Lot’s going on in my mind right now. Been listening to the bubble hour for at least an hour a day, and reading sober blogs. Also reading Jason Vale’s Kick the Drink and now reading Anthony Robbins, “Awake the Giant Within”. I’ve decided to life alcohol free and I’m feeling secure in my decision personally…I mean I’ve been wrestling with the idea for almost a year now. Before, I wanted to live free of the consequences of alcohol, but I hadn’t completely committed to living alcohol free. I thought I could just go long stretches without drinking, then have a few, and be okay. I think I’ve known better for a while, but I was just holding on to this little hope that I could drink normally.
But, that was never really the case. In the past 3 years, I haven’t wanted to drink “normally”, whatever that is. I’ve wanted to drink until I either ran out of wine or passed out. I’ve wanted to want to drink normally. I’ve even wanted to want to quit. I’m lucky that I’m okay…at least I think I am. Which brings me to what’s going on with me now.
My last drink was on Christmas. By “drink” I mean a lot. I sipped on wine at 10am while my kids opened presents. I felt horrible guilt, and even joked about my glass of wine out loud. I’m not normally a 10 am drinker. By 11 am some of my neighbors were drinking Christmas cheer…”yes!”, I thought, “some partners in crime”… I started to feel normal…no scratch that…I didn’t feel normal. I knew the whole time that I was a fraud and it was awful. When I joined my neighbors, I was just happy I could hide behind their Christmas imbibing for a while and get drunk. Two hours later, I took a nap. Woke up and went to a show with my family, where I drank a bottle of wine. Sadly, that’s really not that much for me to drink. Not anymore. I came home and the same neighbors were still drinking. I drank some vodka and cranberry. My daughter went to bed and my other daughter went out with friends. I continued drinking with the neighbors and I don’t remember walking home and falling asleep on my couch. Woke up again a few hours later and drank one more strong vodka and juice drink. Slept again. Woke up feeling badly. Was glad I didn’t have to work. I crawled up to bed…head cloudy and pounding. I slept horribly. Woke up feeling defeated. I am either going to live alcohol free, or pay a very high price. My next thought is, “yeah right, you’ve tried this before, by 3pm you’ll be looking forward to that afternoon glass of wine…scary.
The day after Christmas we were watching documentaries on life in North Korea (we are history and politic buffs)…at one point my 15 year old looks over at me (keep in mind, I was sure to shower, put on my face, have my coffee and at least outwardly hide my hungover self. My daughter may have an inkling something’s wrong, I don’t know. We were sitting in the living room talking politics. I was hoping that she didn’t know how hungover I felt. I was having my usual conflicting thoughts.) Anyway, during the documentary, she looks at me and says (speaking of imprisoned North Koreans that are cut off from internet, society, cell phones, news, etc), ” They don’t even know what they are missing, they don’t have a concept of freedom”…and I said, “how horrible that someone is enslaved, but they don’t even know they are enslaved…in their world they think they’re making choices when they’re really just slaves.” BAM. The realization hit me so profoundly that I could barely breath…I am not controlling this. I am a slave. And if I drink, at all, ever, I am choosing slavery. Slavery to an addition. There is no middle ground. There is no “controlled social drinking”. That’s a game. That’s me playing with fire. Game over. I want to be free.
After this last binge, I have felt itchy, irritable, tired, had muscle spasms in my feet, my face is breaking out. Holy, moly, I am physically withdrawing unlike I ever have before. My thoughts and emotions are all over the place. I have to keep it together at work, but at home I’m treating myself to good food, plenty of liquids, vitamins, and moderate exercise (I want to succeed this time so I’m trashing that “self-punishment” mentality that I’ve had for so long.) I can just feel my body trying to finish expelling this poison. I wonder if I’ve damaged my liver or some other internal body part? Will I recover, or will I find that I’ll feel like this indefinitely…maybe I ruined my brain with all that wine and vodka?
I worry that since anyone who can read my blog can see that I’ve struggled with this for the past 9 months…I worry that people may think that I take this lightly, or that I think I have a million chances at life…and to a degree that is the heart of the problem here…I have been cavalier with something as deadly as addiction. Is it not cavalier to drink, knowing it won’t turn out well? Knowing it costs money? Knowing it rots my insides? Knowing it makes me dumb, knowing it shrinks my brain, ruins my skin, makes me look old, robs me of motivation and conviction, masks things that need to be handled not hidden, stunts emotional growth, and ultimately enslaves…it is insanity that I’ve faced these realities and still tried to go down fighting…still tried a few last bouts of “controlled drinking”. The fact that I’ve even thought this way feels foolish when I type it out. Sorry for such a long post, and for all my foolish rambling. Even if it’s not making sense to anyone else…it’s helping me.
I’m not going to watch my football game in my usual spot because there will be lots of alcohol there. I’m sure there are people somewhere that like the things I do, but don’t drink a gallon of wine while doing them. I need to find those people.