It must have started around the time I graduated from high school. At that time I was not yet aware of the lack of emotional support in my home, and suddenly I found myself lost on a university campus, trying to navigate life on my own. Now I understand that it was CPTSD, complex childhood trauma/post traumatic stress, but back then I figured I was just another college student, drinking, partying, having fun. Well, it wasn't fun anymore in my late 20's, when I would sometimes miss work due to having had a bottle of red wine on a week night. One glass often (almost always) turned into 3-6 or more. I remember one specific night, when I was 29, and I had finished a whole bottle of red wine by myself when a friend called to ask me to meet up for a glass of wine. We shared another bottle. Sitting there talking to my friend, I was wondering to myself "How on earth did you drink almost two bottles of wine?? This is not what normal people do. Or is it?" Becoming sober has been a two steps forward, one step back since then. I am happy to report that this year I have only had one drinking episode, and I am hopeful I stay away for good. It is just not worth risking even one more hangover. Speaking of which, I wish I could go back in time and hug my younger self, who was crouched on the bathroom floor in front of the toilet too many times. Crying, red veins popped underneath her eyes, yellow stomach acid coming out of her mouth in between dry heaving. There were nights of drunk calling or texting people, waking up covered in sweat, shame, and fear. The fear might have been the worst. All those years I was so scared of feeling and being me. Luckily I found a good therapist three years ago and have worked through and healed a lot of my traumatic experiences from childhood, but I want to keep an eye on self-care. It is too easy for me to slip back into self-loathing and fear and toxic shame. I want to be my own best friend and supporter, the person my inner child can trust to always have her back. Reading Mrs. D's book was one of the first things I did when I started looking around for actions to take to heal (or whatever it is you do to make it stop for good) my alcoholism. Ouch, that is still a bit hard to write down. Alcoholism. But I guess normal people just don't do what I did. They stop after one glass, and they do not have those day-long hangover days from one bottle of wine or more. So now that I created this profile, I will go back into the "real" world, where 99% of people look at me as normal and not an alcoholic. It has been a quiet "no more" journey, and even my husband thinks I never had a drinking problem. It is almost shocking at how good I hid it from others and myself. I don't want to drink anymore, and I don't ever ever ever want to feel hungover again. xoxo
Still soberoo, still wandering the old stomping grounds….and oh do I miss keeping up with everyone on here and posting first thing in the morning….I’ll be back home in the U.S. soon and back to that LivingSober routine…..But before then a few more days of this….of “this home”…..and it has been….mindblowing…
I have no words to express how grateful I am …for being sober…..Fuck a duck, it’s just the best thing I ever thought of trying out in the midst of my addicted trauma response reacting.
How good is traveling sober…..
And it is not perfect….of course it is not… Like that moment on the transatlantic night flight with severe turbulence (which is absolutely awesome if you suffer from severe flight anxiety…..) and then two people next to you ordering red wine….my old Achilles heel…If I ever relapse it will be for a red wine…..
I’ve crossed the Atlantic many times…wasted off me butt. Guzzle guzzle guzzle….One more please…always another one more…..
When I caught a whiff of that….I had to pull away consciously a bit….It was so farking tempting….I wanted to rip that fucker right out of the lady’s hand….and her daughter’s hand too……Gimme all the booze…….I pictured how much less scared I would be of the turbulence…How cool and light and happy I would feel….Less ruminating….Less anxiety-thinking….
But….That is such a lie.
I would NEVER stop at one glass. Or two. Or three.
Especially not those laughable airplane portions…lol….screw that. It’s like five of those equal one glass I’d pour myself at home.
“5 please, for starters. And stop looking at me like that. I don’t have a problem.”
*** It’s been magical and intense and light and heavy and happy and sad and normal and odd and EVERYTHING….to be back…..I am rather chuffed and full of myself if I reflect on how well I planned this trip….Rather super self-absorbed, lol. No, but in all seriousness….I planned for the FIRST time a trip where I predicted my needs accurately…..Booked breaks from family and friends at hotels at the right intervals….spaced the drives very nicely so I don’t spend too much time racing down the Autobahn without a speed limit (jealous much????!!! 🙂 )
And the early mornings are my favorites……Bliss…..SO MUCH TO DO…. I am back in the city where I had my first teaching job out of college….If you’re a teacher you get it how hard that notorious “first year” is….and it was all that and then some….Teaching grades 2,4,5,6,8/9 combined and a grade 10…..
No wonder I drank….
Oh and how badly I wish I had NOT been drinking….and had therapy prior to this….and had known I had a brain tumor and hormones all outta whack….. ***
But “If only-mind” does not work…I did what I did….The best I could at the time…..With what I had. And it is ok to grieve what I lost….due to my illness, my drinking, my childhood trauma. The loss is real. ***
The only way out … is through.
I can sum up the hardest lesson and most rewarding with:
I grasp constantly….for “more”….
More time with loved ones More time in a place I love More food I love
And then constantly reminding myself to..
Let go Let go Let go of expectations, “should-ing”, blaming, shaming, fear-ing. Let be Let be Let be myself and others, especially my own feelings without wanting them to be any different than they are in that very moment. Let in Let in Let in all the feelings without resisting or judging or holding on.
*** I would definitely still want more booze. It is inside of me. Just asleep and waiting for me to slip up. It took my biological father and most of the relatives on his side. It’s in my genes. ***
Right then….so much to do….I better leave this A/C awesome hotel room…..Fresh blueberries from a local market in the fridge waiting for me to come back to after a long day exploring and enjoying.
*** I wanna suss out a local museum later today…..the inner city for shopping….. Meeting old colleagues later…..two major social events at the end of the week….all sober.
*** And the best part….I don’t even care on fart about what these people will think…my old drinking teacher-crew….once they see I REALLY won’t drink with them anymore. I don’t care if they find it odd or cool. Weird or suspicious. Boring and lame.
I genuinely do NOT care. My sobriety is my own baby now and I am so content with it I do not expect or need anyone’s approval, nor do I need to take in criticism and shaming anymore.
It’s who I am. I do not drink alcohol.
How fucking cool is that…..
And here come some tears…..
Because I wish I had done this sooner…..So much suffering and illness that was unnecessary….so much drama…. But stopped when I had the tools and support I needed. Before that…I didn’t have these things and people in my life.
Thank you for being in my life. I value all of you so much. My sweet, superpower online sober tribe.
Hi @Mari135! So good to hear from you! I’m glad you’re having such a great time! And amazing how much better trips are now that we have the clarity to know what we need/want. I love the ‘Let be, let in’ lines a lot, v helpful for how I’m feeling today. Happy wonderful last days of your trip + thanks so much for your lovely comment last week on my post! xoxo
JM, with so many people here coming and going, you have NO idea how much it helped me to have you here as a constant presence. No pressure! LOL….It’s perfectly ok to disappear and come back (or not) from here of course. Thanks yet again for such kind words. xoxoxo
So glad you are having a wonderful trip and planning perfectly your needed breaks. Just think, if you live another 30 years you will have more sober time than drinking. That’s a whole life you’ve given yourself as a gift. A reason to celebrate for sure!
Thanks so very much Jocord. oxoxoxox It is all very raw. And I can do raw. (I hope) And if not…there is help. I scheduled a therapist appointment right for when I get back. I anticipate lots of “feeling storms”. oxoxoxo I am so glad you’re here! And I am sooo out of the loop and need to catch up with everyone.