Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Yes To Me

**Submitted by Corinne

For years I felt the eyes. Everywhere.

I felt them questioning how much and how many. I felt them watch as I picked drunken fights with my husband. I felt them stare as I bought gigantic bottles of wine for one. I felt them linger as I slept away weekends in booze induced comas. I felt them on me as I chose the bottle over being present at night for my kids. I felt them burn into me as I took an escape route. I always felt eyes on me while I drank. Or thought about drinking. As I poured my glass that never became empty. As I became sneaky and defiant. I felt eyes on me through my addiction.

My addiction told me it was enough. That I was not, and it was everything I had. It told me I was weak and needed an escape, that my life was crap and I couldn't handle it. So I took the escape, I took the glass as many nights as I could, using any excuse that I could. Red wine helped my migraines, the kids were driving me insane, I'd had a long day. I deserved my wine. It was all that I had.

So I'd sit with my third glass of wine as my husband came out of the kids bedroom from putting them down for the night. Many nights. We made a point of him being the bedtime guy, so that I could have a break.

So that I could drink.

So that I could check out from my family. My life.

I would hear the click of the kids bedroom door, and wait for him to come out. I'd listen to the sound of our living room clock, and try to squeeze myself into the silence that was between the tick and the tock. I tried to disappear, and then maybe - just maybe - he wouldn't see my glass. He wouldn't see how far gone the wine bottle was, or that there was a second waiting to be opened. I avoided my husbands eyes as he would walk through the living room. Otherwise, I might owe him an explanation.

I always felt I owed everyone when I drank. I was a yes drinker. Yes to more, yes to crazy plans, yes to favors and yes to people walking over me. Yes to guilt ridden hungover mornings and days with no patience for my children. Yes to the addiction and isolation.

No to me.

By the end I couldn't decipher myself from my addiction. We were one, close knit and the best of friends. But those eyes kept coming back, and I could never feel total peace, could never be alone with myself without feeling like I needed something more than me. And I was lonely when I was playing with my kids or having a quiet night with my husband. Whenever that glass was empty, I was lonely.

And then I was lonely with the glass. Because I'd be the last one drinking. The only one drinking, or the only one pouring. It was me and the bottle, and those eyes of shame.

Ending my relationship with alcohol has been the hardest thing I've ever done. The first week I felt ill, not from withdrawal symptoms, but from the feelings of guilt, shame, and fear that overwhelmed me. Sick from flashbacks and memories of every time I picked up a drink. Sick from realizations of where drinking took me, the dark places that could have been avoided, the pain that I inflicted on myself and others.

The hardest part has been figuring out how to listen to myself and not the addiction. Because the voice of addiction still lies within me. Today I'm on day 44 of my sobriety, but without constant vigilance I could slip. Sobriety is not something I will ever take for granted. Now I pray a lot. I read a lot. I drink a lot more water and hot tea than I used to. But I can also be alone with my thoughts. I can look at my kids and get teary not because I miss my wine, but because I'm here to witness their beauty. To be in the moment with them.

Now, I know I'm enough. And the eyes?

The eyes smile down on me with love and patience.


  1. I hope that you will find the strength you need in very safe and loving places.

    Beautiful post.

  2. Corinne, I am so proud of the courage you have shown in saying "yes" to yourself. Thank you for sharing this part of your journey.

    For anyone who doesn't know Corinne and her writing, she is always this good. Definitely check out her blog!

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  4. Corrinne this is beautiful! May your words be stepping stones that continue you away from the clutch of addiction. Saying 'yes' to more of you.

  5. Absolutely inspiring Corinne. You are so truthful and honest. Funny how so many of us "wine" mamas share similar stories and routines. In my house, hubby put the kids to bed, however, when he came downstairs he'd hit the beer, or share the wine. :-/

    You're on day 44 of the rest of your life girl. :) Congratulations!

  6. That was so amazing to read. Your honesty and pure intentions just pour out of that post. I loved it. I saw myself in a lot of your story. I'm just so glad we are in a better place.

    You are an inspiration.

  7. Beautiful. Bold. Courageous. Honest. Inspiring. Perfect. You are amazing Corinne. Really.

  8. Art is inspired by reality. Great works are done by perseverence not strengh. You are inspirational because you are reality and you persevere. You must believe that your writing adds to the goodness of this world because it is the truth.

  9. Beautifully courageous...I am so proud of you! I wish I had an ounce of your strength.

  10. Wow. I am blown away by your honesty my friend. Thank you for sharing this with us. for those of us who haven't battled alcoholism, your writing helps us understand what you're going through. So thank you for that.

    Beautifully written, too. As always.

    xoxo elizabeth

  11. Congratulations on coming this far and having the strength to keep going. Your words are inspiring and your story is familiar. Thank you for sharing it here.

  12. Corinne ~ I know those eyes! I am so glad those eyes have stopped judging you and have started loving you. I'm sending prayers to you and your family.

  13. Corinne - picture the eyes of all your friends smiling at you next time eyes are on you. We are all here for you when you need us. You are so strong!

  14. Wow, what an amazingly written piece! You will give others strength through this.

  15. So proud of you! You are one tough, strong cookie!

  16. Oh Corinne, this is so beautiful. Thank you for being so honest. You are so gifted and amazing.

  17. Thank you for sharing your struggle. I am praying that 44 days turn into 44 months and then years and years and years of sobriety. But for now I know you want 45 days. And 46. And 47.

    There IS hope!

  18. How can we feel so alone when there are so many of us with the exact same journey. Thank you for putting into words my same struggle. Keep up the good fight.

  19. This is such a hard fight. I spent the day hoping my husband wouldn't see the ads for the re-run of the Oprah show about alcoholic moms. I was home alone when it came on at 4 and was nervous the whole time that I would accidentally see something that would be too hard. I'm still about 10% in denial. The other 90% of me knows I need help, but I also know that I have to be 100% into things for them to work.
    This is scary. Hats of to all of you who are making it. Be strong for me- I hope to be there soon.

  20. This is so beautifully wrought. I identify with so very much of it. Thank you, C, for your honesty.