Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Scared to Stop, Scared to Keep Drinking

***Submitted by Anonymous

I want to drink most days, and over the last many years, probably since college, I have, with a few exceptions here and there. during pregnancy I stopped.

I don't black out, though after a few I don't remember conversations and details very well the next day, and this is embarrassing, especially since my husband has been sober for 29 years (we've been married less than a year).

I usually stop after 2 big glasses, about 1/2 bottle of wine, but it would be so easy to keep going. It's been a long time since I've drank a whole bottle, but if I don't fall asleep first, it would be quite easy to do.

I've created some good stop-gaps in my life: responsible job, sober husband, waking early to read, write, pray or whatever; I exercise.

Sometimes I think my drinking takes up a bigger space in my head than it does in my real life, yet I struggle not to drink just the couple of glasses. I am ecstatic when I wake up and haven't had a drink the night before.

My husband very respectfully talked to me about my drinking. he knew when we married I drank and he was cool with that; he's been sober long enough he is careful to keep his sobriety as his main priority. He has seen me drink enough to slur words and be kind of snotty to him.

I love my couple of glasses of wine.

But I feel like a sneak, because that's what I'm doing. I'm looking for opportunities to drink and hide it from him. I justify this as being respectful of his sobriety, being respectful of not drinking in front of his children….

While I have not experienced 'big negative consequences in the last 20 years or so (I'm 56), I did wreck a car drunk in my 20s, I am so aware of the 'missed opportunities' that have come and gone because I have dulled myself by drinking.

I know that I haven't been present for people I love.

I've gone to some open AA meetings with my husband and was blown away by what I saw and felt.

I am terrified to suggest to him that I may stop drinking: I'm not sure I want to make that commitment.

I don't want him being a watchdog on me if I change my mind or fail…

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Power of Doing The Next Right Thing - Life After A DUI

***Submitted by Anonymous
I am an avid reader of your website and your individual blogs as well.  Writing has been an incredible tool for me in Recovery, and I felt compelled (combined with all the other self doubting emotions) to share this with you.  Thank you for all of the work that you do.

I'm cleaning out my refrigerator today, dusting my end tables, folding laundry and matching little socks to stow away in little drawers.  I'm making lists of Doctor's numbers and emergency plans, veiled thinly as helpful for my ex-husbands use, if God forbid, he should need them, but in all honesty it's for myself, to ease this pain of helplessness.  On Monday morning, I will report to the County Jail to serve my 5 day sentence for driving under the influence. 
It's been almost 7 months since the night of my arrest, and since then I have regained some of the credibility that I lost when my addiction spiraled out of control.  I have worked extra hours at my job, knowing that no amount of apologizing for my lack of performance during the time I spent using would have the same impact as just putting my head down and working, hard and steady.

I have faced my small community, one event at a time, with a tight chest and sweaty palms, aware that along with my name in the local paper, next to the crime that I committed, hitchhiked the inevitable wonder from fellow parents if I may have, at one time or another put their children at risk. 

I have called my sponsor most days, good or bad, and done some really simple, but painstakingly difficult work with her.  I have looked into my children's eyes, and apologized, and then packed lunches, told bedtime stories, made beds, and planned Birthday parties, each of these gestures, small or large, showing them I'm here, I'm committed. 

I stood in front of the Judge almost 7 months ago, and asked her if I may defer my jail sentence, I'd use the extra time to gain some credibility at work, and with my ex-husband, in effort to keep my job, and not lose custody of my children.   I asked for help, and she said yes, and I have felt huge motivation to make this time productive, which it has been, but now, it is time for me to put my head down, and take my consequence. 

It feels like living a double life dealing day to day with addiction.  In one hand I hold being a woman who likes to spend hours in the woods connecting her breath with falling leaves, in the other, I hold a woman who watched the clock each day trying to prolong the first drink, but building towers of excuses as to why today, just today, she deserved it a little earlier.  
In one hand I hold the woman who's Spirit feels lifted by preparing food for her children, and sharing meals over laughter and conversation, and in the other I hold the woman who couldn't be woken at night to get them water, who drove with them when she shouldn't have, who hid bottles of wine and vodka in secret spots and then scolded them when they asked her why they were there.  
Seven months ago, I thought that I couldn't live without a drink, and today, I wonder how I made it out alive.
I am grateful, and humble.  I am strong enough to stay sober, but I fear that I will slip.  I am a woman that sat last night at my daughter's field hockey game, chatting with the other parents, and sipping tea, and I am a woman who will turn herself into the County Jail on Monday morning. This is where I am, and this is where it can take you, all at the same time.