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.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Falling Hurts

***Submitted by Anonymous

I should know by now that falling hurts.

So how did I manage to fall so many times?

The simple answer was, that I don't remember.  I'd have blacked out. Who knows what I'd gotten up to or where I'd been.   I was 15.  I'd managed to hide it from my parents, siblings, friends.  The ones who saw me drunk loved how I'd keep up with the boys, drink for drink.  But pretty soon just getting drunk wasn't enough, I'd throw in any prescription drugs or non prescription drugs for  that matter, if I'm going to tell the story then I best be truthful with myself and tell it all.
 
I remember those years as school and then drunk.  I'd behave throughout the week, then get mothered as I used to put it all weekend.  I can't remember my weekends from 15 - 18 years old.
 
At 18, I went all grown up. Sobered up, got myself a respectful job, a car, a boyfriend and things were pretty good.   Most of the time I would 'behave' but then I'd have some pretty big binge drinking blowouts. But it was all in good humor, good fun and I was safe... Right??????

Fast forward to the birth of my first daughter (aged 25) I was the picture perfect mum, doting, loving, sober - and that was a choice I made so I could breastfeed for as long as possible.
 
I had another daughter 3 and a half years later, again I was loving, doting and sober, in and for the children's best interests.

Once I stopped breast feeding I was allowed to drink again. I wasn't going to hurt the kids but having a wine so it was full steam ahead.
 
I'd have a social wine - I didn't like wine, so then I moved onto vodka.  Well it was like finding an old long lost friend and we got right back into the swing of things.
 
I went out very few times a year due to the fact that I was a stay-at-home Mom, but when I did..... Well there would always be stories:
 
Like the time I was staying in a hotel of a casino with my husband.  I drunk 2 bottles of wine and quite a few cocktails during the night... He tucked me into bed and went down to catch up with his mates..... I slept a bit but then began throwing up, all over myself and the bed I was in.  I can remember thinking to myself - blow it out, you can't swallow it, don't breath it, spit it out.
 
I gave my husband the worst fright that night, friends came in and stripped me off, changed the bed, made me well.  In the morning we met for breakfast with our friends. They knew how ill I'd been but cheered me on for "living to tell the tale".  
 
Or 
 
It was the Christmas work function, an all you can drink, eat and party kinda night.
 
Luckily for me some of the people at the function center that night were nurses.
 
I was right into the swing of things, dancing, drinking, shots, dancing and fun fun fun.  The room got a bit blurry, so I went to sit down at the table. A few minutes later I was vomiting over everything, everywhere.  I became non responsive, my eyeballs rolled to the back of my head, I had my employees holding my head up and hair out of my face/vomit.   My ride soon arrived and I left......and was admitted to hospital.  The ambulance personnel had to cut me out of my clothes, (with my husbands permission). My breathing was so shallow, heartbeat irregular and to be truthful I don't recall a thing of it at all.  I was woken every half hour, given 5 bags of fluids, and allowed a short time to sleep.  My husband and children came the next morning to take me home.  I had to tell the kids that I'd bumped my head and that was why I was in hospital.
 
There were many lows to that day, all are scorched into my pride.  I swore I would never ever drink like that again.
 
A week later I took my youngest daughter to see my GP.  After we had sorted out her problem (ear infection). He then turned to me, and said that he was going to call me anyway so he'll just say it now..... He had my hospital notes, my blood alcohol level was .53
 
I should have been dead.    
 
There was no nice way to put it.

Sober I became, till the next time.
 
I sat at a friends house, I felt like my husband no longer wanted to be with me, he was always out with his mates drinking and having fun.  I was stuck at home with the kids, so went to my mates house for a quick drink.
 
It was a very quick one.  It hardly even touched the sides, so we had another, another, another,another, another, another,    My kids went to bed at her house, safe, happy and well.
 
So we had another, another, another, another, another.... Then I went quiet, the room spun and I vomited all over her expensive carpet.
 
My husband came to get me, we went home in his taxi that bought him to me.   I stumbled inside, 
Got undressed and went to have a shower.  Hubby climbed into bed to sleep.  Three hours later hubby is yelling at me to wake up, I've collapsed in the shower and blocked the plug hole....  So thats another time I could have died through a binge drinking session, and to make things worse I'd flooded my house!!!!   I spent the next four hours trying to get the water out of the Carpet.  In the end I had to call the insurance company....  Lesson learned, you'd think...

I opened the mail the other week, and there was a beautiful invitation to our friends wedding overseas.... Woohoo I thought.  Holiday!!!!!

But then I started thinking, and thinking, and thinking some more. Holiday + relaxing + booze= nearly dead.  
 
And that was when I realized that I can't have a single drink ever again.  EVER

That was 1st May, 2013

Monday, May 13, 2013

Who Am I?

***Submitted by Anonymous
 
I think I’m an alcoholic. 
 
Just typing that word makes me cry and shake. They say that if you think you have a problem, you probably do.

I drink too much. Almost nightly and one bottle quickly becomes another and then I have a hangover the next morning and feel guilty and promise myself I’ll do it again. I’ll never pour that glass of wine, not even one.

That’s a lie. I lie to myself.

I throw the bottles away wrapped in newspaper to hide them. I’m so ashamed. My husband knows I drink but I’m certain he has no clue just how much. I’ve reached out and said I think I’m sick, I think I need help, I think I have a problem. My family tells me I’m fine. My husband says don’t buy it anymore.

If it were only that easy!

I ask myself why I drink. I talk to myself as I’m driving to the store even asking why over and over. Drinking numbs me. It makes me feel giddy when I’m not. It helps me loosen up and talk to my husband because otherwise I probably wouldn’t talk much to him. Drinking relaxes me and allows me to enjoy sex or do more in bed then I ordinarily would. I think my husband likes for me to drink because of this. I drink to ease my mind. I feel so much pressure, so much stress and anxiety. The expectations are too much some days.  I drink to forget stuff and not feel guilty but in the end I feel worse.

I always feel worse.

Drinking has led me down bad paths of saying stuff I shouldn’t. Hurting people’s feeling and yes making people think I’m not the good person that I know I am.

I am a good person; I did not always drink like this so why do I do it now? What in the Sam hell is wrong with me and where did I go? How can I get back to my old self again?

So here I am saying I think I’m an alcoholic or at least I abuse alcohol. I’m not sure where to turn. Who to call or what to do because the shame and judgment is something I am so fearful of.  I do not know how to function in social settings without the drink or how I’ll say no. People know me for loving my wine. For it making me funny, talkative and happy go lucky. Would my husband, my friend and family love me the same without it? I wonder now because it seems so weaved into who I am now that I don’t know how to separate from it.

I need support, guidance and that’s why I’m here because I’m not sure where else to go. I don’t want to hit rock bottom but I see that the bottom could be near if I’m not careful or don’t make a change.
It’s time for a change before it’s too late.

Today I am making the change because I simply cannot feel like this again tomorrow or the day after that.  
I want my old self back.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

20 Days Sober

***Submitted by Anonymous

This is my 20th day sober.
 
For many reasons I decided it was time to quit drinking. Going to alcoholics anonymous has helped, but this week I've been struggling with the thought of NEVER drinking again. I'm only 21 years old and the thought of saying I'm never going to do something again seems kind of ridiculous to me.
 
I just feel like that just because at this point in my life I've had problems with alcohol, who says that will always be the case?
 
I went through with the first step in AA, to admit that I am powerless over alcohol. But all of a sudden I'm questioning myself. Who says I am powerless? Everybody around me? Am I admitting this only because I feel like its what I'm supposed to do?
 
What if after a year of sobriety I decide I want to drink a couple glasses of wine or a beer? Or what if I end up deciding that I never want to drink again? 
 
All of these questions have been flooding my brain today after meeting with my sponsor. I guess the best advice she gave me was to live for today and in the present moment.
 
So I guess the best I can do is not worry about tomorrow, or where I'll be in a year from now and do what I feel is right for today...
 
For today I choose to be sober. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

At The Starting Line - A Mom Speaks Her Truth

***Submitted by Anonymous

I was raised with alcohol.  From a very young age my dad would give me wine with dinner.  We had a very full wine cellar in our house and as a teenager I would swipe bottles and drink them with my friends.

College was great fun, tons of parties, drinking every weekend.  Lots of hangovers but I still made dean's list every semester.

Moved to New York to work an awful teaching job, started going to happy hour 2 to 3 days a week, and drinking well past that hour.  Generally would miss at least one day of work a month because I was too hungover to get out of bed.  And it continued like that for the next several years.  My drinking was manageable, but it was an unhealthy amount and I hated that I wanted it so much.

Then I found out I was pregnant.  Over 2 months along by the time I finally found out (had always had very irregular periods) and spent the rest of my pregnancy sober but in an absolute panic about the amount of alcohol I had drank before I knew.  It was a lot.  I was convinced my baby would be deformed or retarded or have fetal alcohol syndrome... I remember praying to God and telling him that if he let my baby be ok I would never touch another drop of alcohol... and I really thought I meant it.  Well, he was born perfect.  
 
He is now a beautiful and very smart 21-month-old.  Within 3 weeks of his birth I was drinking again. Not too much because I was nursing.  By the time he was 6 months old he was drinking bottles.  And I started drinking bottles.  Staying at home with my little guy was great but it gave me ample opportunity to get my drinking to an entirely unmanageable level.  
 
It used to be one bottle of wine a night.  Now it's a bottle of wine before my husband gets home and then a bottle when he's home.  It's awful.  It's not every night, but I can't go more than 3 or 4 nights without.  It makes me hate myself so much and feel so guilty for being such a loser.  My son deserves so much better, and as much as I know that and want to change for him, I just can't.  
 
I wake up after a drinking night and the thoughts going through my head are always the same: This is it, I'm done, I'm going to Alcoholics Anonymous, I'm going to get sober.  But a few days later the urge to drink kicks in and it's so strong and I try to fight it but it's too much.  And I love drinking.  Sitting outside, watching my son play, drinking the first of my many drinks is wonderful, makes me feel so happy and relaxed.  

Thanks for reading, makes me feel a little better to admit to somebody how much I drink.  Not even my husband knows that by the time he comes home I'm on my second bottle.  
 
My friends don't know, my family doesn't know.  But now you readers all know and it's kind of liberating.