It feels like a glorious day. The sun is shining brightly and I’m curled up on the couch with a blanket and in my slippers. Today is the first of five days off for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Thanksgiving used to stress me out completely. Not because I had to cook or host, but because my mind and thoughts were so unhealthy. No matter what I was doing, there would be an underlying feeling of stress and anxiety. If thoughts of going to his parents’ house popped up, I’d shove them out of my mind faster than a jumbo jet.
I wouldn’t think about it until it was time to go. I’d wait until the very last minute to get ready, and would wait for hubby to put together the two small pans of green bean casserole we always bring. I could have done it, but never had the energy year after year.
I’d think about skipping it, like 100 times. I’d end up going out of guilt.
I felt guilty for so many things- even being obedient and going to Thanksgiving.
One year, I felt sort of bad, because I declared to someone that I absolutely “HATE” Thanksgiving, and that it’s a waste of a holiday. I know my father-in-law heard me, which made me feel bad because they put SO much into their Thanksgiving dinner. In all fairness, I was a vegetarian for awhile and have always hated the idea of eating animals. A holiday centered around a dead bird on our table was not my cup of tea. And I hated the times I got stuck helping with the clean up. UGH!
During the years we’ve lived at Glenda, I’ve been able to escape home early. We live behind his parents, so I would at least come home on Thanksgiving and Christmas to feed the pets dinner. I’d relish the empty house and stay until I knew I should go back. Many times, hubby and kids like to stay late. The family plays games and eats pie late into the night. I’d usually always head back early to find solace in the quiet house.
One year I skipped dinner at his parents completely. I just stayed home and fed my soul the entire day. I went for a long walk with the dog and did all the things I love. It was one of my favorite Thanksgivings.
And nobody was mad about it, because one thing I can say about his family is that they always grant me space and grace.
I think they go easy on me because my mom died and I hate the holidays.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I don’t miss the dread I normally feel. I don’t have a big (just a little) desire to skip the whole thing, but think I’ll definitely at least plan to head home before midnight (it’ll still be a long day there). I’m excited to see and talk to certain people and thinking about bringing some “dream pillow” materials to make dream pillows with Jessica and whoever else wants to.
My sister in law had to stop by quickly yesterday. I was washing my bedding and had my dream pillow (a small sachet filled with herbs/etc you put in your pillowcase to help you sleep) on the table. Sweet Jessica (niece) asked if it was a bag of seeds on her way out. I didn’t have time to explain to her what it was, but thought it might be fun to make them on Thanksgiving.
So now, not only was I feeling excitement for tomorrow, but I was going to help make it even better. I’m not sure who I’ve become, but I don’t ever want the old me to come back!
And that’s why I can’t drink. All my boys are going to a movie tonight and I’ll be home for several hours. I have vodka in my cupboard and strongly debated drinking tonight earlier today. Why? Because of boredom, and thinking that this is the biggest party night of the year.
I really really want to have four years alcohol free in March. I thought that I could drink tonight, just tonight, and then celebrate my four year on March 29th instead of March 28th, to account for one day of drinking.
I could and would totally do that, if that was a guarantee.
Truth is, it’s terrifying.
I don’t want in the cycle. I don’t want in the cycle.
I think it would take an incredible amount of willpower to stay abstinent like I have after getting a taste of that sweet poison.
I have to remember who I was when I was a drinker. I was a sad soul, with a sad life. A life that looked full on the outside, but riddled with loneliness and despair and the thought that no one knew, and that I had to hide it, and that no one could help me- thinking I was unhelpable.
Holidays stressed me out, family parties stressed me out, any time it was later than 8:00 and I wasn’t home with my bottle, stressed me out.
I will not go back. I do not have another recovery inside. I cannot go back to Day 1.