Reunion & Regret

  

Friday evening, I sat at the bar with the clear intention of ordering a soda while I waited for my cousin to arrive.  And then I ordered a cider for no good reason.

You see, on January 1st I made a resolution to give my stomach a break and forego all alcohol. 

Not only did I make the resolution, but I told the people closest to me: 
I know what I am about to say isn’t gonna come as a surprise cause I have talked about it [before]: I have a problem with alcohol. My body keeps telling me that it can't handle it and I keep ignoring my body. So that is my 2019 resolution: give up alcohol for good.
And I asked for help:
I will need your support in this.  Please do not ask me to drink with you.  Please do not buy alcohol for me.  Please let me decline drinking gracefully. With the prevalence of alcoholism in [my] family, I do not want to be too proud to say what might be true. 
My uncle once told me that the definition of alcoholism is when drinking starts affecting other areas in your life -- your relationships, your health, your job, etc. I had to face that drinking was affecting my long-term digestive health.  Recovering from the damage caused by Celiac Disease takes consistency and time.  Depending on how long you've gone undiagnosed and how old you are, it could take a few months or even a few years to heal the damage to your stomach lining. Some doctors think that the time it takes to heal your mucosal lining, your cilia, and gut biome could take even longer (I was diagnosed in April 2016).

For 45 days, I was sober. 

And then I ordered that cider. And then a second. 
And then we went to another bar and I had a cocktail, and then another, and then another. 

Somewhere in the back of my head is this voice saying "but you used to work at an Irish bar." The same voice says "you don't have a problem."  While I was hungover the next day (not just dehydrated, but digestively wrecked for three days (yay malabsorption!), I came to the realization that the voice was an echo or kinda like a message from space that takes years to arrive. It isn't the voice of who I am anymore or who I need to be. 

Between being curled up in a ball and trips to the bathroom, I got texts like "You are the BEST big cousin ever!"and "You are too good to our kids!" As the hangover faded, the message became apparent:  in order to be a good cousin (and role model), I need to be my best self, I need to be responsible and present because it's their turn to need the net that catches them.

Today is Day Number 4.  

One thing I've learned over my "LCJ" (my life-changing journey is starting to look more like my a "journey of a changing life") is that while it sucks to get derailed, it sucks more to not get back "on track." Take as many Day 1s as you need. Give yourself that forgiveness and flexibility and eventually you are able to avoid the derailment or at least blow the horn and get help. 

3 comments

while I don't have the physiological issues that you do, I know for a fact that drinking doesn't help my mind nor my body. So in general I just don't drink much at all anymore. Like *maybe* 1 drink a week IF that. Last Saturday I had 5 beers. Yeah. That won't be happening again ever. I wasn't hungover but my mood was not great and when I was running my intervals on Sunday I really felt ill. Not good. We don't need alcohol. we are mega fun anyway!

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@Renee -- I'm pretty sure we're even better when we're sober. I've seen it. We're HILARIOUS.

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Wow!! What a great read, my twin sister is also on this challenge she started, she's not eating any cake or junk food and also she's staying off alcohol. She's also on this great plan, check it out.
http://bit.ly/2VzYR3f

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