Day 153 (Five months): Owning My Power


Tomorrow, I go on a long vacation to exotic locations.

I’ve been wishy-washy on whether I would succumb to drinking on this month-long venture, sending out mixed signals to my poor, confused husband. Actually, he is probably not that confused — he’s seen this show before.

What I’m doing is setting the stage for drinking.

I imagine the place it might be, even though I have never been anywhere we are going: I will be sitting in a quaint cafe, overlooking some famous sea, and the waiter will appear, holding a frosty drink. “It is a tradition in Swaziland,*” he will say, “That visitors are offered our national drink.”

(Disclosure: I am not going to Swaziland, if it even exists.)

“To refuse is to gravely offend the giver,” he continues,”and brings curses and bad weather on  your vacation. No one has ever refused such a drink.”

Charmed but threatened, I would gracefully accept the drink, and take a sip, as per the local custom. Everyone in the cafe would cheer, and raise their own glasses to my health and ability to assimilate with the natives. Fun would be had by all.

I’ve been imaging this, but per my new sober training, I am also forced to analyze the thought process that led to such a bizarre scenario. In the interest of time, here is a summary of what I’ve come up with:

  • I know I am setting the scene to permit myself to drink. I can choose to recognize this and stop, or recognize this and continue. IT IS MY CHOICE.
  • I can continue to make seemingly throw-away comments, like “I wonder if they even drink Cosmos in Swaziland,” or I can stop. I am not fooling anyone. Either way, THE CHOICE IS MINE.
  • I actually no longer feel the urge to drink. Almost never. I rarely have thoughts about it. Instead, I fantasize about hot fudge sundaes and creme brûlée. I could (and am) changing this by considering, covertly, that the vacation of a lifetime is a passable “excuse” to drink. I could continue to allow these thoughts, or I could stop. THE CHOICE IS MINE.
  • Whatever choice I make, I am not making it, as in the past, because the desire to drink is so overwhelming that I am ill-equipped to handle it. I am not in the midst of a personal drama. No one I know is dying. I am healthy and happy. I could make it through this trip by walking myself silly and getting in great shape. I could take beautiful photos and post them, annoyingly, on Facebook, practically pointing out to everyone,”I’m here and you’re not!”

Or I could get back on the treadmill, because they know me there. I know that version of myself. I could hang out with her a while. Maybe she’s lonely.

Or I could stop these idiotic, destructive thoughts (the old, drunk me is lonely?) and embrace strength instead of weakness. Hope instead of hopelessness. Life instead of half-life. Change instead of choosing to stay stuck … again.

But I can’t stop knowing it’s up to me.

8 thoughts on “Day 153 (Five months): Owning My Power

  1. It is, of course, your choice. And a vacation is a vacation. But, getting sober again, can be really hard. It took me 22 months from blowing my sobriety on a holiday, to getting sober again. Play the tape forward …. Have a great holiday. Lily 🌷x

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I blogged about trying two glasses. I haven’t had any since. But I tried it under very different circumstances…more to prove a point to hubby and to myself..not because I was craving it. After reading everyone’s blogs over the past months, I am VERY skeptical I could try wine again “to relax”, “to feel on vacation”, and not lose all the groundwork over the past few months. It IS your choice but making an informed one based upon what you know about yourself is the important thing! Enjoy your trip!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you … I will! I am feeling pretty confident at the moment, but dreamed about ordering a drink. I threw it away instead of drinking it, so that must be a good omen. I have also used turbulence as a reason to drink. I am hoping for a smooth ride. ; )


  3. I love the idea of having an awesome vacation full of beautiful pictures in Facebook, morning hikes and creme brûlée.

    If drunk you is lonely bring her with you to show her the world that she was missing in a haze of booze.

    I often think about drinking on vacation, but I decided that if I wouldn’t want to ruin my regular life with booze, why would I want to ruin my holiday?

    Hug. It is your choice.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You are probably on your way now, but if not, I have now had two sober vacations, and they were fun!
    I didn’t have the awful headaches I’d get from drinking in the day, and being dehydrated!
    We were way more active sober!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am now in Switzerland and recovering from jet lag. I am so dehydrated from the travel that nothing but sleep and water is tempting at this point. Two sober vacations is a miraculous feat. The active part is key to my survival here — I have to make sure that I am exhausting myself in a healthy way. ; )

      Liked by 1 person

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