When will I give up this struggle?
I am now 48 years old and still struggling....not as bad as in the past but still....
17 years old
18-28 years old
Weekend binge drinking almost every weekend both Friday and Saturday nights. Had a blast! No big deal - had fun, got hangovers, got over them, drank again.
28-33 years old
Did better because I was pregnant and/or had babies. Had a real excuse to tell people of why I wasn't drinking. Loved this time - probably because I wasn't drinking very much.
31 - 34 years old
Moved into a nice, family orientated, weekend party neighborhood. We all got together with our kids and drank - they played together and we didn't have to drive - perfect! I was the fun party girl in the neighborhood who always planned/hosted the get togethers, chili cook offs, pub crawls, bbq's, block parties, etc.. Many times at my house. Became great friends with the drinkers that could keep up with me. Met one of my best drinking buddies.
Really struggling but didn't care/notice - drinking wine almost nightly with that drinking buddy/neighbor, started smoking cigarettes again (only with her), almost lost my marriage, then she almost lost hers, complete disaster. First she was there for me and then I was there for her. By being there - I mean drinking with each other almost every evening.
35-40 years old
Started really struggling in my own head. My drinking and not drinking was becoming an obsession. Started to notice how important alcohol was to me. Had two little kids and wanted to be a good role model - started trying to cut back.
40-42 years old
A mess! Binge drinking 2-4 times a month - taking days to recover both physically, mentally, emotionally. I started to realize I had a problem. Started to notice the struggle in my head.
I don't drink every day (although I did struggle with having those couple of glasses of wine every night for a little while). I have never been to jail, had a DUI, been in trouble, etc. I go to work, pay my bills and take care of my family. I love to work hard and play hard. I typically don't drink Sunday - Thursday. I go to the gym, go to work, eat well and take care of my family. I do look forward to those weekend nights were I can have a few drinks, kick back and have some fun. I have been doing that for the last 25+ years.
The other side of my brain said:
I am also a binge drinker. I am having trouble controlling this.
I have learned that I rarely can stop at 2 once I start. It usually turns into 4-7 drinks over a period of 5-6 hours. I am not very big - so those 4-7 drink really mess me up. Once alcohol hits my system - I could give a shit! All of the rules, planning, promises go out the window! I have no stop button. This usually happens 2-4 times a month. It doesn't sound like much, but when it takes 3 days to recover from a binge (Sun - Wed) just to turn around and do it again the next weekend - I am exhausted.
42-43 years old
New I had to do something. I found moderation management. I bought the book, tried all the rules, posted to the list and really tied to control my weekend drinking. It seemed the harder I tried to control it, the worse it became. I was a mess. I was beating myself up mentally all the time. All I thought about was drinking - if I was or wasn't, if I was proud of myself or not. It was hell - all day every day. I tried to go on Prozac That didn't work - just made me go from sober to fall down drunk with no warning (some of my most embarrassing moments). I was fighting with everyone because I was an emotional wreck. Of course it was everyone else's fault. I just wanted to hide in my bedroom and watch intervention shows on TV (at least I wasn't as bad as them - when secretly I think I saw myself going down that road and in a weird way actually jealous that they were so bad, people had to step in). I felt so alone in my addiction. I couldn't talk about it - didn't want anyone to know. I was living in my own personal hell. I didn't even know if I was actually addicted to alcohol or just being my overly obsessive self - it was just my newest obsession.
43 years old
After 17 months of seriously trying to live by the rules and failing miserably, I found MMabsers - a sub list of the moderation list - who are a bunch of great people trying to live sober. I spent a lot of time - 2 years! - reading, learning, contemplating, blogging, trying to get some of the misery out of my head. I still didn't have anyone to talk to in my real life (as opposed to my cyber life) but at least I was getting it out somewhere. I was fascinated by how these people who really were just like me, could live sober and be happy! How in the hell could life be happy (sitting in the sun on a Friday going on vacation, going out to dinner, etc) actually be any fun without alcohol? Something was starting to grow inside me - could I be like that? Could it be possible? Was I strong enough? I started learning that I really was addicted and that I felt so crappy for days after a binge because of the poison I was putting in my body. I real the Alan Carr book and started to see alcohol for what it was - a stupid drug that I was addicted to - no better than a heroine addict just accepted by society!
Although I was starting to see things differently, my weekend bingeing was out of control. When I woke up with a hangover on Christmas morning 2011, I had had enough. I told my whole family. - parent, sister, kids, husband - everyone - I needed some accountability I decided I couldn't do it alone anymore. I was exhausted and hung over and sobbing. Somehow I got through the rest of the holidays and as my hang over wore off, I was pissed I had told anyone because now I couldn't fail without everyone knowing. It was my own little secret anymore.
43-44 years old
I went 85 days sober - 12/25/11 - 3/18/12. I posted a lost to this blog during that time. It was a roller coaster ride - so proud of myself, pissed off I couldn't drink, at peace with my decision, sad that I couldn't drink, and bored out of my mind!
44 years old
From 3/18/12 - 8/1/12 - I slowly, methodically unconsciously, undeniably went downhill. My weeks were - Fri = drinking, Sat = drinking, Sun = HO, hiding, depressed, Mon - Tues = exhausted, making promises to myself (I will do better next weekend , Wed = starting to feel better, Thurs = rationalize - I will be more careful, Fri = gearing up for the weekend, drink - REPEAT! over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over...until I just couldn't take it anymore!
44 years old
8/1/12 - I quit for good. I didn't care anymore about how hard it would be - the pain of quitting could not possibly be any worse than the pain of drinking.I got through so many first. It was still a roller coaster ride (I did post about all of that here). Most of the time I was relieved to not be fighting it anymore. I just gave up, gave in - Alcohol - you win - you are stronger than me. If I try to have you in my life - you will always win - so better just not to try. One think I still really struggled with was my energy level and my boredom. Life was so boring!! I couldn't hang out with my friends much bc they all drank and i was either jealous, annoyed or bored around them. I was also worried about spring and summer vacations. Who even cared about any of it if I couldn't drink.
45 years old
After 255 days sober, on 4/13/13 - I drank. Just a little. One glass of wine. For 2 months I did really well. I don't think I over did it? I don't know bc I stopped blogging. I could be a normal drinker! Yeah! I was so happy! This is all I ever wanted! I could have a couple of drinks with my friends occasionally and keep it under control. My boredom went away. This was perfect! I was so relieved that I could quit fighting my demon. I had won!
45 years old (the day I posted in November 2013)
Well.....guess what????.... 210 days later (November 2013) - I am a disaster again! I feel like shit! My body hurts, my heart hurts, my head hurts, my stomach hurts, my back hurts, I am depressed, grumpy, anxious and exhausted! Just like before I was so far in denial I couldn't even see what was happening. I kept trying to log onto my blog and the mmabsers list but I couldn't remember my password, so I just gave up and kept making promises to myself and kept binge drinking. I drank too much last Saturday (which was only one bottle of wine - but that is just way too much for my body to handle anymore), felt terrible Sunday and at work yesterday (can't sleep - anxiety attacks) and stayed home today to get my shit together. I worked for awhile at my passwords and was finally able to log on.
Since August 1 - November 10 (2013), I have drank over the two or three I promised myself 12 of the 15 weekends. I have drank every weekend and had a significant H0s 10 of the weekends. Until I sat down and figured it out, I didn't realize how bad it had gotten again.
I would just put it out of my mind, make promises to myself to do better and move forward - all the while my demon was secretly, silently, insidiously, getting stronger and stronger - hiding behind the veil (more like a wall) of denial!
I am making a 6 month commitment to abstaining from alcohol (maybe longer - who even knows anymore), blogging at least once a week and healing. I know this time I have to work on the boredom and energy levels. Last time I gave myself permission to eat crappy, not work out and just rest - better than drinking! I think I need to take a new approach - more of a holistic approach - I need to really take care of myself - through many avenues so I can be proactive in helping myself feel better. Last abs period, I just thought it would come naturally. That once I stopped drinking on the weekends the heavens would just open up and I would be healed and joyful and happy - like those people on the mmabsers list!
Maybe it's not that easy, maybe i have to work at it.
All I know is that (ONCE AGAIN) the pain of not drinking seems to pale in comparison to the pain of drinking.