Remember how a few weeks ago I said I would quit drinking?
Well, I did and I lied.
Or maybe, I can rephrase it as...I changed my mind.
Is that just sly word play?
Maybe but the reason for this flip-flop isn't because I can't live without alcohol but because it's not the drinking that's the problem...it's my 'all or nothing' attitude.
I am either going to be Straight Edge or I am going to be a Lush.
I've worn the badges before:
I'm going to be Vegan for 23 years and then I'm going to eat so much flesh that I get sick.
I'm going to have sugar for breakfast, lunch and dinner and then give it up entirely.
I'm going to be a HOT MESS for years and then remake myself as a Yogini Goddess.
Ughhh... eye roll, please.
But, this behavior was learned or should I say happily embraced from my parents.
Especially, my father.
He needed to be the best at everything but also fluctuated between his extremes of consumption.
He was an expert at Yo-Yo dieting.
One month it would be nothing but bee pollen and wheat germ on tuna salad and then it would switch to nightly grilled peanut butter sandwiches and ice cream drenched in honey.
It was all or nothing...back and forth which is a terrible cycle, for me, anyway.
In spite of this well practiced habit of pacing the edges of sweetness and disaster, I have actually come a long way from gleefully wearing the perfectionist crown but now and then...
The Sparkly Queen of Perfectionism stops by and starts knocking at the front door with all her distractions of jewels and prizes right when I'm in the middle of something or I'm tired and not properly dressed.
So what do I do?
Do I say "not now, I'm busy" or "I'm sorry, but I wasn't expecting guests today".
I panic and fall into an 'oh my gawd, where's my perfect outfit, how can I appear like I have it all together, am I bowing correctly?' inner dialogue and I begin panting at the mouth to get that pretty crown back where it belongs...on my too small head where it can then slip down my face and become an akward collar that makes it difficult for me to turn my neck and shift perspective.
It's a obnoxious little scenario.
So, what has got me all up in a tizzy this time?
Why did I decide I needed to quit drinking?
For one, I was finding myself thinking about having a beer as soon as I walked in the door instead of wanting to hug my son and boyfriend.
That's a problem.
I was feeling as if I couldn't possibly be good company without it and I've been abusing alcohol that way since I left my Ex-husband almost 4 years ago.
I made no apologies for becoming a manic drunk right after I left him...in fact I made it my mission to overindulge in everything.
Beer. Whiskey. Men. Candy. Clothes.
If I wanted it...I was going to have it.
I could have handled myself with more grace but I didn't and that's ok because I learned a lot about myself from those experiences:
sex doesn't equal love, sleeping with all your friends is fun but it always creates drama, eating sugar all the time makes me moody but drinking?
Well...I just gained an unhealthy routine and when your son begins lecturing you about drinking too much beer you can't NOT stop and pause and go 'oh, shit...there's many things I hope my son will carry as memories but watching me open a beer before sitting down to ask about his day shouldn't be one of them'.
So, I berated myself as a failure and decided I would remake myself as Super Mom...super yogini, super woman and a model of Sattivic purity and I hit the reinvent myself button and the lies began....
Lie #1. I am a "happy go lucky, anything goes" type.
Lie #2. I'm a bad person for drinking, especially since my job is to teach people moderation and self-acceptance.
Lie #3. The new me will love every sober minute of my life.
Awwww...Fucking Hell, already.
What a bunch of crappola.
I'm a girl who needs stability, moderation and self acceptance not a bunch of 'throw the old me away and be a shiny new version of the girl I used to know' so I decided to put the brakes on all of it.
My practice is moderation and awareness not attachments to perfection and adversity to being human.
I'm human. My hair is greying. My face is showing the signs of loving sunshine, beer and smoking cigarettes when I was younger but I have grown up. That's all. So? I'm not going to quit drinking, I'm going to eat meat now and then when it's offered to me and sometimes I'm going to buy crap I don't need but it's fine.
It really is.
I have spent the past few weeks looking at why I want what I want.
What benefit will I gain and the reality is it's freakin hard to live with awareness and I'm not going to do it well ALL THE TIME but I do enjoy challenge and I know it's good for me.
That's how I grow...when I have that inner impulse that says 'just chug the damn beer' or 'buy the Long Johns with pictures of foxes on them and do it right now'...it's a challenge to pause before just going for it but it's also a habit that's actually easy to embrace.
It really is simple.
I just forgot for awhile.
So, I'm back to practing what I preach and doing it before the temptations raise their jazz hands with a 'look at me' exuberance.
So far so good.
The loved ones are loved first when I come home and if I want a beer at the end of the day...I might have it.
I am ok.
And the Long John's with the foxes on them...well, they are nice and cozy in my closet.