Two weeks ago, I sat in an AA meeting and started sobbing. I was terrified that I would screw up and drink on our upcoming vacation. Vacation to me has always been drinking heavily and trying to get a tan. Especially, as a mother, I couldn’t wait to have some mommy time, sipping on wine and eating cheese cubes.
Well, shit. I’m sober now. I can’t do those things. I started to cry in the damn car ride to our vacation, because I thought THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL I AM GOING TO HAVE A GOOD TIME. I thought I would sit in a corner, sip on my diet coke, and feel sorry for myself. Alcoholics do a very good job at feeling sorry for themselves.
Anyway, I was pissed. Sober and pissed.
I put a fake smile on my face, got my kids out of the car and walked into the villa we shared with my in laws.
As we opened the door, my smile grew. It was beautiful. We could see the beach from our room. My daughters ran around in circles as their grandparents watched. My kids were happy. Imagine that! TRUE HAPPINESS. If my chidren can be filled with happiness, why couldn’t I?
Slowly, my heart started to fill up with gratitude. It’s been a tough ass year for this family, and we were going to have a FUN AS HELL vacation without alcohol. They say in AA that miracles happen once you start to change your life without alcohol. It was an absolute miracle that I spent the next five days without thinking about alcohol. You know why? Because, you actually can enjoy life with true happiness, and not at the bottom of a bottle.
I sat watching my girls jump in the pool while sipping on a virgin tropical drink, and I thought to myself, ” This is a miracle. I can make memories with these kids. Memories I’ll remember.” I gave a big high five to my Higher Power, because I couldn’t do it on my own.
What I learned is that a day on vacation is still just a day. Every morning we wake up to a new day. I put so much thought into how vacation days were HUGE and we must be DRUNK TO HAVE FUN ALL DAY EVERYDAY.
But it’s just a day. Just like any other day that we live through. The only difference was the view and the relaxation. True relaxation, not a stupid drunken sloppy mess of relaxation.
We talk over and over again about taking it day by day. I don’t have to drink today. I don’t have to drink in the next hour. You just take it day by day. And the next thing you know, you’ll be running into the ocean, laughing and thanking your Higher Power.
This wasn’t just a vacation, this was a learning experience for my journey through sobriety.
And damn, it was fun.