The Wine, the Witch, and the Toilet Paper
A big block in my recovery from alcohol addiction (and addictions that followed) was deciphering the difference between seeing the situation for what it really was versus seeing the situation for how I hoped it was. Looking back I can see that I was more or less under the influence of Lisa, rather than the influence of alcohol. Alcohol, basically, exacerbated my thoughts. Even the anticipation exacerbated my thoughts. It helped me have the courage to say words that couldn’t otherwise find their way out of my mouth. It also gave me the nerve to say words that were better left unsaid. Unaltered Lisa was already hexed. I didn’t need alcohol to mess up my thinking. I craved alcohol in an attempt to gain some clarity. What an idiot. (I say that in the most loving of ways.)
But here is my point, it was easier to wrap it all up in a convenient, albeit tangled, lie than to actually put it out on the table and unravel it. It was easier to go into therapy and pretend I didn’t have a drinking problem, then to actually look at the fact that I had an incredibly, unbelievably, almost uncontrollable, desire, and craving for alcohol on a daily basis. It was easier to tell my therapist, I have a little wine at night but he leaves the tp roll empty, he knows I hate when he does that, why does he do that, he also, if he won’t stop I will blah, blah, blah.
Never mind that I was drinking a bottle of wine every night—alone. Never mind that I went to the grocery store for diapers and bread, but came home with bagels and booze. Let’s stay on topic here people … we came to therapy to talk about him changing. At least that was my hope.
And so it went.
The funny thing: I actually believe this shit. Really, truly, I did. I believed with every fiber of me that I was a portion of my problem, but clearly I was not my problem. I righteously hung my life, my happiness, upon another person’s actions or lack of. (Refer to toilet paper example in paragraph three.)
You know what happened?
He started to keep up on the toilet paper. What did I do? I went and found something else to be agitated about. Geez, can you not use so much water, have you seen the water bill lately? At this juncture I am alcohol free, but far from being a person I like. BUT, because I made the leap (btw it felt like a suicide jump) to get sober, he needs to be better (aka perfect) so I can be happy.
What, I got sober for me? What is this nonsense you speak of? I got sober to make our marriage better. Why do I have to do all the changing?
It’s my job to make me happy. I can hope, and wish, and pray all I want that [insert name] does this for me, but it may or may not happen. If I want it to be different I change me. Not change me first, just change me.
I had never learned this simplest of principles.
The world I see around me is a reflection of the world I see within me. I am frustrated with [insert name] because I am frustrated with me and I have not yet dealt with it. The problem is within my perception. The solution is within my perception.
My 2014 re-Solutions:
- Smile and bring my own roll of toilet paper. It doesn’t matter who left it empty.
- Remember that others make changes for themselves, not for me.
- Don’t drink today.
What a concept.