November 28, 2020 by Molly Patrick

Bitter disappointment

The other evening a friend of mine who lives in Colorado posted some pictures to Facebook of a recent camping trip she took with a few of her close friends. The pictures were of her and her friends standing around a campfire drinking wine and cocktails out of Hydroflasks and laughing, smiling, posing, and having fun.

I looked through the photos, clicked out of Facebook, and closed my computer.

My response to my friend’s photos wasn’t happiness for her happiness.

My response was bitter disappointment that I can’t drink alcohol like she can, in moderation and with limits, therefore, not at all.

As I looked at her pictures, I missed the feeling of getting drunk. I missed escaping from my head for a little while. I missed that feeling of pure relaxation where everything is soft and okay for the moment. I missed having the option to turn down the hard realities of life and turn up my smile. I missed having the type of fun that I have only ever been able to achieve by drinking alcohol.

I wasn’t tempted to drink that night, but I did attend a major pity party for one that I was FULLY committed to for the rest of the evening.

The next morning I woke up at my usual 5:30 am, I got out of bed, and I started my day. I peed, brushed my teeth, washed my face, changed out of my pajamas, went to the kitchen, heated up water to drink, went upstairs to my yoga room, did my stretching / movement, went back downstairs to the kitchen, boiled water for tea—and that’s when the message slapped me upside the head:

Molly, you're not hungover.
You are enjoying the morning.
You are content.
You remember the conversations you had last night.
The bird songs outside are filling your heart.
You feel energized.
You are looking forward to your day.
You are excited to eat fruit.
Your head isn’t pounding.
Life is running through you.
And apart from the mild undercurrent of sadness that comes along with being human, you are happy.

I have been sober for 5 years and 6 months. I might not be able to drink alcohol with my friends around a campfire, but you know what? I DON’T EVEN LIKE CAMPING. That shit is way too cold and dusty. And secondly, I am unwilling to trade in overall joy and contentment for short term pleasure and escape that will only lead to stealing my overall joy and contentment.

If you ever find yourself missing things that you no longer do because they were destructive, recognize the longing and know it will pass. It’s important to mourn the things we miss. It helps us heal. Give yourself some space to feel it without trying to fix it. Sometimes the very best action is no action at all.

Today over on the blog, I’m taking you through my gluten-free journey. I can’t say I was all that stoked about it in the beginning, but I worked it out, and I’m taking you along for the ride.

Molly

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