***Submitted by Anonymous
I had 14 months sober.
Superbowl Sunday - January 2009 until April 1st 2010. I was out to dinner then off to the Denver Nuggets vs Portland game. Why not? I’d been fantasizing about having that drink for months. Besides, we were on spring break, a vacation, we'd traveled to Denver to stay with good friends. We were out – adults only, celebrating. I announced at the dinner table just before the waiter came “Tonight, I’m going to have some wine with dinner. We’re celebrating, this has been fantastic week”. Reluctantly, my husband glanced at me from the corner of his eye; says nothing (he never does). My girlfriend, faces me and asked “Are you sure it‘s ok”?
“Absolutely” I say. “I feel great, it will be ok”.
My friends husband orders us a bottle. White, expensive, very chilled, my favorite. We toast to a great week together.
Those first few swallows, so warm, so wonderful, I could feel the alcohol gushing through my veins: instant relaxation, instantly happy. If I could have shot it into my veins, I would have. If it had not been rude, I would have chugged the bottle. God it felt good.
I don’t think we had a second bottle. I did though, order a final glass (to go with dessert). I wasn't drunk. None of us were. Just happy, warm, nicely buzzed. We headed off for the short walk to the stadium for the game. Front row seats, actual chairs – not stadium seating. Each of the chairs had a ‘menu’ with drinks, cocktails, beer, wine and snacks. There was a waitress dedicated to the fans sitting in the ‘good seats’. I kept waiting for my friends husband to ask ‘who wants a drink’? (you see, he to is a big drinker) He didn't ask. I was to self conscious to order anything. They had ice cream. I had a bottle of water. The entire game, I just kept waiting, anxiously. I went to the ladies room, all the while thinking I could chug a beer before sitting down, and no one would know. But I didn’t.
Once back at the house, I remember getting ready for bed and congratulating myself. “You did it! See you’re capable of having a few drinks and walking away. Way to go ! You can do this. Social drinking, here I come!”
The next night was our last before heading home. We decided to stay in, BBQ and watch a movie for our final evening. I had a glass of wine with dinner, then a bottle with the movie. My friend didn’t say anything, but I remember feeling embarrassed to be leaving the empty bottle on her kitchen counter. Why didn’t I tip-toe to the recycle bin and just leave it there, lost amongst the other bottles and cans?
April 1st was 83 days ago. I’ve drank nearly every one of those 83 days. I can count on 1 hand the number of days I haven’t. I’ve been looking back at my accomplishments over the past 83 days – I’ve been busy:
- I drank at least 60 bottles of wine, probably more
- Girls weekend to another city, where now in addition to a husband – I also have a boyfriend
- I said stupid things to friends which I can’t remember
- Emailed under the influence (EUI): only to wake up the next morning cringing while I check to see what awful things I may have said.
- Cried on friends shoulders for falling off the wagon, then confessed I’m not ready to get back on, I’m having to much fun.
- Driven drunk on numerous occasions. Why I haven’t been pulled over is beyond comprehension.
- Gained back the 10 pounds I lost when I quit drinking.
- Receive wordless but painful stares from my 11 year old daughter.
- Told my husband he can’t help me … this is my doing.. and I just have to get through it. I pushed him away so many years ago. He just sits by, goes to work, sleeps mostly on the couch, afraid to say or do anything. In so many ways, my marriage is a joke. But, he’s a nice guy. And a good Dad. And I don’t have to work out of the house.
- I went out with the girls for Cinco de Mayo: ended up with my head in the toilet at the bar then had to be driven home
- In my scheming to see my ‘boyfriend’, I’ve made up ridiculas lies, spent days with him in another city, and can’t wait to see him again.
- I’ve ignored my children (10 & 11)
- Treated by husband worse than usual
- I loathe myself, most of the time
- I may have implicated myself in having an affair during a heated discussion with my husband. I was going on about needing friends and being lonely… I don’t know what all I said - I can’t remember: I was drunk. He hasn’t mentioned it since.
I don’t remember what pushed me over the edge to quit in the first place, but I found a therapist, went to my Dr. I faithfully took Antibuse for at least 6 months, saw the therapist weekly for months and months. I told everyone I knew I stopped drinking. Ran more, ate better, helped with homework and school projects.
I didn’t talk to my husband about it. He asked how he could help – I told him he couldn't’t, this is my problem. He backed off, and didn’t say another word, not for the entire 14 months (or the years prior).
I quit the therapist after I felt I had a good handle on my sobriety. I told him I wasn’t ready to deal with the issues with my husband (maybe because I felt awkward talking to a man therapist about my husband?) … that would come in time. For now, I was happy with getting my health back, not waking up hung over, not doing all the things you do to be an active, daily drinker. I was really feeling good.
That all ended 83 days ago.
Prior to my 14 month of sobriety, I’ve drank as long as I can remember. I started in high school.
Over my adult years, it progressively got worse. I divorced my first husband. Remarried. Didn’t drink while I was pregnant (2x). A few years ago we returned from living in Europe for nearly 4 years, I drank the entire time. Every day, most every country, although it was hard to come by in Egypt. I’ve never started before 5pm, usually passed out by 10. Always wine, always white. Always the minimum of a bottle.
My husband rarely drinks. (I believe) my father is an alcoholic. Mom & sister are not.
In 1987, I admitted myself to a 5 week hospital inpatient program for the treatment of eating disorders. They warned then of the risk of ‘switching diseases’ because of my propensity to drink. I was sent to AA for the experience. That was 23 years ago.
I’ll be 47 in a few weeks. I’m a mom, a wife, a good friend to a few, an adulteress, a daughter, a sister and a chronic alcoholic.