Submitted by Immy, a 37 year old working mother, who is married with two chldren, 15 and 8 years old. In other words, she's just like me, change a few details, and maybe you identify, too. -- Robin)
Outside, a picture perfect day of bright sunshine and nature blossoming; inside, clouds of anger and frustration piling up and the struggle in my head begins.
It has been five days since my last drink and since I woke up with yet another guilty conscience for having drunk so much that I didn‘t remember what I said or did. It was my big sister‘s birthday and our brother was arriving after a year of not seeing him. That particular morning I did remember that I‘d gotten angry for some reason and slammed the door as I went to bed, but I could not remember why, despite my attempts to lift the fog of my brain.
“I must stop doing this,“ I thought for the hundredth time. I felt lousy and embarrassed to face my family. I didn‘t ask them if I said anything or did anything hurtful and they didn‘t say. I still don‘t know.
That morning I told myself that this was the last time I did this to myself and to my family and friends.
I took a walk, sat by the sea and contemplated.
And it has been five days.
And the struggle has begun.
My sister is arriving this evening, with alcohol. A bottle of rum to make mojitos in the sun, and beer to enjoy. I fear that I will not be strong enough to say, “Thanks, but not for me this time.“ I fear the reaction and questions as to why, because I‘m still not ready to say out loud, “I‘ve stopped.“ I am trying to come up with a plausible reason for me not drinking.
Another struggle for next weekend, as the family is going to a family reunion, camping for two nights and the weather forecast screams for cold beer and white wine. I don‘t know how I will cope. I am so used to embracing every occasion available to pop a bottle and this is an occasion with a capital O.
I feel angry today because I am not in control.
I feel angry because I am thinking: It will be okay to have this drink with my sister and to enjoy the weekend with some wine. I will just stop drinking alone at home. I will only drink when there is an occasion to do so, at parties, with friends. It will be ok as long as I stop drinking on weekdays. Weekends only.
I feel sad that it has come to this and a part of me longs for the bottle. I feel a sense of loss when I think of an alcohol-free life. What about all those times I drank moderately, was able to stop and turn to water? I‘m not so bad, am I? I can do this now. Right?? ....
If my husband buys a sixpack of beer, I usually finish it.
If we buy a three-liter box of wine, I finish it within days.
In the recent year I have finished all the vodka, gin, and liquor in the house that we owned for years and most of the cognac my husband got for his 40th birthday. I have used all the popular excuses in the book, saying, “Ironing is so boring I just have to have one beer with it.“ or “Cooking is so much more fun with a glass or two before dinner.“
I am so scared that I will not be able to follow through this time, as I have failed before and always ended up convincing myself I do not have a problem, that I just have to cut down a little bit.... I am scared, frustrated and absent minded... all the time.