Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Relapsed and Scared

I'm back. 
I posted here very early on, back in 2010, when i was trying to quit drinking and this board and the people on it really helped me.

To tell you a bit about myself. I'm in my forties and i live in Toronto. My dad was a heavy drinker and so was his mother. My dad quit about twenty-five years ago and has been sober since. There's a similar pattern of addiction on my mother's side, several of her brothers drank. Two of them had terrible accidents while under the influence. My mum is anti-drinking, and a very caring person but am convinced she is a workaholic. 

I never drank, not a drop, having seen the damage it did to my father. At its worst his drinking got so bad he was having paranoid hallucinations and his doctor told my mother he would be dead within six weeks if he didn't check into a secluded rehab facility. He'd tried so many times to quit but failed. Partly because my family is so good at addiction: My dad, the drinker, married my mum, the enabler and had three control-freaky children, me, my sister and my brother.

"I never drank, not a drop, " is really a lie. Not a lie exactly, more of a forgetfulness. I had forgotten the first time i got drunk was the first time i had something to drink. It was at Christmas, at home. I think i was around 17. I drank so much i gave myself a hang over that lasted, with full intensity for three days. I should have known i was an alcoholic then because 1) right from the get-go, i had no interest in having just one glass of anything. I wanted all of it and 2) after the first sociable, ' christmas' drink, i knew, probably from having seen my dad all those years, how to sneakily imbibe the additional. I was drinking like an alcoholic right out of the drinking gate.

I felt so awful, physically, after my first time, i wasn't tempted to drink again for years. I was a total teetotaller through two undergrad degrees and many job and life-changes in my twenties and early thirties.

In my mid thirties i went back to school to get  my masters. This was about the time news came out that scientists thought a glass of red wine a day would be a good thing. I found school stressful. (In truth i have always found life to be stressful.) and i found it relaxing and pleasurable to drink a glass of good red on a Friday evening and for many months it really was only one glass once a week. But by the end of the school year it had increased, maybe a bottle a week.

 it still seemed manageable although once in a while, out of the blue i would binge. It was like i almost needed to, like the restraint was a leash that was choking me and i had rip it off me.

Long story short i steadily drank wine and beer for the next six years. I knew, from watching my dad i had a problem.  when i started to feel helpless about my ability to stop (even ONE day no alcohol was impossible for me) i went to an AA meeting. This was the time Stefanie was appearing on talk shows, talking about her decision to quit. She was so easy to listen to i found myself paying attention. Here was someone witty, sweet, balanced (not a rabid anti-drinker on a mission) just a mum, wife, friend and someone who if i saw in my life, id probably want to be friends with her.

I was able, through AA, my sponsor, Stefanie's blog and this board to stop drinking for one year, three months and several days.

Now, sadly, i am in relapse and my lack of ability to stop drinking is frightening me again. Worse than this is that i am drinking and trying to be a single mother to my eighteen month old little boy. I hate myself for doing this but i can't stop. I'm crying as i write this.

I want to stop for good this time but i don't know if i can. I don't know if anyone is still reading to the end of this extremely long post but thanks if you are.


  1. Great post and I read it till the end!
    YOU CAN DO THIS.........I don't have all the answers as I am also struggling but I know if you just take the first step you can re-start your journey- you deserve it and YOU CAN DO IT!!

  2. Yes, we're still reading, your telling our story. Take a deep breath. You Can Stop. You did it before, you know the way. Quit trying to stop and just stop. Now. Don't wait 10 more years like I did, don't fill your baby's childhood with your regrets. You can do this.

    So many times when we are wrapped up in our alcoholic thinking, we can't see any "good" we are doing and that compounds our feelings of worthlessness. It helped me to try and do one good thing a day, work one small miracle, it gave me back my self-worth and alcohol couldn't take that way.

    You've worked your miracle for today, you told your story so that people like me who might be thinking that "Maybe someday, I'll try drinking again. Maybe someday I'll be able to handle it." You've given me one more story to stockpile to remind me that it doesn't work that way. Thank you.

    I have a blog http://godwalkedintothisbar.blogspot.com/ if your interested in reading my story, there are also links there to others' stories. You are not alone.

    You've done your

  3. 90 meetings in 90 days.
    Go to meetings. Get a sponsor. Be willing to stay sober.
    Start again!! :-) The long post you fear might not be read to the end, WAS. It's because it is very, very similar to a million other stories. We all have very similar stories and that is why it keeping it simple; having a desire to stay sober...and living life 24 hours at a time is essential. The business of staying sober isn't about your Dad..your Mom..your siblings. Their story, is theirs. :-) Please keep it simple and you've been sober before; you can do it again!!! If you are willing.....

  4. We're here for you. Just for today you can stop; we'll get to tomorrow then. You did it before-you can do it again. I have faith in you- Write me if you want to, I'll write back and we'll talk babies- i am holding a sleeping six month old as I type... You CAN do it.

    1. Absolutely lovely and caring response. Thank you for making this struggling young woman part of your day. Janice H.

  5. If you really want to quit drinking, you have to quit drinking ... and that means SURRENDER THE DRINK ... no one, not your friends, your fellows, your God will do it for you ... BUT THEY WILL ALL HELP YOU once YOU make the decision to surrender the drink. I read your post every word because I do not want to forget my last drunk and the misery that went with it .... and that misery is waiting for me inside a bottle of wine, inside a wine glass, inside the denial the disease that says I can have one or two ...let us love you until you can love yourself again. Go to a meeting, raise your hand, you are not strange, you are just like us ... alcoholic and we want to help you as helping you helps us. Keep coming back! Blessings

    1. What a wonderful response to a struggling sister. Thank you for keeping it simple and sharing what it is to "remember where you came from." Have a great day...sober, and one day at a time. Thank you. Janice H.

  6. You may not know if you can do this again - but I know that you can. You just need to remind yourself that you are worth it and then tackle it the only way I know how to - one day at a time. Much love to you as you choose life - again!


  7. Hey there, it's Stefanie. I quit for good (well for today, you know how it is) when my twins were 18 months old. I couldn't go a day without drinking either. The truth is that the drink is not working anymore or you wouldn't be crying. The truth (even though you can't see it at this moment) is that going to AA again seems like the hard way but it's really the easier way because you will have such support and friendships and love around you to help you ease the shitty beginning. Do it for you. But do it for that sweet baby. YOU ABSOLUTELY CAN DO IT. It's just alcohol. Screw alcohol!

  8. I urge everyone to listen to Joe and Charlie at Silkworth.net. I feel "lifted" from my desire to drink from listening to them. I haven't had a drink in over a year. I never thought that possible. I can't help the fact that my body doesn't metabolize alcohol like normal people. So glad I finally found out the truth about the allergy. When I drink my body doesn't metabolize the acetone in the alcohol normally. The acetone builds up in my system and creates an actual physical craving for more alcohol. Sure wish I would have known this scientific evidence earlier in my life. At least I know now. I have to live in the day, one day at a time because I don't know what the future holds>

  9. I am with you on this one...I am in my 40's and in T.O as well. Dad, though. You don't mention what happened to get you back to the bottle. Were you working the steps with yours sponsor? If not, I implore you to do so...that is where I found not only the relief, but complete freedom from the mental obsession of drinking. Oh man, I know that if I pick up again, it's not going to be pretty. Yikes.

    My son was 3 1/2 when I quite drinking. I loved him beyond words. And yet, when it came to alcohol, he became invisible. Nothing prevented me from getting to that drink. That is the obsession, the cravings at work. It's alcoholism telling me that "this time, it's going to be different". All lies. This gets worse, never better :(
    In the end, I had to do it for me - not for anyone else. And that is how I was able to come back and be a great dad to my now two sons. It's been just over two years since my last drink and don't have to worry about caring for my children, because I am present all the time for them. But it started with the hope that it can happen. And it can happen for you again.

    Talk to your sponsor - don't avoid her. Let her know what is going on. If you haven't done the steps, please do. Lots of meetings and support in our city :)


  10. We can always start over. I'm new to sobriety, and one thing I regularly hear in the rooms is that you can always start over if you need to. I urge you to take yourself (and your baby if you have to) to a meeting and just listen again. You can do this; you aren't alone anymore.

  11. I admire you for having the courage to reach out and share your story and your struggles. Each day is a new opportunity. What worked for you? How did it feel when you were sober the first time around? What did you love about it? What would be the benefits of not drinking starting today?

    Stay strong. Find your support and what works for you. Don't beat yourself up. It's a detour, but you can get back on track. Take care and best of luck to you.

  12. Hope it's alright to comment as I'm a man!
    You story including relapse is so true. But never give up hope. I had my last relapse 13 years ago and I've been dry ever since.
    Going back can be turned into a positive. I've just started a blog, nothing like as good as yours, but take a look if you get chance.
    Key phrase for me "The only choice an alcoholic has is not to take that first drink" That was George Best's doctors comment after Best died.

  13. Thanks to all for the supportive comments. They mean so much to me. I am three days sober after many other day one. The difference is i am back to aa. And plan to work the steps properly this time. My kid is not going to see me like this again. Good luck to everone.

  14. I hope this finds you still on the upward path a day at a time. Of course you know this can be so very hard but as you've had that stretch of sober time, you also know how good it can feel. I'm just learning that; I came to this website in the first day or two after stopping drinking, and yesterday at an AA meeting I celebrated 10 months of sobriety. TRULY I hear you on so many of your sentiments; and for me, hearing the experiences of other women at AA meetings and reading them here has been the godsend, the encouragement and inspiration. How blessed you are to have the wonderful little one; when you claim your sobriety FOR YOURSELF a day at a time, you are giving your child that same clearer future you want for yourself. I want to thank you for sharing, as testimonies like yours help me keep myself motivated. Someday if/when I relapse, I will have people like you to show me that we ALWAYS can start again...you have done that, and you will do that, as often as it takes. So will I. We can, with help from the support of people here and elsewhere, and from our higher power. GODSPEED.