Sunday, September 11, 2011

Starting My Journey

*** Submitted by Rosie, who blogs at My Rosie Journey

I have finally admitted to myself that my drinking may be a bigger problem than I had originally thought. I have always enjoyed drinking, I grew up around alcohol - my parents always had a drink (or 5) to 'unwind' after work so I always knew I'd drink too.

I guess sometime around the age of 15 I started binge drinking but thought nothing of it because everyone else did it too. This carried on through University but I think even then I realised that I drank differently to others. I always drank to get drunk, as much as I could, every weekend. As I became a young professional I noticed I'd get a bit sad on a Sunday night because it meant I had to wait 4 more days til I could drink again.

Then I started hanging out with other professionals and found it was 'okay' to have a drink or two mid-week. This turned in to me drinking every night... but it was OK for the most part, most of my friends did too. Well that's what I told myself anyway. As they slowly got married off and stopped coming out, the drinking continued for me. Often on my own, often more than a bottle of wine.

I moved away, met a guy (now my husband) and he liked to social drink. It was easy for me to mask my drinking with him because I'd always say that I preferred to have a glass of wine every night rather than binge drink on the weekends. The problem was, it wasn't just one glass. I would just binge drink every night.

I didn't drink at all during both my pregnancies, though I looked forward to them being over so I could drink again. I suffered postpartum depression/ postnatal depression and even though I take anti-depressants, I still self medicate with alcohol - my drug of choice. I've been to an alcohol counsellor who has told me I'm not an alcoholic, I am what is called a 'dangerous drinker'. This lulled me in to a false sense of security and as we worked on me moderating my drinking and being OK with drinking moderately. I thought life would be good and I could control it. But then she suggested I go on a holiday from alcohol... 2 weeks without a drink. I was outta there and I haven't been back.

Now I'm at the point where again, I'm drinking a bottle of wine a night. I can't remember things when I wake up - like if I've eaten or where I fell asleep. I watched a TV show the other day and vaguely realised I must've watched it one night after (during) drinking because I could recall bits and pieces of it but didn't realise I had already watched it.

I know this isn't normal. I know I drink too much. Regardless of what my drinking is called, I can see now that I'm addicted to alcohol. EVERY morning I wake up and swear I won't drink tonight. By 4:00 the pull is too strong and I start to drink. And the cycle continues. I wish I could just moderate my drinking but I'm starting to realise that probably won't be possible. A life without alcohol completely terrifies me but at the same time is strangely appealing. I won't have to waste all this time and energy on drinking/ hiding / planning it etc. I can free up that time in the evenings to do all the things I dream of doing.
 
But still... how will life without alcohol be?
 
What will happen when there's no Friday night drinks with my husband?
 
Will I go to parties and just... not drink?? How does that even look?
 
I can't even picture it. Is it possible that I can do it?

15 comments:

  1. I don't know but i wish I could do it.........

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  2. life without alcohol will be miraculous. You will not regret being sober, once on the other side. I promise you that. It is totally possible, keep reaching out, like you just did today. Thank you for confiding is us. Now we have someone to pray for. I know you can do this, and you will love not obsessing over when, where and how you will get the next drink. I am proud of you!

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  3. I know where you are. Exactly. You are brave for sharing.

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  4. You just wrote my story. There are so many of us in this situation. I am trying to go 35 days without after a Labor Day weekend binge. 35 days because on day 36 I have a vacation planned and i don't know how to do a vacation without drinking. Today is day 6. It's hard.

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  5. I hear you loud and clear. It's so appealing to me too, to be free of the wine. But as you expressed - I also feel I don't know how to do it without the drinking. I just don't know. Your not alone in this. Thanks for posting.

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  6. this was my story to the letter. i used to wish a doctor would tell me that i had to stop drinking or i would die. that way i would have to do something. while i was holding down a professional job and everything on the surface looked 'normal' i could kid myself that i was not an alcoholic.

    i am now 18 months sober and cannot believe how much better everything feels. you hit the nail right on the head about the obsession, and about 4pm being the magic time when the booze fairy started whispering in my ear (a lot of people say 4pm, don't know why! and 4am was when i woke in the night when the booze wore off and i couldn't get back to sleep. now i sleep really well).

    you can do it and it is soooo much better not thinking about drinking all the time. at about 6 months i hit a really depressed time but people in my aa meeting said that was normal, and it wore off pretty quickly. now i am just getting on with life and rarely think about drinking.

    good luck!

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  7. Life will still be life. You will get to live it - and remember it. It is a wonderful thing. Hang in there.

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  8. I remember having the same feelings and fears... then I went to a wedding, wine was everywhere, I went to art opening, wine was everywhere, i went to a birthday party, half of the women were smashed. And through these events I realized I had just as good a time NOT drinking as I did drinking. The safety of drinking was an illusion. I now drink sparkling cider mixed with Perrier and a slice of lemon - it is delicious and I have grown to associate my glass of "fizzy lifting drink" (ala Willy Wonky fame) after work. The feeling of peace of no longer drinking is better, so much better, than the turmoil of taking that first sip of alcohol, which becomes poison to the psyche. An illusion. The peace of wine is not real. The Peace of sobriety is..... I wish you happiness, wellness, peace in your heart.

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  9. There is no end date to the process of sobriety. Its not as though you put down the bottle and ride off into the happy sobriety sunset. There will be days that you would chew your own arm off to have just one more drink. There will be days when it seems as though every other person in the world gets to drink, except you. There will be days when you question whether you really had a problem.

    For me, AA has been what has saved my sanity. In those rooms, I am able to identify with other alcoholics and feel less of a monkey in a fishbowl. They help me to understand that I'm not crazy.

    Physically and mentally, your body will thank you for the reprieve from the booze. Emotionally, you might be a bit of a basket case in the beginning.

    But its all worth it. Trust me.

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  10. You can totally do it. You've already taken a big first step by telling your story here. I will repeat what others have said - you will be surprised and so overjoyed at what it looks like from the other side. Going to parties and just not drinking, being the sober one... it is so much more fun than you are imagining, I promise you.

    All the best to you, and thank you for your honesty.

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  11. Before I got sober I also wondered how I could live life with alcohol. Life is 10x better than I could ever imagine now. I have 6 years of sobriety & I couldn't do it without my AA meetings. I urge you to find some AA meetings that your comfortable with & get a good sponsor. I'll be praying for you.

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  12. I love what you wrote. You summarized quite a few years very concisely. I want to offer you encouragement. Thank you for sharing. You can change if you are willing to work it.
    I appreciate all of the comments. Man oh man I know AA seems to be the answer for those commenting who are the most sure of themselves.. But darn it, I'm just not willing to hand it over....

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  13. I could have written that same story. The parents that drank "in moderation" who made it seem normal, the weekend drinking becoming every day, a bottle of wine a night. That was me. My problem was that I never got a DUI, and would drink in isolation, so that I never had that "rock bottom" public shaming type experience, except I was MISERABLE. I cannot stress enough how miserable I was. I couldn't drink anymore and I didn't know how to stop. I tried to stop on my own and couldn't make it past Day 3. I joined AA and have almost 20 months sober. It works, and you don't have to be a low bottom gutter drunk to go. Just my experience. I wish you all the luck on your journey.

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  14. I wish you all the luck. I am there with you. I started at one bottle of wine a night, then it went to two, then sometimes even more. How can one person drink 3 bottles of merlot in one night and wake up at 7am to handle her kids and function all day. I do. I am sick of this lifestyle. I am tired of the endless days when I woke up out of a coma sleep not to remember anything... sometimes not even sex with my husband. Spending hours searching for where I hid the wine bottle or container I hide the wine in. Do we not realize that our kids hear us slurring our words? That they realize their mommy is "not there" in her eyes and words. Maybe how we rush them off to bed to sit on the couch and drink ourselves into a stuper watching tv and not even remembering what the hell we watched the next morning.

    I hear you, I will pray for you - as I do for myself each and every day. Saying I will never drink again, I quit, but finding myself at the store to stock up every single day at about 4pm!

    Being a stay at home mom has been utterly boring for me. I am a slave to my family - I am bored with my daily chores and boredom led me to drinking.

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  15. I need help. Every bottle I buy is going to be my last. I actually tell myself that everytime. I am tried AA meetings but have a hard time with the higher power focus. I am not an atheist or agnostic. The stakes are high for me - my husband of 24 years is talking about separating.

    I know I need to get sober.

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