Monday, April 8, 2013

Young Mother Needs Help

***Submitted by Anonymous

I am a 25 year old single mother of the most stunningly beautiful and smart 3 year old little girl. I love being a mom and nothing brings me greater joy than my daughter, I am a bit obsessed with her to say the least.   Becoming a mother has changed me for the better and given me a new sense of hope and purpose...or so I thought.  I was on the longest high after the birth of my daughter and once I started making some familiar mistakes and getting some feelings of depression. 

I have suffered from severe depression since I was about 12 and it also runs heavily in my family as well as alcoholism.  Both my grandfathers were alcoholics and committed suicide.   I've talked to numerous therapists, been in both inpatient and outpatient hospital programs and been taking anti-depressants.  I feel as though I am on a roller coaster when it comes to being depressed, highs, lows and just maintaining. I have also struggled with an eating disorder and body dismorphic disorder.  I got into some trouble as a teen with alcohol, getting 3 MIP's (minor in possession). I have so many regrets throughout my adolescence dealing with promiscuity that 99% of the time I hardly recall and alcohol is to blame every single time. 
    
I have worked in the bar/restaurant scene since I was 15, the atmosphere is toxic.  Once I became a bartender the temptation was always there and right in my grasp.  I found myself sneaking shots whenever I could to "help bring my personality out" and making work seem less like work.  I don't get to go out with friends and getting pregnant when I was 21 has got me thinking I am trying to make up for "loss time".   
         
I hit an all time low when I got pulled over on the side of the highway performing sobriety tests.  I was giggling and blowing it off because I was drunk, unaware of the severe consequences I was about to face.  I sobered up real quick when I found myself locked up in a jail cell the night I got a DUI.  I felt like the worst mother in the entire world.  If I had killed myself I would have robbed my daughter of her mother whom she adores let alone if I took an innocents persons life.  I would have to live with that my entire life more than likely behind bars again, robbing my daughter of her mother.  I don't want my daughter to ever have to suffer because of my poor decisions and self destructive behavior.
     
I wound up getting fired recently from my job that I loved as a bartender from my boyfriend's uncle's bar....I drank so much I passed out right at work, while on the clock, twice.  I am mortified to ever talk to his family again let alone see them.  My boyfriend was extremely upset with my reckless behavior and was actually ashamed of me warning me if some major changes don't happen we can't be together.  
 
I let down and disappointed so many people including myself.  I am about 5' and 95 lbs, my body is just unable to consume that much alcohol and I forget how small I am when I try to keep up with the pace of everyone else's drinking. 
 
I don't drink daily but almost every time I drink, I drink until I blackout.  This is highly unacceptable on so many levels but the main one being I am a mother. I hold myself to an impossible standard when it comes to parenting because I am the ONLY one she has so I try to be perfect.  When I make a mistake I beat myself up relentlessly and turn to drinking because I feel like a failure, worthless, unproductive.  It is easier to numb those torturous feelings and thoughts.
         
I am embarrassed of my actions and inability to control my alcohol use, but more embarrassed to admit my problem although I know others are already aware of it.  I don't like the thought of completely giving up alcohol I just want to be able to control the amount I drink. I drink way too much way too fast.  I mess up because I drink and I drink because I mess up.  I have chosen not to bar-tend any longer to avoid putting myself in these situations. I recently decided to stop buying alcohol for my home.  
 
I don't want this problem to take control of my life and want to be the best mom I can be.  I am in my own way.  
 
I'm not sure what the next step is from here....

7 comments:

  1. I really relate to your experiences. I too am a single mother my son is 5. I have also made many mistakes as a result of drinking as you said I mess up when I drink then drink because I mess up. I have battled depression and bulemia in my teenage years. I'm 33 now and have been on antidepressants since my son was born and have been turning to alcohol to escape for around 10 years, I want desperately to do the right thing by him as you do for your daughter. There is a history of depression in my family and although my mum doesn't have a drink problem she tried to take her own life. What I have concluded is that you can create your own destiny you don't need to be a prisioner of the past or your family. I personally know that abstinence is the only way forward for me, it is very early days for me so I'm just trying to get used to a new life without alcohol and using resources out there. Never loose hope you are not alone. I like this quote "you are the captain of your own ship, the controller of your own destiny", keep reaching out your heart will tell you what you need to do. I wish you all the very best life has to offer.

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  2. Learning to drink "normal" is the goal of every alcoholic.

    You are at a crossroad and you have two choices. Yes, alcoholism is a disease, but ultimately the choice to drink is ours. So, you can continue with your games,, your modifications or you can fins a face-to-face support system that you feel comfortable embracing.

    Alcoholism is a fatal disease. Continuing will result in your (or someone's death) and/or more consequences added to your already painful list.

    This gets easier the more your write about it, talk about it, and pray about it. Keep sharing here in this thread - you will learn that we have ALL made horrifying choices that have resulted in awful consequences.

    Twenty-five is a challenging age to get sober. But I hope you listen to those of us who go before you when we tell you that to continue any attempts with drinking will cause you greater regret and consequences.
    Chin up - keep it real, but most importantly - keep it honest

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  3. The Big Book of AA says ... pg 30 ...

    "Most of us have been unwilling to admit we were real alcoholics. No person likes to think he is bodily and mentally different from his fellows." Further down in the same paragraph ... "The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker. The persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of insanity or death."

    Good for you writing honestly here ... take the suggestions from the above post... pray, talk about it, write about it, ask for help ... please do not ignore it ... for your daughter's sake and your own. We love you. We understand ... and you are not strange you are just like us. I'm sober 4 years and loving it.

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  4. Thank you for writing this post, sharing where you're at honestly is so powerful for all of us. I know it's weird to think that alcohol may be a problem when you're so young. I was young, too, and I wanted to drink for a few more years before I thought about cutting back. I also struggled with depression, shyness, and awkwardness, and I thought alcohol helped me to break away from those things. And for a long time, it did help me escape those things, as long as I was drinking. But when I wasn't drinking, the reality of my life and all the hard feelings were there, and my depression actually got worse over time. It became more and more difficult to do basic things, like get out of bed in the morning, and go to work. I didn't realize at the time just how bad things actually were... It took everything I had to keep my job, my marriage, myself from falling apart. I was overwhelmed, exhausted, and deeply unhappy. In other words, my life was totally unmanageable. I didn't even realize just how unmanageable until I finally stopped drinking and took an honest look at things.

    There are some things I didn't realize until after I stopped drinking. I was so used to the depression, it just seemed normal. I was not able to connect the dots between my depression and alcohol, because I'd had feelings of depression since I was a kid, before I started drinking. I thought alcohol helped my depression... It was only when I wasn't drinking that I felt depressed. What I didn't know was that my depression was really made worse by alcohol... When the alcohol left my system after a night of drinking, I woke up under a mountain of unhappiness the next morning, which I tried to escape by drinking again. But then the next day the unhappiness was back, so I drank again, and the cycle repeated itself for many years. What I've learned is that alcohol will fill the holes inside of you, and it seems like such a great solution, but what really happens is that alcohol just makes those holes bigger. As long as alcohol is part of your life, those holes will be there and they will continue to grow. I thought alcohol fixed my unhappiness, but really my unhappiness was directly connected to and made worse by my drinking! It took me years to connect the two. The good thing is that you don't have to drink anymore, you can be free of alcohol AND depression. Believe me, because I'm doing it myself! I stopped drinking 6 months ago and started going to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Not only do I not want to drink anymore, but the fog of depression is definitely lifting. Looking back, I don't know how I lived like I did for so long. I feel so much better than I have in years, and most importantly, I have hope for the first time in a long, long time.

    I want to share some things I've learned about alcoholism since I stopped drinking, important things you should be aware of since the disease runs in your family. It runs in mine as well, along with depression. Alcoholism is, first and foremost, a disease. If someone is alcoholic, it means their body processes alcohol in a certain way, which creates an addiction to the substance alcohol. Think of it as an allergy. I think that takes a lot of the shame away from alcoholism. It's not your fault, it's just a biological fact! What's important is recognizing and admitting whether you are alcoholic. There are some physical, mental, and emotional markers for the disease to help you determine if you have it, and you can learn about that online or in AA.

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    1. (My original comment was too long for one post! This is a 2 parter! Haha.)

      Before I learned about alcoholism, I had such a negative idea of what an alcoholic was, and I was really ashamed to think that I might be alcoholic. But what I learned is that in my greatest shame, I actually found my greatest strength. It's such a paradox, like so much in recovery. Once I admitted I was alcoholic, I felt total relief. Now I have a name for what I've struggled with for so long, and I also have a solution. Alcoholism, like any disease, can be managed. Not only that, but someone who is alcoholic can life a long and happy life, something that for a long time had seemed completely out of my reach.

      Some other things to know is that alcoholism is hereditary. If your parents and/or grandparents were alcoholic, it's possible that you have inherited the disease. Alcoholism is progressive, which means it never gets better, never levels off, it only gets worse. Think of it as an elevator that only goes one direction: down. You can get off at any point, but if you stay on the elevator, it will just keep taking you farther and farther down. The scary thing is that alcoholism is fatal. An alcoholic will eventually die from the disease of alcoholism if they continue to drink. So alcoholism is a disease, it's hereditary, it's progressive, and it ends in death IF an alcoholic continues to drink. I am not trying to scare you, but these are important things to be aware of.

      Since you're wondering about your drinking and what the next step is, I would suggest going to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Just listen, see if you can identify with anything that is said. Listen for the similarities, not the differences. Chances are you will be able to relate to something, and just knowing that you aren't alone in your experiences and your feelings is powerful! My first couple of meetings were uncomfortable because I was new and was feeling so awful about myself and my situation, but it didn't take long to settle in and now I really love going to meetings. I find so many things there: hope, wisdom, strength, and friendship. Being around people who want to make better choices and are working together to live better lives is really awesome, can't recommend it highly enough.

      Love the Big Book quote above, and it perfectly relates to what you wrote about in this post. Good on you for writing and examining your behavior. Know that there is hope! So many of us have been where you are now. You can change, your life can change, it is NEVER too late. We are here for you!

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  6. I have a similar story. So I get it. But I'll be honest. I hear a lot of denial and rationalization ( for example your weight and size explaining why you get drunk) This problem has ALREADY taken over your life. There will always be more yets. But you've lost s job, gotten a DUI. Normal drinkers do not blackout. Normal drinkers do not make rules for themselves about whrn and how much to drink. Go to some meetings. Listen to people experience strength and hope. I'm 90 days sober. A mother of 4. Never missed a days work, never got a DUI but I had lost a lot- the biggest being my self esteem and self respect. I'm getting it back. The shame and guilt is leaving. I've found really supportive friends in aa. Do the right thing get help. YOU DESERVE IT!!!

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