Six Feet Under was one of my favorite TV shows (and uncanny that Claire Fisher was a redhead whose last name rhymed with mine). No spoiler alerts here but in one of the final episodes her white bread boyfriend makes her a mix CD of pop music, something completely outside of her eclectic taste, and labels it the Deeply Un-Hip Mix. It’s a phrase that’s stayed with me. I’m feeling deeply un-hip in my sobriety.
That’s it right there, my sobriety, like it’s a party ruining, conversation killer unto itself. It follows me around unannounced, waiting to separate me from the crowd as the gal that can’t even have one glass of wine.
I’m sick of stock photography of people running into a path of flowers or curling up with their two children, eyes shining. This is not what “recovery” looks like for me and I sort of resent the term too. A better snapshot would be a 24 hour video loop of a woman waking up, taking out the dog, going to work, carefully making dinner or reading and nursing a room temperature coffee all day, at war with her mind on a bad day and resigned but okay on a good one. Sometimes I feel unspeakable rage and shame about who I was when I was drinking. It’s been over a year and I still don’t feel like I know myself. I’m not a twelve stepper and not into AA. Nothing against those for whom that program works, it’s just not for me. So I keep wondering, “Where are the resources for people like me? Young people or women that don’t want to be defined by the fact that if we join you at happy hour, you’ll only see us order a Diet Coke?”
I used to associate being a fearless, tough woman who can hold her own with drinking massive amounts of booze. Now that alcohol is out of the equation, I feel like a fraud. I don’t feel tough or even slightly cool. I’m not delusional; drinking didn’t make me either of those things, by far, but it kept me numb enough to think I was rock solid and no one could doubt me.
All of this is to say, I’m proud of myself but I’m also exhausted. Not drinking is serious business. Now that I’m not trying to extinguish some undetermined fire with copious amounts of white wine, I just feel exposed. There is so much I want to write about here but knowing that this blog is tied to my identity is a little scary. I worry that non-alcoholics can’t even begin to understand. Hell, I worry that I can’t.
First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.
F. Scott Fitzgerald