I don’t really know where to begin here. A lot of the times when I write, I write to get a point across or to express a feeling that I believe others may be feeling and might seek comfort in reading. I guess I am writing this for others comfort, but mostly for myself. In a way to get out certain questions I have been asking myself and certain thoughts I have had in my head for the past year.
I have been sober for 9 days. This isn’t really something that just happened. It’s something that I have been thinking about day in and day out very heavily for months. I haven’t told my family and only a very select few know that I have quit the drink.
Am I an alcoholic? I honestly do not know. I can tell you that I’ve seen AA meetings and those are NOT for me. I can tell you that I don’t get sloppy, stupid drunk & wake up in places that I don’t remember.
But I can tell you that my control was lost. That a “few” beers every day become many, MANY beers. A craft 6 pack didn’t even keep me satisfied. A bottle of wine was an appetizer. “I will stick to weekends” deal quickly turned into “well I got this massive hangover and the only cure is more beer”…
This has been my life…day in and day out. These feelings of “vertigo” were not just my sinuses messing with me…they were hangovers…every day…some days worse than others. I had no energy. Taking a shower seemed like the biggest chore in the world (but don’t worry, I did). Makeup in the morning was obsolete (which for me was always a no-no to go out in public without at least mascara and some lip gloss). I didn’t care how I looked. I didn’t care that I could barely move. I just focused on hoping I didn’t pass out from feeling so dizzy and lightheaded all of the time.
I love beer. I love running and having a couple beers afterwards. I love going out to pubs and restaurants and having a few beers. I love sitting at home on a Friday night and having a few beers with my husband while we watch a movie. I love a middle of the week glass of wine by the fireplace to unwind. I love being a female craft beer drinker. I love brewing my own beer. I love the friends that I have made in the “beer community”. I love celebrating with friends over an ice cold beer. As corny as this sounds, being a beer drinker is part of who I am…for Christ sake it’s the title of my fucking blog!!!!
So how can I let that go? Do I let that go?
I’ve been examining patterns of my life over the past 10 years and trying to see if I found something that relates…and I do. I see where I have had control. Where I was eating well and I was running or exercising on a regular basis. I would be good and only drink on the weekends and maybe a couple times a week after a good, hard run.
But eventually I always end up back here. Overweight…unhealthy…and drinking to an extremely excessive point.
Does this make me an alcoholic? I do not know. I truly can not answer that right now.
What I can say is that my life was completely slipping out of control. My physical health of course but my mental health had taken a very hard beating. A lot of the self bashing posts I have written I
probably wrote while I was drinking. The thoughts of suicide always flowed when the beers were. The worse I started to feel about myself, the more I drank.
I would wait till Frankie went to bed and I would stay up listening to music and start pounding the beers back. Dreaming if you will, for my life back. Back to being in shape and not overweight. Back to being able to run again. Back to having energy to clean the house. Back to being in control. Dreaming get’s you no where if you do not follow those dreams. Instead all I was doing was creating my own personal hell each and every single night.
I lost so much due to my drinking. I never followed through with races I signed up for within the past year or so. I bailed out on seeing friends & even making new ones. I let my drinking cause anxiety that basically made me a prisoner of my own body.
Don’t ask me how I did it. I just did it. I guess I just hit that wall pretty fucking hard. It was cold turkey. I know the last drink I had. I know the day. I know the hour. I went to bed that night thinking “that may have been my last drink…we’ll see how I feel in the morning.” I woke up the next morning thankfully having one of my “better” hangover days. I happened to get on Facebook and I saw a post from someone special that not only inspired me, but it gave me the encouragement I needed to NOT pick up a drink that day. Maybe it was a sign that this was the right choice and the right time. I’d like to think so.
So how do I feel now?
This is the best I have felt in a very, very long time. I don’t feel sick every day. I can actually get out of bed in the morning. I have the desire to make sure I do my makeup and look presentable every day. I can move around without feeling like I am going to pass out. I actually am finding that I *want* to move more and get back into my fitness routine. I’m bashing myself less and find I have more confidence, even though I am at my highest weight ever. I actually *DO* things!! I would have never agreed (or I would have and then bailed because I was too hung over) to volunteer for that race recently. I would have never went to the mall last week to buy new shoes that I *desperately* needed.
I’ve had quite a laugh during this sober time…the manager at the grocery store who said “drink a few for me” as I’m pushing Frankie’s Coors Light out the door…the numerous offers to buy me a beer after the race…the comments on social media joking if I have been drinking after I have posted something (sorry folks, I am funny & crude either way). All the while in my head I giggle and say “Nope, I am sober now!” My first sober week contained national drink wine day, margarita day & offers for free beers. Seriously. Well played universe, well played.
Beer is still in my household, as I would never ask Frankie to give up his Coors Lights. But I asked him to dump the few craft beers I had left (they were very bitter…bad batch which is why they weren’t gone the night before) and dump the tiny liquor bottles I got at Christmas (thankfully hard liquor is not a factor in my story). I replaced the bubbles of beer with the bubbles of flavored sparkling waters. I drink A LOT of sparkling water these days. And I drink them in a wine glass so I feel as if I am still treating myself. I find it relaxing and enjoyable. It works for me.
Question I am really asking myself and struggling with is…is now forever?
I honestly do not know. And I honestly can not think that far ahead. I am focusing on today and *really* focusing on how I feel. Do I think that I could go to a bar right now and have a beer or two and then go home and not drink again for a while? No, absolutely not. Do I think that I can NEVER do that again? I really do not know.
I’m trying to focus on TODAY but I still like to prepare myself for what’s ahead. Will I really not drink on St. Patrick’s Day?! I am Irish after all…but do I really need to drink?? We don’t go out. I could enjoy something non-alcoholic at home. If I do drink, how will I feel?? Will it be worth it?? Will I be able to stop myself??
I had the opportunity recently to go to a bar where a few friends offered to buy me a beer. I didn’t go because it really is too soon to put myself in a situation like that, but in the future, could I do it?? Could I go to the bar and order a seltzer and cranberry or a diet soda and be ok with that?? This isn’t an impossible situation. I have seen people in serious recovery do this. Like I said…everyone has their own path. And I guess I’m just trying to learn what my path is and where I want it to lead me.
I know that I have never confronted myself about my drinking like I have these past few months. I have never looked at my patterns and habits so closely before and it has truly been an eye opening experience. Part of me truly believes that I can find balance and that I can live in a world without excessive drinking and hangovers. But just not right now. And maybe not ever. It’s far too early in my sobriety to put the word “never” on this situation right now.
I think everyone has their own battle. Many people certainly are overcome by their addictions and they must receive medical and professional help. But everyone’s journey is different. You have to find your journey…your path.
This is my path today. I do not know if it will be my path tomorrow. But I do know one thing…I can not be the way I was, or I will die. So I will fight every day, all day to keep myself from falling back into the pit with those demons.
I've never disabled comments before but I am choosing to do so this time due to the fact that I am at the very beginning of my sobriety & the questions asked here are for me to find the answers to. If you wish to leave comments are share your own stories, you know where to find me :)