Recently I took a break from drinking. I did not make a big promise to myself or a proclamation or even an apology of any sort. I simply stopped doing something I had become used to doing for a very long time. I stopped letting alcohol do my feeling. I decided to do my own feeling for awhile.
I grew up watching what alcohol does to one’s soul. I saw firsthand how it can become friend and foe in the same evening. How it can make you laugh and cry then sleep. Sometimes I saw how it can make you want to fight. I saw how it can make you change your mind about things, make you forget things too. Watching this I vowed “that” would never be me. I will do my own thinking, my own forgetting, my own fighting, my own laughing, my own sleeping. I did not need that kind of help.
Then I turned 50. Then I forgot what I had told myself way back then. And because I did not exactly look like “that”, behave like that, sound like that, forget like that, then I had not become “that”. So I told myself. That is until I realized this one thing. That “that” looks differently on everyone. I had become a different version of that. But “that” I had become or was well on my way to becoming. I had become my version of “that”. That one thing I promised myself I would not do. I had begun to allow alcohol to do my feeling.
The most difficult part was breaking a habit that though had not become an addiction has become a familiar habit. A familiar feeling. I put my habit into pretty glasses poured from bottles with pretty labels hung with nice necklaces displayed on beautiful shelves in pretty rooms filled with charming people on days that did not matter in that week. What mattered was my habit was on standby to shape my feelings no matter what was going on in that room on that day or any other day.
I told myself you eat well, you exercise well, you live well. I could not deny, I drink well too. And that habit was beginning to take over my feelings.
So, I broke up with drinking. We will meet again. Maybe a month from now, a year or some time after that. We will meet and I will be glad we did.
But this next time my feelings get to lead our next dance together.