**Submitted by Anonymous
I hate that I can never have another drink. I hate that I can’t enjoy a beer or two with my husband or a glass of wine during dinner without knowing it will turn into a full night of drinking. And not drinking just to loosen up or enjoy myself. I drink enough to distance myself from everything that is real in my life. I drink to allow myself to stop fighting the currents that are pushing against me. Work, kids, appointments, bills, debt…the usual. I feel like I’m being pulled in a million directions and I want it all to stop. After my first glass the jets turn off and I seem to start flowing at a normal pace.
I drink wine. And I only drink it after the kids go to sleep. Once in a while I’ll have a glass during dinner and maybe another before their bedtime. The other five days a week it’s only after 8pm. And I don’t stop until the moment I go to bed. Sometimes it’s a lot later than I even realize. For two weeks I got black-out drunk every single night. I spilled red wine on the carpet and didn’t know it until the next morning. I got angry at my husband asking why I was up so late when I seemed so tired but don’t remember snapping at him. Every morning I would check the cupboards and trash to see what I drank or ate. I also checked my email and other online accounts to make sure I didn’t say anything stupid to anyone without realizing it. I was on auto-pilot from about midnight on for days.
Sometimes I woke up on the couch and went to bed on my own. Other times I would wake up in bed with my husband relieved I had made it. I would then try to fall back asleep with the crushing headaches that I lived with. I floated throughout the day in a fog. I couldn’t focus. Many mornings I still felt drunk. I would wake up late after hitting snooze for 45 minutes trying to sleep off as much of the sickness as I could. Then I’d load up on allergy medicine and pain relievers to get through the day. This was on top of the anti-depressant I started taking last fall.
Every morning I’d promise to take a night off drinking. Every afternoon I reconsidered.
Before I left for work in the morning I would make sure there was enough wine in the house to get drunk that night. If my husband didn’t have beer in the fridge I would offer him a glass of wine but only if I could spare it. I never got to the point where I needed a drink in the morning. This was my excuse for dismissing the fact that I had a problem with drinking. Alcoholics drink all day and they usually drink liquor. I only drink wine in the evenings. I couldn’t possibly be an alcoholic. Right? It took stumbling across a blog post one evening in January to finally realize what I'd known on some level for years. I held my breath as I read each word. I understood everything she said and my heart sank into my chest.
I wanted to get sober, but I didn’t know how. I'm scared of letting go of my crutch. I’ve spent hours online reading aa.org and blogs by women who are going through exactly what I’m going through. I still haven’t attended a meeting. I’m terrified of looking at all of those people in the eye and admitting I’m an alcoholic. I haven’t had a drink in 6 days. I want a drink right now. What I’m finally conscious of is that I can already taste the fourth drink. 10-12 a night was average. I used to think it was 4-5 until I actually looked up a serving size and measured it in the conveniently oversized glasses I’ve been using for years.
I feel like I’ve started to shake the fog that has surrounded me for over a decade. I remember having dreams again. I wake up without sickness. I can face my husband and kids in the morning knowing I don’t have to cover up any mistakes. I’ve finally admitted that I can’t do it alone. I’m still learning about AA and I’m closer to walking through the doors of a meeting. I initially quit drinking last month. I was surprised when I had really good days. I actually thought hey, maybe I don't have a problem. Maybe I just needed a little break. So I had a couple beers one night, a couple more on another, and finally drank an entire 1.5L bottle of wine the next. It's a slippery slope. I'm trying to learn to not take the good days for granted. I have no idea what's waiting for me a month or a year from now.
The community I’ve discovered online has given me the strength to get this far. I’m still reaching out because I know I have a long road ahead of me. Knowing if I were to have a drink now, that I could spiral right back to where I left off (or worse) terrifies me. The worst moments of my life involved alcohol. I can’t take them back, but I can prevent new ones. I'm lucky to be here. I have a chance to raise my kids in a home without alcohol abuse.
I am an alcoholic, but I am recovering.