Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Just Starting Out

***Submitted by Anonymous 

This is my first contribution—my first tell all.

I am a mother of 3, great kids. I don’t think I am an alcoholic because I don’t always need a drink.

It’s just when I start I don’t stop, I’ll drink until all the booze in the house is gone and then beg my BF to get me more. I’ll drink beer, wine and vodka…I don’t care what I mix it with.I’ve spent the last 2 weeks blacking out every night.

But I get up in the morning feeling like sh*t and go to work. They love me at work, I do my job and I do it well.I don’t drink during the day, don’t even want one. Most mornings I swear off alcohol totally. Today I am 2 days w/o a drink..and don’t plan on drinking for a while, plus there is none in the house.

New Year is coming up this weekend. I plan on being the designated driver. My BF drinks, he is a beer drinker…the 2 of us are a fine pair. He doesn’t black out like I do, as he is not on meds like I am. He’s had 3 DUI, and is currently in the court system dealing with his latest one. He may lose his license for 3 years—ugh.

I read all these blogs, I commend everyone. I read it every day—it is my therapy. Everyone seems to have an excuse as to why they are or have become an alcoholic…I can’t answer that question. I don’t have to drink—I chose too. I just cant stop.

If I drink after a 3rd---the stoppers are out. There are times I have control to stop—there are times I don’t. My parents are not alcoholics, but my dad has had some issues with it. My sister is definitely one, my little sister is not.

I don’t know where to begin. I’ve looked into AA meetings in my area—but I am scared. Not to being judged but to be told I will never be able to drink again. I ask myself if that is that big of a deal—I cant even answer that. But I hate how I feel the next day, I hate how I don’t remember the evenings.

I hate how it is when I am drunk it is the only time we have sex. I hate the weight gain. Guess I gotta find the good part about not drinking—that I will wake up with out swollen eyes, swollen fingers, memory loss, the looks from my kids, that I can go outside and run a few miles (I used to run marathons and be a gym rat), That I will save the $12 a day (a bottle a night). Our restaurant bill will be less than $100 b/c there will not be the 4 glasses of wine at $8 apiece.

I know there is a better side---I am not ready to give it all up---but I may just have to…What do you all think???


  1. For me, it wasn't how much or how often I drank, it was how much it meant to me. It was like this constant, exhausting obsession in my brain. I didn't want to do anything that didn't involve alcohol. Sure, I could stop at two drinks... I just didn't want to. I never did just want one drink, I didn't see the point. Eventually, I started to get really scared because I knew I wanted to quit but I couldn't. Eventually, inevitably, the choice was taken away from me.

    I also got really, really, really tired of hating myself.

    I was also overwhelmed at the idea of never drinking again. It was actually the opposite in AA... they told me I didn't have to think about forever and I could always change my mind; I just needed to think about today. Just today.

    Now, almost two years later, I have a life I never imagined I could have. I don't miss alcohol, and I never thought I would say that because I loved it--truly loved it--so much. If you had told me two years ago that I would feel this way today, I would have laughed in your face. That's why I'm glad I just kept it one day at a time.

    Good luck to you. You are not alone.

  2. I admire your courage for coming forward. It's not an easy thing to do.

    I don't make judgment calls about whether other people are addicts, but what you're describing is addictive behaviour. But it's your decision whether you want to do something about it.

    The deal with AA is this... No one is going to tell you that you can NEVER drink again. They're going to tell you that every morning, you get up and make a conscious decision for THAT day.

    And that's how it works. One day at a time.

    I wouldn't have ever been able to get sober if they told me it was forever. I'd never have done it...

    More than 20 years later, I can tell you it was the best decision I ever made. For me. For my kids.

    Is it right for you? Only you can decide. You'll make that decision when everyone else does. When you're sick and tired of being sick and tired.

    When you're ready, we'll be here...

  3. Welcome and thanks for the honest post. I think that if you are thinking it, you already know the answer. I am ten months today sober. I was so scared to stop drinking forever, to admit out loud what I knew in my heart but it has been the BEST think i've ever done for myself and my family. I no longer feel the shame and disgust I used to feel when I looked in the mirror-I am present, calm, relaxed and so happy. I went to AA for a week before I told my family and for me AA worked because I was ready to do what ever it took to get sober and stay sober. I wish you much luck and prayers as you decide what to do.

    I'll tell you also the weight loss was such a bonus- 30lbs and hundreds of dollars. I didn't have a $12 dollar a day habit, mine was more like $30 +...and just like you excelled at my job, perfect "mother and family" makes me laugh now to think how screwed up it was and still is on some days. Good luck and much love.

  4. swearing off alcohol the next morning was the nagging sign to me that I had a problem and needed to really quit, not just feel guilty about quitting.

    You are so brave for writing your story out loud, and I know exactly what you mean about being scared of AA. I too was scared, sat in the back row the first 3 times, and was terrified I would run into someone I knew. But you quickly learn once you get inside the meeting, they all understand, they all have been there, they all feel the same things, and you sit down in the chair with a big sigh of relief, because people "get you."

    I have 2.5 years sobriety and there hasn't been one day that I wished I could turn back and drink again. Not one. Life is too wonderful.

    I'm praying for you to feel the right decision in your heart and feel led to make the right changes in your life. We are here to support you!

  5. I think it's great that you have posted and shared with us. It is a great step. Reading the blogs and concentrating on the similarties instead of the differences helps. We alcoholics (or problem drinkers, if you will) are all the same. We may have different drinking patterns, different triggers, different socio-economic backgrounds, different abilities to stop after a certain number of drinks, different outward appearances, but under it all we are the same: we are afraid. Afraid we are not going to get what we want (our hopes, our dreams, money, security, etc.), afraid we are going to lose what we have (money, possessions, loved ones, etc.). We are more fearful and sensitive than others and alcohol is our drug of choice to escape.

    Did we start drinking because it was fun and social? Yes. Is it still fun and social or is it now a compulsion, something that is planned and effort is exherted to contain and control it?

    I wish you luck on your journey and I hope you find peace.

  6. No one in AA will ever tell you that you can't ever drink again. As a matter of fact...they may say "you want to drink? go drink! nobody is stopping you!". The thing about AA is that there are no police. No one there worries that you're drinking. No one will call you up and ask you if you got drunk last night. That's not how it works. What works about AA is that you share knowledge and experience with fellow drunks who have stopped drinking and stayed sober. There is a sense of accomplishment and community and if you find a good group and make it your home and really commit yourself to the program (it's very easy to do) then you'll find that your desire to drink shrinks and shrinks until it is gone. It will be replaced with a desire to stay sober, to collect your chips, to go to a meeting and share, etc.

    The only requirement for AA is a "DESIRE TO STOP DRINKING"'s a great policy. You can show up to a meeting half in the bag...but if you have that desire to stop, then you're right where you belong. I went to meetings for months while I was still pickled...but eventually I got sober and will be sober two years in April.

    Go for it. You can do it.

  7. A number of things resonate with me, oh,, btw,, welcome and thank you for your share!

    I'm Dawn and I "am" an alcoholic. Like yourself, I do not "need" to have a drink, have never woken in the morning and drank. I have never been physically addicted to alcohol.
    BUT,, like yourself, too many times, once I get started, its balls to the walls.

    You must understand that to be an alcoholic does not mean to "need" to drink daily. Heck, sometimes I did not drink for weeks. Please permit me to explain to you what the real definition of an alcoholic is (oh, and btw, I am a professional in the field of recovery)

    I am an alcoholic because,,, when I drink alcohol my life becomes unmanageable and I suffer negative consequences. It is really as simple as that. This is why we each must discern for ourselves whether we're an addict or not... I cannot tell you whether you suffer negative consequences. Only you can decide this.

    Your blackouts are a result of alcohol abuse - not because you are on meds. The deal with being on meds and drinking is that the alcohol will discount any benefits your medication might have.

    You, my dear, are at the point of query. Please understand that the mere fact that you read here has a profound meaning.

    You and your bf are in a VERY unhealthy relationship fueled by one another's abuse of alcohol. Look at you - you have not had a drink (at the time of writing) for two days. But, you see, not drinking is the easy part. Learning how to live sober - not so easy.

    The really good news is that there is TREMENDOUS help out there for you when you're ready, when you are serious about a new life - about making some critical changes.

    This is a "we" thing - sobriety is not acheived alone.

  8. Anonymous Author of the "Just Starting Out" Post
    Thank you all for reading my blog and responding. Your words are an inspiration, moving, supportive and overall good.
    Every single one of you spoke my words, b/c you understand. Which is a good thing.
    THank you. I will let you all know how things are going.--Mom of 3

  9. My comment is not very profound - but it is the little thing that hit me like a ton of bricks, so maybe it's worth sharing:

    I had been seeing an addictions counsellor for 6 months before I went to my first AA meeting (and I ONLY went because she'd made some sort of deal with me - I was pretty terrified of & stubborn about the whole thing).

    At my second meeting, my now sponsor said something to me that hit down to my core: "hmmm. well... I've never met a social drinker who thinks 'maybe I'll try seeing an addictions counsellor and going to AA'. Social drinkers don't show up in the rooms of AA."

    I had been trying to convince myself - for months - that I wasn't an alcoholic - because I didn't 'look' like an alcoholic. But I absolutely am. When I surrendered to that reality? That's when the change started...

    Food for thought, anyway.

  10. I'm just going to say that I second everything that Dawn says. There is help available but its only effective if you want it.

  11. Even when you are not drinking your thoughts are consumed with alcohol; have you ever known a casual "social" drinker to spend this much time and energy reading, writing, talking and even dreaming about alcohol? Sounds like you are feeling powerless and your life is becoming unmanageable. Go to a meeting. Preferably a woman's meeting. I have to take the first step, one day at a time for the rest of my life. join us. please

  12. Hi Mom of three, I am Mike a grateful recovering alcoholic. We alcoholics come in all flavors, shapes, and styles. Many of us are prominent people. I think almost all of us are over achievers -- we have to be the best at work and play or someone will think there is something wrong with us. Almost all of us try to deny that there is a problem. For me the killing words were, "if you are not an alcoholic, why do you keep drinking? And if you are, you had better stop now while you can." I think these words only apply to those of us who have begun to worry about our drinking, but they were my salvation!

    I have claimed AA as my home for over 30 years, 30 years of living happy, joyous, and free. And as someone said, there are no police in AA, although I have to admit that every so often someone assigns themselves that job and starts telling everyone what they have to do. Well there is one in every crowd and AA is like a family, some members we like, others we avoid, but they are still family.

    Give AA a try, if you meet people that have a life that you would like to have, stick with them, find out where they go to meetings and go there too. Worked for me :).

    Alcoholism is a strange disease, it shows up in many different ways -- the daily drinker, the binge drinker, and even a few controlled drinkers that manage to limit there input. My grandfather was one of those, only bought half pints because if he bought larger bottles he knew he would drink more.

    But do remember it is a disease that effects body, mind, and spirit. I am with Dawn, I cannot tell you that you are an alcoholic, but I can say you are acting the same as many alcoholic that I know. You are searching, that is the first step, to find out what alcoholism is all about. You might think about joining us on the Booze_Free_Brigade, there is a link to it on the right side of this page. It is a good place to share, hear other stories, and learn about alcoholism. Safe too, all of us have done or tried doing what you have done, so there is no judgement, just acceptance.


    Mike L

  13. I am also a mom of three and just like you I did not have to drink daily nor did I get up craving alcohol. However, I was like one day on then one off and by the second day..( the one in which I got up feeling great because I was not hungover) in the afternoon I would start planning my drinking for the night and just like that I was trashed yet again. Once you realize that you deserve better for yourself and your kids you will stop for good. Being sober is awesome!! Also, if your bf is a problem drinker maybe it wouldn't hurt for him to get some help as well.

    God Bless

  14. My theory is that there are two basic kinds of alcoholics, and these converge over time. There's the daily drinker and the binge/blackout drinker. I was a daily drinker who never blacked out or got out of control. I used that for many years as my rationale for why I wasn't an alcoholic. But now that I have been to AA, I see a lot of people who had your pattern. And I see a lot of daily drinkers like me who ended up also being prone to binges/blackouts, etc. My advice to you is to dispense with the analysis since I think deep down you feel unsettled, and think about what others have said about maybe taking the next step. You deserve better!

  15. There is a better side and it sounds like you're on your way. Get to AA. You'll meet people you can relate to and who will relate to you.

    All the good you imagine about sobriety/recovery is there ... plus much you don't. No, it is not a walk in the park, but it is do-able with the help you'll find in AA. You'll soon feel better, physically, mentally, emotionally, all around. And you'll be the mom you want to be.

    If BF can support you in this, great, but it sounds like he's got a pretty serious struggle of his own going on. Maybe if you go to AA, he will, too. But if he is not ready, don't let him keep you from seeking help. He'll go when his time comes ... or not. Don't worry about that. This is for you, and you sound ready!

    God bless

  16. My name is Julie and I'm an alcoholic, it's nice to meet you.

    As I read your piece I felt like I could have written the post myself a few years ago. Being successful in my career was never a problem, even at the height of my drinking...nor was my performance as a mother...or was it?

    I can't rewind time but I hit a point where I was honest with myself..that was the hardest part. I didn't read blogs but I would watch Intervention on TV and relate all too well with people there.

    People who don't have issues with alcohol don't drink the way I did or have the relationship with it that I did. Sounds like I had a relationship much like yours.

    I echo everyone else's comments, I can't tell you not to drink or if you're an alcoholic but I can tell you that you should go to AA and walk in with an open mind. There's no expectations there. Just go in and listen...look for similarities as mentioned above and notice the happiness.

    Listen, life is never going to be perfect, the timing for sobriety is never going to be right...and life without booze isn't as scary as it looked to me on the other side.

    Each day is a new one, choose to live it.

  17. Congratulations for reaching out and sharing. I am an alcoholic/problem drinker who doesn't fit the stereotype of an alcoholic. I highly recommend the book UNDERSTANDING THE HIGH-FUNCTIONING ALCOHOLIC by Sarah Allen Benton. AA works for many people (but not all), but there are also other roads to recovery like SMART Recovery and Women for Sobriety. Best of luck to you.

  18. Everything you said rings true for me as well. I too, have no answers for this. It's just how I live---mostly a weekend drinker, but I always question why I do the things I do, and when I wake up after a blackout, I always swear I won't drink that much again. It's a weird cycle that just keeps playing over and over. I never drink during the week, but I swear I always look forward to Sat. nite because that's when I give myself "permission" to drink. I wish I had all the answers but I don't. :(

  19. I, too, am afraid of AA. I've been to meetings and was so paranoid about talking...just sat there...embarrassed and ashamed..

  20. All I gotta say is "I hear you". I don't "need" to drink either, it's just when I do, I can never stick to the promised 1 or 2 glasses of wine. I was smart enough a few years ago to refuse to bring vodka into the house because I knew I drank it like water - seems like Wine turned into my new version of water. I'd buy a 4L box and promise myself it would last until next pay, 2 weeks. I was lucky if it lasted 3 days - and that was through the week! I finally decided enough's enough. I like not seeing continuous LCBO charges on my credit card, I haven't bought alcohol for myself in 40 days - even in that time I notice a difference. All the best in your endeavour.

  21. I am maggie, I am an alcoholic. I am not ashamed or emberassed to write that. It's a disease. In the Big book their is a phrase that talks about the fact that at some point in an alcoholics drinking career they lost the ability to stop. Social drinkers don't have the problems you mentioned, social drinkers don't read recovery blogs. If you are questioning if you have a problem with alcohol, you probably do. I am 20 months sober and my life is more beautiful that I ever could have imagined.