Here and there, but mostly here

Woke up to memories of vivid dreams not quite nightmares but close enough, probably brought on by the sound of heavy rain on the roof or the bedroom door rattling in its frame from the wind outside. It’s counter-intuitive to love a dismal, wet day, but it puts me closer to a memory I have of picking up my kid from the bus stop – both of us in rainboots, stomping across wet leaves – and taking her home for hot soup. I think I got this memory from a soup commercial because it never really happened, but it’s comforting, so I hold onto it.

One of the dreams I remember was hearing the doorbell ring while I wasn’t fully dressed, and opening the door just the same. At breakfast this morning, my littlest said she dreamt of a strange boy in blue and white striped pajamas standing quiet and still in our hallway. I think I like my dream better.

Yesterday when I asked this same little girl what she wants to be when she grows up as part of a take-home preschool project, she told me “I want to have vanilla hair.” Hmm.

I rephrased the question. “What job do you want to do when you get big?”

“Um…a door holder,” she said.

I fell into one of those deep, hard laughs where you can’t breathe but make strange honking noises instead and tears spill down your cheeks and other people start to look concerned. Between that and the endorphins humming in my brain from an early morning run, I felt normal for the first time in days. Truth is, I’ve been struggling lately, and I don’t really know why.

I can accept that my brain chemistry is wonky, either from years of drinking or because it was screwy enough to self-medicate with drink in the first place. It doesn’t really matter which came first because the solution is the same: don’t drink. This weekend I really struggled with the black-and-whiteness of this cure.

Friday I came downstairs and the way the late afternoon light hit my husband’s pint glass of beer was wicked cruel. I had that by now familiar thought “yes, please” that frustrates me immensely because I feel like my brain should know better now. I am trying to keep my side of the street clean, but his leaves keep blowing over and I am tired of sweeping. I hate being on the opposite side of the street from him, especially when his side feels more happy-go-lucky and mine more get-off-my-lawn-cranky. (aside: He just sent me the above someecard, which is so perfect for this post.)

That splendid vision of beer on the countertop touched off a weekend of feeling out of sorts. I’m so fragile these days. We went to a restaurant festival and I saw a woman with a mostly-full plastic cup of beer, her head thrown back in laughter, and I kinda sorta of wanted to yank her by the ponytail for being in that special place I can’t get to anymore.

And yet I had an excellent weekend. I took my girls to see Finding Nemo (just keep swimming, indeed, Dory) and teared up at all the right moments, plus I ate my weight at the restaurant festival. This life I have is beautiful. I don’t know why I should look for pain in a life I don’t even have.

I am on a roller coaster lately, and it seems odd because I haven’t felt this way since late fall of last year. When I ride roller coasters in real life, I do so with a smile on my face and my eyes tightly shut. I know this because we just went to Disney and they’re constantly taking pictures of you on roller coasters that you only want to buy so you can burn them. I think maybe what I’m doing now is opening my eyes a little and taking it all in, exactly as it is. It’s new and sometimes scary, but I haven’t felt this alive in ages.


19 thoughts on “Here and there, but mostly here

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  1. my god, i feel exactly the same way, and have for the past few days. alternating “wow i’ve got the best life, ever” with “holy shit can’t i just have some wine now? i’ve been a good girl.” thankfully the down times don’t really equal drinking, but the thoughts do flit through my mind.

    Alive is good, a bit up and down is perhaps normal! I love this idea: “It doesn’t really matter which came first because the solution is the same: don’t drink.” We can overthink and try to ‘solve’ a ‘problem’ while not drinking. Or we can just not drink. I pick the latter, too 🙂


  2. Man I love you. But would you get out of my f’ng head please?
    I swear you’re like the sister I never had.
    What do we do? We swim, swim! (I posted that clip a few weeks ago in my just keep running, running, running post. Love that movie!!)
    Big hugs… This life. Man. It’s one hell of a ride. Who needs rollercoasters when we have sobriety?


  3. Holy Moley! You capture that wild-ass sober ride so vividly in this post! It seems to be a in and out struggle. I can relate to wanting to yank that ponytail (and to wanting vanilla hair; thank you for the laughter too…)

    Sobriety is funny to me: it IS black and white ABD there are still those grey areas and I think there always will be. When life hurts, especially for no apparent reason, I SO want my old Easy Fix which is not easy or a fix for anything!

    Craving dies hard. Thanks for capturing THIS and for bringing a smile to my face too.

    Peace, Jen


    1. This weekend was a reminder that it probably never fully dies. Maybe I’ve been too complacent with very few cravings. You’re absolutely right that the “fix” isn’t easy or a fix at all.

      Thank you for your kind comment.


  4. I’ve looked at my husband’s beer the same way and was annoyed at how my mind could mess with me. There’s a part of me that thinks that people who drink are having so much fun but I know from experience that it isn’t true for all of them. I had fun until I didn’t. Great post! I feel like you were in my brain too!


  5. Are you in My Head?? Are you in My Kitchen?? Sounds like you bloody are! (Except it’s Mr D’s red wines that are taunting me). Oh god motherfucking god it’s so bloody dumb and unfair that we’re always.. always .. always going to have a sad little left-out grumpy drinker inside of us who gets a sad pang when we see someone else with their head thrown back laughing.. and they happen to have alcohol in the glass in front of them. And always we’re going to have to work our grey matter in that instant to turn that sad thought around, to remember.. we are that person with our head thrown back.. only our glass happens to be filled with GINGERFUCKINGBEER. I love this post. Beautifully written and subtle and intelligent and honest. But remember this girl. WE ARE AMAZING. WE ARE TRUELY AMAZING FOR RECOGNISING, CONFRONTING, CHALLENGING AND REMOVING A TERRIBLE NASTY ADDICTION THAT HAS MILLIONS OF OTHERS STILL IN ITS CLUTCHES. Sorry for all the caps. But holy hell. … WE ARE AMAZING! xxxxx


    1. I’m not one to usually hi-jack comments (sorry BBB), but I just had to say Mrs. D. that this is one of the best comments I have read. Ever. Geez, Bloody Hell Mrs. D., Now you’re in my head too?! It’s getting really crowded in that tiny little space up there! (I hope you brought some cookies. Booze free cookies, I cannot be trusted with chocolate liquor, LOL) Okay, I’m off to stalk other blogs now. 😉 xxx to you both!


    2. I love the funny visual of these left out grumpy drinkers still living inside us. I like the idea of accepting this part of me, at least for now. This is why we didn’t want to have to stop, and really the occasional bout of self pity is a small price for our happier, richer lives. And yes, we are amazing 🙂


  6. thoughts: every horror movie ever begins with your kid’s dream about a boy standing in the hallway. such pretty writing here with a nice ebb and flow. vanilla hair is such a poetic phrase.


    1. This morning she brought up the boy again and asked “why didn’t you see him?” and I was all “wait, this was a dream, right?” She’s 4…she doesn’t get that we don’t all dream the same creepy crap. And isn’t vanilla hair wonderful? Sounds dreamy.


  7. Oh, so beautifully written! I love the dreams and the job aspirations. Too funny.

    I tell you, I laughed when I saw the ecard because I practically said the same the word for word the other day. I couldn’t take one more glorious sunny day when I just need to sit on my butt inside and do a little business work or organize and regroup. I don’t know why the hell I torture myself with guilt about having to go outside when it’s sunny.

    I love what you wrote about opening your eyes on the roller coaster. Very cool.



  8. I find this time of year a funny one too… my pattern these days seems to be…

    After Christmas – feel good for first couple of weeks in Jan then go down with the winter weather, dark mornings, nights the cold etc. March – May pick up through spring – Summer feel good… Autumn slip into a bit of a melacholy … Now some of that I think it the impending winter – the good long days of summer hols over etc, my son back to uni after 3 months or so of having him home with us. Whatever I notice it… you may have a pattern you need to learn to recognise / accept…

    I am lucky my wife rarely if ever drinks at home – so I don’t have to suffer this issue. Funny we had my 50th birthday do last weekend, in a private room in a pub, the bar was downstairs etc. but even so – my do, in a pub… I never really thought about a drink at all – it certainly wasn’t an issue at all. I don’t drink – simple… well yes, although not easy I know for anyone like us… However keep walking the straight path you may find in time it gets easy – try not to fight it too much … 🙂


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