Evan and I took a sunrise hike this morning. We meandered through a sandy path up a steep hill above the ocean, just as the sun was beginning to come up. The views were stunning. I thought a lot about how this would not have been possible for me in the past on other vacations. For starters, I would have been too hungover and unable to motivate for an early morning hike. But more importantly, I now prioritize these types of activities over drinking. I can recognize the value in being in the moment and soaking in all that vacation has to offer. I have made a point to be mindful and present for myself this week. I have spent much contemplative time listening to the ocean, staring at the horizon, gazing at the stars and breathing deeply. Being on vacation has been a cleanse for my mind.
On my hike this morning, I thought back to a vacation we took to Captiva island three years ago. I had a FB reminder pop up yesterday, so it was on my mind. Evan and I were spending day after day, drinking in the sun at a family friendly resort with the kids. We made vodka drinks in our room and brought them to the pool everyday in water bottles. I remember one night at dinner feeling so hungover from an afternoon of drinking in the sun, and my kids asked me what was wrong. I think I was angry because I physically couldn’t drink anymore even though I wanted to. But I just felt so low. So exhausted and depressed.
I wasn’t there. Mentally and emotionally I was checked out. I started crying at the table in the restaurant and my kids and husband looked at my like I was crazy. I don’t remember what excuse I gave, but I do know I felt so lost. So dependent on a substance that made me feel like complete shit. I thought it was making my vacation complete but really it was completely ruining it. That was three years ago.
What a relief this week to not even be faced with that inner turmoil. No more conflict. Only peace and joy. No more mental gymnastics over when to start drinking. How much am I allowed? Is it too soon for another? Can I pour a drink to soothe my hangover. No more voice inside my head begging me to betray myself.
Instead, the peaceful tumbling of the ocean waves are the only noises I hear.