We’re Back…

November was an unusual month for me.  We had not one but TWO vacations!   My husband and I went to Mazatlan with my parents and their friends for the first week of November.  A bit later, the husband, kids and my MIL went to Cancun for Thanksgiving week.  Both locations are coastal, beautiful and about as different as night and day.

Mazatlan seems to be a relatively sleepy seaside town (perfect for lounging and really relaxing) on the verge of massive commercialization and larger scale tourism.  Cancun is tourism central, filled with enormous all-inclusive resorts and a mind-boggling assortment of tours and excursions.  I liked them both for different reasons and would return to either.

One striking similarity in both locales is the alcohol culture.  Hospitality employees and fellow tourists were either talking about drinking or drinking 24/7.  I’ll be the first to admit, it was pretty overwhelming.  Stores & galleries offer tequila upon entering, restaurants were pouring free alcohol to accompany meals and our Cancun all-inclusive resort provided unlimited hard liquor in our room.  There were tequila and mezcal tastings and Mayan rituals with alcohol.  Nothing like having alcohol literally shoved in my face while doing my very best to stay sober.  I did, by the way, and today marks day 493 of my hard-earned sobriety.  Waiters were dumbfounded when I turned margaritas and shots away…  Could I be the only sober adult on vacation?  Seems unlikely, but you wouldn’t know it from their reactions.

There were two issues that really cemented my desire not to drink.  The first took me by surprise almost immediately upon arriving in Mazatlan.  My parents and their friends were out of control!  I’m talking folks in their 70s  (in varying degrees of physical shape and general health) being so drunk they were stumbling and falling down on cobblestone streets and around a pool.  I felt like I was babysitting, and it really pissed me off!  My husband drank pretty heavily the first night, because I kept giving him the drinks the waiters were insisting I have, but he ended up playing camp counselor with me most of the rest of the week.  My anxiety was on high alert – I couldn’t let these folks get hurt (yes, I know this is self-imposed, but if you have real anxiety, you know exactly what I mean).  These days and evenings of wrangling drunk seniors really took the fun out of my vacation.  I don’t want to be those people.

The second issue slapped me in the face HARD.  On one of our last days in Cancun, my husband drank too much, on top of being physically exhausted, and was not the best version of himself.  Nothing dramatic, just mouthy and rude to me, definitely not his norm.  I found myself getting incredibly mad at him and then came the epiphany:  I had done this TO HIM more times than I could count.  How could I be mad at him for one night of stupidity when I had been a drunken ass for years?  My heart broke on the spot and I swore to myself and the Universe that I would NEVER drink again.

Whether I am at home or in another country, each day is a learning process.  People, ideas and realities are revealed in their own way.  I’m finally paying attention.

8 thoughts on “We’re Back…

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  1. what a post! wow! i felt ill reading about those ‘older’ folks drunk all the time. i am not much younger than them, and it really drove home what a terrible unhealthy way to live. so glad i chose to stop….. you did so well not drinking in that vacation…. instead just witnessing… a powerful post thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing, so happy for you and your willingness to leave drinking behind. You talk about the pple in their seventies getting drunk and falling over… that would have been me fast forward 30 years.
    Thank you for sharing, a great reminder that we’re on the right path 😊🌸✨

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your comments about your husband really resonated with me. I am over a year sober, and my husband still drinks. Mostly moderately, but occasionally over the top. I get so angry with him, I find myself exceptionally anxious and embarrassed by his behaviour. It almost always leads to a fight about his drinking. I know how bad I was, but any ideas on how to control my anxiety with his behaviour?

    Like

    1. Hi Jane!

      I feel exactly like you each and every time my husband picks up even one drink. It’s so hard to sit back and relax when I know he’s drinking, even if it’s just a beer or two. Those feelings multiply when he gets a little (or on rare occasion, very) buzzed/drunk. The only thing that has helped is when I had that stark realization that I had put him in terribly similar, and worse, situations SO MANY TIMES. Going forward, I’ll probably use that as a mantra when I see him crack open a cold one. Really thinking about how many times he took care of me, made amends for me, forgave me and chose to love me will probably be my saving grace. I guess it’s my own kind of gratitude practice. I should also mention that he is NEVER a violent or out-of-control drinker…

      I don’t know if doing something similar would help you. I wish I had better ideas.

      Thank you for reading and for your feedback.

      Heather

      Like

      1. I’m also trying the serenity prayer, I’m not religious so using it as a bit of a mantra – let me ACCEPT the things I cannot change (my husband’s drinking), the COURAGE to change the things I can (staying alcohol free myself and to keep myself healthy), and the WISDOM to know the difference between the two (what is my responsibility and what isn’t)

        Liked by 1 person

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