There is this thing that some fans, friends, and family do while spectating that I really got into during my drinking days… Birdie beers! Or, heck, whatever alcoholic beverage you fancy, because your guy made a birdie (or maybe even an EAGLE!) I obviously loved this little tradition! It gave me a perfect excuse to drink. I even adopted bogey beers when things weren’t quite going Billy’s way. So, being out here at Bellerive this week, brings back all sorts of memories. I love the game of golf, I enjoy watching my husband compete, but I also loved alcohol, it was once my best friend. It “helped” me walk with confidence, carry on conversations, and made it possible for me to just deal with ME. Now, being over 2 years sober now, the social anxiety I used to have is almost non-existent and the cravings are gone, but I still have my memories, I still get triggered. Being at places where alcohol surrounds me does test all my senses. I can smell the alcohol in the air, see the endless amounts of booze carts… tents… stands…, hear the boisterous, alcohol-enhanced laughs, and almost taste that first sip. There is a lot that goes on in our alcoholic brains! And that’s totally ok. I have learned to take a breath, identify what the heck is going on, acknowledge it, then use whatever tool I need to feel back at peace, back at zero on my “WTF meter.” When I freak out in my mind, I end of having a conversation with myself that goes along the lines of,
— “oh there is some type alcohol, can’t have that, don’t want that, totally okay with that. I don’t NEED that, woo hoo! Go me! Seriously, I don’t want it…but, then some nostalgic, fun drinking memory creeps in…I panic, look around- thinking.. do they know?! Do they know what I am thinking, that I just thought something positive about alcohol?! I’m OK, I’m OK, I’m OK. Then, I usually laugh at myself and realize I AM IN CONTROL. No alcohol is going to be ingested without me physically pouring it into my mouth myself.” —
I am filled with peace again, the voices in my head are at bay knowing that I am the one in control, that alcohol doesn’t control me anymore. So, as you are out there taking on the world soberly, know that I am battling those demons in my head too. As you see me bopping around the golf course- smiling, giggling, drinking my bottled water and diet-coke, looking all care-free, its not a lie, but it’s work. So keep grinding, keep getting stronger, ONE DAY AT A TIME.