Monday, March 7, 2011

Freedom

***Submitted by Jamie

I get up at four or five in the morning now and not to suck down some water and aspirin in an attempt to be able to function when it is time to really get up and start my day. I get up because I wake up and feel good. I feel good because I have been sober for almost 8 months. No more familiar feeling of opening my eyes and trying to remember exactly what happened last night, discover just how badly I am hungover. What a horrible feeling to try to shift through vague memories clouded with too much beer or wine.

From the first time I drank I loved it. Vividly remember standing in a friends bathroom in 10th grade drunk and loving the feeling. Thoughts running through my head at that time were "I love this feeling, I could drop out of school and drink all the time and feel like this and it would be fantastic. . Never mind that some other high school memories of drinking involve being so drunk that I threw up and wet the bed at a party when it seemed like a good idea to lay down for a while and having to be carried out of that party. Throwing up at numerous parties in the bathroom. College was great because everyone drank...some more than me! Beer was readily available and I loved it. Again though many many memories of passing out in the bathroom, falling and hitting my head at times giving myself black eyes. I remember several times standing in a bathroom and falling back into the tub hitting my head on it....very hard....then getting up and drinking some more.

From the start I wondered if I had a problem. I graduated from HS with honors and college with a great GPA. I had held the same job since my first year of college even though I called in sick at times and came to work hungover more often than not....but then so did many others who worked there. I went back to school to work on my Master's degree and got it. Got my first professional job and was successful at work. Still drinking though. Get up in the morning and count how many beers were in the fridge so that I could figure out how many I drank. Too many....always. I remember being giddy one day b/c I was going to get to drink that day. I literally made up a song about how it was a drinking day....I was that excited.

Many attempts to moderate drinking. Have had several different jobs now. I left them all for better jobs....I can truthfully say that there were very few times that I let drinking effect my professional life. My guess is that the people that I worked around would have never guessed that I was a functioning alcoholic. I could be wrong but I was always at work, I did my job and then some, took on additional duties, stayed late etc. I even purchased my own home all by myself in a great neighborhood.

One of my favorite things about the neighborhood was that I could walk to the bars and walk home. I was drinking more during the week now because there was no one around to tell me not to. Made few feeble attempts at stopping that would last a few days tops. Then I got pregnant....best surprise of my life. Day I found out I had been drinking and had just stocked up on more wine and cigarettes b/c it was a Friday.

I stopped drinking and smoking while I was pregnant...it was hard but I was not going to harm my baby. I even had a very horrible loss during my pregnancy and wished like hell I could drink but didn't. Thankfully she was healthy even though I drank heavily the first 9 weeks b/c I didn't know I was pregnant. She is born, I breastfeed so I don't drink for several more months. Stopped breastfeeding...went 6 months which was my goal...so now I could drink more freely. Now when pregnant I had promised that I would not drink around my baby but it seemed harmless enough...she didn't know what was happening. Keep it somewhat under control for a while then of course drank more and more when I did drink and more and more in front of my baby girl. Kept it up until she was two...old enough to say "Mommy, you want a beer"......I always made sure that my husband was around to take care of our daughter. He never said anything...even would I come home wasted on a regular basis and be the obnoxious drunk that I could be.

My husband and daughter do not deserve me to be a drunk.

SO I read books, I pray, I tell my friends and hubby that I am done. I have tried to quit before but never shared that with anyone so that when I failed I was the only one who knew. When I told my wonderful husband he seemed to think that I was exaggerating my problem, my friends pointed out that everyone gets drunk sometimes but really didn't disagree that I took it too extremes too often. It sucked and still does at times, there have been days that I spend the entire day thinking about drinking. There have been times that I have decided to have a drink....just one no big deal. But by the grace of God I haven't. I couldn't moderate drinking for 20 years why would I be able to now. SOOOO I have been sober since July 11, 2010.
 
Almost 8 months and I am so grateful for that.

11 comments:

  1. This is beautiful. And the great thing is, sobriety can only get better.

    Congratulations!

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  2. Jamie, I think calling your post "freedom" is the best possible word. Freedom that you're giving yourself from hangovers and guilt. Freedom that you're giving your husband from worry. Freedom from fear and shame for your little girl. Freedom to let love and joy in instead. I don't think there's anything better or more powerful that anyone could have to give!

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  3. 8 months is such an accomplishment, congratulations :)
    That last paragraph really hit home with me. My husband didn't realize I drank as much as I did, and was a little bit in disbelief for a while. One friend in particular basically told me that it was all in my head. The fact that they questioned it hurt like hell, because it did not help what I was going through, you know?
    Anyway... this was such a great post. Thank you for opening your heart here.

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  4. Thanks so much for sharing your story. I'm currently in the process of realizing I just can't drink anymore. I've tried to drink moderately now for almost ~20 ...and I just can't.
    So it's been one week so far. And yah, it was a doozy of a week. But one week under my belt. And I feel a strong conviction about it this time.

    like it's not a dress rehersal anymore
    Thanks for this blog too

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  5. you rock!

    congrats on 8 months...that's huge.

    sheila

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  6. Thank you for this post. I started this journey 9 days ago. I have a successful career and a great family but secretly drink. Most people would not know this from their interactions with me. I completed a graduate degree with a 4.0 gpa all while hiding this secret. I binge drink 2-3 nights a week having a bottle of wine or a number of beers. The guilt and shame I feel is often overwhelming. I have tried to moderate this for over 20 years with no success. This is the first time I have written on a board or commented about my situation. I pray that I will be in your spot with eight months behind me.

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  7. Congrats on your 8 months. I think at the end my husband knew how out of control my drinking was but not many other people did as most of it was done at home, in secret. Thanks for your post!

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  8. Congratulations! My sobriety date is June 21, 2010- so we are at the same spot.
    I knew I was serious about quitting when I finally told my husband as well....it's much harder to fail when people have high expectations of you.

    http://healingimperfectly.blogspot.com/

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  9. Jamie, thank you for sharing your story. It sounds like you have come a long way since you began your journey. I hope you are feeling at peace and enjoying this beautiful sober life! Wishing you many blessings.

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  10. Wonderful! Doesn't sobriety Rock? My date is 10-10-10. Congrats on 8 months!

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  11. Thank you so much. My daughter is 10 months tomorrow and your story could be mine. Thank you, I'm on week 2 and feel strong in my desire to be sober, and not never have her see me drunk. Thank you. I mean it,

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