First, I want to take a minute to say THANK YOU to all of you who read and follow me, I am truly overwhelmed and incredibly grateful! The outlet of this blog not only makes you laugh, but keeps me sane and gets me out of my own head, hence “I’ll be out in a minute.” Every now and then I feel the need to be serious, but it always passes rather quickly…so this post will fall under that category.
Let’s be clear, I didn’t have a drinking problem, I had a stopping problem.
I have been a good old-fashioned weekend warrior problem drinker for the past 15 years, and have been a daily drinker for the past 10, with the exception of pregnancies. The quantity necessary to catch the buzz that I wanted increased, the drinking hour began earlier and earlier and I started making really bad decisions. I drove intoxicated on a regular basis. I flipped my Land Rover on its side. Blackouts started becoming more and more frequent. I was there physically, but I had emotionally checked out from my family. I would not attend a function or event if it did not serve alcohol or I could not bring it or hide it. Vodka became the tragic center of my universe and my world around it slowly atrophied. These are things that I only realize now that I’ve got some decent sobriety under my belt, and the clarity that comes with it. Obviously there’s a lot involved before and after, but you get the gist. I was a fucking hot mess.
Over the past 7 years, and particularly the past 3, my drinking had escalated to a level which I went to great lengths not only to hide, but protect. Believe me, everyone knew I was a drinker ~ I was a vodka with a splash of club soda, extra ice, quarter of a lemon, and pour it like you hate the owner kind of girl. I am an extrovert, an asshole at times, extremely social, and rather uninhibited so it was easy for me to hide in plain sight. You see how I am now…put about 6 Tervis Tumblers of vodka in me and it’s funny for a while, until suddenly red flags are popping up everywhere, and your friends start forming “informal interventions.”
Granted, I have had to deal with many traumatic events throughout my life, but who hasn’t? The past 2 years I lost myself and allowed that self-pity to take me deep into depression. But instead of dealing with the problems, the feelings, I just poured an increasing amount of vodka on them, and this in turn did wonders for my depression.
I had the immense pleasure of being notified, in therapy, by my husband of 8 years, that I needed to quit drinking and to start by getting my ass to AA. What? Did I miss the memo? This was ridiculous, I could cut down if I wanted to! I was PISSED, and I mean pissed! So, like any good alcoholic, I stormed out of our therapy session, flew home, poured myself a ginormous drink, at 10:30am and grabbed a bottle of vodka. I packed a bag, texted my husband that he was responsible for picking up the kids, and 911 dialed my best friends and headed over to my father’s house which was empty because he was in Florida. I don’t know why my friends put up with me as long as they did, and still do, but they all came over for support and I proceeded to cry hysterically and get myself blackout shit faced drunk with self-pity. That morning when I woke up and looked at myself in the mirror, I knew what I had to do, and I was terrified.
That was the last drink I’ve had, and that was November 9, 2011.
I’m from a family of alcoholics. There’s no question I was an alcoholic way before I ever even took my first drink because a big part of being alcoholic is alcoholic behavior. I have been able to use a vast array of mind altering substances and alcohol to get as far away from myself as I’ve wanted (or needed) since I was 13.
so now I am a 41-year-old woman, with emotions powerful enough to plow me over or rip me to pieces sometimes. I have never learned to handle them like a normal adult. I am finding this is very typical of alcoholics. The good news is that you get your emotions back, the bad news is that you get your emotions back. Now the challenge is to be comfortable enough in my own skin that I can stop trying to get out of myself all the time. Surprisingly it’s not as much about learning how to live with out drugs or alcohol, as it is about learning how to handle actual sobriety, how to live life on life’s terms. I now know I am an alcoholic, I have the only disease that tells me I don’t have a disease. It is indeed cunning, baffling and powerful.
“One Day At A Time” “It works if you work it” Shoot me in the fucking head I am sitting in a cliché!
It made my skin crawl when I first started to go to AA meetings – all those sayings. The irony is not lost on me that “one day at a time” is the simple principle upon which I now choose to lead my life. I am no longer plagued by anxiety of the future and I try not to hold onto resentments of the past or waste time worrying about what could have been. I have made a decision to live in the day, and that’s it. It’s that simple, and that little piece of advice has turned my life around tremendously. I”m far from perfect, it’s a work in progress.
I never in a million years thought that I would be drinking up the proverbial AA Kool-Aid so happily and coming back for more. Call it a cult if you will, but I dig my cult. My cult is awesome. I get to test drive some of my best material there. I go to 5-6 meetings a week, have a home group, have a sponsor (who is one of the coolest women on the planet btw) and I run one of the meetings on Tuesday nights. See, “it’s not worth doing if it’s not worth overdoing.”
For me, it’s a tremendous gift, and a perfect fit. Sobriety is the most beautiful gift I have probably ever been given, just delivered in one of the ugliest wrap jobs I’ve ever seen. I am finding out who I really am for the first time, I am getting out of my own way, I am experiencing happiness that I used to have to try to alcoholically manufacture. I enjoy my children and my life so much, I am grateful, I am humbled. The best part is that I am breaking the chain, I can now give my kids the greatest gift of all, something I never had, a sober Mother.