As all the sparkle and glitter settles from New Year celebrations and resolutions, the self challenges and new commitments become a list that holds fresh hopes and repetitive failures.
I started to drink again.
Sifting through the happiness and joy of everyone’s New Year posts I find myself bored of seeing it all. Everything looks the same.
Fresh, focused and filtered.
I started drinking again.
My post would be old, sad and disappointing.
Mostly to myself.
I ended the year failing the one thing that I was the proudest about. And it really hurts and it is really confusing.
I haven’t written in over 2 months because of a guilt and shame I feel I set myself up for.
But that was the point.
I put it out there so that I was accountable…I showed up, I did it, and then I hid.
I was hiding because I was trying to figure it out.
Do I, or don’t I have a problem?
At the beginning of this journey I was so wrecked that the answer appeared obvious. But as the healing happened and my confidence and pride grew, I guess so did my doubt.
Doubt that maybe I over reacted. Maybe I shouldn’t have put my personal issues and questionings out there for everyone to know about, judge, criticize and watch my every move.
I started to feel a bit cranky about my success. I was feeling that not drinking for over 265 days was great for everyone….but me.
I was starting to feel like I made a big mistake, and wondering what have I done!
I want to drink.
I want to be a person who can have a few drinks with my friends and have a good time and be done with it.
I want to drink.
The longer I stopped drinking, more and more people knew about it, and I was openly sharing my story with them. And even though there was so much encouragement, there were also the doubters. People who questioned if I really had a problem. And when they asked if I would ever drink again my answer was always a bit vague.
It was vague because as time went on I was beginning to forget I had a problem. So, my answer changed from originally stating that I would never drink again to……I’m not too sure.
I began agreeing with the doubters. Because these people were also the people who know me well. And trust my judgement and respect my abilities.
….I think when you have an addiction, the weed is always looking for a crack to resurface, stretch, grow and move back in.
Even though I wasn’t drinking…I was still thinking about it all the time.
And I think if it wasn’t for my blog I would have taken my first drink much sooner. But blog or not the weed wanted out!
I took my first drink on our family vacation to Disney Land… “the happiest place on earth”.
I won’t bore you with all the justifications, just know there were a lot, and the main one being…”I am finally on the vacation I have dreamed of my entire life…I DESERVE a drink!”
And so, it started.
The first one sucked (probably because I picked one that I normally never would have drank). And the fact that it sucked made me feel confident that I didn’t have a problem.
Look I can’t even finish it!
But, by the end of the vacation we had graduated to a bottle of wine at dinner…and finished it.
But everything was okay, because we were on vacation and I would stop drinking as soon as we got home.
Which I did…for a while.
But the holidays and parties and socializing were all coming at me and all the normal to-do’s that people have during this season were lost on me. My only concern was… I guess I’ll just see how it goes now that I am at home. Now that I know I can drink a few drinks and not get wasted like before.
Maybe alcohol and me could have a relationship.
Let’s give it a try.
So, I drank.
Here and there.
One or two.
New Years. Let’s have a party! And let’s have it at my place.
So, I can drink.
And maybe I can just have a few more tonight…
If your going to really test yourself, tonight’s the night.
And I drank.
And didn’t have fun.
Because as the New Year came charging at me, I went charging to the bottle.
All I had gained was slowly falling apart drink after drink after drink.
I didn’t even feel present.
It felt like I was two people, with one watching as the other was saying- go fuck yourself.
This split of myself has been the hardest of all to deal with these last few weeks.
The fighting voices in my head.
The disappointment in the eyes of those I have let down.
The guilt of enjoying the failure….if that makes sense!?!
The failure let me drink.
And now I have to figure out what to do now.
Now that it is quiet again. The confetti has settled. Tis the season is over.
Do I start over?
Do I go back to day 1?
All I know for sure, is that I like myself better in the morning when I haven’t had a drink.
I wish I could bottle this feeling.
I wish I could reach for this at any hour.
I know there is a way. So many people have reached out with support and advice and I am sorry for my slip.
But today I am sad.
Today I am disappointed.
But today I did not drink. And that means tomorrow morning I will like myself.
You are very brave. Admitting your mistake takes great courage and I believe is the biggest step to healing. I wish you determination and strength to continue on your journey to be the person you want to be. One day at a time. We all struggle and we all sometimes fail, getting up and starting again is part of the process that leads to success.
It takes courage to admit the struggle. And remember that the supporters and even the doubters are here for you. Call any one of us. We are here for you. You are not alone.
I saw the faces of everyone I love who has ever battled addiction and even flashes of myself as I read this, and, it is indeed sad to know that’s how you feel, but it’s also hopeful.
The fact that you’re writing again is proof that your warrior goddess isn’t quite finished yet.
Keep choosing to feel good, get back in the ring and keep kicking ass and know that there’s random people like me who live in the middle of nowhere who give shit.
I don’t know you, but I am sad too. My son took his life on a Monday, 14 months ago. And on New Years Eve my 63 year old boyfriend ended our relationship. He is a heavy drinker. An alcoholic. And a beautiful human being that struggles. You too, are a worthwhile person. And should you decide to, you will get back on that proverbial saddle. Knowing, that in time, you will know the answer to any question. The answers come in the quiet times. I am grieving. Big time. I’m hoping “my man” is grieving me. And I grieve for you too. Struggling with misuse of any substance is a HUGE challenge. And you will succeed when you are ready. Take care, be gentle with yourself. And know that although I’m a stranger, I share your pain. XO
Love what you wrote. It’s authentic and raw- and that’s beautiful and encouraging. I can relate to EVERYTHING you said here. I’ve gotten up and fallen so many times- so much self doubt and self hate, yet today I wake up with no hangover. And that really is a wonderful feeling. Sending you good vibes today:)
We all fail. It’s part of life. But we go on, try again and eventually succeed. Think of how often a baby falls before mastering the ability to walk. You will succed because sobriety is something you want even over your desire to drink. My husband has died. I don’t like life right now without him but I know I will get to a new life. Trying to get there is hard. So far I’m failing but like you I have to keep trying. Good luck to both of us.
I am glad to hear your voice on your blog again, I missed it. You have such an inspiring writing style.
As for the doubt, the do I don’t I have a problem, I think that it is a normal part of the process. I know that my struggles are different from yours but I find myself questioning it too some days. How I try to look at it (and this has taken some trial and error, but it is what works for me) is to point out to myself that regardless of whether the root of the struggle is real or not I feel the best now then I felt in a long time. This way the real or not doesn’t matter; all that matters is that I feel the best and so I move forward from there. Which by the way is my mantra, “from here I move forward.”
Thank you for sharing!