Thursday, March 6, 2014

Turning 40...Past, Present, and what will the Future hold?

*****submitted by katlulu with 3 days

I am turning 40 in one month.  

I own my own business.  I have been with my partner, H, for nearly 10 years; we have no children by choice.  We are both well-educated.  We have created a cozy home, through my endless joy of re-purposing and design.  We cherish our beloved pets.  We are fortunate and do not stress about finances. We have beautiful friendships (only a few true ones), and we have close relationships with our families.  We often say how grateful we are.  Life seems pretty dang swell, no? 

The problem is that:

I am dependent on alcohol.  I abuse it.
I have an unhealthy relationship with food.  I abuse it.
I am dependent on nicotine.  I abuse it.

They all play into a paralyzing, vice-vicious cycle.  They feed each on and off of each other.  I learned and practiced them all together, for the last 25 years.  But first, I think that I want to get sober.

My first taste of alcohol was at a restaurant with my Dad and my stepmother.  I was very young. My Dad ordered a fancy dessert parfait just for me.  It came in a pretty glass dish that sat elegantly, on a white doily.  It was served to me with a long, graceful spoon.  Bright green, creme de menthe, poured over these little perfect scoops of vanilla ice cream.  It was so creamy and minty! And I loved and savored every last milky-green drip and drop, with my special spoon.  That night, my Dad chuckled the whole way home because I was being so funny and hyper.  I loved making him laugh! It became our tradition. 

Fast forward to high school.  My friends and I were bound and determined to be older, so we smoked and drank, experimented with drugs, and had sex.  One time, I woke up after drinking vodka, with a guy on top of me and no recollection.  Freshman summer, I slept with a guy one night, who was a sophomore in college.  The next day, he told me I had left my earrings on his nightstand.  He and his friend came to pick me up.  His friend drove a white van with only a driver and a front passenger seat.  I had to sit on the sophomore's lap. We went back to the friend's house and I remember red flags...I felt nervous being there, as the only girl with two college-aged men.  They opened half-warm cans of Busch pounders, and handed me one.  They wanted to play strip poker with me.  I played, but I felt so humiliated and ashamed.  Finally we were finished, and I just wanted to go home.  But first, the college sophomore pinned me down, and while I said no repeatedly, he assaulted me.  His friend, "wanted some too", and laughed and pounded on the locked door.  But I was only his.  They drove me home, right after.  I had to ride on the sophomore's lap.  I don't remember if I got my earrings back.

In college, I partied regularly.  Lots of beer, shots of liquor, bong hits, cocaine...blackouts.  Many sexual encounters, many I don't remember.  I was thee party queen! The sex goddess! I thought it was fun, the parts that I remember.

By my 30's, I had been married and divorced. I moved to Brooklyn, and worked and schooled in NYC.  One night after a happy hour I fell on some ice, knocked my front teeth out, and broke bones in my face.  Crazy thing is that I didn't realize that my teeth were truly gone, until the morning.

Today, nearly 20 years later, while I've calmed down significantly, red wine is my drug of choice.  I still blackout regularly.  I cringe in the mornings when trying to recollect what I did, or said the night before.  I rebuff plans, so I can stay home and safely drink.  I don't usually make or take calls after 5 o' clock.  I have to eat a chalky antacid before drinking, so my stomach doesn't feel like fire.  I wake in the night, hurting, like I've been poisoned (I have).  I can't sleep, I'm cold, then I'm sweaty-hot.  I lay there, promising myself, begging myself, no more wine.

H got a DUI.  He is recovering, and has hardly drank for the last 8 months.  I love him, and I'm so proud of him.  He has inspired me, but I couldn't stop with him, I couldn't support him the way I wanted to.

Today is my Day 3. My head hurts and it's spinning with anxiousness, my palms are wet, and my pupils are like black saucers. I've tried so many times to get it together.  I am so sick of not living bigger; there is so much more to my person, than this.   And while I so wish that I could finally grasp moderation, I am scared that will never happen.  Should I just try to stick to one or two glasses, just one more time? The thing is, I think I'm finally too tired to try it again.  Tired of the insanity.

I think I am ready for my 40th birthday...sober.  At least I am today.