Good Mornin’

I went to bed last night about 11:30, having enjoyed my second day with all that extra time. Yes, I am still thinking about drinking almost as much as I was when I would actually engage at the end of the day (or the late afternoon), but, already I am benefitting from the clarity that comes with not giving up hours to the sauce. I knew it was a gamble, getting that vat of Cherry Coke at the movie theatre, but I wanted a treat. I omitted desserts and most treats for the past 5 years as I had to save my calories for alcohol and would “jest,” “I drink my dessert.”

Not cute. But especially not cute when I drank my meals too.

My first thought when I woke this morning was the Frank Sinatra quote I used to enable myself at the beginning of this habit I found myself in: “I feel sorry for people that don’t drink because when they wake up in the morning, that is the best they are going to feel all day.” Well, FINE. Because I feel fricking awesome this morning.

My husband happened to have some spring in his step yesterday and I managed to hit the sack before he got there. I am a night owl anyway, and especially when I want another “halfsie” of wine, so this rarely, if ever, happens. My husband has some medical issues (bicuspid aortic valve and testing for sleep apnea next week) and has been quite vocal in his sleep. This didn’t bother me really, when I would pass out to get to sleep, but when I would wake at 3 a.m. once the alcohol wore off, I would have the hardest time getting back to sleep with all the ruckus from the other side of the bed. It would be perfectly silent, I’d almost drift, and then a noise-making monster would appear.

For night one I planned to take 5 mg melatonin in place of the booze. I know I have relied on the drink to help me sleep. I had my last few glasses of wine the night before and I slept so fitfully, tossing and turning from 2 a.m. on, so I was “fragile” on the drive home from my parent’s house. Ready to cry at a moment’s notice. BIG tears too – the ones that come with twice as much snot so you can’t be all incognito about it and casually chase a tear away.

Reading Imperfect Birds and The Artist’s Way fit that bill, as did the death of Carrie Fisher. Having the same name was an obvious connection, but as a young actress being eaten up by the pressures of even college theatre, I identified with her struggles in the film industry. Getting a Bipolar diagnosis was another thread to connect us.  I never read her books, but I knew they were there and that she shared her struggles with addiction; I just hadn’t been ready to hear them since, by then, I was in the middle of my own story.

I was tired without all that sugar pumping through me when bedtime came, but I had that uneasy feeling that can come with melatonin supplements similar to when you wake up from almost falling off a building or a cliff in a dream. It was a little spooky and I wanted to avoid taking it again, if possible, though after the initial swooning, I had a decent sleep and a great vacation day puttering around the house.

A friend invited me to a movie yesterday afternoon and I asked what she was interested in seeing. She said, “Fences” but that she was flexible. Having studied August Wilson I was delighted. It’s not just anyone that chooses to watch a film like that and they are usually aren’t asking me along. Mostly, I watch the films I really want to see all alone. That’s what happens when you are a highly sensitive, INFJ with a propensity for sadness. During the first scene where the waterworks begin to flow for me, my friend remarked nonchalantly, “Oh that’s right, you’re an emotional one.”

The film was beauty. Wilson wrote the screenplay himself and Denzel Washington stars and Viola Davis (WHOA) slays in this family drama. I remembered the play moving me, but not really what it was about because it was twenty years ago that I saw it performed in my college theatre program. I highly recommend it in any format you prefer. Of course, at the root of their family troubles is a legacy crippled by alcohol. As with most signs from the Universe, I could have missed this one, but it was not lost on me.

Before retiring to bed, I learned that famed actress and Carrie Fisher’s mother, Debbie Reynolds, died after suffering a stroke while planning her beloved daughter’s funeral. I teach her breakthrough film, Singin’ in the Rain to my theatre and film students every year and I sing “Good Mornin'” to my boys when I play the wake up fairy at home. The tenacity with which the 19 year-old Reynolds approached this role with no dance training or experience must surely be akin to the way Fisher and I also approached things. All or nothing. Dancing until there is blood in our shoes.

I’m sticking with staying all out on this drinking thing. And I wish you all a “Good Mornin'”.

Oh, and last night? Almost fell right asleep, except I remembered that I tucked some earplugs into my nightside table…so, last night – no monsters under OR in my bed.


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