As of today, the counter on the app I use to track my non-drinking days tells me that it’s been 192 days since I imbibed. I crossed over the 6-month milestone 8 days ago. Whee! Except, no WHEE! Not really. I am not sure why I expect these milestones to feel so celebratory.
When I decided it was time to take a real break from drinking, I had pretty high expectations. Certainly, I was convinced that by month six I would look and feel like an entirely different human — unrecognizable to friends and family. The envy of my drinking buddies (because of my amazing transformation, of course.) If I’m being honest, it was part of the draw. This huge desire to really create a better, slimmer, shinier version of myself.
But, alas, I am not patient. Most days I am lobbing the ball back and forth between my optimistic self and her pessimistic sidekick. My expectations are pretty up there. I am easily disappointed. And when I want something, I want it now.
And there’s no parade.
The app ticked past six months and the numbers on the scale have not retracted at the rate I calculated prior to corking the last bottle of wine. And people are not congratulating me on my awesomeness. Don’t they see how I feel? They don’t notice my newfound amazingness? How my skin kind of glistens if the sun hits it just the right way and I’ve just returned from a long walk? How I’m really “not sweating the small stuff” anymore?
The bigger question here, I realize, is not “where’s the parade?” but when am I going to stop believing that I am defined by what other’s think of me. When will I stop believing I need approval for anything I do to better myself or my life?
And this: I can host my own parade.
On a side note, my husband did tell me yesterday that I looked radiant. I was gobsmacked. Maybe it was the lighting in the car–all that natural sunlight streaming through the windshield–but radiant I’ll take any day. Because I’m feeling pretty radiant these days and it’s still really nice of someone to notice.