My Friday evenings look quite different now these days. It struck me tonight as I popped open my can of seltzer. I realized that what I am doing is such a strong contrast to my life nearly nine months ago. Before in my drinking days, by this time of night, I would be settled into the couch with a bottle of wine, ready to numb out. On a night like tonight, I would be well on my way to getting drunk likely having been with friends in the afternoon already at the pool or at someone's backyard BBQ. Regardless, I would have started boozing well before 5pm since it's Friday, having jumped at the chance after the long, hot afternoon alone with the kids.
Instead, I find myself here. There is no wine. There are no loud friends or crazy BBQs. There is no escaping. There is only seltzer. And the funny thing is I prefer this over anything else. This has become the best kind of Friday night. One of my favorite kind of evenings is being in my cozy home with my seltzer and laptop.
Yes, I am annoyed at my kids a little, because it has been a long, disorganized week. We can't escape the heat it seems. The long, exhausting summer days have us all a little agitated. The fighting, arguing, and endless battles over screen time are starting to really get to me. And I am tired of the lack of routine.
But I am not drunk.
I am here and I am sober. Instead of avoiding it all and running away from my responsibilities, I take a moment and take care of myself. Instead, I sit down. And I breathe.
It is here in the sunroom, that I am able to reflect and realize how changed my life truly is. It is such a relief that I am not anxiously awaiting Evan's arrival home with Brayden from hockey practice right now, preparing to hide my drunkenness. There are no more lies and there is no more sneaking around. I feel free from the constraints of alcohol, after feeling stuck for so long. There is a peacefulness in my heart now knowing I am no longer bound to it.
There is much hope that lies ahead, as I have experienced the joy first hand. So I will continue to take a minute to myself to meditate and use my other tools to escape when I need. I will escape to my sunroom for a quiet moment. My happy place. I will take a second to watch the sunset. I will listen to the sounds of nature and absorb the serenity of my backyard. These are some of the many, many examples. I do all of this instead of losing myself at the bottom of a bottle, and instead of anxiety and sadness, I can find clarity. Comfort. Calm. And tomorrow, I will wake up in the morning feeling grateful. And not hungover. Because there is so much to look forward to for this little family of mine.