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…and the summer flu bug hit with a vengeance last week…..I was down and out all of Saturday, same could be said for Sunday. But the good news is that this is a natural part of having an organic body. They get sick. I did not cause this by downing 12 Stella Artois, or two bottles of overpriced Pinot Noir from the little Vinothek Store on my way home from work. Nope. Damn right. This flu is homegrown, all natural, USDA organic. F…k yeah!
Not that I am excited to be sick….but I am still new-enough to sobriety where the memories of horrendous hangovers are not forgotten. I pray I never shall forget them…..If it hadn’t been for hangovers, I would have kept going much much much longer.
Still so out of the loop with most people on here and I still hate that. But…unless i buckle up and shift priorities and stop overworking (a slight addiction brewing there…..) it won’t change….So I better stop complaining, embrace that I have work to go to….and trust in time my daily routine will allow for room to be on here more again.
And not to forget….I am grateful. It’s not an artificial and forced gratefulness, nor is it a complete and flawless gratefulness. But I am grateful for so much….this very moment….in my life…right here and right now….
I get to get up and jump out of bed without needing assistance from another human being. A lot of people can’t say the same today. I get to drive to work in a new and safe vehicle that is paid off. I get to park in a convenient, borderline luxurious garage after a joke-of-a-commute of 4-5 minutes. I get to walk 3 minutes to my office, where I get to meet one of my favorite colleagues who is back from summer break today. Yeah! I get to be sober and not worry about whom I drunk-texted, which ex I drunk-raged at over the phone (I am not sure I will ever fully let go of THAT shame….) and I didn’t declare “I Love you so much” on the book of faces to people I can’t even stand nor know much at all anyways. No more 75 Euro plus bank withdrawals for “good wine”…Like I knew the difference (I didn’t) and alcohol is alcohol….it is still poison to the liver and body cells overall…whether it pulls a PBR $1 purchasing price or a $50 and up-etty Pinot one. Blergh.
And of course there is that part of me that still wants to get wasted. A nicely fucked up drunk, like “in the good old days”. That part of me is in denial. As much as I am grateful to be sober, that part is there. Quietly…..most days barely noticeable.
It also does not REALLY want to get smashed-hammered-fucked-up-drunk. It feels more like “If only I could go back in time to being 20-something and light and free (I was neither of those in reality as my depression and anxiety were barely bearable in my 20’s…..) and with nothing to worry about. (If anything….this very day, today, I have not much to worry about….compared to my boozing days when I added shit to my “fucked up” list on top of everything else).
So yeah…..the party girl has retired. With her the permanent blonde hair dye bleach. I am no longer comfortable in large rooms and crowds, or worse….small rooms with large crowds…..I need to see the exit and have an exit. My over-social days are over and I am probably happiest with old friends, animals, and trees around me. Or the beach.
One thing has not changed and I still dream about working in Australia again. I looked at teacher postings and might apply next year just for the heck of it. Nothing to lose. If this is a pipe-dream I might as well get behind it, knowing how it is not very realistic for many reasons.
But it’s ok to dream — My therapist would say now. And he might…since I see him Wednesday for the first time since May when I left for my European-back-home adventure trip. I miss that man. And I think I love him in the sense that I am of course aware he is a professional healthcare provider (no questionable boundary-crossing there at all) but I am also aware of the gift he has and shares. That raw and unbelievable compassion. By God if I could bottle that and send it to every lonely, ashamed, scared, and suffering person out there. If you have the chance to find a good therapist, go for it. It has changed my life. I would not want to miss out on this.
*** It was the best decision I ever made for myself….To admit that I am not ok, that I cannot do life alone, and that I needed help. ***
I am grateful I got a second shot at life through this sober-thing…through therapy….through opening up to safe people around me in real life….through coming here and being who I really am, without worrying about what it looks or sounds like.
Hiya @Mari135, hope you feel better soon! I think that’s a gift that comes with sobriety – being able to make a negative situation more positive, through gratitude. Throughout my trip, when something challenging came up (mean girls in the group, hard days of walking, blisters…), I would think of how I could learn from it. I think that’s the thing – we’re stuck when we’re drinking, and we’re able to grow and change now that we’re not. I love how you talk about your kind therapist – I’m giving therapy another go! Meeting a new one this Wednesday, I have a good feeling. 5th one is the charm! Beautiful week ahead, rest easy, xoxoxox
I love reading your messages with your reflections and new ideas for the future @mari135. You know I agree about the therapy. I have been going to my therapist in NYC from where I live in DC every six weeks for the last 2 years. I just had an appointment on Saturday on my way back home from the beach in Connecticut. I’ve known her since I was a teenager and worked intensively with her during my 20’s.(She was living in Washington then.). After that, I saw or talked to her on the phone every once in a while. I began seeing her again when I joined here, realizing I needed every resource in place to get rid of the alcohol problem that had developed over years. She is also a deeply compassionate person and has helped me treat myself in a kind way. I’m grateful to have had all her help.
Love the gratefulness – I thought you said flawless, and it does seem to be. I am grateful I get to work closely with a few lovely, sad students, and with parents too – motivated and listening in the main. And I am very grateful for my calm, clear thinking, considered approach with those angry, blaming, and stuck. Today I am very grateful for beautiful blue skies, food for the day ready, a wonderful goddess to teach me yoga this evening – and the energy and motivation to get there – once you start it is never ending – a good practice too @Jesss XXXX
That post was fantastic and I am sitting here with tears in my eyes – what a dick. Anyway I love how you said “And of course there is that part of me that still wants to get wasted. A nicely fucked up drunk, like “in the good old days”. That part of me is in denial. As much as I am grateful to be sober, that part is there” that really hit the nail on the head as that is how I feel.