in control of me. I thought I had finally figured it all out. This was the Charlotte I loved and wanted to be and share with everyone around me. It was the next day when one turned into 10 that I knew I had thrown in the towel too soon.
That was two days ago and I cannot express to you how intense the emotional boxing match within has been. I became so angry with myself. And there is only one way to turn when the shame hits and that's to put a drink in my hand... but something stopped me today, a quote actually:
The next time you think about something wonderful, please don't forget yourself.
It was a much needed smack in the face. So I hit a big bump in my road and I could label it and add it to my list of failures or I could start a new list and entitle it Lessons. And I am doing just that. Lesson learned. Not one I'm proud of but it's not going to stop me from continuing to better myself. I have 24 hard earned clear thinking days under my belt and I'm not discounting them because of 2 kinda shitty ones. I was so afraid it would affect people's perceptions of what I was attempting; make them less proud of me. But you know what? I'm proud of me. I am damned proud of me and that is more than good enough for me. I have the control to pick out the colors and thoughts that will fill my days and today, and hopefully for many more to come, I choose the color beautiful.