Monday, March 02, 2009

Good-bye Sliver of Hope, Hello, Reality, for the 37th Time * with request

Well, we might be turning the corner, but I am not counting any healthy chickens until they are hatched. The girls have ceased vomiting and Nicole is back at work (after two days off) and the diaper fiascos are slowing down considerably. I am fairly certain Avery has the rotavirus, and maybe Maddie, too, though she had much milder case. Maddie had one evening of throwing up and, just like when she was a baby, this involved depositing small disgusting piles on the floor, like a cat, which she then would roll on or touch or somehow get all over her, despite our efforts to pull her away from it immediately. Avery projectile vomits, like a cartoon character. There is this low sonorous noise and then everything inside her comes out all at once with force, like a fire hydrant. After we stop laughing, because it really does look funny. We are faced with the daunting process of cleaning everything up and comforting the sad Avery. Our concern now is Avery woke up this morning with a dry diaper, a sure sign of dehydration, so I need to stay on top of the liquids thing, and be on the lookout for crying with no tears and a dry mouth. But that is enough vomit and sick talk for a Monday morning.

This morning NYC the victim of four inches of snow. March is in like a lion, indeed. The city is, as usual, shutting down with panic. The store’s shelves are wiped out of water, toilet paper and milk. Even the schools are closed, for the first time in five years. My walk to the gym this morning was a very slippery one, but manageable, and the cold wasn’t exactly bone-chilling. It is supposed to snow more, and already little flakes are swirling outside. But that is enough weather talk for a Monday morning.

This weekend was unusual in that two people I am close to have confirmed they are alcoholics. That doesn’t happen every weekend. Well, one confirmed and the other… that is an interesting story that I’ll get to in a minute. But the first is a good friend of mine (whose anonymity I will respect) who made the decision to quit drinking and has not had a drop in 21 days. She quit cold turkey and other than regular therapy, she is not seeking any treatment, which is a method that worked for me. She hasn’t told many people yet, and I wonder what people’s reactions will be when she does drop this mini bomb. Should be interesting, because some people seem to have a hard time when other’s quit drinking.

So this got me thinking about my own drinking days and nights. For me, quitting wasn’t the hardest part. Making the decision to quit was. When I finally quit, it was actually almost easy. After all, when you are hungover all the time and finally admit how drinking is fogging up your life and making your future seem hazy, it is easy to make the decision that it is time to steer clear of the poison. Sort of like starting a diet after a stomach virus, when food of any kind is the last thing on your mind. So the beginning of quitting was okay. The hard parts come later, when I am faced with old habits and old patterns and old haunts and old synapses. But at this point those hard days are few and far between, to be honest, and fleeting.

My will power is strong and avoiding something in totality is easier for me than moderation. But oh I still resent lacking moderation abilities so very much. I envy my friends who can practice moderation and indulge in a drink every now and then. I want to be a member of that club. How I wish I could have a cold beer in the hot summer, a warm buttery scotch in the cold winter. Sangria. Whiskey sours. Mojotos. I still remember, with fondness, nights at one of my favorite bars, the kind of place where the bartender gives you a free glass of Opus One left over from a bottle one of the tables in the connected restaurant ordered (I quickly developed a taste for very expensive wine, thanks to that generous bartender!). Sitting at the beautiful carved bar, my coat draped on the back of my stool, eating creamed spinach and clams, my dinner for an entire winter. The check every night was impossibly small, as the bartender knew that undercharging us would ensure regular visits and big tips.

When I have fondue and taste that sharp sweet flavor of wine, I miss drinking. When I see a friend relaxing into a drink, shoulders releasing tension, slouching down in the seat, exhaling and visibly relaxing (and stopping after one drink) I miss it. I miss it and will always miss it. But don’t regret my decision to quit.

The other alcoholic, well, I can’t get into that one too much, but that one rocked my world a little more. Once again I am reminded that I really really need an anonymous blog. But this case really saddened me. It isn’t a surprise, because we all know she has a drinking problem. She denies it, and still does. What is a surprise is that she admitted to regular blackouts, which she has never done before, which everyone knows is a very certain sign of drinking issues. So in a way even though I know she is an alcholic and I know she can’t stop, I still can sometimes pretend that it isn’t as awful as I imagine, that maybe I am over sensitive or overreacting. And then I hear things like blackouts and I realize I can’t live in my pretend world. I have always had that that sliver of hope that she is just a regular drinker who has complete control and can stop any time if she wants. Poof, gone. Reality is and will always be a very bitter pill to swallow.

That’s enough drinking talk for a Monday morning.

Pictured above, my beautiful sunny Skye. Today is her fourth birthday!

* If anyone has any ideas where to take a 4 year old for a birthday experience, please share. We want to take her out somewhere in NYC. Not Amercan Girl. If any intrepid NYCers have any ideas, please share!


Anonymous said...

Alice's Teacup is a great place for a b-day party. The uws location has a private room with a long table perfect for a tea party!

K J and the kids said...

Your post made me want a drink.
I clearly have a problem :)

I find you amazing. I can't imagine the kind of strength it takes for you to be around people and places that make you want to drink remind you of drinking.

I'm glad that you can be of support and influence to those still finding out about their alcoholism. You hav very lucky friends.

Anonymous said...

Does she like the Eloise books? I believe the Plaza is back to doing tea....

Anonymous said...

old enough for broadway? am sure you have thought of Mary Poppins or Little Mermaid..

Anonymous said...

March the 2nd? Hey, me too, but I am considerably older than 4!

p.s. Don't live in NYC so can't help with destinations, sorry.

Jess said...

Your blog always seems to hit home. I am dealing with some of these issues right now and it is so difficult. I admire your open and honesty. Also, I have an off internet question to ask you but I don't have your email address. MIne is Would you mine emailing me your address?