Along with my anniversary with the hubby, yesterday was significant for another reason.
Two years ago April 26th, I quit drinking. Because I'm a writer with a flair for the dramatic, I may embellish a little on the reasons why I quit, but the purpose and feelings behind them are genuine. I don't like to throw around the word alcoholic. Truth be told, I just wasn't enjoying it anymore.
I started out as a beer girl. All through my 20's as we stood by the stacks at the Thirsty Whale or played darts at the local bar, beer was my drink of choice. Occasionally there were shots involved, but more so when I met my hubby. Jagermeister brought us together, one shot after another. In my 30's, I discovered the joy of drinking wine thanks to a coworker. I became versed in it. I kept a list of favorites, stocked and restocked our wine rack every week at Binny's, drove to Michigan to buy it. I became a snob about it. And then, the dirty martini came along. I never thought I'd love something that tasted like that, but usually one became three and three became a problem. Actually, it all became a problem, since for the better part of the last three years that I was drinking, it was making me physically sick.
Despite debilitating headaches, which led to puking and vows to "never again," the minute "wow I feel better" happened, I'd find the bottle opener. We had several occasions where yours truly would get so blasted we'd have to leave the concert/restaurant/party, etc. And then I'd white knuckle it all the way home because the hubby would have to drive and I knew he'd had a few drinks too. In early 2012, thanks to a herniated disk and let's be honest "the fun of it," I was mixing alcohol and vicodin. I was a blast to be around when I took vicodin. But there again, one became three and three became dangerously scary. There were several nights where I'd lay in bed thinking about Heath Ledger (we share a birthday) because I could feel how slow my heart was beating and how often I'd forget to breathe. I knew that mixing booze and pills was the worst idea, but I was in quite a bit of pain and probably self-medicating things meant for another blog entry. Note I said several nights...because sometimes that what it takes to scare the shit out of you. It happens once, and you think "that was weird" but have it happen a couple times and you start to realize the road you're going down. What if I never woke up?
In Vegas, I remember exactly where I had my last drop of alcohol - The Wynn, it was a flavored martini and I spent the rest of the afternoon puking in the hotel room. That was it for me. No going back. Not worth the effort, or the outcome.
I can't say I don't miss it. Most days I truly don't. I don't miss the aftermath or standing over the toilet wishing I could purge my body of every drop. I have no control when it comes to moderation. I have an addictive trait and I know I can't be trusted. But there are times like last weekend, where the weather was nice, and I was out and surrounded by people drinking, that I wish I could go back. It's like spring fever. I romanticize about the "fun" me but realize the "drunk" me was quite the opposite.
It's easier these days for me to just order a Shirley Temple or a soda, but the wafting smell of a martini or tequila takes over and I start to reminisce about the old days. It's really, really hard to be the non-drinker when everyone you know drinks. I imagine there will come a day - most likely a life changing event - that will push me back to the bar, if only for a day. I'll puke, reset the clock and go back to being the non-alcoholic beverage girl.