I just finished a blog post for Sanford House, about Sober Sex that I really like. I want to talk about what occurred to me as I wrote it. It’s no epiphany, I suppose, to conclude that any sort of intimacy while drunk is messy. But really, everything about myself when I was drinking was a hot mess. That was the lightbulb that went off for me with a cartoon BING.
I don’t think you can drink like I did without a smidge of self-loathing. Is that too harsh a term? Self-dislike? Hatred, hate, detestation, abhorrence, abomination, repulsion, malice, animus, enmity, aversion or my new favorite, self-odium?
After more than two years of abstinence, I still have some leftover disregard for myself. I drive around in a car that is carpeted with Skinny Pop leavings and a back seat Kim describes as, “like Aunt Sue’s.” I’m assuming that means Aunt Sue also carries a microwave and most of her winter wardrobe in a car with tarnished hubcaps and the words “WASH ME” scrolled in dirt on the trunk.
If I walked into a room these days you might think, “What a together, attractive person that is,” but as I got closer you’d see the mustard stain on my lapel, or as Hannibal Lecter once scathingly observed about Clarice, my good bag but my cheap shoes… It’s like I’m still punishing myself for all my worst behavior, or maybe I don’t think I deserve better than something that is broken or stained…
There is a good article on the Promises Treatment Centers’ blog about The Trap of Self-Loathing in Recovery. The main thing it tells you is to recognize the feeling. And as difficult as it might be to think about, face what you’ve done while you were drinking and deal with it instead of letting it rankle like a garbage bag full of battered shoes in the back seat of a beater car.
Today I’m not drinking because I’m cleaning my car and going to the dry cleaners.