I drank my last drink exactly 3 years ago today. Tomorrow is my sober birthday. May 6, 2014. I love that day and date. It was May 5, 2014 and I ordered Mexican food, margaritas, and beer…Modelo Especial and Stella Artois. Looking back, I rarely had beer in the house…cause I drank it. All.
Anywho, so this is where I welcome you into my life. I’ve been silent on many issues for the majority of it and, well, I’m just not going to be that way anymore. I can’t think of a better day than today to start living more authentically. I was ambivalent about being open with regard to alcoholism. I understand that some people are pretty out there about it and some people aren’t. I get it. I respect it. I had to think long and hard about what being an alcoholic means to me. I realized over the past several days that the simple reason I keep it under wraps is because…wait for it….fear! Yes, fear! What will they think? They, they, they. I’m tired of being the inaccessible piece of God-made goodness that floats through the universe not really showing up to life as fully as I could. Let me be clear: I show up a LOT MORE than I ever did in these last three years. It’s so weird how normal I do some things now, especially with regard to communication. If I don’t understand something, I ask. Yes, folks, I ask questions! :)))) And I don’t feel badly about it, either. I was just at lunch with a magnificent group of women. I marvel at them; they are all so gifted in different ways…the subject of FaceBook came up and someone mentioned she couldn’t understand how anyone could put so much of their lives on social media. I thought about it. I share a lot, I think. I have lots of social media platforms and I’m always considering more. For me, I have lived my life without healthy consistency. It’s been a great life. It’s been extremely difficult at times.
Funny: I put a deposit down on an apartment a few weeks ago. I was given the choice to live above regular tenants or above a business. I could have the first apartment much sooner. Let me think about it…I did. And the conclusion I came to is that I’ve tiptoed around my whole life and I’m sick of tiptoeing. I’m not doing it anymore. At least above the 9-5 business, my workouts and rumpussing won’t bother anyone. Not funny: I’m scared to have that conversation with him. Seriously what does a person say in a situation like this? Very little, I think. Nothing will come out right.
Me: Hey, you suck. I’m leaving.
Him: No, YOU suck. YOU aren’t leaving till I SAY!
See what I mean? There’s just no organic flow happening. Holy Spirit, You gotta come through on this when the time comes.
So, the drinky-poo situation. Well, I definitely remember my first drink being when I was 7 and we were at Christmas dinner at home. No one liked the wine my dad poured, but guess who did??? ME!!! I drank everyone’s red Gallo wine. My skinny, undernourished body was like, whhhaaaattt? Nectar of the gods. I vaguely remember being unable to walk straight to my bed to pass out. My dad was pissed at the other kids for giving me their wine. Here’s the thing – I loved it. Immediately, I loved it. I remember countless times later, hearing my dad drive up after work and knowing there must be a cold beer or an icy glass waiting to hold his martini with vermouth-soaked olives….what would we drink tonight?! He would always give me a little sip. It was divine.
The gene was activated. That’s just what happened. I continued to drink off and on till May 5, 2014. Alcoholism is an -ism. Not drinking for periods of time does not mean a legitimate alcoholic is cured or is no longer an alcoholic. Abstaining from drinking simply means that – but trust me, the -ism is stillllll there…just waiting for a crushing blow to come into my life, or an unbelievable day – anything to make us pick up that drink…or it could be something as inconspicuous as being a day that ends in ‘y’ – whatever the reason.
So, I’m thrilled that I am approaching 3 years sobriety. That is my biggest victory in life.
I see I’m still giving the thumb-nail version of my life. Maybe I don’t want to type all the train wrecks, etc., and that’s okay.
My struggles these days are still real and sometimes debilitating. For someone like me, who grew up in such dysfunction and neglect, I crave security and peace. And there’s the battle – I won’t air all ugliness, but for those of you who follow me or know me, you know what I’m talking about. Living with emotional abuse is extremely difficult. At this moment, for example, it’s peaceful. The absence of abuse does not mean that presence of emotional health. It just means a lull. And those lulls are what seem to be speed bumps for me. They just slow me down and make me think things could be okay. But they can’t. I’ve done ongoing work on myself with a couple of different PhD’s since I got sober. I mean, come on – my picker was bro.ken. That doesn’t mean that everything for these almost 20 years has been a shitshow. It hasn’t. There have been amazing moments and love (for me, anyway) that surprised even myself. I became a mother twice in this relationship. I mean, I could go on and on. But in sobriety, where the rubber hits the road, that’s when shit gets real. That’s when I lost that veil of comfort that I could wrap around myself in the form of alcohol and just let things go. Those days are over. God has really helped me through these years to stay sober and still feel the most awful feelings you could imagine. I lost two brothers within a year and didn’t think of picking up a drink. I recognized my marriage being in shambles and didn’t pick up a drink. My psych reminds me now of how strong I am and what I have overcome so far. I like being reminded of that because as alcoholics, we tend to do quite a bit of self-loathing and condemnation. Nowadays, though, my brain reminds myself that I am quite the badass. In the face of ridiculous adversity at times, I still stand strong and sober.
You know those funny/not funny moments? I took an “am i emotionally abused” test on live and bloom or something like that. My score was like 34. I think if my computer could have exploded into flames it would have. Yes, I get it. It is unhealthy to a horrible extreme. I am doing my best every day to make things right for me and my girls.
Wanna know something else that’s funny? As an active alcoholic, I would sometimes google, “am i an alcoholic” online quizzes…um, yeah, that’s a sign, folks. When you google a “am i” anything quiz online, you probably are that.
I don’t wanna get all “hey, look at me, I’m an emotionally abused alcoholic married to a narcissistic attorney,” buuuuutttt – okay, I’m sorry, but that just makes me laugh. I know God has great plans for me and I know this isn’t how it’s going to end. I have way too much light to shine yet.
I’m glad I wrote this. I hope you are, too.