Saturday, October 19, 2019

Wagon Reprise, 2.0, 2019

Once Oaktoberfest 2018 came, i tentatively took the first few sips. It felt weird to feel a buzz from two pints, but soon thereafter I picked up right where I left off, and in about ten months I was confronted with the same problems I had created for myself as the last time, only this time I was asked to move out. I made plans, thanks to a good friend, to do just that and, after the first week back on the wagon, had the stuff I needed all but packed. And then, a second chance. Or maybe a third? Fifth? Who's counting. Long story short, I'm two months in now, back safely on the wagon. Physically, I'm fine (though I've gained weight - need to cut the sweets). Emotionally, I'm back to where I wanted to be: no crippling anxiety. As before, the drink exacerbated anxiety for me, it didn't suppress it. Socially, as another good friend of mine has said, it's like you're a salmon swimming upstream. Drinks are everywhere, you've gotta just deal with it. I've been to some meetings this time, and they've been good, but some of them just devastating - in terms of some of the other people and the things they've been through. I'm trying to find the right balance, and so far so good. One day at a time. I'm not counting the days. I probably will pause and reflect should I pass my previous "record," but I think that was the mistake I made last time: setting a timeline. This time it comes down to that choice every time I have a temptation (and thankfully that feeling of temptation so far has been on very few occasions, two so far): Do I want to go back down that path? I know where that path leads. Or do I stay safe from anxiety, safe from potential guilt, shame, or the roll of the dice that might get me a DUI or worse? The two times I was tempted: The evening after my good friend's father's wake, where we went back to their house and, at the table where his dad's spot was kept empty to honor him, the wine started flowing. The second was at Oaktoberfest 2019. I ran the gauntlet and made it through. Three cheers to one day at a time!

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