Friday, March 15, 2013

Just Starting Out

***Submitted by Anonymous (from November 2012)
 
I am so thankful I found your blog this weekend...how ironic as it was Thanksgiving weekend.
 
I am 35 years old and should have seen this coming. Before I was married and had ever seriously thought about having children, if the topic of being a stay at home mom came up in conversation my response was "Oh, I could never be a stay at home mom, I'd end up an alcoholic".  Fast forward 10-15 years, I am married, have two beautiful, healthy children, a great job (no, I am not a stay at home mom) and I am an alcoholic.
 
I didn't discover alcohol until college. I went to a "party school" and took part in the binge drinking that plagues college campuses.  I graduated, landed a job that paid just enough to cover my living expenses and moved out on my own. I frequented happy hours after work with fellow young, single coworkers. We drank Friday and Saturday nights until the wee hours of the morning but that was the norm.
 
I met the man that I would eventually marry. We both enjoyed a beer/cocktail together but it by no means defined our relationship. Three years after marrying we had our first child. She was beautiful and I love her more than anything but she wouldn't stop crying. So, while on maternity leave the happy hours started earlier and earlier.   I went back to work and eventually transitioned as best I could to being a working mom. I started to use my nightly beer/wine/cocktail as a way to cope with the chaos (messy house, no money thanks to daycare, balancing husband, baby and a dying father-in-law).  Eventually, I was hiding beer bottles in my closet so my husband didn't know how much I was actually drinking. I thought that if he really felt I was drinking too much he would find them. The closet is the first spot you'd look.
 
My second child is born and he too is beautiful and healthy.  I survived maternity leave with two kids. I returned to a great job that I really do enjoy. At some point the vodka bottles replaced the beer bottles.  (They're easier to dispose of than the beer bottles.) Now (last week) I can drink almost 2 bottles of wine or 1/2 bottle of vodka (750ml) and be functioning and up for work in the morning. I think that is what scared me the most....how bad will I let this get??  A year ago if I drank 2 bottles of wine I would be throwing up and stuck in bed hungover for a day.  So, here I am. I have decided I have no option but to stop completely. I think having none will be much easier for me than one.  I know just one is not possible for me anymore. I have way too much to lose to let this continue. I have managed to avoid ruining my relationship with my husband and harming my kids (my biggest fear) so I consider myself lucky.
 
I am struggling with how to handle this from here. My husband doesn't know the extent of my problem. Work functions always involve happy hour or dinners that include all the alcohol one could possibly desire. Family parties include a plethora of alcoholic beverage options.  If you decide not to drink everyone assumes you're pregnant. It almost seems like it would be easiest to just have a t-shirt made that says "No, I don't want a drink... I am an alcoholic" and wear it to the next work happy hour, family function, college roommate get-together.  Many people talk about meetings but I live in such a small community I'm not sure I want to out myself just yet.  
 
I'd appreciate guidance from you all. This site is my support system right now. I actually feel like I'm not alone after reviewing the posts. 
 
 

6 comments:

  1. I could have written this, I identify so much. Getting sober is not easy but you will be amazed at the change once the obsession to drink is lifted. Keep sharing, go over to the Booze-Free-Brigade (http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/Booze_free_brigade/),
    amazing women (and men) who can help you and share what they have. The first thing to do is just.don't.drink.today. Don't worry about tomorrow or any other day, just today. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  2. Wow, can I relate to you! Your story is very similar to mine (except I am a stay-at-home-mom). I just started going to AA meetings about six weeks ago, and have a sponsor now. Let me tell you, it is SO worth it. I put it off and put it off for so long because of living in a small town and being afraid people would find out and label me. I started going to meetings in the next town over, which is still a small town and very connected with my town. I do know some of the people in the program and worry sometimes that everyone is going to find out that I am an alcoholic and judge me, but I have found that my sobriety is more important than that. And also, Anonymity is a tradition of AA. You only have to share your journey with whomever you want to share it with. It is yours to share or not to share. AA is beautiful. I go to an all women's meeting twice a week and already I can see so much growth in myself even though I am still working on the first step. I am a better mom, a better wife, a better me. And I am honestly starting to like myself. Huge growth. I'm so happy for you. One day at a time! Please email me if you want! eviejones227@gmail.com

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  3. I was really worried that people would notice and question me about not drinking at social functions and family gatherings. I've found out that no one really cares. If someone asks me if I want a drink, I just say that I'll stick with diet coke for now and they go about their business. It was so suprising to me. In fact, on Thanksgiving I made non-alcoholic punch (supposedly for the kids) and all the adults loved it. We had several bottles of wine left that I had to give away.

    Also, I agree about AA. I avoided it for almost a year and finally went to a WOMEN'S meeting. I loved it. You don't have to work the steps or even talk. It is so fabulous to just listen to the other women's stories.

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  4. Four years sober and an active member of AA ... the part about "your husband doesn't know the extent of your drinking" ... we ALL think no one knows...how much, how often we drink and yet,they do...however they do not know how we FEEL. ONLY alcoholics know how I feel ... cuz I'm not strange, I'm just like you. In the rooms of AA I found women who loved me til I could love myself and now I do love me again, I found women who taught me how to get sober, live sober, and stay sober one day at a time ... and they do it by EXAMPLE. Go to AA, find someone who "has what you want" and pray for the willingness to do the work. I have been blessed beyond measure with a life better than my dreams and I would not trade it for a drink, not today.

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  5. I don't feel qualified to comment, but I do want to say YOU are not alone. I relate to every word that you wrote. We can change. Life can be better.

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  6. It has been my experience too that none is much easier than some. It defies logic for normal drinkers, but I never was one of those.

    I can relate to a lot in your story as a wife and working mom. Meetings helped me a lot, and I think most people have those concerns about anonymity until they actually go to a meeting (as someone pointed out to me, anyone at a meeting is there for the same reason I am). I couldn't help but worry about all the perceived obstacles, but found they went away over time. I have never regretted the decision to get sober not only for myself but my kids and family. Best of luck to you, thank you for sharing your story :)

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