***Submitted by Anonymous
I’ve done this before, this sobriety thing. I went to AA regularly and had a sponsor. I collected my coins and treasured them. I was sober for over a year. But apparently, I didn’t “do” sobriety well enough. On December 23, 2008, I drank while cooking for the Christmas dinner I planned for my family.
I thought I was safe. I was always a red wine girl, and the recipe called for white. I purchased a bottle of sauvignon blanc, and it stayed in the fridge for several days until the evening I started my preparations. I poured the wine into the measuring cup, and a few drops splashed onto my hand. I just looked at them for a few seconds. Then I licked them off. Well, that didn’t bother me a bit. I dipped my finger into the cup and licked again. The taste was odd, so different than the pinot noirs and cabernets I had consumed for years. It still doesn’t bother me. A sip. Just a little sip. It was cold and tart. Is that a hint of grapefruit? Another sip… and another and another.
I’m still drinking. It is true what they say in AA. This disease waits for us. It waits like a patient lover. I didn’t drink every day at first. It was sporadic and always in secret. No one knew. Not my sponsor. Not my kids. Not the man to whom I’m engaged. I still went to meetings but not as often. I felt like such a hypocrite sitting in those chairs. After a few months, I just stopped going. I was so ashamed.
I’ve had several weeks of not drinking. These have been single weeks, always when I’ve traveled with my fiancé. It’s daily now, in the evenings when I get home from work. If my son is at home, I close my bedroom door and “work on the computer.” Of course, I’ve been caught a few times. My son heard the uncorking of a bottle. One of my daughters smelled it. I’ve shown up at my fiance’s house having had a few too many. Always, I cry and feel lower than low and sincerely want to do better. And they believe that I’m doing better. But I’m not.
I have another secret. A secret that I have not shared with anyone. And I’m so afraid to speak it or write it now, but here goes. Nearly two years ago, during a rough time with my sweetie (due to drinking), I met someone with whom I have a lot in common, including an appetite for wine. He is the Other Man. Although he has many wonderful qualities, I know that the draw is the wine. We always drink together. My fiancé and the Other Man don’t know about each other, and I’ve lied to them both so many times that I abhor myself. When I’m with the Other Man, my fiancé believes I’m at a meeting because that’s what I tell him. When I’m with my fiancé, the Other Man believes I’m doing something with my family because that’s what I tell him. I am loathsome and terrible. Oh, and here’s another thing. I’m a Christian. I love God. I go to church every Sunday. When it’s time for the Confession, I kneel and silently cry. Please don’t forsake me. Please don’t forsake me.
I went to my doctor not long ago for routine blood work. (I’m always concerned about my liver function.) My liver is doing fine, but I have a B12 deficiency, I’m anemic, and my blood sugar is too high. She tells me to eat more protein, less carbs, take a B12 supplement. So I take cheese and almonds to work for my snacks. I take enough vitamins and herbal supplements to choke a horse. I eat only low glycemic foods. And all the while, I know it’s the alcohol. I know it.
There’s a powerful and sad song by Dave Matthews titled Bartender. There’s a line that gets me every time I hear it – Bartender, see this wine that’s drinking me… And it is. It feels like we are joined in some unholy union that’s destroying me and the person I want to be, the person I was before the drinking.
My fiancé has been sober for nearly 14 years. He “gets” me like no one else. I want to live my life, a sober life with him if I can untangle this mess.
I found Crying Out Now several weeks ago. I’ve read every post. There are other sobriety blogs that I read every day. I admire all of you brave and lovely women who have spoken your truth and are recovering. I have felt beyond hope, beyond redemption for a long time. Emily Dickinson described hope as “the thing with feathers that perches in the soul.”
Because of you, I feel an ever so slight flutter of her wings.