Wow. The whole week’s gone by in a flash. Apologies that I didn’t keep up with this! We were out of town, and I took advantage of being unplugged – not touching a computer once. Saturday was a blur of travel to chilly Upstate NY, then Christmas Eve excitement followed by the wonderful Christmas chaos experienced through the eyes of two three-year-olds. Then, we settled into a vacation from the normal adrenalin-fueled pace, thanks to Nana’s planned-out schedule of fun, and grandparents willing to babysit.
Thoughts of alcohol were sprinkled throughout.
The worst moment was probably on our date night. We’d picked out a hip, upscale restaurant to visit, and checked out the menu in advance. With so many tasty gourmet cocktails and craft beer selections, the realization that trying new drinks was NOT going to be part of the experience was difficult. It was hard in the anticipation of the date, and even harder at the restaurant.
After a bit of thought I realized, I don’t know that I’ve ever been on a dinner date as a drinking-aged adult, without drinking. Incredible and kind of sad, really.
But certainly with C, I’m 99.9% positive I’d always had something to drink on every one of our dates until this one (minus pregnancy of course).
So I ordered a “non-sweet Mocktail, bartender’s choice” and received a refreshing and unique ginger/lime concoction, which I enjoyed twice. It wasn’t the same as C’s Manhattan, or red wine with dinner, or beer & bourbon post-meal, and I didn’t catch a warm buzz over the romantic candlelight.
But I did enjoy staying sober and in control of my emotions, able to communicate well with C (lately, our rare dates have devolved into nasty arguments as the alcohol freed our tongues), while watching him become more inebriated as the evening wore on. There were some beautiful shared moments that I tried to enjoy, knowing that he would probably not remember them, and that his romantic gestures were amplified or distorted by the alcohol so unfortunately discounted, but in spite of that – our time together went well. And I was glad to be able to drive home over icy roads without concern. Waking up during the night with the boys, and then in the morning at 6:40am was so much easier without the hangover.
The whole trip was easier without the holiday hangovers. Even though my family doesn’t drink much (in fact, was *I* the only one drinking to excess most of the time??), I did have to make a conscious choice not to drink over the Christmas meal and at other moments where people were enjoying beers in the evenings.
My mom, knowing that I’d quit, had alternatives on-hand, and although I’m not much of a soda drinker, I enjoyed a few blood orange Pellegrinos.
Beyond date-night, the other difficult moment came when we arrived back home yesterday after a strenuous frenzy of packing and long 6hr drive. Usually, I would have immediately, I mean even before unpacking the car, made both of us a “take-the-edge-off, we-deserve-this” stiff G&T – probably the equivalent of 3 drinks in a glass. Mostly gin, a splash of tonic, that we would then drink while unpacking and setting up dinner. The brain would melt as we instantly caught a buzz, and suddenly the evening would be bright again.
C did this, of course. But I was left with my post-holiday, post-trip blues, a car to unpack, two kids running ramshackle through the house after being cooped up all day, and dinner to assemble. Who knew it could be such a struggle?!
It took me by total surprise though I should have known it would happen. I guess I wasn’t ready for how much I’d depended on that cocktail to “fix” the way I felt after that drive. And now, I’m left wondering why exactly I feel so desperate in that moment. Is it the let-down of the holiday gone past? Missing family left so far away? The stress of packing and driving with the kids? Probably some mix of all of the above.
But I resisted, and am now headed into a new year with one more holiday hurdle under my belt.
Proud, but still feeling a little sad.