Saturday, November 12, 2011

When Life Hands You Lemons... try to hold the vodka

I'm so sorry I have been a terrible blogger. I have a tendency go to radio silence when things get tough. As I previously blogged, right around Memorial Day my husband and I found out we were pregnant. We'd been trying for about six months and were thrilled. I felt like I was somehow being rewarded for finally committing to sobriety. It really was amazing to be able to be pregnant and have that added incentive to stay sober. Things were going beautifully...up until about 11.5 weeks. That's when I noticed some bleeding. I went to the doctor because I just knew something was wrong. That day will go down as the single worst day of my life. I found out that I was experiencing a missed miscarriage. There was no heartbeat, and the baby only measured at 8.5 weeks. For some reason I don't understand, my body didn't recognize that the baby died and still acted pregnant. The next day I had a D&C.

My husband and I were devastated... It was a pain I did't think I was capable of. It would have been so easy to fall apart. No one (apart from my husband) would have blamed me for going out and getting shit-wrecked. Part of me wanted to. But another part...a louder, angrier, more stubborn part said I couldn't lose this too. My sobriety and my family are the most important things to me. So, I bought a pack of cigarettes... And smoked them all with my husband. We stood outside, fragile and numb in our grief, and leaned on each other.

**Disclaimer: I don't advocate smoking in any way... But in a way it helped me during a time when I really really wanted a drink.

Since then I've tried to find my new "normal". I really thought I'd be expecting my first baby...and joining that super secret "mom club" January. Now I'm trying to take care of my house, husband, and health... Not necessarily in that order. I reached 6 months of sobriety a few weeks ago. I am really proud of that accomplishment, but know its really just another step on a lifelong journey. I still have cravings. I still find myself romanticizing drinking. That's when I realize that I'll never be "cured". I'll never be able to let me guard down. But that's okay... Because I'm worth it. And my husband is worth it... And my future kids are worth it...

Love always,

Sunday, June 5, 2011

37 Days

I know I haven't blogged in a while.  I've thought about it, really I have.  I just didn't really know what to say.  I'm 37 days sober, and it feels AMAZING.  I have had temptations for sure. "Just try this sangria - its so good!" "I made this simple syrup, there's only a little vodka in it, just try it."  This from friends who know I'm not drinking. 

Why, then, are they making it so hard?  Because they don't UNDERSTAND.  And really, how could they.  They've seen me go overboard, but think I'm just "fun."  They have no idea how far down the rabbit hole I fell.  So, I don't take it personally.  I just smile, and politely refuse (while digging my nails into the palms of my hands). 

In other news, I now have a huge reason to stay sober.  I'm pregnant.


Yeah.  Big news.  I'm almost 6 weeks along.  And after doing some quick calculations, I discovered that I did, in fact, quit before I conceived.  Thank God!  My hubby and I have been trying for about 6 months and were getting worried that something may be up.  (Perhaps the occasional binge drinking is not super condusive to conceiving??).  Anyways, I'm super exicted, and scared, and nervous, and thrilled...

I know that I will stay sober.  For this 9 months...and beyond.  I'm still scared of relapse, but I know how to prevent it-by never taking that first drink.  Never relinquishing my hard won freedom.  Never giving in to well-meaning temptation.  I know that I'm worth fighting for.  Now I have an even more important reason to stay strong.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

There's Beauty in the Breakdown

I finally peeled my tush from the couch yesterday.  I went on a long, chilly walk with my little puppy (he's 12 weeks).  And while it was cold and blustery, it was almost cathartic. The fresh air and mild exercise reduced my anxiety and seemed to remove some of the cobwebs I'd been accumulating since Friday.

While walking, my Pandora station switched to the Imogen Heap song "Let Go".   Maybe it was my overly reflective mood, but the lyrics really resonated with me:

So let go, jump in
Oh well, whatcha waiting for
It's alright
'cause there's beauty in the breakdown
So let go, just get in
Oh, it's so amazing here
It's alright
'cause there's beauty in the breakdown

It was almost a reaffirmation that what I was doing was going to be okay - that I can make it without alcohol as a crutch.  Each layer of each day exposes both hard and wonderful things.  I feel stronger every day, but I also realize so much.  I've realized that I have a million triggers, a million excuses, and that my (highly rational) mind can rationalize my way into ANYTHING.  Its peeling back these layers - putting my former bullshit out there in the glaring, sober, light of day - that makes me realize just how far this disease has really progressed.

I would get so angry whenever anyone (especially my husband) would try to control me (read: my drinking).  I would rant and rave, fight and rebel, and either do what I wanted to do (drink) or acquiesce and end up so resentful that when I would *get to* drink again, I would go balls out and suffer the consequences.  And round and round I would go.  And instead of blaming myself for acting the fool, I'd blame my husband for not letting me drink more often........   Because obviously, if I was *allowed* to go out more, I wouldn't feel the need to go crazy.  HA.

As I said, each layer, each realization, is so terrible, yet so wonderful.  Luckily my husband and friends support me and don't absolutely hate my guts for the stunts I've pulled.  Finally admitting my problem, and being sober these past 5 days, has given me enough clearheaded insight to realize some of these things and to begin to work through them.

There really is beauty in the breakdown.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Protective Shell

This isn't my first rodeo.  I've "quit drinking" before.  A few times.  What's different about this time is the terminology.  Before, when things got out of hand, I'd admit that I was a "problem drinker" or that I "drink too much sometimes", or one of my personal favs "I occasionally have alcohol issues".  Each of these labels implies that there is a temporary problem with an eventual fix.

Finally, I'm able to admit that this is not a temporary problem.  There is no fix out there for me that will let me drink again.

So how does this change things?  A million ways...both good and terrifying.  Before, I'd tell people that was just taking a break.  I'd still go out occasionally, but I'd just drink soda water with lime.  I'd sit at a dinner party, and itch for when ever my "time out" would end.  One month, two... Then, I'd reintroduce myself with my old friend, and all would be well.  Until it wasn't.

Now, I know that this isn't just a "time out".  It is a FOREVER thing.  I can't just tough it out for a few months.  I can NEVER drink again.  If I do, I know that it is only a matter of time before the nightmare resumes.  Before something really goes wrong.

This concept scares me so much that I just want to crawl back into bed.  To hide from everything, everyone.  It is a naked anxiety.  Mortifying, terrifying.  Unlike anything else I've experienced.  I'm a housewife, and usually kept pretty busy during the day.  I've barely moved from the couch the last few days.

I realize that I'm putting up a shell, and I also realize that I can't act like this forever.  It's just that I'm only four days in to this....and it is so raw.  I'm hoping to slowly incorporate the world back into my new life as a recovering alcoholic. I'm going to go on a long walk today.  We'll see how that goes.  Its just one foot in front of the other.

Monday, May 2, 2011


The reason for this blog.  The only way that I can heal.  The only way I will remember.

Hi, my name is Hope (a pen name for now...), and I'm an alcoholic.  Phew!  Why is it that my heart races, and I become short of breath when I type that?  I know I need to put this down in words, so that three months from now, when I feel "cured" I will remember.  I'll remember that no matter how much I try, how "good" I can be, I CANNOT control my drinking. That if I start again, it will just result in the same spiral...

I know that I'm not a bad person.  I'm just not physically capable of having just one drink. I may keep it to three beers, but I'll want more.  I may go a whole week without drinking, but the then I'll binge and put myself in danger. Not every time, but enough times that I'm scared.  And I know that if I keep drinking, it will just get worse. 

I need to remember two nights ago.  Going over to a girlfriend's house after 6 hours of drinking, making an absolute ass of myself, falling down the porch steps, refusing to go to bed, and taking a cab home in one of her robes because apparently I really was about ready for bed - till I wasn't,  stumbling in to my house, and scaring the shit out of my loving husband.  Oh, and I need to remember the next day: waking up at 12:30 in the afternoon, blowing off my sister-in-law, feeling like dog shit, and eventually puking the evening away.  Yea, that's what alcohol does to me.  Not always, but when is enough enough?

Now.  I'm done.  I can't do this anymore.  I don't want to feel this shame, anxiety, fear, and self-loathing.  I need to take control of my life, and of this addiction.  And I can't do it alone.  I'm hoping that with my husband, my friends, and this blog I will be able to remember why I can't drink. And be able to live a life of recovery and hope.  And what better gift could I possible give myself than that?