***Submitted by Anonymous
The antabuse begins to dissolve on my tongue, and I swallow it quickly, cutting off my mind’s plotting on how to dispose of it indiscreetly. Two days ago, I hid gum on the roof of my mouth, and stuck the antabuse into the wad of gum. As soon as my husband turned away, I threw out the gum, and the contained antabuse.
With the antabuse gone, I could continue my four day binge, for one more day, and drink till the point of sweet oblivion and passing out
I am a binge drinker, and I mostly drink alone, until I pass out into oblivion. I am 29. I began drinking in college. I drank socially in college, binge drinking with friends on the weekends. After college, I drank socially, but also started drinking to self-medicate my own shyness, anxiety and insecurities. I began drinking alcoholically at around 25, when I taught English for a year in Asia, and was able to basically drink whenever I wanted, with a group of other young Americans, many of whom drank as much as me. I recognized I had a problem when I came back from Asia. I toned down my drinking for a year, and began graduate school. Every few weeks, however, I’d binge for several days. The binges became worse.
At various times over the past four years, the following occurred: I was admitted to a psych ward (due to the fact that I was too embarrassed to admit to my then-fiance that I was seriously drinking vodka at 7 a.m. that I told him I overdosed on pills and tried to kill myself. The fact was, however, I never tried to kill myself and I wasn’t taking any pills. I was simply too embarrassed to admit that I had been waking up early to drink vodka in the morning. I often drank in the morning so I could attempt to sober up by the time my fiancé/husband came home from work), I ended up in the emergency room, I sprained my ankle falling drunk down the stairs, I drank and drove (I never had a DUI, but I should have), I missed weeks of class in graduate school due to drinking, I binged weeks before I graduated from grad school, weeks before my bridal shower, and several days before my wedding. I passed out drunk, and urinated all over myself in bed on several occasions, leaving my husband to clean up the mess. I joined AA at several points, but always stopped going about five or six weeks into a sober period of my life, when I felt confident and capable again.
In spite of all this, if you met me during the past four years, you probably wouldn’t realize that I had a problem. I was an A student throughout high school and college, a bit of a perfectionist. I did well in grad school. I graduated with a good job offer. In public, I always looked put-together. I come from a loving, supportive family. I have a wonderful husband, and good friends. I am a kind person, although anxious and fearful and insecure. I am often lonely, and wonder if I am good enough, and if this “is all there is” in life. I apologize for myself all the time. Alcohol filled a void that I hadn’t found anywhere else. What you might notice, however, is that every few weeks, I would be hard to reach. I wouldn’t answer my phone, I’d respond to e-mails after several days. I’d make up an excuse that I was busy. I only revealed so much of my personal life to you. In reality, I’d be checked-out, and on a binge, and I was too ashamed to reveal. Up until six months ago, I had never revealed to anyone other than my husband and a few close friends that I was an alcoholic.
Six months ago, after about a five week period of sobriety, I started drinking on a weekend, and continued my binge for a week, calling in sick to work, running out of the house intoxicated out of my mind, passing out in parking lots, hiding liquor behind bushes and empty parking lots, because I knew my husband would throw it out or make me stop drinking if I came home. Each night, I would come back to our home for a period to sleep, and then sneak out the next morning, to get more alcohol.
In all of my binges, I have been terrified to stop drinking. First, because I know the consequences will be awful – guilt, shame, self-loathing for putting my husband and family through hell, the fear that I am completely wasting my life and destroying my mind. Second, because alcohol is my soul mate. I love it more than any person, and the thought of giving it up completely, which I know I’ll have to do when the binge ends, terrifies the hell out of me.
However, I had never snuck out of the house every day for a week, and woken up bruised and hiding bottles in a parking lot. The consequences of what could have happened scared me to death. I thought I was done. I quit my job, told my employer about my alcoholism, and attended an outpatient program. Again, I had several weeks of sobriety, and then I binged again. I’ve binged three more times over the past six months, most recently over this past weekend. I started drinking at a wedding with college friends, and I didn’t stop drinking for five days. I hid alcohol, I ran out of the house, and tried to hide myself. I put my husband in the terrible position of being my warden – hiding my contacts and glasses, taking my credit cards and my cash, hiding my shoes so I couldn’t leave the house.
Throughout this period of my life, I’ve been in shock and denial. I worked hard to become a successful professional – I never thought my twenties would become waylaid by this chronic disease. I have put my own husband through hell – and have lied to him and manipulated him and betrayed his trust on multiple occasions.
Today, I am on day 2 of my new sobriety.
Being sober is extremely difficult because I am constantly grappling with: how the hell did this happen to me? What if I am trapped in this binge cycle for the rest of my life? How could I have put my husband through what I’ve put him through – what kind of horrible person does such a thing to someone else? Have I physically injured my liver or my brain? What is wrong with me that I feel so compelled to drink that I’ve put my sanity, career and marriage on the line?
Then, there is also the fear of knowing that despite everything that I’ve been through, I don’t trust myself enough to think that I can stay sober forever. In a few weeks, when I’m feeling emotionally stable, I’ll begin plotting to sneak a drink, to stop taking antabuse because it makes me tired, or “have just two glasses of wine,” and then this whole thing will start all over again. I am terrified.
I am going to AA meetings, and meeting with my addiction psychologist, but I feel like I have no idea what I should be doing. Should I go to a 30 day inpatient program? Should I attend another outpatient program? I want so badly for someone to tell me what to do, and I feel so alone right now.
For the past six months, I’ve been looking at this website, and at One Crafty Mother, and have found much comfort in knowing that I am not alone, in the shame and secrecy embedded in my addiction. Thank you to all who share their stories here.