Physical Symptoms

One of the things I am most amazed at about my addiction to alcohol is that I have physical symptoms that are undisputedly directly related to drinking alcohol, yet, despite me knowing this I still continue to drink.  (well, this is day 2 of my too-many-times-to count attempts to stop drinking, but I have long known the physical consequences I incur on my body each time I drink, despite wishing I could stop, or at least control my drinking.)

I am talking about physical symptoms beyond just what many people consider a typical hangover, like headache and dehydration.  Although, when you think about it, who is OK living w/ a chronic hangover for most days of the week?  A person addicted to alcohol, that’s who.

Over the years I have accepted feelings of chronic fatigue, headaches, nausea, anxiousness, general muscle soreness, and numbness/tingling of my extremities as part of my everyday general health status.  ‘This is just what happens because I drink.’ ‘These are physical aspects of my life that I am OK with.  I don’t love them, but I accept them’.

This is what I thought for many years after I knew I had an addiction to alcohol. I accepted living my life with all these negative physical symptoms b/c I didn’t see any other way not to.

And what about the chronic cracks on the sides of my mouth that is most likely due to a vitamin B deficiency related to excessive alcohol intake?  I try to take care of them externally w/ ointments and vitamin supplements, knowing that if I stop drinking the cracks will most likely go away… but I can’t stop drinking (!!!???)

And how about the digestive side effects of alcohol consumption?  For me this is a topic unto itself.  The chronic inflammation of my gut that causes nausea, vomiting, esophageal reflux (to the point where sometimes I can’t swallow while eating because my esophageal muscles are spasming –painful and frightening).  And the sour smelling, thick and heavy (or light and airy) poops that are so off from my normal bowel movements.  I think to myself…. ‘what is this doing to my insides?’ 

The point I am trying to make is how can I, a person who values her health so much, sabotage it so severely by this one very bad habit?

Addiction is the answer to that question.  I know the answer.  My hope is to find a solution to overcome my addiction.  Stay tuned.

My turn

Addiction.  I am addicted to alcohol.

There is no way around it….I am allowing alcohol to enter my body knowing it is doing me harm.  I am slowly killing myself, both physically and mentally.

I want to feel peace in my life, but having alcohol ruling it does nothing but give me the opposite feeling.

How do I know I am addicted to alcohol?  The simple answer is I want to stop consuming it, but no matter how hard I try, no matter what way I try (and I’ve tried almost all of them), no matter how many times I try (going on 7 years now), I cannot do it.  Alcohol has always won in the end.

I have been so positively influenced by so many people telling their stories of how they have overcome their addiction to alcohol.  I’ve read and heard their stories via blogs, podcasts, books, face to face interactions.  These people really are doing it.  They seem to have figured out how to go from being a person whose life was ruled by alcohol to being released from it’s grips.  Their stories are so inspiring.  Their stories are raw, real, and sometimes not so pretty….and this makes them all that more inspiring.  These are real people w/ real addictions to alcohol, and they figured out how to successfully remove alcohol from their lives for an extended period of time.  As a consequence they all have one thing in common…. they seem happy that their lives are no longer controlled by the chains of alcohol.

It’s my turn now.  It has to be.  I am not a quitter by nature, but this addiction to alcohol is the hardest thing I have had to deal w/ in my life.  I have broken down and given into it time and time again.  It sucks.  The whole thing sucks.  And my addiction is sucking heath and happiness out of my life.  But it’s my turn now.  Please let it be my turn.  Please let it be my turn to figure out how to live my life without alcohol successfully.