Thursday, March 28, 2013

5 Days Sober

***Submitted by Anonymous

I am a 37 year old women, with a gorgeous, mischievous 12 year old daughter.  We live with my partner of three years (whom I love and adore) and his two younger daughters (whom I love and adore) also live with us for 4 days a week.
I had my first drink when I was 14 years old, it ended in me completely blacking out and not remembering much about it except projectile vomiting down a staircase.  In these teenage years I was a binge drinker, all my friends were doing it - it was the "norm", the cool thing to do on a Friday and Sat night.  This continued right through my years at university - binge drinking, often blacking out, causing chaos to my soul - resulting in me taking several unsuccessful attempts to end my own life.

After completing my degree and becoming a qualified health professional, when I was 25 I had my beautiful daughter - when she was 6 months old I left her father who had become physically abusive towards me.  I became a single full time working mother.  My drinking was controlled to a point - I wouldn't drink everyday, maybe once a week,but almost always to the point I would black out, not remember things - my family and friends would love to relive my every embarrassing actions to me.

Every time I drank I would wake up with a feeling of complete doom.  It is almost too hard for me to even write about the feelings I would  wake up with the next morning, the anxiety, the absolute self-hatred I cant explain.  At this time anyway. I managed to hold down a great job, I was very passionate about, and care and love for my daughter.  Because of the self-loathing and loneliness, once my daughter was in bed I started drinking alone at night.  I thought it helped stop the terrible thoughts in my mind, it helped give me the courage to ring friends and chat - like i was a happy bubbly confident person, it helped me feel like I was "worth loving".....until of course the next morning.  And so the spiral began.

Throughout this time I had several serious relationships and this is hard for me to admit but I have to be honest to myself and I know they basically ended because of my drinking - my self-sabotage - my feeling I didn't deserve to be loved.

Two years ago I broke every bone in my ankle and spent two weeks in hospital - I slipped over when i had been drinking.  I remember crawling across the lounge floor to get to the phone to call an ambulance, because even though I was drunk as a skunk, the pain was indescribable.  I waited hours and hours for the ambulance.  I should've rung my family - but I didn't want them to know I'd been drinking and I didn't want their disappointed faces in my mind.  I also remember many many mornings especially in the last 6 months waking up with bruises and cuts etc, etc due to my drinking binges and me falling over or walking into an open cupboard and on and on it goes. I have also battled depression anxiety over the last 15 years.

Anyway I could write pages and pages and pages about my drinking, but I won't.

Last year I was caught driving under the influence, it was the only time I'd ever done it and lost my license for eight months.  I hate myself for this and continued to punish myself for this by continuing to drink.  Sounds stupid and weak and pathetic doesn't it.  Due to losing my license I lost my job ( which I was good at and very passionate about). I was never a person that had a drink everyday, or in the mornings, and there were times when my partner and I  had a few drinks and had enjoyable times.  But the bad times outweighed the good times, and I don't like how it makes me feel about myself, how I wake up hating myself.  I know it sounds dramatic, but it is destroying my soul and I want to be sober, I never want to drink again because I want the opportunity to begin to forgive myself, to love myself, to be the best mad, happy, crazy, sober person I can be for me, for my daughter, for my partner and for my Mum and Dad.

Anyway sorry for rambling - Today I am 5 days sober.

Thank you for listening and any advice, information, words you have to offer will be greatly appreciated and absorbed with much anticipation and love.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Today The Guilt Is Tearing Me Up. Day 3.

***Submitted by Anonymous

Today is 3 day sober.

I know I am alcoholic. This is the 2nd time that I have tried to stop drinking. The first time I went for 29 days without a single drop (Dec 2012). I am 33 years old, 3 kids (13, 6, and 4) and married to an amazing husband. I am depressed, crying, feeling guilty about EVERYTHING, etc.....

The reason I have stopped drinking this time is because I had to work on St Patrick's day. (I work in a bar/restaurant). Met my coworkers at the neighboring bar and consume 4 drinks in a 40 min span and went off to work. During my work hours I continued to do car bombs, etc. I got totally drunk.

Drank more after work and came home to my family. Monday~ feeling pretty crappy about it I received a text from my boss telling me he needs to have a meeting with me. I know I am just going to get a slap on the hand from him, but still.

So this is the end of my drinking story but let me tell you about the beginning. I love to drink....makes me feel powerful.

I started drinking at the age of sixteen. I even was named the "biggest partier" in my senior year. College was a mess...went to a Christian College that didn't allow drinking and I did to the point that I am no longer in contact with any of them. I was there for 2 years.

Partied with drugs and booze nonstop that I failed all of my classes. Jump a few years that include a horrible ex husband and a kid on my hip. Moved around the country and finally came back to my home town. Had a little bit of control until I met my future husband who also loved to party (until he grew out of it) We got married had two more kids. Had a great job and then decided to be a stay at home mom full time. Now I thought it would be okay to have a glass of wine while the kids played which led to multiple bottles in one day. Fast forward 6 years.

I hide booze from my husband constantly, I start to drink around noon on some days 2:30 on others. I have had so many black outs since the end of January. I can drink anything straight out of the bottle and before I know it the whole bottle is GONE. I even have drank dry sherry to the last drop. 

I have had conversations with my kids, husband, family, friend and cannot recall any of the topics that were discussed. I have read some of the posts on your blog and it all sounds like I have written them.

I put my older brother through rehab and he is back to drinking again. My whole family drinks to excess except for my mother.

I make the dumbest mistakes when I am tanked and the next day the guilt is horrible. I do not want to go to AA for my own reasons.

Just wanted to tell someone. Today the guilt is tearing me up.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Young Mother Struggled with Pills, Now Alcohol.

***Submitted by Anonymous

I am a 32 year old woman who is married with 4 children all under the ages of 11.

Two are technically step sons but we have full custody which wasn't what I expected to happen when I married my husband nearly 7 years ago. They are better with us and I love them. My whole life I have done things fast, wanted things to work out a certain way.

So when I announced that I was buying a home, moving in with my now fiancee and his two boys, after only 6 short months no one was too surprised  I immediately wanted a baby of my own, and within two years had a little girl and a little boy. My husband worked nights as a bartender  and I worked days as a special education teacher. So we rarely spent any time together, and I began to resent my lone responsibility every night taking care of 4 kids while trying to write lesson plans.

My addiction didn't begin with alcohol, instead it started after two foot surgeries and an endless supply of lortabs. At first, I took them as directed, but it wasn't long until I craved them. I remember telling my husband I was a better mother, housekeeper with my pills. It became an obsession for me. I was always counting how many I had left, and trying to figure out how to get more. I did things that am incredibly ashamed of at one point stealing my dying grandfathers percocets.

Through it all I thought I was functioning just fine, I had my pills all day and a few glasses of wine at night which "helped me sleep". One night, I drank entirely too much and took too many pills. I awoke foggy headed the next day to both my parents and my husband doing their best at attempting an intervention. I decided to go that day with my mom, but was terrified and quite frankly didn't believe I was an addict and  had no desire to stop. Against my husbands wishes, I enrolled in an outpatient program because I had a 3 month old son at home (which I used as an excuse to not stay). I attended the sessions daily, and enjoyed the opportunity to open up.

Throughout this entire experience I would introduce myself as having depression. I never mentioned the word addict because that wasn't me. During each break, I would go to the bathroom to get my pills out and take a couple. Ironically, I became quickly bonded with a women who also suffered pill addiction, and she introduced herself as an addict. I kept my act up did my time, and then went home with the promise to my mother that I would wean off the rest of my pills. I did manage to eventually run out of pills, and I can't describe the panicky feeling in the pit of my stomach that I couldn't deal with life sober. So I didn't, I began to drink wine every night after the kids were in bed. One bottle would equal two bottles etc.

My husband began to notice the empty bottles which caused me to become defensive and begin stashing them all over the house. I remember even hiding 3 bottles of liquor in my sons diaper genie (which was empty). My husband would find the bottles and line them up on the counter top as if to show me what I already knew....I was drinking too much. My drinking has caused such a wedge between my husband and I that I feel like I''m waiting for him to leave me.

I recently switched from wine to hard liquor which I hoped would slow me down, now I drink about a fifth of vodka a night. This entire time, I have convinced myself that my life was running smoothly and I wasn't hurting anyone but me.

Here is a short summary of my last three years- Lost my teaching job when pregnant with my youngest son, went into a deep depression and begin mixing pills with alcohol, went to rehab (sort of), husband lost his job, our home burnt down last Nov., we had to live in two rental home before our home was fixed, now we are home and can't afford beds for everybody because we had to live off the money from the fire, our home in is foreclosure, I got the job of my dreams, my truck was repoed, lost the job of my dreams because I was fired for forging my managers name on my foreclosure paperwork because she was out of the building that day (stupid mistake).

So that is where alcohol has gotten me and despite reading this terribly depressing list I'll probably talk myself into having just one more drink today. I need to stop, I know otherwise my life is stuck in spin cycle, but I just don't know how or maybe I'm just not ready to admit out loud what I know inside: I'm an alcoholic. I'm scared of life sober, scared of what I don't know exactly. I am just ready to be happy.
Thanks for any help you could offer,

Friday, March 15, 2013

Just Starting Out

***Submitted by Anonymous (from November 2012)
I am so thankful I found your blog this 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 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. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Breaking the Chain of Addiction - Lara at One Year Sober

January 13, 2013, I was one year sober.

I wish I could say everyday was a battle, and my willpower got me through it. But it wasn't a battle, and it had nothing to do with willpower.

It was a choice. I stopped blaming everybody and every circumstance that hurt me, and I took responsibility for my life. I wanted a change. I no longer wanted to numb my pain or feelings. Because of these choices, I gave up the booze....with God as my strength.

I, like many alcoholics, didn't have a childhood. I was abandoned by my parents. As were my brothers and sisters. My mother chose to put the men in her life first, instead of her children. Because of this I had no father, and was forced to live with an abusive step-father. My mother didn't have it in her to be a loving, devoted mother. Because of the choices she made, it brought horrible consequences. I started drinking at age 14, along with drugs and sex.

The drinking got worse the older I got. God brought me, to my now husband of 18 years, when I was 19. He is a faithful, loving husband and father of our 3 beautiful children. They are a real blessings, and having them in my life has showed me what true love really is.

However, I still chose to drink, numbing the painful feelings of abandonment and abuse, that I had pushed so deep inside of me from my past. I started hating alcohol, instead of loving it as my dear friend and comforter. I hated waking up shameful of what I did or said, or trying to remember the things I did or said. Not to mention the horrible hangovers, weight gain, bloating, etc. Only to start it all over again the next afternoon.

I tried to quit drinking many times. I even reached out to my birth family for help one Christmas eve. I admitted to my mother, step-father, brother and sisters that I had a drinking problem and I wanted to quit for good. They just looked at me with shame and embarrassment. They continued to drink around me, however, and offered no support. Mother would even bring over pretty empty wine bottles, and bags of wine corks that she was finished with, for "decoration projects" for my kids.

My battle continued for years with my addiction to booze, as well as the abusive drama of my birth family, until something inside me finally clicked. I realized I wanted more from life than this, and I felt the Holy Spirit was urging me to wake up.

I've never been a religious person, and honestly this has nothing to do with religion. It has everything to do with a love relationship with God. With His strength, I removed myself from the toxic people in my life.

Sadly, that just happened to be my birth family. It's like my eyes opened for the first time in my life. I finally saw them for who they really were. They don't know how to love. They never had it given to them, to learn how to love.

They all still struggle with sex addiction, food addiction, alcohol, and drugs. They still choose to numb their pains, and abandonment from the past, with their drug of choice. As with all addicts, they are blaming everybody else for their circumstances, their choices, and they take zero responsibility.

I was never raised to be responsible for anything. Nobody in the family was or is. Blame, diversion, manipulation, and self-pity, are all they have to give. It's very sad. I made a choice to stop the cycle of addiction and abuse. I no longer want to pretend everything is ok, instead I face the truth.

I no longer want to walk around numb, I want to acknowledge and embrace my feelings. I no longer want to make excuses or blame, I am responsible for my choices, my actions, and my life. I am finally free to be me!

Sure, I still long for the mom and dad I never had. It would be nice to have sisters who supported me, loved me, and were able to communicate our true feelings and experiences together. But it is what it is. I now accept reality, and refuse to deny the truth any longer.

My mind is clear now, and yes sometimes it hurts to know the truth. But I am healing, I am growing stronger, and I am becoming a person I admire. For the fist time in my life I am proud of who I am. I have overcome a lot and I am setting a good example for my children. I want them to grow up knowing how to give and accept love.

God wants us to honor our mother and father. I am honoring my parents by stopping the cycle of abuse and addiction. They should be proud of that. But instead, they are full of bitterness, hate, and blame.

The next generation will not have to endure the things my siblings and I had to. I know God is proud of me for standing up for the truth, and against the evil. That is all that matters to me. I give my Heavenly Father, all the glory for what He has done in my life. I was blind, but now I see. Life is full of choices. Take responsibility for your life, pray to God for strength. For, through Him all things are possible.

The truth really does set you free!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Day One and Facing the Witching Hour

***Submitted by Anonymous

This is the first time I have written to Crying Out Now; I first want to say thank you. I have been reading on the site for the last several weeks, it has been an eye opener and a support as I have struggled with the long, lingering question of my alcohol use--alcoholic, functioning alcoholic, binge drinker? At this moment , the label doesn't concern me, just my need to stop drinking does.

My story is so similar to many of you, wife, mother, professional, full time job (until a few months ago, now out of work). Volunteer at school, member of the community, lots of friends, athlete. Began drinking at 15 and never looked back. The high of drinking, the feelings of joy, freedom, fun was completing addicting to me as a self conscious teen, one who hid all real feeling and pretended life was great! Alcohol was the perfect cover. It still is.

I've suffered from depression off and on since my twenties all related to being victimized as a child. I held it together really well for a long time (well I thought so) until a couple of years ago. The depression came back with peri-menopause and with it lots of memories of trauma. Like the good girl I am, I went back into therapy, it's been a tough road,,,I  found myself drinking every night, started with one glass of wine during the week, some more on the weekend. A few binges during the year but I was "fine", covered it all up, nothing out of the ordinary.

But something has shifted, the two to three glasses per night turned into a bottle a night a few weeks ago, black outs, being drunk at home, passing out. Scary.

After reading the site daily for these weeks, I made the decision yesterday its time to stop. For good, forever. I told my husband last night, I want to be accountable and honest. I feel I can do it,,but ugh…I so miss drinking right's the "witching hour" making dinner, waiting for hubby to come home,,I'd usually be 2 glasses in by now and feeling the freedom.

I am writing to keep myself from driving to the store to buy wine..I will stay home and power through…thanks for listening.

Friday, March 1, 2013

About To Break

***Submitted by Anonymous

I’m a 42 yr old stay at home mom.  My husband works construction, out of town… most of the time.  I have 11 yr old twin boys and an 18 yr old daughter.  A few years ago, my family and I decided to relocate to another state.  

I am not normally the type of person who has ever embraced “change” very well, but it seemed like the right thing to do at the time.  So here is where my sob story begins.  I have had nothing but bad luck since we moved.  The economy tanked…. We’ve had 5 deaths in our family / friend circle over the last 4 years.  I did try going to work, but ended up in horrible jobs.  I guess I was just spoiled by the one I left to move here (after working there for 13 yrs).  One of my twins was diagnosed with ADHD and possible tick disorders / OCD and other emotional disorders within the last year.  

Due to the economy in 2009, we lost our home.  We now live in a 3 bdrm house with my 89 yr old grandmother who cannot really live alone.  We have been here for about 3 yrs because I see that she cannot live alone and I don’t want to just leave her.  Basically, I feel like, how much can happen in such a short period of time to one family?  When will it ever stop?  Its like things just get worse and worse all the time.  

SO… I drink.  I drink a lot.  Probably for the past 3 years I have literally not gone one single day without drinking.  I wish I could say it was just wine… but its either rum or vodka.  I drink normally 6-8 drinks per night and I start in the afternoon.

I am sick of myself.  I have noticed that I don’t live.  I only exist.  I function throughout the day.  I get up and get my kids off to school, help with homework, meet with teachers, run them to the docs or their friends houses, cook dinner, etc.  I do everything I am supposed to do, I guess.  But I have no happiness or enjoyment in my life.  I feel lost.  

I feel like a totally different person than who I used to be.  I have a lot of black outs.  I have woken up quite a few times where my husband would be so upset with me for something I said the night before and I honestly couldn’t even remember the conversation.  I have woken up with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, knowing something went wrong… only to find that I had vented about anything and everything on Facebook the night before (then I spend the next few minutes trying to delete everything fast.)  

I am ashamed.  I hate myself.  I feel worthless and pitiful.  I don’t know how my husband stays with me.  I don’t know how I have any friends left because I have managed to offend most of them.  I have lost faith in myself, and given up on God or any higher power and in a way I’ve even given up on “hope”.  Literally, I am empty.  

I’m just a shell with nothing but black inside.  I have been to one AA meeting.  I don’t think it’s for me because all those people did was make me want to drink more.  I’m not religious so the whole idea of putting my problem in the hands of a higher power really makes me uncomfortable.  This is MY fault… I have no one else to blame.  My kids and husband deserve better than this.  Yet I just keep drinking.  Almost every day… I wake up with some kind of regret or self disgust.  Yet everyday, I find myself a nervous, anxious wreck.  I can’t handle any stress.  It’s like the minute something happens I just freak out.  I want to run away.  I want to hide.  I do hide.

Recently (last week)… I went in for my annual checkup and my blood came back with elevated white blood cells and liver enzymes.  I just went in today for the retest but I’m sure nothing has changed in a week.  I have had an “inside voice” telling me that something is wrong.  I am bloated all the time.  My face is swollen and I’ve gained 30 lbs in just the last year.  I’m actually a little scared (of course, apparently not scared enough to stop drinking! Ugh)  So… today, I decided I would at least make an appointment with the behavioral health center.  I did the best I could to get through it without crying and pretty much managed up until the very last few minutes with the lady who was scheduling me.  She offered me a hug and I told her I wasn’t a hugger.  I am a classic introvert, but still… how rude is that?  What is wrong with me?  Anyway, I have an appointment in a couple of days.

My boys came home today and immediately started fighting.  My ADHD kid was screaming at me because he thought he lost his homework… and then he was screaming because he didn’t want to do it, “Its too hard!”  I offer to help… nothing stops him.  I just poured myself a rum and coke.  Told him when he was ready to calm down I would help him.  Its been about an hour and a half and he’s just now seeming to be willing to work.  My other twin just sits there and shakes his head.  He is also a victim of his brother’s tantrums.  

All I want to do is crawl in a hole.  Still have to make dinner.  I feel like this is just another day where I waste myself.    

Thank you for listening.