Monday, February 14, 2011

I. Cannot. Control. Alcohol.

***Submitted by Susan, who blogs at Writing My Way Sober

I just read another woman's blog post about the day she chose to quit drinking. Damn it's good. Here is the link: Hi my name is Heather.

While reading Heather of the EO's post, I was struck by how helpful it was to me personally, how her description fits me too. The seemingly normal mom, who has never had a DUI, didn't drink a ton but felt in my soul that it was wrong. Snuck more vodka into my glass when no one was looking, disguised the sound of more ice cubes clinking into the glass. Slid a slow ride up over weeks from 2 to 3 to 4 to 5 drinks. Waited until 5 o'clock and breathed a sigh of relief when it came. Ahh... just take the edge off being a mommy after a full days work.

Reading her post helped me because, lately, I have considered drinking again. It's 4 months tomorrow and my life has not changed significantly. I'm still the same person with new addictions to replace the old big one. But her entry made me see that I am the same kind of alcoholic she is. I can go for weeks and even months at a time without drinking (once even two years) but I cannot control it when I start back up again.

I. cannot. control. alcohol.

I saw in the comments how many other women said they didn't feel as alone because of what she confessed. And she used to be a therapist too. So now I really don't feel so alone.

I have to say I have often heard the echos of shaming, judging voices of readers thinking ugly thoughts like: She's a therapist? But she's a drunk. And this morning: Should a therapist be blogging? Brene Brown would think this is horrible. Just now: Doesn't motherhood make her happy? She must not like being a mother.

These are MY judgments. These are MY demons.

I'm wondering as I write this if I belong in AA. Maybe I need to be "working a program". It has become apparent to me that there is far more to recovery than stopping the intake of booze. 4 months - I've been pretty damn cocky. Add another shaming voice: She's going to relapse. Maybe it just starts getting really hard at 4 months. I'm in baby recovery, a sober infant, still in need of diligent supervision.

So this is the power of blogging: Heather of the EO has helped me and maybe this has helped someone else. That's the reason for doing this blog thing - not to be clever, or cool, or become "blogging royalty" - but to connect and heal.

So I head into month 4 tomorrow. Whoever out there, if you are just starting to quit, quitting today, or are 10 years into it, you are not alone.

At the least, Heather of the EO and I will be sober with you.


  1. Every day counts.

    Every single day sober counts. It really does and all we can do is take it one day at a time. One. day. at. a time! It is so important to be gentle to your very own soul and know that every moment sober counts and that a support system- any support system- is a key weapon in your fight.

    So fight on!

  2. Good for you, keep reading and stay focused on why you decided to stop drinking. For me AA is really helpful, I was never clutching a bottle for dear life, wasn't physcially dependant on alcohol but I WAS powerless over it. AA has helped me a TON.

  3. I hear your gut coming through loud and clear here, and my instinct is to tell you to honor that. Four months is amazing... but you sound like you're still seeking, like you're worried. Honor yourself and your instincts. Keep reaching out like this, keep being honest, keep connecting. You are helping someone just like Heather helped you, I'm certain of it. Thank you for sharing of yourself in this way.

  4. This: from Crying Out Now: Remission

    "Even after five years of sobriety, I harbor no illusions that I am cured. It is more like my disease is in remission.

    I don’t consider picking up a drink because I know I don’t drink. That is just the way I live now. The way I react to certain circumstances, however, and the way my brain processes some things remind me all the time that I am a card carrying member of the addict community."

    .....spoke volumes to me.

    I swear, the wisdom of recovering addicts is blowing me out of the water. Blowing my socks off.

    I am NOT turning back. I always want to be a part of this club. It is just magnificent.

    Thanks for your support. It means mountains to me. Everest League Support.

  5. This helps so many people so much more than you know. Me included.

  6. I just wanted to say your words helped me a lot today. Just knowing I'm not alone helps me stay strong for another day.

    Thank you.

  7. Therapists can't blog?!!? No, I hear you. I'm starting graduate school in a few months to become a Chemical Dependency Counselor! WHAT?! I'm a recovering alcoholic! Yup, alcoholism does not discriminate, nor is it prejudeice. Oh, and I'm am mom too, ha, who knew! right? My purpose for getting my counseling license is to work on educating those "normies" out there who still harbor a stigma, and even more so for the Sunday School Teacher wife and mother such as myself.
    You mention "a program." That's something for you to determine; but I can share what it is like for me. I left my program of alcoholics anonymous and landed in some dangerous waters - complacency, false pride, misplaced confidence and my consequence, among many, was a DWI. So, I too am approaching four months sober this time around and I embrace my program as though it were my next breath.
    I believe we have "addict minds" and that just because we remove the drug of choice does not mean we're "fixed." We need to learn a whole new way of living,, and yes, so we do not cross addict. This is simply how it works for me.
    You hang in there, but don't white knuckle it - there's too much support and fellowship out there for you to be going it alone!