***Submitted by Kristen
I didn't wake up one day at 15 and say, "I think alcohol and bulimia are going to be great ways to destroy my life, ruin my friendships, tear apart my family, destroy my marriage and change the life of my innocent child," but all of those things did happen and I am lost, afraid, alone and hopeless.....
I will skip all of the teenage, college and 20-something antics that were "fine" when I was single. I was able to go out nightly, tie one on, wake up (sometimes with a stranger), wash myself off and go to work. I thought nobody noticed, but I knew I looked awful land stank of booze. I continued this behavior for a long long time..... I moved from DC to NY, back to DC....any time I burned too many bridges my loving parents were always there to bail me out and give me a fresh start.
I met the man I was going to marry at 28 and he seemed stable and secure and exactly what I needed to finally calm down. He was aware of my faults and flaws and married me anyway. We quickly moved to Colorado (I believe he was trying to get me away from my family and have some control over me) It worked! Our relationship quickly became that of a parent and child. I had to turn in receipts, sneak bottles of vodka and wine into the house.... I would drink while he was on call and be hammered when he got home. We would fight, sleep in separate rooms, I would apologize and it would be forgotten....until it happened again a few weeks later. This went on for a long time.
Two and a half years into our marriage we finally got pregnant with my son. I was able to stay sober and healthy during my pregnancy (I would never be able to forgive myself if I harmed him). After he was born, something strange and bizarre clicked on inside me and I had to drink. I had to drink while I was home with him during the day, while I was up with him at night....I had to drink just to get through every moment. I never went to a Dr. to talk about PPD, because my husband was a Dr. and he told me it was all a farse!
Life got really bad towards the end of our marriage. I could not stop drinking, he could not stop yelling..... finally his threats were serious and he filed for divorce. I was shocked. Nobody had ever followed through with anything like this before. I skated by for so many years on threats.....now it was real. I moved out (he could afford the mortgage on our home and I wasn't able to pay that) and we split custody of our son. I still have so much guilt for shuffling that little boy around from house to house. I continued to drink because now there was nobody at home to yell at me or tell me no. I drank around my son, I was hungover at activities with my son...I was an awful mother that he didn't deserve.
Finally, in August of last year, I finally hit my rock bottom and got a DUI. It was awful, shameful and embarrasing and I cannot believe I drove drunk. I always drank at home, but since I had been serial dating and wanting to feel loved and needed by men, I was out quite a bit at that time. My ex husband found out (I have no idea how) and we now have 60-40 custody until I can prove myself. I am taking antabuse, going to court mandated therapy and still am awaiting the repurcussions of the DUI. How does a Marketing professional with a "great looking" life get to this point?!?! Interlock in my car, impending punishment, probation????
So now, here I sit..... with so much guilt and shame. This happened in April and I was unable to finally quit drinking until August 5, 2010. I have no idea why, but that was the day I decided it was over. What kind of mother puts the bottle in front of her 4 year old son? What kind of mother does that? The brain disease of alcoholism was so damn powerful that my little boy didn't take precedence over getting drunk. I have been struggling with so much guilt and shame since April and I have moments when I don't want to go on..... but I still stay sober.
Will I ever be able to forgive myself? I want my son to be proud of me one day and not remember this shell of a person I was. I have to blow in my car to start it (and tell him it's for safety), and am at the mercy of my ex husband for the next year (he still has that control he always wanted). It is totally in my hands to succeed or fail. Failure isn't an option for me. There is no "plan B". I must succeed. I hope and pray that this will all be a distant memory and my sober future will be amazing and filled with promises.