Facing myself

This is incredibly humiliating to write.  I considered just carrying on, lying in my blog (how crazy is that, since this blog is for me?), lying to Belle, and just moving forward as though I didn’t have drinks last night.  After being so convicted that this time was for real, I’m still in shock that it happened and I’m starting to understand how very fragile I am and that I need way more help than I’ve been asking for.

The events of yesterday have me at the point of surrender… somehow, some way, in the past few years, I’ve become an alcoholic.  I don’t know what else to call this crazy disordered thinking, the fact that I’ve been at this for over a year and the longest stint I’ve strung together is 32 days, and the fact that each time I return to drinking it seems to be getting worse.  In all my compulsive listening to the Bubble Hour podcasts, reading blogs and books, I recognize myself more and more, and my ability to somehow consider myself separate from everyone else is diminishing.

I’m an alcoholic, and I need help.  I’ve never said those words before and just writing them makes me extremely uncomfortable and scared.  But I am so scared about how easily I lapsed into drinking yesterday, how while I grappled with myself momentarily, I already knew I would lose, and by the time we got to the restaurant I was agitated that the server didn’t come soon enough to take our drink order. That despite telling myself I would only have one or two, I had three at the restaurant, then opened two more bottles at home and had at least five more glasses with my husband and roommate (who had maybe two glasses, three at the most) over a game of trivia.  That at some point, I blacked out and have vague memories of lying on the bathroom floor and my husband dragging my sorry ass to bed at 8:00 p.m.  That once I had the one glass, I was immediately irritated by how little it seemed and that I had to concentrate to slow my drinking down to an acceptable pace.  That I found myself, once again, awake at 2:30 a.m., sweating and thirsty and in hell for the rest of the night.  Swearing just like always that I would never let it happen again.

I’m so scared of what will happen if I don’t get this under control… that I’ll never be able to get pregnant, that I’ll get a DUI, that I’ll pick a fight with my husband and say something horrible and damaging.  I can feel the wheels falling off of the business I’m trying to build this year… waves of sobriety accompanied by creativity, motivation, and being fully present, but interrupted by drinking days where I’m faking it, showing up half-assed, and doing the bare minimum.  I quite certainly will never realize my potential should I continue to drink.

Trigger that “caused” me to drink last night?  My husband saying how he could really go for a beer, and would I mind if he had one.  I said no, then immediately Wolfie pounced on me, feeding me those familiar lies:  “You’re overreacting.”  “Why quit right before the holidays?”  “Just wait until January 1st!”  “You can just have one or two.”  LIES!!!  Why is it so hard to recognize that these scenarios have NOT WORKED in the past!

So it is this way, at this moment, that the one and only thing I have to feel proud of is that I am not lying. I am here writing my truth, in the hopes that if I keep trying, something will click.  I feel compelled to try an AA meeting if only to have some face-to-face interaction, but I am absolutely TERRIFIED.  Terrified that I’ll see someone who knows me.  That I won’t relate to anyone.  That I’ll CRY.  That people will look at me.

Any advice on attending a first meeting would be most welcome.  At this point, I would be stupid to think that blogging alone is enough, when it hasn’t been enough for a whole year.  AA seems like the only option outside of spending loads of money we don’t have on a treatment center.  And it seems like there must be something to having real life, in person interaction right?

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19 thoughts on “Facing myself”

  1. Hey we have all been there. It’s a constant learning process & everyone’s journey is different. This has happened, you are already questioning why, just make sure a big skip doesn’t turn into a major relapse. I am not sure how many days you were sober for, but get straight back onto this & you will be glad for it.

    Big Hugs going out to you x

  2. Big hug. How we get to this place is so confusing.
    Find a meeting tomorrow and go. You will be scared and you might even cry. That is ok.
    Go still.
    Walk in and if they ask if anyone is new put up your hand. Take the offered phone numbers. You don’t have to call anyone. But you might meet someone who you feel might help you.
    Plan to go to another meeting. Even if the first one seems weird. Try. Be open minded.
    If you know anyone they will be there for the same issue. And they will treat you with kindness and compassion.

    Tell your husband you need help. Real help. That you are struggling.

    You can do this. There is a bright, beautiful life waiting for you to notice it!

    Xo

    Anne

  3. Hmmmm :-(, to me it seems that you are starting to learn how strong alcohol actually is. And that is A GOOD THING :-), although it might (does?) feel pretty uncomfortable because it implies that we, the addicted people, are powerless. Which in itself is an amazingly scary thought, somehow specifically so to people that wrestle with addiction. I’m not at this for very long but I guess knowing about alcohol and addiction and how it can overtake you (me) in a second is a very important first step. In AA they call it realising that addicted people are powerless. Which to me is very true and on another level also a not because we can actually stop – haven’t worked that out yet.
    About the AA: I haven’t been there but I read something on the blogs here that made sense. People that are already in AA are more likely to welcome you than point a finger at you because they ‘know you’. They will not. They have suffered the same as you are doing now and are willing to work on it and help others work on it.
    Also: if crying in public feels bad, you might want to try and see how it compares to not helping yourself and passing out in the bathroom. :-/. Crying in public at a closed meeting from the AA with people around that have gone, or are going through, the same thing as you do now to me actually seems like a VERY HEALTHY thing to do. 🙂 Just take it easy on the mascara ;-).
    The addict in you (me!) makes up all kind of reasons to not quit. Like making up that crying in public is shameful or that you will be ‘found out’, or that it would somehow be a good idea to lie on your blog or to other people. 😦 It is called addictive thinking and stimulated by the addiction. Part of getting sober is to separate our original self from the addictive thoughts. Addictive thinking is complex but it can be recognised: it is a system of thoughts, viewing points, feelings and behaviour that in he short or long run make us drink. Your inner ‘wolfie’ – although I would call it wolf not to get the idea that there is anything cute about it, and then I still like wolves so I call it the addict within.
    I had a very non-constructive addictive thought for years that my GP1 unraveled as: ‘Hmmmm, wo….. you are so ashamed of drinking that you will not get the help you need to stop it. How is that logical?’
    🙂 You are on a good road, realising that alcohol has become a big thing and might need more attention before you can break the bonds is a GOOD THING because it is part of the good road.

    1. You have a very good point there about which is worse… crying in front of others does NOT seem so bad when you compare it directly to passing out in your own bathroom. But, it’s still different… as awful as being passed-out drunk is, it’s still in a way a more familiar place. I know how to handle it. (That is sarcasm… because I KNOW that’s my addict voice telling me I have it all under control.) But the crazy thing is that there’s still a comfortable familiarity in that drama, whereas showing my REAL feelings in front of OTHER people is totally scary to me, unfamiliar, and nerve wracking. But pushing out of my unhealthy comfort zone is necessary, I do know that. And it’s where life’s beauty lies, I do know that as well. Time to do some growing.

      1. 🙂 Yes, I guess that’s life: time to do some growing. Have faith. You seem to not have lost touch with honesty so that’s very good.:-) And…. if I may push the point a little: worrying up front about what is going to happen, excesive worrying of what other people might think is also part of addictive thinking. (So are control issues btw) If it feels uncomfortable to speak, there is always you to take care of you and say something like: I would not like to speak. Coming here has been difficult enough as it is. I am aftraid I will fall apart when I speak so I would rather pass.
        As long as you speak and listen in truth you are growing and healing. Have faith in you.

  4. Hi, I attended my first AA meeting with all those same thoughts. It was those thoughts that took me 73 days to step through the door of a meeting. It was scary, and there were TWO people that I knew there. But, remember, we are all there for the same reason. And it is anonymous. What happens there, stays there.
    If you are sick and tired, and it sounds like you are, real people are key to getting and staying sober. At least for me they were. Some of the nicest people I have ever met are sober people. They will bend over backwards to help, all you have to do is ask.
    There is a lot of knowledge in those rooms. I had to try a bunch of meetings before I found a fit. For a scarredy cat like me that was tough, but I wanted what they all had, long term sobriety. If it took going and sitting and listening to people talk, I would do it. I would do anything to stay sober and keep collecting days. The stories, the books, the sayings, are all tools to throw in your toolbox to use when that voice says, hmmm, time to give the booze a try again.
    I am at 388 days, and that voice is still there at least once a week if not more. Some days it is a passing thought, some days they all gang up on me and knock me around a bit.
    I may not always like to go to meetings, but as they say, when I leave, I never say, shit I just wasted an hour of my life.
    What you are doing isn’t working, so how can it hurt?
    Welcome back, and Happy Day 1.

    1. Thank you. What you are saying makes total sense to me. Congrats on 388 days, that’s amazing. And you’re right, what I’ve been doing is definitely NOT working. (See: my entire blog.) haha… time to get over myself and ask for more help. Sigh.

  5. I wish we could go to a meeting together!
    I think the points being made here that everyone is there for the same reason, and that they have all been where you are, are worth taking some time to really think about. It might help reduce the fear a bit.
    Also as feeling says – and I feel quite strongly about this too – you are aware that you need help to change, you want to overcome the addiction. So dont let the shame take over. I think its monumentally unfair that people who are getting sober, in a lot of cases, feel such a huge burden of shame, when they are actually waking up and trying to drastically change their lives for the better.
    Good luck, G, you can do this! Xxx

    1. It’s so true, the stigma is a hindrance to reaching out, for sure! That and the sense of finality… like I feel like if I step foot into a meeting, then it’s REALLY over for me and drinking. How crazy is that? I mean that should be a GOOD thing right? So I’m obviously still struggling with acceptance and the whole, “I’m not as bad as so and so” mentality. I wish we could go to a meeting together too! That’s the thing… if I had someone to go with, I would feel so much braver!

  6. Hello. It sounds like your really struggling and I have been there. If you think giving AA a try would help I would definitly try that route. Although I dont go anymore (although maybe thinking of going back?) it is such a supportive enviornment. The people there get it and will get you. Just try it and say your new. People will come to YOU!

  7. hey GOTL, I am a big fan of trying new things if what you are currently doing isn’t working. There isn’t anything to lose and potentially a whole lot to gain. I agree with all of the above advice- just go check out a few meetings. When you feel ready, and if you aren’t comfortable putting up your hand, just try to talk to someone. Tell them you are new. I found people at AA were so friendly and helpful. You don’t have to commit to anything but you just might find that you click with some things that are being said. I only went to a bunch of meetings in the beginning but it was definitely something that got me on the path I am on now.

    Why not also check out other kinds of recovery programs/groups that might be in your area? The key is to just keep trying different things until you find what works for you. Help is out there- you just have out reach out and grab it. You deserve to be well and happy, and it is possible! xo

  8. sounds like you’re getting at the end of your rope. And while it may scare the shit out of you and it makes you feel that you’re hopeless and all that, this is actually a good thing – there is a crack opening up, and as they say, that is where the light comes in. You know when people talk about bottoms, we usually think about DUI’s, divorces, etc. Those are consequences, but true bottoms look like yours – when we look at ourselves and whisper “I can’t do this any more”.

    Like you said, blogs and podcasts are great, but they alone don’t keep me sober. They are nice additions to my recovery, but the meat and potatoes of my recovery is my 12-step program. For a guy like me, I need it. Others may not, but reading a few posts here and there won’t keep that voice from telling me that this time, it’s going to be different!

    Many of the fine folks here have given good advice about that first meeting. You will not be judged. AT ALL. Newcomers are completely welcome. Open arms. Every single person in the room has had to go to their first meeting. So we all know the feeling. I was at a meeting the other night and saw a newcomer. he was red from the drink and crying. I and another guy spoke to him on the church stoop for 30-40 min during the meeting. He said a lot of the things you did. We made him feel welcome because that is what we do. We all do this.

    Let folks there know you are new. Get phone numbers (no dudes phone numbers!!) No pressure to call anyone, and know this – if you do call, you are NOT bothering anyone. You are helping others by calling as much as they are helping you. People wouldn’t give our their number to avoid you. Accept any help. Don’t let pride get in the way. This is life and death stuff.

    This is a wonderful post in that the bullshit is coming up front and you, and you alone, are calling yourself out on it. Get to a meeting as soon as you can before your illness starts justifying and rationalizing again. Ego likes to rebuild. In all of us.

    Blessings and hugs to you
    My prayers and good juju vibes out to you.

    Paul

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