I live in a neighborhood full of happy people. Happy, amazing people with spouses and children of all ages. When I moved into this neighborhood, my son was only 4 months old. Our first Halloween, 1 year later was very quiet. Not a lot of people would trick-or-treat in our neighborhood because our street being private and on a big big hill wasn’t very appealing. Plus, most of the kids had other neighborhoods more exciting to go to. So, we created our own night for festivities.
Flash forward 4 years later and our parties go ON in full regalia on Halloween. Last year, as no surprise to anyone; the fabulous ladies would gather in a circle fit for a coven and drank the wines and passed out candy. A lot of shots are passed out to daddies and mommies as they coldly stroll through the ‘hood. Then, the after party of course. There you will find candy corn jello shots (yum), punches, spiked hot cocoa, beer and more wine. There is also a LOT of food; let’s caveat that. We never get smashed ill prepared.
As I got my drunk on last year, my husband loomed in my presence as I sneakily made pretend I wasn’t drinking a lot. Playing the typical shell game with my wine and moving it to different locations and chugging when passed. Throwing back the occasional shot when he wasn’t looking. You see, my husband could always see when “that drink” hit me. That drink – it is the one that changes the way your eyes look and your body moves and your voice hits a different type of tone. So he gave me shit. Bleh…bleh…bleh…bla…bla….
Something happened to me. You see, there is a person in my neighborhood who has had over 11 years sober. I knew him to be a good AA disciple and I would tend to navigate to him at parties, even when I drank. I wanted to know more but I didn’t know what I didn’t know then or what I know now. So with my husband’s grievances and my drunk brain, I did something weird. I went and talked to him. You see, even though his wife and kids were out having more Halloween nonsense, he was done. He was ready to chill. So I onslaught him with my – I don’t know if I am alcoholic or not and what is it about and on and on and on and on. It must have been horrible for him. In the end, he told me about the mysterious ‘Big Book’ and the teachings and when the next meeting was and I cried and said thanks and left. Most of my ramblings were around the theme of my high functioning ways. How I could get up and go to the gym and work and be successful and I think my husband was crazy.
Inside, something was telling me to reach out.
That night did something though. It did start me on a journey of being more mindful than ever about my drinking. I knew about meeting, I knew there were people who were safe and knowledgable. I just was still not ready.
Happy to say, this year I am on my way. Last night was our neighborhood event and I survived the wine, the shots, the yummy looking pumpkin beer and thankfully, for that friend next door; he got a hug and some food and peace this year.