Sunday, August 18, 2013

Spinning Wheels

***Submitted by Anonymous

 I feel like I am spinning wheels, stuck in the same vicious cycle. 
I feel like I have ruined yet another summer  for my kids because I am hung over 4 days a week at least and on those days I have no patience. I raise my voice and I do not feel like going anywhere or doing anything.  
You know it is sad when your 7 year old son asks you not to drink anymore!!!  
I have so much going for me, a successful business that allows me to work from home around my family, I go to a great church, my kids are in private school and we are all healthy and happy.  So what is my problem?  
Most evenings I feel like I am forcing myself to drink almost against my will and the reason is that it seems like a good place to escape after a long day at home.  
During the summer my drinking is always worse because I feel like I have not a minute to myself .  A lot of mothers joke about drinking and drinking a lot but I am no longer seeing the humor in it at all!!
The only days that I like myself anymore are the ones when I wake up and realize that I did not drink the night before and on those days I am the best mom, wife and the best me.  I feel like I can achieve all of my dreams on those days, so why do I drink that night and ruin that feeling??  
I run marathons and work out 6 days a week and it seems that all I am doing is burning off the booze and all the hard work is wasted.  
I practically starve myself to save up the sick is that.  One of my kids the other day asked me why I never eat (when we were at the table for dinner)  and I just looked into those sweet eyes and thought " Dear God what kind of example am I setting"?  I was actually ashamed of myself.
I simply am not drinking anymore. I do not want to be such a poor example for my children and I want my husband to be proud of the person that I know that I am.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Close to Admittance

*** Submitted by Gwen Ordell

I finish other people’s drinks.  I have a drink while getting ready to go out.  Sometimes two.  Recently, that drink was powdered Gatorade mixed with water and gin because that’s all we had in the house.  I change when I get drunk.  I get mean.  Like my dad.  More often than not, I drink to excess.  I forget things.  Entire conversations.  How I got home.  Things I said.  I find myself apologizing.  And agonizing. 

My hangovers are mentally destabilizing.  I want to stay in bed all day, and even though I am currently unemployed and could technically lie around all day doing not much of anything, my day-after anxiety is so bad that most days I leap out of bed and eat a little Adderall to get going.  The drug probably only exacerbates the anxiety, but when I am in a bad state, I believe I need it to function, to get out the door for a run or to the store or before an interview.  The physical accompaniments are nothing in comparison to the mental anguish I experience the day after a night of heavy drinking.  A few people I know feel the intense mental debilitations that I do; we call it rotting.  I’d assumed we’d just accepted it as an unfortunate addendum to the fun, but perhaps there was more to it. 

I am a marathon runner.  I take good care of my boyfriend and our dog.  I have close friendships and lots of hobbies.  I am smart.  I clean the house, cook dinner, read The New Yorker, practice yoga, visit art galleries and museums, have lunch regularly with a woman my grandmother’s age. 

And I drink.  A lot.  I don’t know when to hit the Stop switch.  I don’t think I have one. Sometimes I only have a single beer or a glass of wine.  My boyfriend, B, and I can go out to dinner, and I don’t need to get drunk.  I don’t need to drink at all, but usually I do.  If I am out with friends or at a party, I have a hard time stopping because I always think I need more.  I’m never drunk enough.  I want to keep the party going.  I will say that I don’t feel anything, and I will order a fifth or sixth drink.  The next day I will remember the point at which I didn’t feel drunk yet, the point at which I kept on drinking, the point which led me to forget the rest.

It’s odd to me that some people can get wasted and nothing bad will happen.  And others, like me, inevitably become darker and different at the end of the day or night.  I mostly know this because of what my boyfriend has told me and also because I’ve seen it in my own father.  Some of my friends get drunk only rarely now.  We are not in college now, so dealing with a bad hangover and high level of unproductivity several times a week is unacceptable.  Inappropriate even.  But lately, I've been going hard most nights I partake in imbibing.

“Do you remember breaking up with me last night?” B asked me the morning after what I thought had been an amazing evening of entertaining in our apartment.  My sister was in town.  Our friends had joined us for dinner as well, and although I’d known we had consumed a lot of wine (and gin and beer), and all been pretty buzzed, I didn’t think anything untoward had gone down.  I didn’t remember fighting with B!  Since he was acting nonchalantly casual and not pissed off, we dropped the topic.  Maybe he was joking?

It didn’t take long for me to get drunk again and wake up feeling like garbage, the night before a mere blur.  This time, when B and I sat down to talk about what had happened, he told me he thought I had a drinking problem.  The words “high-functioning alcoholic,” “reliance on prescription drugs,” “whole new level of crazy,” stung.

What was he saying?  Was he leaving me?  What exactly had transpired the night before? 

These questions, these thoughts are so common and painful that I don’t know how I’ve gotten by so long.  I don’t know how I haven’t destroyed all of my relationships.

It seemed the only way out of the conversation with B was to agree with him.  No point in defending myself if I couldn’t even recall what had passed between us.  But that was the truth, anyway, wasn’t it? B was right: I have a drinking problem. 

Later that day, I went online and googled high-functioning alcoholic, and I found loads of information.  I share a lot of the traits of an HFA, but does that mean I am one?  Maybe I just have a problem that I’ve yet to learn to control consistently.  I can say that I might have a drinking problem, but I am not ready to say that I am a high-functioning alcoholic.  If I were to say that, what would it mean?  I’d have to stop drinking altogether?  Go to AA meetings?  Tell people I no longer drink? Tell them I am an alcoholic?  NEVER again savor a glass of wine?  Be the person at parties who drinks sparkling water with lime? 

I know I need to do something.  I need to make changes in my life.  And I intend to.  The idea of waiting until I hit rock bottom to shape up doesn’t exactly thrill me.  The thought of losing B because I cannot hold my liquor and when I have too much, I flare up and become a belligerent being and hurt him tremendously scares me like nothing else in the world but, then again, so does never drinking again.  

And that there, of course, is the real problem. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Married to Drinking Partner - Trying To Get Sober Again

***Submitted by Anonymous

Day 1 after yet another hang over day, so it could really be day 2.  But I can't count it as that, I usually don't drink the day after I drink too much I am far too sick to even think about it.

I am 49 years old, married (to my best friend and drinking partner), no children of my own, but two lovely grown up step daughters and 3 grandchildren.

 I am a business owner which is just as well as I would surely be fired due to the number of "sick" days I take off work.  I really don't want to face the reality, but the reality is that at least 2 days out of 5 I am out of commission due to hangovers.

 If I just about manage to drink not quite as much and make it to work...but oh so fuzzy...can't concentrate or do my job effectively.  Then of course I drink again that night...and so the roller coaster goes.....I desperately want to get off this roller coaster.

This state of affairs did not happen overnight.  My husband and I were both sober and in AA when we married over 16 years ago.  2 years completely sober and about 5 years of mostly sober.  Then came the wine in cooking...and then the wine in a glass...then back on the rum and it has been 15 years (really is it that long?) with some very brief times of "we just can't do this anymore".  We encourage each other to stop...then we encourage each other to start again.  He wants to go to AA out of our small town...I am not so keen, I don't think it works for me, unless I could find a woman only group.  I think I need to find my own path to sobriety, not joined at the hip with much as I love him and I know he loves me I think we need to find our own independent sobriety, perhaps then we could be strong for each other?

I just can't keep this up any longer this cycle of sickness is killing me physically and mentally  and it will eventually kill my business (if I face facts it is already suffering) and my relationships ("no honey, Grandma can't pick you up to stay overnight" she wants to have drink instead) is only a matter of time....I know it.  I feel trapped, dreading this evening when I will be faced yet again with decision of picking up that drink that leads to oblivion.

I have been reading your blog and it gives me hope...I know it is one day at a time and I will try to make this day count.