Friday, June 3, 2011

Feathers in the Soul

***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.


  1. Wow. What a powerful story. Thanks for posting - you're not alone. I too fell under that spell, the wine and your special guy friend who "gets you." I'm sending strengthening thoughts your way - I hope that you can find it in yourself to pull through. Keep writing and posting. Come to Booze Free Brigade and join us. You can read our posts, join our chats, and have some support. We don't judge. We just listen and comfort.


  2. I will pray for you to find the strength to do this. The strength is in there, and I will pray that God will make it present for you to see, and grab ahold of. Thank you for sharing your story, and putting your truths out there. That was a very brave thing to do.

  3. Thanks for sharing. This could be/is so many of us. I posted here in August 2010 on my first of MANY Day Ones. I am finally sober, today, and still struggling with the why can't I's. I hope you can piece your sobriety together; it sounds like you have the willingness and support. None of us can do this alone. Keep sharing and do join us at BFB. That's where I really got started.

    Trish - 73 days

  4. This is one of the most powerful posts I've read here. My heart goes out to you. I wish I could tell you that you are not loathsome or bad or that I could somehow right your ship for you. But I am optimistic you will do those things for yourself someday. And I will say a prayer for you as well.

  5. I hope that you feel some relief after sharing your secrets. Know that you have the power within you to change the things that you can. You don't have to go it alone--but I think that knowledge is within you too.
    Peace to you.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing. I will be keeping you in prayer as well. I am positive that you can do this. I also encourage you to join BFB - they have helped me tremendously. I could not do this without them.

  7. Thanks for sharing. The Lord will not forsake you, so let's just get that out of the way. Christians are flawed like everyone else. We just have a loving God who is there even when we don't feel Him. I'm only on day two and begin out-patient treatment on Thursday (have to be sober 3 days before I can start). I too, had some sobriety (almost 4 years) and began to drink again. It does get worse and you're right; the disease just waits for us to stumble. BUT...if I can go and ask for help, you can too. I'm anxious and scared and read every post I can find.
    I pray for your strength ( and mine) and for your finace's understanding.

    Strength in numbers?


  8. Not to sound like a big book thumper but, you are only as sick as your secrets. My sponsor always tells me there are 1000 things that go before a relapse and having a huge awful secret like that must be awful. I remember all those secrets, I remember how they made me feel, how they made me sick.

    I know this doesn't sound very sweet, but you need to tell your sponsor. Get on the phone and tell her what you told us, she will know how to help you. If you want to be sober, you have to be honest. You can do it and you will feel better.

    And hopefully your story that you so bravely shared will be a reminder that we are alcoholics and that means we have an allergy to alcohol and can have not one drop.