I have just encountered the beginning of the life change I referred to in the very first stages of this blog. I knew that I was going to have my daughter leave home. My son already left last year and yesterday it was time to leave my favourite daughter in the UK. We live in France and we have lived in the same town (village) her whole life. No traffic lights, some of the same kids in her class since she was three years old. Very safe and small. It has been a treasure of a summer (for the most part) knowing that we were having some ”last moment” things and just enjoying having her here (and her brother of course).
If I had been drinking, even a little, this whole experience would be vastly different. The subtle change is hard to describe. When I drink I can absolutely have a few and then stop. Sometimes. But if there is any hint of emotional unease, needing of tension release etc. then my drinking goes up and I go over a limit and then I have a SHIT SHIT day the next day. Certainly being in the UK dropping her off would have fallen into this category. Our ”last night” curry and drinks in a few bars in Durham would have led to me going (even slightly) overboard. I know it. Excuse to have nice nice wine. Family drinking with me. Fun fun fun. And then the whole process would have been tainted with a fuzzy head. A sense of profound loss, not proud of myself like I am as a ”clear” person, and so on and so forth.
On Friday night when we arrived in UK, I had a grrrr feeling of being left out. All around us were people laughing and boozing and dressed up. Then as the night wore on people our age and older – really dolled up – were lolling around pissed, not walking straight and generally looking shabby and mutton dressed up as lamb and grotty. The next day – after a ginger ale and soda to drink on Friday night – my daughter and I got up really early and walked watching the pink sunrise. We walked all around Durham, looking at the cathedral and the beautiful tiny city waking up. Fresh. No ”hat of heaviness” on my head. Clear as a crystal. Irreplaceable memories and times of togetherness. Why would I give that up for a few spontaneous numbing boozy drinks the night before? Never.
I am on day 62. The grrr feelings are less and less. I am so used to it now. Thanks to the busy social life that goes on around me. Everyone who I see knows and last night my friends gave me a lovely tonic with ice, lime and pomegranate seeds! What a treat. I watched them all supping Chardonnay and Malbec and all my favourite wines, without a hint of jealousy. I was comfortable and calm and peaceful about my decision. I joined in fully and had a lovely night! The tiny spin offs are so important. I won’t go into detail right now, but there are lots and lots of them.
I would not be feeling this calm and non-anxious about empty nesting with the addition of hangover, fuzzy heads and the general way over drinking made me feel. Slightly ashamed in a nebulous way. Not comfortable in my own skin. Not a person of full integrity and so on. Instead I feel just smooth and calm. It is priceless. I love it. Phew.
I am not losing major weight which is a little disappointing but not unexpected. But my face is less puffy and much brighter. A small side benefit.
Hope you are okay my very small crowd!!!
Love to you