Monday, February 18, 2013

Myself Not Myself

*** Submitted by Anonymous, who blogs at Why Dry? 
 
It hit me the other day that I've just wondered one too many times whether or not I 'have a problem'. I've told myself that my husband and I are 'normal drinkers' who just happen to drink every day - wine with dinner, cocktails when we go out, etc. The problem is I've noticed that I've been drinking more wine with dinner, before dinner, after dinner. It just takes more for me to get to that ideal 'sweet spot'. Or in other words, my idea 'high'…. yea, sounds like an addict talking, right?

I've spent the last year monitoring my drinking - literally counting days I don't drink at all, self-monitoring the days I do using an app. The problem is that the nature of alcohol is to remove your internal check, your sense of limitation…that is kind of the point, right? So, I would always end up having that one extra glass of wine, even if it left me with a terrible headaches the next day. With those extra glasses came me falling asleep on the sofa while watching a movie with my husband, or just 'not remembering' parts of the night before, even when I seemed totally fine then. Yea, that's called blacking out. I even did this once while having sex with my husband….THAT'S BAD! 

I come from a family of alcoholics - some are sober, some are not. It's a truly horrible and maddeningly cruel disease. I orchestrated an intervention to get my sister into rehab, so I spent a lot of time researching the nature of the disease, how to do this, where it will take you. The nature of the alcohol as a drug is to make you think you are in control, yet you increasingly want more and more. It is progressive - and if you progress it is fatal. I know these things.

Why would I even be drinking then, in the first place? Well, like many people, I've been telling myself that I somehow fit into the normal, non-diseased category of alcohol consumption. I really only drink with dinner, drink sophisticated drinks, it's all very social and wonderful. Yet for as much as this is true, it is also not true. I've been noticing  those tell-tale signs that I'm in a downward spiral: I started getting drunk, I get hangovers, I anticipate my next drink, I try (and fail) to moderate, I get crabby pretty much all the time, I can't remember, I regret, I start feeling like shit but fell scared to stop.

So, a week ago I'm hungover, trying to get my daughter out of the house when she has a meltdown about putting on her shoes. She's five. Like the scene from Alien, I erupt like a sequence of monsters coming out of me and scream at her. At that moment I feel myself not myself, I can see this as a moment and I see her face. It's horrible. Why am I screaming like a monster at the person I love most in the world? There really is no answer, but I know inside I've been feeding a monster which is changing me, trapping me, keeping me hostage. I decide later that day to stop drinking. I've since been blogging my experience. So far so good.

12 comments:

  1. In not drinking, you are doing something that will change your daughter's life forever. It will change who she is, how she relates to people, what she wants out of life, all of it. I speak from experience. Congratulations on making such an incredibly important decision for her.

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  2. Brava!!! Of the two options, it's the absolute best way to stop drinking. The other option isn't pretty and would rob your daughter of a mother. :( Congrats for making that choice, for choosing life. :D

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  3. Welcome to the community of sober blogging! Blogging, combined with other sources, has become a mainstay for my own recovery program!

    Yes, alcoholism is a horrific disease; look how it lured you in with all its subtleties and insidious inuendos. Possibly having viewed this disease from the outside,, your sister's intervention,, will save you from some tragic consequences.

    keep blogging, keep reading, keep talking about your own struggle. You'll strengthen your own recovery while helping the individual who still struggles.

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  4. I just read your entire blog - every single post. I have been flirting with sobriety for over 13 years now. As the mother of a small child, its not just me anymore. I am scard to death to stop. My husband is a drinker too, and a lot of our rituals surrounded alcohol so I am VERY nervous as to how that is going to change our relationship. Anyhow - I think reading your blog has planted yet another seed in my mind - that maybe now really is the time. I have sent samples of all the books you recommended to my kindle - I need a reminder that this needs to stop. Thank you so much for your blog - I added it to my google reader and look forward to your posts. I would have commented on your actual blog, but there is no way to post a comment as Anonymous - which is where I feel comfortable right now. Thanks you so much.

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  5. Congratulations on your decision to stop drinking. It may well be the most important decision of your life. It was mine, bar none. Welcome to the community of sober women blogging for support and help with each other; we are always glad to welcome another to our midst.

    You have chosen the right way; your daughter's life has changed significantly with your abstention and she will become so much better for what you have done. Know this to be the truth; many before you have walked this path and proven again its verities.

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  6. Addiction is a very powerful force within...it tries to trick you into believing that you are "normal" while all the time the addiction is progressing thru your psyche and you are feeding it's progress by continuing the pattern of abuse...Congrats...you have figured it out and taken the corrective motions that will allow you to recover from the powerful force...don't be diminished in your quest, however, as the powerful force will continue to try and trick you into a false sense of success....Keep up the great effort...don't be distracted by you spouse should he continue to drink...

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  7. thanks for writing this (other than I'm a bit older than you with a 16 and a 12 year old), you describe me to a tee-- and why I need to stop now. I stopped for a month a couple of months back, and I loved it-- I need to do it for good-- all the best and I'm looking forward to reading your blog.

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