I have the great fortune of being in Italy right now. Staying with my sister in Lugano, and looking after her dogs and her daughter. None of which is in the least bit taxing. I have been here as a drinking person, and now have a comparison as a sober person! I have done the dog walk a bit hungover and today I did it fresh as one of the millions of daisies that sprinkled themselves over the paths. There are primroses everywhere, the magnolias are like pink ballet slippers in the trees, the camellias are showing off, the buds are just insane. I am living at full volume. In a good way.
I often notice how much calmer I am in every way as a non drinker. It is odd, I was not drunk all the time!! Not even nearly. But the difference in cutting it out is immense. It is like there were pockets of drinking and hangovers which were like bit splodges on the horizon, and they were fairly regular, and when they were really regular they leaked out into the in-between periods and tainted them. Colouring life with an anxiety that is now noticeably missing. It is like there was a knot in my solar plexus and it is gone. Unravelled. And there are big deep breaths of pure relaxation in its place.
I was talking to my husband today about the calmness. I think that if you are touchy a few wines makes you doubly touchy. If you are feeling sensitive then a couple of glasses or more of wine really ignites that sensitivity. If you are feeling shit about yourself for whatever reason, feed that feeling with a bit of booze and boy does it grow. For some of us alcohol is a revver upper of whatever we are feeling. I get soooo over excited and crazy with a lot of drink in me. And I feel like I don’t give a shit!! Until the next day when I give so many shits that my day is ruined.
Of course I want to sit in the sunset with a gin and tonic. Of course I would like to sip an expensive red wine with dinner. Of course I would love an ice cold South African Sauvignon Blanc on a hot sunny day at a BBQ. A sparkling glass of Prosecco for sundowners… Yes all these things pull and attract one. But would I trade them for this feeling of well being and calmness. No. Not in a month of Sundays.
Hope you are all well and enjoying your weekends.
I finished Dry by Augusten Burroughs and really enjoyed it. So much so that I decided to read. his next book Running with Scissors. Good Lord. Compelling reading, and very upsetting and disturbing. The way he grew up set the scene perfectly for a self medicating adult. I can see why he wanted to escape his reality. He was a proper full on alcoholic. Big style. And now he is sober – years sober – and living a calm life (from what I can tell).