One day, 9 years ago, someone looked me right in the eyes and had the courage to tell me that if I continued drinking the way I was drinking that the road ahead was not going to be pretty.
If I continued to drink in excess, there would come a day when the drink would control me more than I would control it.
There would come a day when life would start to get hard and all the goodness I was living would fall away.
Please stop now he begged.
Trust me. I know what I am talking about, he said, because looking at you is like looking into a mirror.
I looked him straight in the eyes and without faulter, I smiled and thanked him for his concern. I appreciated his over protection of me, but he really had nothing to worry about. I told him I was sorry that alcohol caused problems for him, but for me it was just for fun and enjoyment. An addiction…absolutely not.
It was hard to convince him on this day, as his arrival to our home was unexpected and our recycling was overflowing with alcohol bottles.
So, convince him I was ok…I don’t think so. He smiled and again looked me right in the eyes and said that he guessed I must know best.
And of course, I did!
After he left I told my husband about the conversation, and we actually laughed about it. How ridiculous! I was not that ‘type’ of person to have ‘that’ kind of problem. I loved my drinks and that was that. Nothing was wrong at all.
Life continued on, as it does, and I was blessed to get pregnant. How wonderful! Being pregnant and knowing that I was going to be a mother is still to this day the happiest time of my life.
I was made for this.
I would do all the right things during my pregnancy and protect my unborn child, like most fierce mothers do.
The only challenge was that you can’t drink while pregnant.
Ugh! That was most inconvenient and more difficult than I had imagined it would be.
I had a few friends who where pregnant at the same time and this seemed to pose no problems for them.
For me…a much different story. And here is a confession I am not proud of at all. I was a sipper during my pregnancy. I didn’t drink, I sipped. If my husband had a glass of wine during dinner, I would have my water, but I just couldn’t resist a sip. That’s all, one sip. But that in itself is bad enough. I just had my nightly sip.
Now, I had the control and intelligence to know that anything more than that was just wrong. But don’t let me fool you, every person who said things like “beer is great to drink while pregnant” or “a glass of Champagne it totally fine on New Year’s….it’s just one. Nothing will happen… the baby is fine.” All of these small permissions and more made me feel ‘okay’ about my daily sip.
But what always nagged me in the back of my mind was, why???
Why did I need that sip?
What was the point?
What was I getting out of it?
Where was my self control?
What the heck is wrong with me??
This pregnancy did not come easy.
This pregnancy cost us a lot of money.
So how could I take that sip?
But I did, and no justifications in the world can make it right.
It was wrong.
I was selfish.
And thankfully, I was lucky.
My son’s birth, his health, his life, is perfect. As perfect as a little 8 year old boy’s life can be 🙂
Years later, after a lot of struggle and hardships that I will write about later, the same person confronted me again. This time not as gentle. Not as comforting. Not as sympathetic.
This time it was harsh, brutal, honest and unforgiving.
And I got mad.
Mad and defensive.
I lashed back and our relationship has never been the same since.
But his words never left me.
They were there with every drink I poured. Every hang over I had. Every moment of self hate I experienced. And all the shame that enveloped itself around me.
He was strong.
I was not.
I was not ready to admit that he was right.
That he was right from the start.
But unfortunately, the way life works for most is that we have to go through the shit to get to the good stuff. And boy have I gone through the shit.
And it also sadly takes a crisis or dramatic event in your life to snap you out of the haze you’ve been living in.
And I guess fortunately that happened to me.
And at my lowest of lows I saw the light.
I saw that all he had said was true.
He was right.
He was strong.
But I knew that I was strong too.
And I know he knows that.
That is why he was the only one who had the courage to face me and tell me the truth of what I was doing to myself.
So to him I say,
I AM SORRY
I am sorry for being a fake.
I am sorry for hurting you with unkind words.
I am sorry for creating a rift between our once unbreakable bond.
But mostly I am sorry that I wasn’t strong and smart enough at the time to heed your words. To know your truth would be mine if I didn’t listen.
Thank you for loving me.
Thank you for being brave enough to confront me and plant the seed of doubt in my head.
Thank you for letting me figure this out, my way.
My promise to you is to do better.
To be strong and wise.
To trust love when it is looking me right in the eyes.
I know this has been difficult for you.
I am better and
I love you.