It's been almost 3 months since I cracked open an overpriced Dale's Ale on my plane trip home from Portland, Oregon.
I haven't gone this long without alcohol since 2007.
I thought it would be the hardest thing I've done since giving birth but it turns out giving up alcohol hasn't been the real struggle.
The struggle has been having to realize that the same overwhelming waves of frustration, sadness, anger and exhaustion are still there.
Sobriety hasn't made me happier.
My life is the same dynamic mess of laughter, tears and waiting for the sky to fall as it always has been.
Every time, I reinvent myself I tell myself that it's not motivated by a need to 'fix' myself.
I tell myself that I don't believe my own bullshit but when I wake up with the same amount of mopey self pity that I had months ago, I'm surprised and somewhat pissed about it.
Being sober was supposed to break that habit, too.
Once I got sober, I'd finally be the uncomplicated/ low maintenance woman my boyfriend wanted.
When I quit drinking, I would sleep better and have more patience for my son.
When I quit drinking, I wouldn't waste my money on beer everyday and finally build up my savings.
When I quit drinking, I would learn to deal with my shit without taking a drink first.
I've woken up but it turns out that I'm still a complicated, impatient and restless woman just like always.
I still hold back tears everyday as I scan the daily news, I still wince and want to scream at intolerance (I believe there's some irony in that, no? ) and can't believe that in the midst of getting sober...I would have to watch Donald Trump become a possible contender for President of The United States, see 'Christians' shame The Pope for wanting to help the poor and watch millions risk their lives fleeing horrible living conditions and be told there is no room for them!
What the fuck?
Doesn't The Universe know I need all my ducks in a row while I learn to not chug a beer every time something in my life starts to lose its sheen?
Damn it..the answer is?
The Universe doesn't give a rat's ass about my little white girl problems.
If ever there was a time to become knee deep drunk in whiskey, it feels like it's now.
I'd like to be.
Oh man...I'd like to get drunk, go dancing and get sloppy with a stranger but I'm not going to.
Nope, I'm just going to sit with the crappy whiny voice in my head that incessantly lists everything that annoys me.
I hear it.
I hear it but it's not the boss of me.
I'm finding that whether I'm sober or not, I'm probably always going to feel lonely.
I might never have a good close girlfriend that I can just call up to hang out and eat chocolate with.
I might always wonder if I am lovable and I may still roll my eyes every time I hear someone tell me that if I was just more positive the universe would provide me with wealth, joy and ease.
Actually, I will ALWAYS roll my eyes at that privileged belief but I just won't slam a shot of tequila quickly so I can feign a smile and nod in agreement.
My life is rich, though...its rich with stinky stupid drama, it's rich with kid tv shows, board games and burritos.
It's rich with overwhelming thoughts, inconvenient desires and unattained dreams.
It's rich with randomn 'I love yous' from my son.
It's rich with hands that touch my shoulders to acknowledge that I am living with a man who loves me even though we seem barely able to make time to open the door for one another as we race off to work, appointments and events.
It's rich with an awareness that I can keep trying to fix things but I'd be better served by noticing what's working.
I don't know if I'm going to do this sobriety thing forever.
I keep thinking that come Winter...I may have to get a fancy Spanish Coffee to warm me up as I step deeper into my 40s.
I don't know.
I never do.
I do know that I won't ever pay $8 for a can of beer on an airplane, again.
Well, ...if Trump wins the election, maybe?
But, it's a maybe.