It may be obvious to some but it wasn’t immediately apparent to me, even after finding my word, that alcohol has been putting out my fire. I had glimmers of awareness, but I was 8 months into an intense, codependent relationship and in love. I thought quitting drinking would mean quitting him. This post is difficult to write because it is very much mixed up with men and relationship addiction. So I’ll make it a two-parter.
When I started my self-examination with the coming of the new year and setting my intentions, I couldn’t avoid the fact that I wasn’t sure my boyfriend would fit into the plan. Some of the things I knew I needed were a regular sleep schedule, a morning routine of yoga and writing, and no hangovers, confusion, or drama.
We had a date five days into my new healthy routine and I didn’t really want to go. Over those 5 days I’d already come to love going to bed early and waking up early in my own bed. That morning I got my hair done and said to my long-time friend and hairdresser, “I’m concerned about my drinking and would like to experiment with sobriety, but I don’t know if I can as long as I’m with him. We’re drinking buddies.”
That evening as I packed my overnight bag I looked at my bed, sighed, and said “I’ll miss you tonight.” I got to his house at 6pm, to go to a movie for what I had hoped would be a mellow, early night. He was in a grumpy mood, and as soon as he started his familiar “I feel trapped” monologue I picked up my overnight bag and walked out. I didn’t cry that night. I knew the universe heard my intentions and was trying to make it easier for me to accomplish them.
The night after we decided to take that break, 8 days ago, is the last time I drank. This was the second codependent relationship I’ve been in since my divorce 5 years ago. I’ve never been in a relationship that didn’t begin with alcohol. Regardless whether I am an alcoholic or not, I like to drink and I’m attracted to and have fun with guys who like to drink. There is something within myself that needs to change in order to disrupt this pattern of mine. Maybe this relationship will survive, maybe it won’t, but the only way anything will change in my relationships, whether with him or the next guy, will be if I change something within myself.