So, sometimes when I reflect back on my extensive alcoholic drinking past I think about times that stand out where too much was too much and I knew something was up. There wasn’t just one time, but instead there were many times. And recently I have noticed that they have been coming more and more frequently, which, I guess, is how I knew it was time. …this time.
Time 1: circa 2001: I was having an enjoyable evening with my boyfriend-at-the-time. We were drinking white wine and making sushi. We needed rice vinegar and he left for the store to get some. I stayed home and inadvertently drank probably a whole bottle of wine in the time he was gone. I threw up in his bed that night. ewwww…gross.
Time 2: circa 2002: That boyfriend-at-the-time broke up with me about 6 months later. I was devastated. I fell into a clinically severe depression. It was during this time that I isolated myself from friends and family and started to purposely and often-ly self-medicate with alcohol. It worked…and moving forward in my life I would now self-medicate with alcohol for just about everything.
Time 3: circa 2007: After the birth of my second child I became totally overwhelmed with my life. I’m not sure what happened. I didn’t have traditional post-partum depression, as I wasn’t sad, but my anxiety went through the roof. My baby boy was such a low-key and easy baby. He slept all the time and was so peaceful and pleasant. But for some reason I couldn’t relax. I was so wound up so often and drinking helped to calm me down. It was then that I believe my husband started to take note of my abnormal drinking. We would have stupid drunk fights. It was at this time that I noticed I was thinking about drinking very very often. I started to have blackouts that I recognized were problematic. Yet I could not stop nor control my drinking. One night I remember asking my husband to carry my son up the stairs to his crib because I was afraid that I was going to drop him. I was that drunk and that anxious. …This period of time was a big eye opener for me and eventually started me on my pathway to seek help with my alcohol addiction.
Time 4: circa 2010: I am actively trying to abstain from drinking but failing over and over. I would not keep beer and wine in the house (these are the only alcohols I truly enjoy drinking), and find myself tapping into the hard stuff. Saying I will have just a glass, and reaching for more and more and more. Getting drunk when I don’t want to. I am now sneaking my drinking from my husband.
Time 5: circa 2011-15: I am now hiding alcohol around the house. Hiding it from my husband. Occasionally, if I am off work for the day, and cleaning the house, I will start drinking at 10 am while I clean. One time my kids were at their grandparent’s house for the day and I had the house to myself. I bought a bottle of wine after I dropped them off (about 10 am), drank the whole thing while cleaning, passed out in my bed and awoke only as I heard my husband’s truck pull in the driveway at 5 pm. I was supposed to pick my kids up from my in-laws at 4:30.
Time 6: circa 2011-15: Even though I don’t love it, I feel it is OK if I am slightly buzzed and drive my kids to the library, or on errands. One time I drank 2 beers while my son was at preschool and picked him up not long after finishing drinking the second one.
Time 7: 2015-present: I find myself driving home from events drunk time and time again even when I tell myself I will not do this. I wonder what the consequence will be, not just to me and my husband, but for my innocent children, and the social consequences of having a mother who has a DUI, or more terribly: a mother who committed manslaughter by killing someone while driving drunk. The idea that I think I am even capable of this petrifies me.
Time 8: 2015-present: I can not control my drinking and I know this. I have proven this to myself over and over again. I start to leave dinner parties, of parents with whom my children are friends with, much more intoxicated than I intend. I even have black outs on these nights. I have a big realization that I don’t want my addiction to alcohol to negatively impact my children’s social lives. I need to stop this.
Big questions I ask myself is: ‘can you do this?’ ‘what can you try differently this time that might work for you?’ ‘what is going to happen to you, your marriage, your children, your life, if you can’t move past this alcohol addiction?’
Day 9 for me today… I try, I persevere…one day at a time.