Updated: Sep 1, 2021
The kids have been out of school for a week now, and I was prepared for this to be a very triggering time of year for me. So far, it has been pretty good. Summertime was always full of early afternoon cocktails outside in the sunshine, drinks by the pool and happy hour that always started earlier than any other time of the year. Day drinking just always seemed acceptable and part of the social routine when the sun was shining. An unspoken allowance between my friends. An unwritten rule amongst our girl squad. As soon as 3pm rolls around at the pool, it seems like everyone starts checking if their friends are drinking and asking each other if "anyone needs anything in the beer garden by any chance?" In the hopes that maybe someone else is feeling that early afternoon itch too. I am so grateful that I am not feeling that uneasy, burden. The burning desire of constantly wondering when I am going to drink next. Thank the Lord I am free from feeling trapped and chained up. Only thinking about one thing. When can I get my buzz on again. My mind is clear and calm. There is no better way to describe it now.
So as my kids attempt to grapple with their new summer camp schedules this week, and I try to adjust to having them home, we are all learning to be a bit more patient with one another. This is tough. They are demanding a lot more of my time and attention, as opposed to when they used to be home closer to 4pm. It just feels like they are around all the time now and in my personal space. It is hard to fine the "me" time. The time for my own self care and down time. And when sometimes I just want to sit and be in my own thoughts and keep to myself, I can't. They need me. All the time. Everyday. Every meal. Every hour. Every moment... I put pressure on myself to be there in ways I haven't been in the past. When I used to be drunk by 5pm and ignoring them, I find myself playing with them in ways I never used to. Call it making up for lost time, perhaps. And even when I am not feeling like my best self, I find the strength and compassion to be there for them anyway. Call it guilt. I know I need to show that compassion to myself as well, because I am doing a lot for everyone. This last year is a lot.
I am doing the best I can. I need to find the balance. Just staying sober and loving them is enough sometimes, even if I can't find the strength to play with each one of them for thirty minutes alone in the evenings or cook a home cooked meal. And when my headaches flair up and I am just too tired to deal, I have to look out at the sunshine, take a deep breath and reflect.
I am not drinking anymore. And that alone is enough.