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
Morning coffee…with almond chocolate milk….nom nom nom….and I finally….finally….finally….managed to do what I have been fantasizing about for a month….I actually got up at 5:30am and walked for an hour around the little lake across from our home….a brisk, lovely, rejuvenating walk….Greeted the “usual suspects”… A trusted group of known-strangers…..The older gentleman who seems to always run and never walk…..Kudos to him because it sure looks like a half marathon each morning…..Then there is “superdad”….We call him that lovingly because he often runs with a stroller (pram) and keeps up the bird feeders and nesting houses around said lake…..Always eagerly greeting everyone like we have been best friends for years that haven’t seen each other in a while…..his red curly hair bouncing up and down…..It almost makes me angry how someone can be THIS motivated and disciplined…because superdad doesn’t stop when temperatures drop…..He just leaves the kid at home and walks real fast by himself, gloves, scarf, hat and all…..Then there is the middle-aged lady with her two little skittish dogs…one black, the other white….They stopped barking at me a while back but still seem to not be too sure of what to think…..those little barky beasts, lol……Then there is cigarette guy….He never walks. He stands by his grey truck and smokes a cigarette….In the beginning I convinced myself he was sad and depressed and contemplated ending his life (my depression tends to project itself onto others) but now I realize he just likes to have a smoke before/after work…and who knows….Like Tara Brach says the minute I begin to run stories I live neither in his reality, nor mine….I really have no clue who he is (or any of the other lake usual suspects) and as far as I know he may go home to a loving wife or husband, 7 kids, 15 grandkids, and is a happy chap. Or maybe he is single and plays videogames all day and loves that.
Point being…..Instead of negotiating with myself last night how much longer and how much more I COULD drink (red wine or beer) and then the same game in the morning (“If only I add another hour of sleep, the hangover won’t be as bad”)…..I bounced out of bed, hated myself for a second for setting the alarm….and off to the nature prairie preserve I went….That walk was life.
Sobriety gave me that time and life back. I lost many many many evenings and mornings (and whole days) to suffering in bed, puking, depression flaring high, anxiety unbearable…..dry-heaving until 5pm.
No more of that shit, cuz fuck it. It sucks real bad.
Off to work, hi-ho. May everyone feel hopeful today. I feel it starts with that for me on so many days. Especially the shit days, or worse….the blah days. Hope makes it doable.
Hiya @Mari135! Always enjoy reading your eloquent and relatable posts. That’s how I feel – being sober allows me to protect my time, myself. Thanks for your kind replies yesterday! My European adventure ends tomorrow. Xoxo 🏄