Sunday, December 22, 2013

ENDING A 20 YEAR AFFAIR WITH ALCOHOL

*** submitted by Anonymously by a 43 year old, professional single woman


3 days ago I arrived at work, a little late and a lot hung-over.  It was my first day back after an unintended 4 day weekend.  The previous 4 days consisted of one very hung-over day and 3 drinking days.  I called in sick Monday (I have over 100 hours of sick time...what will it hurt?) and had a scheduled day off on Tuesday.  I was a little late that morning (13 beers the previous day-it was my day off!) but the day proceeded normally, we had just finished a very busy 3 or 4 weeks so it was pretty slow (another justification for calling in on Monday).  At about 3 pm I was called into a meeting with my VP and my direct boss and was informed that not only was I not getting an annual bonus but was being placed on a 90 day performance plan.  This was without a warning, I had made a few mistakes in the previous weeks but felt that I had contributed a great deal during the busy time and the previous 11 months.  My lack of consistency was cited and that I made more mistakes and missed more days than anyone else on the team.  The VP looked me straight in the eyes and told me she couldn't understand why I was sabotaging myself and that if I was really honest with myself I would understand why this was necessary.  With tears in my eyes, I said that I understood and was sent home for the rest of the day.  

I cried the whole drive home, feeling like I had been found out, feeling humiliated and embarrassed.  My normal reaction after such an upsetting encounter would be to pick up a six pack on the way home and spend the rest of the day wallowing in self-pity and getting drunk.  A voice inside of my head shouted "NO!" and I listened.  Something clicked in me and I knew that exact behavior landed me in the situation I found myself in.  

My resolve to end my 20+ year affair with booze is fairly strong, but I know it's a slippery slope.  Many times previously I have experienced consequences after which I swore to myself that I would stop.  I think the longest I have abstained was 30 days, I felt great, but that nagging voice kept at me "you can have just one...you earned it, had a rough day..."  

So here I sit on a Friday night, feeling the sting of the last few days, but I am not drinking.  The thought of drinking leaves me a little queasy; I can taste the sour bile of the next morning, feel the headache and upset stomach. 
I am feeling physically sick at the thought of taking that first sip and I officially have 3 days sober.  Reading your blog and listening to some episodes of The Bubble Hour (www.TheBubbleHour.com)  has been so helpful to me.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

I WANT MY MOTHER BACK

*** Submitted by Sue, daughter of an addict/alcoholic


I am deeply sad and sometimes I feel hopeless too. The rest of time I am just cynical and I can barely believe in change. I am the daughter of an addict who wasn't violent, wasn't of outrageous behavior, but on the contrary … she was an angel for me. She was so gentle.  So full of love and kindness that I used to think during my childhood that I could actually see her gentleness and kindness. It was like an aura - in her hands, her voice, and in her face. I still find her unique, but she doesn't even resemble the woman who is the mother I remember.

She has been in active addiction for 20 years now.  I see that she is choosing her addiction. She is numbed most of the days in a week. She gets furious without reason.  What hurts the most is that she doesn’t seem to care about the fact that she is slipping deeper into this vicious illness. I feel she just wants to stay with her drink.  She does not care if we are around, if we are happy or sad, if we want her to stop, if we have a life to live and want to share it with her.  I just can’t believe that I am losing her, but I am. 

And there is me: I feel so impotent.  I can’t speak about this with her although I would like to.  I have to try to rescue her but I’m paralyzed.  It’s like a trauma that will not allow me to speak. I think the fact that I have these two pictures of my mother – her being a perfect parent (that she truly is and was), gentle, sweet, kind.  My addicted mother: not caring, choosing a life without us, a numbed life. I am caught between these two pictures - and I can’t act to help her. I can’t talk to her about her addiction when she is lucid because it feels like I would hurt her, I would offend her and she is so different when she doesn’t drink.

I want my mother back in my life but I feel her so far away and I don’t have the power to go get her …

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

FEELING HOPEFUL AT LAST


*** submitted by Anonymous

Since writing this brave, honest post, the author remains sober today, several months later.


Thank you for this site. I found it after I stumbled upon the article in Redbook magazine. I remember that day, how I started to read the words and then quickly snapped it shut. Kind of like you do when you attempt to open the door of a closet with too much stuff in it. Hit too close to home I guess. I knew then, deep inside that the story read so much like my life, but didn't want to believe it. Later I came here again and again, wine glass in hand, and it always made me cry.

I'm 43, and have been drinking almost every day for probably more than 6 or 7 years. I don't even know for sure. I've been married to an amazing man for nearly 23 years. I am a stay-at-home mother of 2, (kids 10 and 8) and also help run our family business from home. I think that when I decided to quit my job in the Information Technology field to stay home with our kids, while it was a choice I haven't regretted, I believe I began to feel very alone, and 'less than,' if that makes sense. Drinking seemed to solve so many problems for me. I felt I deserved to enjoy my wine. I have become isolated, no one has really known me because I didn't want them to. Wine has been my friend - only - you know, the kind that stabs you in the back.

Similar to other stories I've read here, what started out as 1-2 glass a couple of nights a week, somehow has steadily increased to 1.5 liters a day or more…sometimes beginning at noon (or 9am when I finish what I left in the glass from last night because, well I don't want to waste it, right?). Alternating between about 4 different liquor stores, moving from bottled wine to box, naps in the afternoon to feel better- only to start again at 6pm. Experiencing the 3 AM wake time where I lay in bed filled with fear and dread, hating myself, wondering if there is even a way out. Crying out to God to help me. Hating myself more when I realized I've gained 25lbs. Looking terrible, and feeling worse than I look. I have 'functioned' well enough, but for how long before it all falls apart? It's a time bomb. I've tried cutting back, and I always have gone back to it, stuffing the nagging thoughts away. 

Several of my family members are alcoholics. I guess I am too. It may sound crazy to some, but now I believe God has stepped in, and I am trusting that. Grabbing a hold of Him for dear life. 

I've been sober for 9 days. During this time I've felt hung over, been very tired, had headaches, felt fuzzy brained, clumsy, a bit forgetful, and of course irritable. I slept a bunch the first few days, along with listening non-stop to all the Bubble Hour broadcasts available on my ipod shuffle. 

I usually walk into my house every other day with a 3 liter box of wine, this last week I've walked in with two 12 packs of bubble-water. I still miss my wine, some minutes more than others, but I have to say that despite everything, I haven't felt this good since I was about 29. 


The most beautiful thing is that dread and fear are gone, replaced by HOPE. Someone said on the Bubble Hour that they didn't want to 'count' their days sober, they wanted to 'collect' them. I like that. That's what I want.