Monday, March 28, 2011

Still Drinking, But Talking About It

***Submitted by Anonymous

I wake feeling seedy and lethargic. Sometimes with a pounding head, usually with a terrible thirst and a full bladder. I can't move. What day is it? I want to close my eyes again.


Sometimes I feel like I never want to open them again. I can't give in to this. I have 2 bouncing toddlers, fresh from a deep slumber, full of energy clambering over me. One cuddling in and playing with my hair, nose to nose. A deep sigh expels my rank breath and I see my little one turn her head. The other repeatedly begging me to 'get up'

"It's a beautiful morning, Mummy. I'm a hungry" says the little man as he pulls back the curtain to reveal the bright light, which makes me wince. I drag myself from the womb of my bed and feel the pain in my back and in my head, rhythmic thumps which cause shoulder tensing, breathless moments, heaviness in my legs, the nausea in my stomach and the urgent call of my bladder. I talk with a cheerful upbeat (disconnected) croaky voice, answering the relentless comments/questions/demands as I walk with the stiffness of a person diagnosed with early Parkinson's Disease. I shake like one too, later.

As I sit on the loo, I lift my head high enough to catch the top portion of my face, in the mirror opposite. I am greeted with a tousled bed head hair do, desperate roots needing some acknowledgement and a full blown puff-fest around my eyes and cheeks. If I care to torment myself even further, I straighten my tortured spine enough to allow the lower part of my face to be seen. Ugh! Bloated, I take a horse piss and wonder if I can make it through ANOTHER DAY!

Every morning begins like this. Then the day takes over. I need to function. Maybe it's Monday and that is a relief because I don't go to work. I only have to get through the day with 2 toddlers. Not easy but more manageable than getting the kids ready for preschool and heading off to work. Every morning I resolve today will be different. I won't drink tonight. I'll drink herbal tea and go to bed early. A 9pm curfew. Perfect. I will feel so good tomorrow, not optimal but better than I felt this morning or the previous morning and the morning before that.

In fact, I'll not drink Monday through 'til Thursday, inclusive, I decide.

I have done so before. Sporadically. It was wonderful. I was in control and empowered. Well slept. Ate well. Less emotional. More rational. More focused on my kids and their needs. My poor depleted soul had more energy to keep up with the unforeseen. I felt like I could achieve anything. Momentarily. Until the voice within acknowledges the horrendous hangover symptoms are abating. Suddenly I'm less paranoid, I have a new lease on life. It's a Friday, woohoo, I made it through another week, time to celebrate. It's a Wednesday, I managed to get to work and get through the day, woohoo, time to celebrate... Oh goody, it's the weekend. Perfect. The hubby can help me deal with the kids and the demands. A nice meal a lovely bottle of wine to celebrate us making it through another difficult week. Time to unwind. All the excuses under the sun and moon.

An ideal world is a world which alcohol doesn't factor into every thought process of the day or the minute of the next hour. Until an emotional trigger sends me to the bottle. And the next. In fact, I'm so convinced it's cheaper to buy 2 for $20 or even 4 for $40. Except I'm fooling myself. It just means more at hand, accompanied by less willpower.

I really admire people who can have a 'bar' in the house. By this I mean a wine rack or 2 bottles in the cupboard, 17 bottles of spirits that they won't touch unless they have company. Unless it's a special occasion. If it's in my house, I will drink it. When I feel I've had enough, I'll have another and another, if there is any left.

I have been drinking red wine as I have typed this. I have paused writing to feed, bath, cuddle my kids. I have read a book or 2 to them, yawning the whole time, tired and desperate for sleep, wishing for them to be asleep so I can grab another red.

I have finally found a place to be comfortable (anonymously - god forbid anyone recognises me, such is the self loathing) to write down my feelings, my torment. All thanks to Edenland.

I have started many a private email to her, only to save or delete. I don't want to burden her with my self distress and my ability to offload my deeply buried realism, that I am an addict. An alcoholic. A pill popper. A day dreamer. A wish/ desire for things to be different. Yet, she is my inspiration. She has dealt with horrendous experiences. 'How can I say this and that when she has this and that going on" Do I really think my inadequacies are support to her in her time of distress'

I want her to know that because of her I am confronting my demons and really, possibly ready to face up to reality which is the desire to reduce my intake or 'quel horreur" go dry. I have posted anonymously to her blog, once. I want to be anonymous, for now, because I am terrified that my raw emotions put in writing in a universal space may somehow affect my truly innocent and deliciously delightful kids. I adore them more than anything. Here lies the quandary. If I adore them, more than anything, why can't I say no to the first and subsequent glass of red or white or vodka or beer or tablet.

It's time for me to stop this post. I am intoxicated with red wine and I took a serepax earlier because I haven't filled my antidepressant script today. My body was tort with anxiety and turmoil. The serepax and red wine have levelled me. I am what I consider blissfully happy and relaxed. I want to see my kids in bed, watch their chests rise and fall. Whisper my love and kiss them sweetly. I'm very grateful to Edenland for posting the link to Crying Out Now so I can safely express the fear and thoughts my husband doesn't want to hear because it "brings me down".

After selfishly taking advantage of this opportunity to offload my thoughts and feelings, I hope to connect with anyone who can relate. I also encourage you to offload whether you are sympathetic, drunk, hungover, sober or in the limbo of will I or won't I have a drink tonight.

Whatever your emotion or state I can reassure you I feel better for doing so. Even though I'm going to have another glass of red. Tonight.

17 comments:

  1. I just want to say that life in sobriety is beautiful and so worth it. I 'll be praying for you to find what is right in your life.

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  2. Wow, my entire post just disappeared. Maybe I didn't need to share everything I shared. It was quite long. So here we go again...


    Hello, Talking About It!

    Thank you so much for writing. I can relate to so much of your post. The depression, anxiety and especially the self-loathing.

    I also loved wine and never could have "kept" a bar in my home. All alcohol was consumed within a day or two (box of wine for instance) of purchase.

    I am happy to say that today I am sober and I like myself. I am human and therefore make mistakes but I have the tools to forgive myself and move on.

    When I first stopped drinking, with the help of some incredible women, I was told that I could "get off the elevator anytime I wanted". I have a progressive disease which I learned means if I continue drinking my life will invariably get worse.

    Everyone has their own pain threshold. I was emotionally bankrupt and simply wanted to feel better. I found out that, for me, stopping drinking had to be my first step. I have been sober today for quite a while and my life is much, much better for it.

    You may not believe it, but we love you. We truly do. We love you and will continue to love you until you can love yourself. And after that, too.

    I hope you keep reaching out. No matter what.

    Namaste (the divine light within me bows to the divine light within you), Jennifer

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  3. Reading this is like looking in a mirror. You and me? We are the same. This really hit me:

    "When I feel I've had enough, I'll have another and another, if there is any left."

    That's it in a nutshell, isn't it? Social drinkers don't keep on going, drinking without their own permission. And me? I have ALWAYS done that.

    Your words give me strength, too. Just knowing I'm not the only one helps so much. I hope I can find the courage to submit a post, get myself to look honestly at who I am becoming.

    Wishing us both happier days ahead, and that we can get this monkey off our backs. Somehow.

    Thank you.

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  4. I'll be praying for you. This was such an honest post. You are doing the right thing, you are talking about it. Alcohol has such a strong hold on so many of us. I just celebrated 11 months sober the other day and alcohol is still an everyday thought, I can stay away from it now, thankful, just for today day. If you keep it in the day it helps it not to be so hopeless!!

    I remember the promises I made to myself, looking in the mirror and my bloated self. Please keep coming back, commenting and looking for a solution, there is hope, you are opening up the door, the light is peaking through.

    I wish you all the best!!

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  5. Hiya soul sista, I see me in you.
    I understand your fear in regards to how it can harm the children if you come out publically, I had a 5 year old and 3 year old when I "was sick and tired of being sick and tired". It was then that I sought help by being open with my family members who I knew would support me.

    I am here for you, you can email directly to me ANYTIME...there is nothing in your life that will seem trivial to me. I can handle your worries and fears because I've had them. I won't pressure but will be an ear and I shoot straight from the hip.

    there are so many women like me here, and like you. There is hope for you, there is a happy life without relying upon alcohol, there is a way to remove that horrific crutch.

    All you have to do it walk into a meeting with an open mind, listen and talk to a few people who are just like you. One day at a time.

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  6. What a painfully beautiful post. I lived your life myself until 3 beautiful years ago when living in terror and despair, I sought help from others like me. There, I met the most wonderful people who took me in from the storm and showed me how to live sober and more importantly, helped me learn to love being sober.

    You can have it too. It is for anyone who is willing. Our best years are ahead. Believe it.

    There is a willing hand for you to hold if you come to a place of willingness. I have never regretted leaving the wine behind. I still can't believe this is my beautiful life. Perfect? No. Perfectly imperfect? Yes.

    Sending prayers of love and understanding to you today. Thank you for sharing your story. xo

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  7. i could have written this - i have only one child but the rest is identical to how i was. i could not for the life of me imagine giving up but i did, with a lot of help from friends in AA. i just celebrated a year and i cannot tell you how much better i feel in every way. i hope you manage to crack it soon.

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  8. I so hear you. I had 3 years/8 mos of sobriety and have relapsed now for almost the same amount of time. It's so hard, but I wont' give up. Not yet. "Lifts chardonney to mouth".

    God Bless you for sharing.

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  9. I can feel your pain and desire to do things differently. I believe you can and will! "When I've had enough, I'll have another and another, if there is any left" Perfectly said. That was totally me. I am on day 31 now. Keep talking and you will get it..

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  10. I have been there so much - so like you too. I admire your honesty. Keep writing, It works. Sobriety is the best "red" you will ever have. Hard to believe now. but true. TRUE.

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  11. A week ago I was doing just as you said - waking up and swearing there'd be no more wine, only to break down by dinnertime and fall right back into it.

    But finally, I made it through one day, and then had the brilliant idea to join twitter and also write a blog and that got me through day 2, day 3, day 4...amazing.

    Anonymity is a lovely, warm blanket. Cuddle up in it and start taking care of yourself. You can do it.

    When you are ready, we will all be here for you.

    A challenge: pick one or two folks whose comments here speak to you and follow up with them. Create a special email just for your anonymous recovery and reach out.

    Cheering for you.

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  12. Oh, how I love these comments. What an amazing, supportive community you all are.

    I love work in progress's suggestion of finding someone to email with, and I also highly recommend the Booze Free Brigade (link on the right hand side bar) - you will find SO MUCH support there from women at all stages with their own drinking - still drinking, trying to get sober, newly sober and sober a while. You can create an anonymous email (like a yahoo or hotmail account) to join there, too.

    -Ellie

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  13. From the Anonymous Poster

    Thankyou all for your wonderful, supportive comments. I truly feel I have found a place where I can be open and honest about the reality which is eroding my life away, inside and out. Alcoholism.
    *deep breath* I said it. Alcoholism!
    I will continue to reach out on this site whilst I struggle through to find my path to sobriety.
    I haven't had a drink in 69 hours. It has been a journey I have taken before. The sweating, shaking, mood swings. I am desperately trying to find away around NOT having a drink when my husband comes home in 1 hour. He too likes a drink.
    If I can make it to Friday, I have told myself, then I will be able to have a couple on Friday night. I know what this means as much as you do. Right now I am bargaining my way through. So far it's working.
    I think I had better take some good advice and email 2 people from comments.
    I want to say 'cheers' but I think thankyou is more appropriate.

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  14. Welcome, My post proceeds yours on this site.
    As others have shared, we "get" you because we "are" you...
    My plea to you is to step out while your life is entact. This is a progressive disease my friend.

    I flirted with disaster one too many times, and this last time, well, by the Grace of God, I am still alive to share with you that
    this disease KILLS - it is not a game!!!

    Listen, I feel your pain and frustration! Been there, have the T-shirt. I implore you, though, to hit a few speaker meetings (nice way to break the ice). Hear what they have to say, hear their message. We speak, you see, so you don't have to hit the bottom that we did. Today, the first of April, is a glorious day to begin your sober walk - the promises await you!!
    ~d

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  15. This was me...exactly...but add weed to the mix. I'm celebrating 1 year off the booze and 30 days off the weed next week. It gets sooo much better. It really does. I never thought I'd make it this far. I have a 3 year old and I can't tell you how wonderful it is to wake up to her cry of "Momma!" without that pounding headache. Just stay sober for one day....one day at a time. I promise....it gets better.

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  16. Thank you for your honesty. I've been clean and sober off and on for years fighting this, and am currently using and drinking again. I know all the reasons why I should quit and it's so easy to look at yourself in the mirror in the morning and resolve to not drink today, only to have that resolve disappear and be replaced with all the reasons I should have a drink, like a switch being flipped on in the brain. After that switch is turned on all reasons to not drink seem silly and grossly over-exaggerated, right? And then it's lather, rinse, repeat, night after night.

    I guess the only advice I have is to hang in there, and if you feel you can't stay sober for yourself right now, at least try and stay sober for your husband and kids. It's easier when you have others depending on you. Of course it won't stick unless you want it for yourself, but in the short term, staying sober for others can help you get over the initial hump. Good Luck.

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  17. I have been reading this blog for a few hours now. Trying not to drink. Less than 24 hours for me - recovering from an awful hangover today (wouldnt you know it - my 2 year old decided to get up at 4:45 am this morning- not a good combo. Now of course, I am really wanting that wine. Its in the kitchen. I am surprised I made it to 8:45 pm. Anyhow - I told myself if after I read 4 more posts I still really want that wine then I could have it. YOUR post was the 4th one. Your post is me. I sit here now with eyes WIDE open and not really wanting that wine so much at this moment. Thanks for being the 4th. Thanks.

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