I was grocery shopping and remembered my own advice: treat yourself after your first week of cleansing. (Hell, treat yourself whenever you're cleansing!)
I decided my "treat" would be new suction cups for the tile in my shower. The ones I have must be ten years old and not only are they yellowed and grubby, they're always falling off, sending shampoo bottles, foot files and soap dishes crashing into the tub day and night. It sounds like someone's breaking into the apartment through the drain pipes.
But when I opened the packaging, one of the hooks was bent. It looked so imperfect on the tiled wall of my shower, one loofah mitt hanging askance. I considered bringing it back and exchanging it for a perfect one. But then I remembered some advice I'd read years ago that still comforts me now and again. It was from the late Richard Carlson, the author of "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff and It's All Small Stuff." He said that one thing we have to do as humans to be happy is to accept imperfection. It's helped me many times in the past and it helped me again this morning as I shampooed my hair and stared at the crooked hook.
Speaking of imperfection, Mark asked me the other night what my other "yes" answer was on that alcoholism quiz I took from "Drinking." If one was that I was occasionally anxious if I didn't know alcohol would be available at an event, the other was this: Do you sometimes feel guilty about your drinking?
And the truth is, I sometimes do. When I'm waking up absolutely ravaged from a girls' night, having to steep ginger tea, swallow aspirin, lie on the couch and wait for the world to stop spinning. When I drag home friends unexpectedly and all of us are plastered, stumbling in the door while Mark's at the computer working - thank God he doesn't wear underwear around the house. But sometimes I feel guilty just because CAN still drink.
We're all taught that this should not be so. If I was truly an alcoholic, I would not be able to quit like this, occasionally, on and off. And I know that the only viable method of treating alcoholism for decades has been total abstinence, whether through counseling and rehab or with A.A. or another 12-step program.
Maybe the guilt is just survivor's guilt. Because here I am. Not perfect, but better. And accepting it. Gladly.
1 week down. 3 to go.