Today was Friday and as always, in her world, Friday was Good House-wifing Day. The house would be cleaned, shelves re-stocked, hearty meals prepared, and her strange self-loathing would disappear with every task completed for her family.
This was the real temple of her soul… the household, with its menial tasks (no matter how little she felt like doing them, at first, nor how others demeaned them, perhaps) and doing “the next right thing.”
Not the next right thing according to others, but the next right thing according to her inner voice, that connection with god.
Not some white-bearded, dogmatic idea of “God,” but the flower-petaled, molecular, all-loving god in everything.
For the record she had said self-disparaging words in her head about 50 times in the past few days… and she had not touched a drop of alcohol.
For the further record, she had remained alcohol-free for 50 days, until a family member’s birthday one week ago, when she dropped off some gifts and happened to interrupt a small celebration.
Not wanting to ruin the moment, and the family member anyway already having been told of her previous intention to attempt (as an experiment) complete abstention from alcohol for a full YEAR, she accepted the offered glass of sparkling wine. (The family member must have forgotten, understandably. There had been no evident problem, other than the self-disparagement.) She enjoyed every sip, and deeply enjoyed the human company, and then left.
The next night was a rare date night with her husband. When offered by the server, she decided to “partake” then as well, alongside her husband, before and during the meal. She must admit that though the aperitif was enjoyable, the following sips of wine with dinner were not as enjoyable, since she mostly found herself studying the wine intake of others at the restaurant, for scientific purposes.
The third time was several days later, her husband opened a bottle of wine (normally he drank beer, and she did not particularly like beer), and offered her some, and it was a lovely dinner and relaxing evening at home together with the children.
Since the birthday glass she had made a silent agreement with herself which she told no-one (so as not to self-sabotage it), and his offering of the wine fit within that silent agreement (perhaps he knew? For of course having grown together like twins, they were psychically connected).
She actually feels that a bit of wine is very helpful to a marriage, well their own at least, which was born so many years ago, during delighted joint enjoyment of life in general. So if it could remain “a bit”… that would be the test. And perhaps the salvation of their marriage. Which was a good one, as far as marriages go, and the foundation of their life together with the children, and worth preserving in that.
With her husband gone all week, very little urge to drink wine… and any urge for the relaxation and sense of connection associated with it satisfied by fizzy soft-drinks in beautiful stem glasses.
The root of the self-loathing problem, for her, turned out not to be alcohol anyway (though it certainly had been aggravated by it, at times)… it was perfectionism and people-pleasing and generally giving too many fucks (not of the physical kind), regarding relatively insignificant things.
Come to think of it, perhaps more fucks of the physical kind was also a good thing for a marriage. She would try to give more fucks.