This is the second of two posts. The first is here.

"Count them, Alice. 
One, there are drinks that make you shrink. 
Two, there are foods that make you grow. 
Three, animals can talk. 
Four, cats can disappear. 
Five, there is a place called Underland. 
Six, I can slay the Jabberwocky." 

It was time to face the dragons. And just so you know, I have had my share of embarrassing drunk moments.  Which, in and of themselves were just me being me, but when you add alcohol the moments are amplified and they are judged.  Even judged by those who were imbibing beside me the whole time.  

Maybe I had a glass more.  So you know, I drank a lot. I mean comparatively. The "judgers" enjoy it, but they know when to stop.  Or so they think.  Here's the thing - there are no acceptable levels of drunkenness, each level is replete with it's own demons and ghosts to fend off. But it mattered not to me what the habits of anyone else were, I just was getting so.damn.tired. And I wanted to stop.

So as for slaying the Jabberwocky - that was a long road of falling down many times.  But I finally slayed her.  And I say her, because she is a bitch.  That bitch loves to see you fall.  She laughs quietly on the sidelines while you cycle endlessly in her hamster wheel of redundancy.  The perpetuity of it all is mind blowing. Only a bitch talks about you behind your back to all her friends and then to your face offers you a kind smile and a knowing glance of, "... come on.  I'll take care of your worries.  Fuck it all and let's have a glass of wine."  She is sneaky too.  What started as a glass of wine in the evening to help me sleep, developed over time into a daily habit that I was now totally dependent on. The morning of my "sobriety-ever-after" I woke up in a hotel room with my family.  On Mother's Day.  Hungover.

We had been out with friends at a fundraiser evening out of town,  who had also drank a lot. However there were two friends there who do not drink.  They were there having fun too - sober.  Sober fun.  Out with us until 4am.  Except while they were talking and smoking cigarettes I was downing cans of some vodka thing from someone's car trunk and did I even like vodka? I don't know.  I had ran out of wine an hour prior.  So I was drinking what was available.  Even though I was already well past my limit. The next morning I remembered my sober friends as I was being sick.  I envied them so much in that moment.

As we drove home the following misty May morning, me with the window open a few inches for fresh air, I felt like the world's biggest loser.  My two beautiful children in the backseat thinking I was just "under the weather".  I turned to my husband and quietly announced that I was never drinking again.  Something in me had clicked.  A light switch was turned on. I was at rock bottom.  I wanted to climb back up, and out of that hell hole I had put myself in.  He just chuckled, "We'll see...". He loved me, and was used to tolerating my "funny" drinking episodes. He never had more than two.  He's that guy.

I don't think he even thought I was serious.  But I haven't touched a drink since.  I won't either.  Because I love myself too much.  Because I love waking up feeling GREAT.  I love having this freedom.  Because the thought of going back to that life makes me sick.  Because the smell of wine now turns my stomach as if I am physically allergic to it.  Because I don't find drunk people funny anymore.  Because the veil of illusion has been lifted and once you see you can't go back to living in blindness. Because my children deserve the best life possible, with a mother who is attentive and loving. Because I love fucking respecting myself.  Because I love LIFE.

I think it's safe to say with a year of sobriety approaching that the yoga, the meditation, the gym, the eating healthy, the sleeping early and waking early, among other things - has bred in me a reverence for living - that drinking always promised and failed to deliver. There are a mix of techniques at work here but the common denominator is boiled and reduced down to this fine sauce; you need to feel comfortable in your silence, alone, with yourself and with your issues.  You need to face this vastness that is your soul and know that you are ubiquitous.  You are omnipresent.  That the bills, the drama, the sadness is all temporary.  It's going to pass and you don't need to drink through it - you need to be present and FEEL it as it passes through you.  Knowing that on the other side is a sweetness, a happiness, a joy, a loving moment, a tangible and brilliant light. {And it's ALL YOU. Ubiquitous.} The experience of allowing your soul this freedom is beyond liberating.  It's like meeting God within yourself.  It's like you have kept a clean sweet place in your heart and you can reside there on a tree swing while the storm passes through and you will be safe.  

This is what I have found to be true.  I am sure you already know this but if you don't know it yet you will.  Like Alice realizing in that sacred moment that the whole time she was destined to slay the Jabberwocky, you will. When you are finally ready and you look up sword in hand, into the dragon's eyes from rock bottom, you will. I promise.


Next Week: Stay tuned. There will be some heat from the fire.