*** Submitted by Anonymous
A friend mentioned to me that she loved your site and had donated to your cause. She has been a part of AA for two years and has trying to get me to tag along with her, but I never thought I had the need. I just spent an hour over your website and was very moved.
I have refused to consider myself an alcoholic. Because I have gone days, weeks, months, even years without drinking. I was a social drinker during college and didn't drink at all when my children were younger except for the occasional Christmas party or gathering for a birthday.
As my children got older, I started going out more with family and friends, having drinks with dinner, etc. Eventually this turned into happy hour once a week with no children, drinks with dinner, occasional parties at our home.
Over the past four years, its been Thursday night happy hour until 10 p.m., Friday night out late, Saturday bbq's and start drinking at five, and Sunday is "I'm getting ready to go back to work tomorrow so I'll just have some wine at home while I cook and clean." The last six months I feel like its escalated even beyond that -- drinking on a Tuesday night because I had a rough day at work, drinking at a business lunch because someone offers, etc.
I cannot count the number of times that I've woken up hung over. The number of times that I wake up and I'm not sure how I got home, then l look outside and see my own car in the driveway. The times that I will remember something I did or said a few days after the fact and cringe with embarrassment.
Two things this past week made me pause and think that I really had to quit bottom feeding and get control of my life again. One - we were at a wedding with many mutual friends. I had a great time but the end of the evening is hazy. I saw the same friends this past weekend and one girl made the comment that her mom wanted to know "who that girl is who is always drunk" (me)......nice. The other was the fact that I ran into a teacher from my daughters school at the bar I frequent and she seemed quite uncomfortable with my level of drinking, and offered to drive me home. I thanked her but refused and left when she got up to go find her husband. I saw her today dropping my daughter off at school and felt mortified.
Am I a functioning alcoholic? I don't know.
If so, I am functioning on a very low level in comparison to years past. I used to do so much more for my kids, my home, even my job. I am covering all my bases - no one misses school, everyone eats, the laundry is done and no one at work is the wiser. I have been married twenty years, and though alcohol has caused us fights and cost us money, my husband is supportive of me and takes care of me. He doesn't mind if I drink, just doesn't want me to drink too much. What he doesn't understand is I am beginning to think anything is too much when every night turns into a haze of regret. I regret my kids knowing I drink and thinking this lifestyle is ok. I regret the time I haven't spent with them and they have been alone, even though they are teenagers now. I regret my beautiful home being unorganized and dirty.
I tell myself I deserve it because I work so hard every week - I go to the gym every day, I am a Zumba instructor twice a week, I have a full time management job and have to travel at times. But I also tell myself I deserve more.
My question is this: How do I stop this cycle? I will go without Sunday through Thursday afternoon, then I will receive half a dozen calls for happy hour from various people. I say I won't go but I usually cave. My husband does not have a problem with drinking and can have a few and go home, so he thinks I should be able to do the same.
In the past few months, I've put reminders on my phone Thursday through Sunday with various sayings about being strong, saying no, etc. But in the end it gets me. I've thought about telling my friends I have a real problem and not to ask me out, but I am embarrassed to do so. I've thought about telling my relatives not to buy me alcohol as a gift (people bring bottles of wine and liquor over all the time when we bbq) but again, it seems like I should be able to control myself. I will go 10-14 days with excuses - telling people I am sick, telling them the kids are sick, telling them I have to work early, etc.....and then the cycle will start again.
I am wondering if completely removing myself from my environment for a week or so would help. Some type of therapy, rehab, even just a vacation by myself with no alcohol. I could afford to take a week to to do that or possibly even ten days. Has anyone had any luck with that?
I went to AA. I hated it. Honestly. I saw the good in the people, but I was extremely uncomfortable and I am not at all a religious person and I do not believe a higher power controls my destiny, I believe that I do.