***Submitted by Anonymous
I’ve been drinking for 26 years, and I’m only 38.
That is so scary to me. Scary, but not sobering.
I am getting close to quitting, but the closer I get, the more I realize that there are things I need to fix along with my addiction.
I’m exhausted, depressed, and anxious – maybe I’m not doing a good job at work but they aren’t telling me, maybe my husband thinks I’m fat and wishes he was with someone thinner, maybe my friends think I’m needy and flaky, maybe we’ll lose the house, maybe I’ll get caught in a lie, maybe one of the kids will get hurt – or worse.
This is the running dialogue in my head. And the only thing that guarantees to shut it up is a glass of wine – or several – when the kids go to bed. I look forward to it. It’s my reward. I just wish I didn’t need it. I wish it didn’t make my stomach fat, give me a hangover, and make me forgetful.
I wish I had a normal relationship with it. But I don’t even know what that looks like.
I remember dipping into the liquor cabinet one night while I was babysitting. I got so drunk that I was throwing up in the sink right before they came home. I could barely stand up straight. Somehow, I convinced them that I was just sick, but I don’t think the mother was fooled. Right before I walked out the door, she asked “Have you been drinking?”
The shame – it’s the same shame I still feel. Oddly, I was back babysitting for them the next week. Or at least, that’s how I remember it.
Actually, I don’t remember much anymore.
It’s the most obvious sign of the damage I’m doing to myself – there is much that I don’t remember anymore.
Childhood memories, names of other parents in my sons’ classes, reminders to pick things up from the store, what my 2-year old looked as a baby – all gone.
If I think about it – and I don’t, purposefully – I panic.
I’ve read so much about this problem, looked at so many different “cures”, gone to meetings, gotten the acupuncture, talked to the counselors.
Only recently have I started to understand what the “urge” actually feels like – which is to say, I have started to realize that there is something in my brain telling me to drink.
Last week, I managed to stay sober for several days. I didn’t bring red wine into the house, I didn’t pick up a little pick-me-up on the train home, and I didn’t go out after work with friends, or by myself.
I noticed that I was bored at night, irritable. I noticed that, when I got my husband to drink with me, we relaxed and talked. When we don’t drink, it’s mundane – am I traveling this week? Who’s getting the boys after work? When is the cleaning woman coming?
So I started to sneak the drinking. First, after work on the way home. Then one night, I went out to buy groceries and popped into the local bar and downed three glasses of sauvignon blanc. It went downhill from there.
Also, drinking makes me not be angry, disappointed, anxious, bored. How do I replace drinking and get these benefits? Is there medication that erasing the urges, and also makes me thinner?
I want this to be easier.
But I also know – because lately, I’m really feeling this – I also know that I will feel better when I stop.
That I will feel triumphant.
That I will get back that powerful female I used to be.
And I’m starting to want that more and more.