In the time I’ve been on a hiatus from the blog, you can absolutely guess the cycle I’ve been in, because I’ve written about it countless times. I read through all my entries today, to see where I was a year ago and remind myself that it’s been a YEAR that I’ve actively struggled to get this alcohol issue under control… which really says something about whether there’s a problem.
This whole dilemma in my mind about whether there’s a problem is really just Wolife I’ve decided, trying to convince me that there might not be. The problem is the obsessive thinking, the cycle of guilt and remorse and craving and abandon, and back. Just as Belle’s blog so accurately says, I’m tired of thinking about drinking. Who gives a crap if I’m an alcoholic or meet some other label. I am obviously, and quite simply, unable to be my best self when I’m actively drinking. That seems to be enough to convince me to stop. And whatever happens, it certainly can’t be worse to be sober than it’s been to start over so many times this past year.
So here I am again, on day 1, and going to bed snuggled up with my dogs and feeling a sense of trepidation and relief and fear and shame for having done this so many times, and hope. But I am going to refrain from making grandiose promises to myself because it truly seems that those statements sabotage me every time. So just right now, I am not drinking and I am struggling and still, I am glad to be here. I am afraid of what will happen if I continue, and I think that fear has grown over the past year to a sufficient level that I’m more comfortable admitting to myself that there is a real problem. Because I’ve been forgetting things, like way more things than ever. And I’ve been hiding my drinking sometimes, and having to try so hard to slow down when I’m with other drinkers at dinner so that I’m not done with my first glass of wine in 5 minutes. And the forgetting… it has gotten bad and it is the scariest part of all. Not so much forgetting what happens after a night of drinking, but forgetting appointments, forgetting where I put things, what a friend and I talked about (during the day, sober)… regular, every day things.
I went to a therapist for my drinking problems, about 2 months ago. And to my surprise (and temporary relief), she told me she didn’t think I was an alcoholic and although I was in a place where I should be mindful, she didn’t think I was out of control. But she also didn’t question me about it all that thoroughly, and I was in a place where I was telling her what sounded reasonable… I told her about the nights I COULD have just a couple glasses, and how I could string a group of days together. And just like that, she gave me her blessing to keep drinking. When I left her office that day I cried and cried… I felt so scared, like I had gone to her for help and left with no plan or help to stop drinking, which is what I wanted. Instead, she suggested I add ice cubes to my wine to slow down my consumption. I felt alone.
I’m so grateful to have this space to come and to write, and to read what all of you have to say. But I do feel I need human interaction with someone or some people who are like me… this time around I am so desperate for this to work that I think I just may try a meeting. My only real wish is that I could have someone tell me where to go, which one to go to, so that I’d make sure not to run into anybody who might recognize me and one with people like me. Ha. I fancy myself not a “mess” like I imagine most people at meetings are. I don’t smoke. I have a nice house and a good career and a husband with a good career. We know loads of people in our town. I drive a nice car. I have a law degree. I am not like “them.”
I suppose if I keep up this elitist attitude all I’ve got to look forward to is another cycle of drinking though, since I can’t seem to do it on my own. So as soon as I can work up the courage, I might give it a go. For now, I’m going to focus on the now, and write a LOT, and keep focusing on the now, one minute at a time.