*** 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.