Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Old Back And Forth

Sometimes I get really tired of going back and forth, I want to be happy and content in one place and just stay there forever, or at least until I get bored.

But that ain't how life works, is it?

I am back in Mexico and while I don't enjoy the days spent packing leading up to traveling here, or the travel, or the days of unpacking once I get here, the physical effort of that back and forth takes a miniscule amount of energy compared to the emotional effort. The emotional back and forth is draining.

During the summer, I live like a hermit in my mountain cabin, especially when the cap'n is working which is about 90% of the time. During the summer, I get to live life by my own rules and schedule and opinion. I get up when I want and go to bed when I want. I turn the tv on when I want, if I turn it on at all. I watch whatever shows I want, or sit on the computer all day long if  I want without someone there to make me feel guilty about ignoring them. I eat what I want, but still manage to feel guilty about a meal of potato chips or ice cream.

And best of all...

I don't have to discuss any of it with anyone.

There is no back and forth about, "Are you ready to go to bed?" or "What sounds good for dinner?"

(There's also no one talking at me, commenting about what the pundits are saying on "Meet The Press" or asking me about shopping receipts from yesterday when I'm trying to write a blog, which has happened about five times already while I have been trying to write these few lines.)

So, yes, the back and forth between Colorado and Mexico is difficult for me in more ways than geographical.

I haven't even talked about the drinking yet.

I still struggle greatly with the cap'n's drinking. I don't talk about it much on here out of respect for his privacy, but sometimes it overwhelms me so much...

During the summer, he is away but he also doesn't drink because he is working, so, even though it is long distance, during those too few months,I am married to a sober person. When we come to Mexico and he is not working, which at some point in the very near future, he will be doing on a permanent basis-not working that is-he drinks. I won't go into amounts or from what time in the morning until what time at night, but he drinks a lot. Like I used to.

And that back and forth is the scariest for me. Because I know I can't do it much longer. Certainly not for the rest of my or his lifetime. Life's too short.

It's scary for me also because it starts that old teeter-totter in my head.

"If I tried drinking again, I could stay in my marriage. Maybe I could moderate this time. Maybe I'd be happier than I am right now. Maybe drinking in moderation would fill those holes in my life that not drinking at all has left empty."

Then, yesterday, I was driving home from toy drive shopping with one of my best friends, a best friend who never knew me when I was drinking, a best friend I wouldn't have if I'd continued to drink and I was regaling her with stories about "Drinking Kary May." She'd heard some stories from other people but wanted to get it straight from the horse's mouth.

After sharing some of my funniest exploits, I told her, "I miss those times and I have to admit I haven't had near as much fun since I quit drinking. But the thing is, I know if I hadn't quit drinking, I probably would no longer have a relationship with any of my kids. I know I wouldn't be trusted with my grandchildren. I'd hate myself because of that. And I might very well be dead."

I can live with less fun.

I can live in this "place"-the not drinking place- happily and content forever.


  1. Thank you, Kary May!
    You rock!
    My brother refused to let my dad hold or be with granddaughter alone when he was drinking. They couldn't trust him.
    It hurt him a bunch, but he couldn't stop drinking.
    I think it would be hard to have a spouse that was still drinking. Im not sure I would be strong enough, so I am very impressed that you are able to do that.
    I am so glad you are choosing your relationships with family over drinking!!
    Much Love,

  2. Not less fun. Different fun. Different is OK. Different is better. Hugs xxx

  3. My life is more fun. I guess I had isolated so much in my drinking years that mostly it was work, exercise or drinking on the couch. Followed by self loathing, regret and unending schemes to get myself on track.

    Now I find I still like the couch, but when my daughter wants to go see fantastic beasts on the spur of a moment, I go.

    I admit, having a sober partner has also provided an avenue for fun. Craig is unwilling to let life sober suck. So we spend the money we used to spend drinking travelling to concerts. I never expected to love that, but I was willing to try and it has revitalized our marriage.

    I hope you find a path that works for you. It's hard to know where the choices we make will take us.



  4. Hi Kary May! I can identify with this struggle. I am newly sober and my partner still drinks, though he has cut way down since I started this journey, partly in support of me, partly because I was the main instigator, and partly because he also sees the benefits of not drinking. But he still "gets" to drink when he wants to and sometimes that feels unfair. And the times he overdoes it and gets drunk are very un-fun for me, which then feels selfish because it's not all about me having fun. But it sucks to be with a drunk person when you are totally sober-surprise! It's a side I've never been on and it is not pleasant.

    We are still figuring it out and I'm grateful for all that he has done to help me so far. I'm grateful that he is open to making changes and receptive to my needs. But long term I don't know what will happen.I'm doing a lot of emotional and spiritual work with my recovery too and he is not; he's just not drinking. Is this the beginning of our paths diverging, or will we find a way to grow together? Hard to say.

    I wish the best for you and your husband and I hope you can find a path that works for you together. I think there is a lot of fun to be had in sobriety - more than in drinking, for sure - but it may not be immediately obvious. It looks different and it feels different than the fun I had while drinking. Congrats on all you've done so far and for sticking to your choices! And thanks for this honest post. I don't have a lot of people around me in the same situation.

  5. I don't really have any words of wisdom here as like you Colorado life I only have to answer to myself now my daughter spends more time away. I don't have the partner thing to worry about or the stress of living with someone who drinks. I imagine no marriage is a static thing it must have an ebb and flow to it. It may be that you are at an ebb now and examining what the next step will be. I hope you are ok and you will just ride this time until a clearer way forward presents.