The other day I saw two empty pints of Smirnoff tossed by the side of the road and the sight of them made me feel nauseated. Granted, I was running and had just tackled a few hills I haven’t had to face on the treadmill this winter, but still it stood out. Generally I have an iron stomach, and I’ve never had this reaction to the sight of alcohol in sobriety.
Then I recalled the big jug of what I’m pretty sure would have been smirnoff in my parent’s brown lacquered liquor cabinet. When I was a freshman in high school, I used to sneak some into an old nail polish remover bottle I had rinsed out first. WTF. In case you ever run out of clean To-Go cups, let me tell you that rinsed nail polish remover bottles retain a surprising amount of their nail polish remover flavor. I remember standing outside a boy’s house late at night, swigging from a bottle of Cutex and screwing up the courage to go inside. It was liquid courage, but I might as well have been drinking gasoline. Still I drank it. And got sick. I think I still went inside.
Oh so grateful for these blessedly short snippets from an ugly past. They remind me how sick I got on rot gut and top shelf and everything in between. It was like poison that sometimes tasted good and sometimes just tasted like poison.
This weekend I’m solo parenting and trying to arrange plans in a loose enough way to allow flexibility for life while keeping myself on track. I am the queen of procrastination and getting sucked into mindless vortexes, but I figured something out the other day. Proscrastinating makes me bitchy. Just kidding, I’ve known that for ages, as have my children. Maybe what I figured out is that procrastinating my procrastination allows me to do things at a non-rushed/freakout pace, plus then I still get to goof off. And you know the old saying When mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. The reverse is probably just as true.
Speaking of happiness, I had some dessert this week. The thing is, it didn’t make me happy, though it wasn’t terrible either. I’d gone a month-and-a-half more or less sugar-free and I’d planned to have some birthday cake. I had the cake and also part of a rice krispie treat and some brownie and also a cupcake. This was all over the course of a week, mind you. And I realized pretty much while I was doing it that I needed to go back to not eating dessert, at least for now. And so I did. I’m a lot happier eating better, so the motivation is there. Food affects my mood more than I realized. Maybe it’s more accurate to say how I eat affects how I feel about myself.
I’m surrounded by examples of why I should do the right thing. When I do, I feel better about myself. And I don’t need to miss out on anything. If I get my work done, I get to play very important bubble popping and candy matching games on my phone. If I don’t inhale cookies daily, maybe I can have one now and again. Maybe this is no big deal.
Moderation outside of drinking is a new concept to me. Because I associated it with continued failed attempts at moderate drinking, moderation smelled like failure to me. As long as I remember I can’t have any of this good stuff if I drink, maybe there’s more wiggle room than I realized.