***Submitted by Kristin
I didn't mean for this to happen.
I guess no one does, but I really didn't. Because I should know better.
Hi, I'm Kristin.
My family has a history with addiction. Mostly alcohol. And they say this disease can be genetic. But in the nature versus nurture game, I thought I was in the clear. My parents both quit drinking before I was born. Years before I was born. So I never saw the addiction, never learned the addiction.
I thought I was in the clear.
But I'm not. And I need to come to terms with that.
Because I've got a kid that I love more than anything. Me? I hate to say it but I'd gamble if it were just me.
But it's not.
I read recently that SIDS deaths increase drastically on new year's day. Because caretakers are too drunk to manage putting their kids to sleep properly.
And while I want to judge and shame those parents, I can't. I've been drunk in the year since Alex was born. Too drunk. I don't drink every day and so I tell myself I'm "ok".
But when I drink?
It's a lot. It's unhealthy. It's too much.
Sometimes? I can't remember.
Sometimes? I black out.
And I'm scared.
Scared of what I might do. Scared of what I did do. Scared of saying the words "I need to quit."
Because I'm ashamed. I'm so ashamed I can't handle this. I'm ashamed that I'm not better than some stupid gene in my body.
I do so well sometimes.
But doing well just gives me an excuse to tell myself I'm ok.
And then I get together with friends and they refill my glass. To be nice. And they refill it again. Because I am drinking so quickly. I start to lose track of how many times they refill it. I'm not doing it myself! It's ok if I'm not doing it myself, right?
But still, it gets done.
And eventually, I start to do it myself. Even though I know better. Because I'm too drunk to care.
And my son sleeps. I don't drink while he's awake. Which makes it ok, right?
Please God, I pray, let him stay asleep. Let him be safe. Because he is not safe with me now. Please don't let him need me to care for him because I'm not equipped to right now. Let him stay asleep and be safe.
Praying that prayer? Is disgusting. Knowing this, why can't I tell them to stop pouring? Why I can't I tell them what I am?
Here's a secret: I relished being pregnant. Not only was I growing a beautiful life inside me, but no one pressured me to drink.
Well, one person pressured me to drink.
But he didn't really want to be around me while I was pregnant anyway. Getting pregnant lost me a friend. Well, not really a friend. A drinking buddy.
While I was pregnant I didn't have to explain to people that I couldn't drink because I can't control myself. I didn't have to tell them how awful I am with it.
But I'm going to have to start explaining. Because I can't be pregnant forever. And I can't keep drinking.
Why can't I tell people what I am? Because of my shame. I want to be normal. I put on a good act most of the time.
But I'm not normal. And I don't think people will understand that. I think they'll try to talk me out of quitting. Or they'll just stop talking to me altogether because who wants one of THOSE in their life?
Those that do understand how I am? Calling myself a drunk would be calling them drunks too. And that would just be impolite.
Hi, I'm Kristin. And I still can't say it.
I feel like saying it would let my parents down. They worked so hard to never bring this into my life. But I slid here anyway.
But I have to say it.
Because I'm not safe. Because I don't want to die. Or endanger anyone else. Or lose my husband. Or put my child at risk. Or lose a child to SIDs because I'm too drunk to care for them.
I hate myself when I wake up the morning after drinking. I cry copiously. I apologize to my husband. Profusely, I apologize to him. I hate that I drank so much. I hate that I don't remember how much I drank. I hate me.
I've sworn it off before. But it doesn't stick because I can't admit to my friends what I am. Maybe I haven't wanted to admit it to myself either.
Hi, I'm Kristin. And I'm an alcoholic.