Pain Makes Me Wanna Drink

So just over two weeks ago I visited the dentist. That is no small thing – I have a deep-seated, irrational fear of all things dentist. But I braved the appointment (with some help from Ativan). The next day my jaw was sore and I assumed that was from the mouth being open for an extended period of time, the necessary needles to freeze the area, and the filling process. However, over the course of the week the pain did not get better – it got worse. And worse. And I got scared and then grouchy. I went back to the dentist TWICE looking for help. They ruled out anything “dental” which frankly pissed me off as I did not have ANY pain before the appointment and now I could not sleep at night. When the pain would come I had a hard time being around people as I began to lash out or my answers would be quite “snappy” – I was aware of this and truly tried to be better, gentler but it did not last. Many times I had to go to my room, close the door and cry. A few times my deeply wired drinking brain would quietly ask the question, “Don’t you think some wine would make this manageable? At the very least it would allow you to sleep through the night…” And that made me feel goaded and more grouchy and sad because I KNEW that particularly cruel suggestion was not an option. Somewhere the healthy part of my brain warned me that the only thing worse than dealing with this would be to do so with a hangover as well.

My oldest daughter is currently in the hospital. She too is in pain. And she is lashing out at those she loves (read me). And it hurts. Our kids KNOW exactly what to say to maximize the wounding factor. I am doing my best to simply listen and not take on what she is saying. But it hurts nonetheless. The one thing in life I wanted to get “right” was the momma thing and it seems that I may have missed the mark according to my oldest – a lot… More pain. I came home from the hospital late Monday night feeling tired, hurt, and somewhat angry at the whole situation. The perfect storm. A memory came up from out of nowhere, reminding me of many previous evenings when things felt amiss and stormy in my soul and how I would sit on that very couch sipping wine from my beautiful glasses, numbing the night away. “Why not – nobody would blame you – look at all you are dealing with right now – who WOULDN’T drink???” Nasty thinking patterns – they wait until I am at the very end of myself and they present such a beautiful vision of how to “fix” my problem of pain. The vision was cozy, warm, and fuzzy. Of course the vision did not include the end of the night and the next day when the reality of my actions would sink in. The reality that I had betrayed my soul once again in preference of the “quick fix” which is never, ever a fix but rather a giving up on my authentic self who desperately wants a chance to manifest but cannot if there is alcohol in the equation. Sometimes the only thing to do with a day like that is make it end – so I went to bed – WITHOUT drinking. Thank you GOD!

This morning is a new day. We are working through the pain in my jaw/temple/neck/shoulder. It seems to be a nerve thing and with some massage things are getting better. I have not had to take Advil or Tylenol for five days. So very grateful. As for my daughter, minute by minute. And I will remember that I only ever tried to be the best mom I could for her. But more importantly, there is NOTHING in all of this that a glass (read bottle or more) of wine would make better. In fact, history has shown me over and over and over again – it only makes bad situations MUCH worse. And it steals the joy from good situations. My heart goes out to anyone living with pain right now – both physical and emotional. Moment by moment and I am reminding myself that this too shall pass…

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3 thoughts on “Pain Makes Me Wanna Drink”

  1. I’m sorry you’ve been dealing with tough stuff physically and mentally but you will beat it all with your incredibly strong desire to stay AF and the fantastic way you have handled this really difficult time. You are one of my most important contact points in my own journey – a real help and inspiration. Thanks x

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