On this St. Patty’s holiday, I’m on my 9th day of sobriety. 35 more days to go. I gave up alcohol for Lent and I’m counting down the days until April 22 which is Dean’s birthday and the start of our delayed honeymoon. Easter’s not until April 24, but I’m sure God will understand. For the non-Catholics out there, Lent is the 40 days before Easter–the holiest of our religious holidays.
The past couple years, I gave up anger. Giving up bitchiness was nothing compared to refraining from a little sip of happiness every night. This is a major sacrifice that I will remember for a lifetime. One year for Lent, instead of giving up something, I decided to do something. I ran every single day, rain or shine. There are some Catholics who are inflexible letter-of-the-law type followers; they think you absolutely have to give up something for Lent. They fail to realize that the essence of Lent is about making yourself a better person. Running every day made me feel healthy, happy, and humbled.
Sobriety has been extremely challenging for me. I’m used to drinking a couple (not just one) glasses of wine every night. So giving up alcohol has been quite thought-provoking. Every day, I think, ‘Is alcohol an addiction? Must I drink every night? How is sobriety changing my behavior?” In social settings at bars or restaurants, I have to ask what their non-alcoholic options are. I wanted to attend a literary-themed dinner with wine pairings, but I decided to pass because it would have been a waste of money since alcohol was included in the fixed price. Because a chunk of my budget is allocated to drinking. I’ve saved a ton this past week. So much of the social scene revolves around alcohol: happy hour, parties, dinners, festivals. It’s really fascinating to be able to observe, yet feel removed because you’re not participating fully.
Believe me, I have been doing a lot of pondering!