“It doesn’t really matter who you used to be, what matters is who you’ve become.” That was today’s motivational quote on my Sober Time app. Day 27 – 3 days left till I’ve done a month.
It’s funny, as I was thinking about exactly that yesterday. Now that my brain doesn’t have that very light ‘fog’ about it, my memory is better. And with that, comes remembering things I’d long forgotten. Some I’d rather have stay forgotten. It’s not all bad, it’s just that my anxiety rises when I think about something I may have said, or done. Yet there really is no point in re-hashing the past. What was said or done…was said or done. And I don’t have a time machine.
My “I shouldn’t have said that” or “I can’t believe I did that” experiences have never (that I’m aware of) harmed anyone else. They’re more “embarrassing moments” – for me – that I would rather forget. The people that were there and witness to them probably never gave them another thought – or they were long forgotten about as they didn’t really matter. Some of them, like the time I drank way too much at a work function (okay that happened 3 times…but only 3 times! Once in my early 30’s after a big breakup, once in my late 30’s after my Grandfather died, and once in my early 40’s under extreme stress) would be remembered by people if I reminded them. Some would say ‘oh, yeah…you were really funny that night!’… and others (the ones closer to me) would say ‘I’d forgotten about that…but it’s okay…don’t give it another thought’. But they replay in my head for some reason. On a damn loop.
I remember the very first time I drank too much. It was a work function and I was in my mid-20’s. It was the height of the tech boom, I worked in a very male-dominated industry, and the booze (I hate that word, but it’s applicable here) was flowing. We went on a harbour cruise, in the middle of winter, and it was cold. A couple of the guys were bringing me Polar Bears – which is hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps. I thought I was drinking singles…but they’d been making them doubles. We then went out dancing and I remember my ‘tell’…my upper lip getting numb…and thinking I should go home. But I didn’t. I stayed out dancing and drinking and trying to fit in with a crowd I normally was too shy to feel a part of. They put me in a cab, sent me home to my fiancé, and when I got home I was so sick. I was so sick, that he got me in a shower and helped me get cleaned up. He thought something bad had happened. It hadn’t. I just had never drank more than 1 or 2 drinks…and had proceeded to get drunk for the very first time. I went to work that morning – late, but I went. My boss said I should have called in ‘hungover’ and stayed home and it would have been fine. You’d think that night that would have been a lesson for me, and in some ways it was. But it was the start of drinking to fit in.
I can count on one hand how many times I’ve gotten that drunk – and the fact that I’m almost 50 means that’s not exactly often. But it’s more than I would like – and they stick out like a sore thumb in my memory.
As I was coming back from running errands last night (that’s what I’m going to call going to my favourite crystal/health food shop and buying a gorgeous crystal geode along with a cauliflower pizza crust for dinner and some coconut dairy-free ice cream for dessert) I was thinking about these things for some reason. And assuring myself that the only person I’ve every harmed is myself….and the only harm has been some embarrassment…and that none of it really matters anyway as all of the key people that have been witness to those events are still in my life and are some of my closest friends and confidantes and love me regardless and wouldn’t even remember the event unless I reminded them. And also, reminding myself that it doesn’t matter because that’s not who I am…those one-off moments do not define me…and I just need to think “well that was embarrassing….” and move on.
But the main takeaway is, I don’t want any more of those moments. Even though they happen once a decade or so…I don’t want them. I’m done. That’s not me.