Friday, July 28, 2006

One Week

Yesterday was seven days. I've only been to 5 meetings (6, counting last night), but I'm going every day that I can physically get to one.

And so far, I'm not hating them, and I'm seeing the necessity of going, and yes, even enjoying some aspects of them, and some of the people I'm meeting.

The hardest part has been going to new meetings, but after walking in and sitting down, I'm okay, until someone forces me to speak (I HATE this, and BTW, since when has then been a requirement of a newcomer?? If I WANT to speak up, I will, but if you embarrass me or put me on the spot, there's a good chance I won't come back.).

I don't think I could have picked a worse time to try to get sober. I'm so stressed out by the upcoming move, having to pack, facing a 12 hour drive by myself, etc. I've been crying frequently, and I've been arguing a LOT more with my husband. My temper seems very volatile. I guess it was still there before, but I would just numb it with alcohol.

Yesterday morning, I was trying to get him to see my point of view on this whole moving issue, and he was trying to say that he knows what I'm going through, because it's difficult for him to leave here in some ways, too.

I just looked at him incredulously.

"How is it difficult for you? We're doing this because you want to. So you can pursue your dreams, your goals."

"Well, I really like this house, so it's hard for me to want to leave, too."

"It's not the house. Yeah, that's PART of it. But, that's not why I'm upset about moving. You're going TO something that you're excited about. You're starting a new chapter in your life, taking on a new challenge. I'm not going TO anything except the unknown. This scares the hell out of me. I dread this. And, driving the car down there by myself just represents everything I'm feeling and fearing right now. Being alone. Being anxious. Not really knowing where I'm going, or if I can get there without getting lost or breaking down."

Silence.

I wait for a full minute.

Continued silence.

"There are liquor stores down there, too, buddy, so you'd better start talking."

Nothing was really resolved, but I felt like MAYBE he had heard me.

Maybe.

More importantly, though, I was able to identify and express my fears verbally, and not just deny and hide them. I didn't try to escape them, and calm myself with alcohol.

Not yesterday.

And with God's and the group's help, not today.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Altar Calls and Gratitude

I went to the meeting last night.

It was really hard. I was so apprehensive, and even though I know "no one is judging" me because they've either done it themselves or seen it countless times, there is still that element of shame in having to admit the slip and take the white chip one more time.

I sat through most of the meeting just trying to hold back tears. I think part of it was relief and gratitude that I actually had somewhere to go back to. A lot of it was fear, though, because I waited until the end when they were handing out chips, and didn't say anything at all until then.

I wasn't even going to speak up then. Just make a "secret surrender," but then when the guy doing the chip ritual asked if there was someone who wanted to take a white chip, "maybe someone coming back in after a slip," something or Someone made me jump up and say "I do!"

I think there is something powerful in that act of public surrender, something like going forward when an altar call is given (I'm a southern girl living in the Bible belt, after all). Last time I made it back to a meeting, I DIDN'T speak up, and I slipped again almost immediately.

This isn't really what I'd intended to write.

I was going to write about feeling grateful.

Usually, I have to really look for reasons for that, but I DO feel grateful this morning.

Grateful that I didn't wake up so hung over that all I could do was throw up and crawl back to bed (over and over). Grateful that even though I woke up with a little bit of a headache, I know it's either just from sinuses, or the last of the alcohol being purged from my system (I haven't had a drink since around 2:00 AM Wednesday morning, but I guess it takes a while when you have so much in your body). Grateful I could wake up and not feel ashamed and remorseful about the night before. Grateful that even though I'm still having difficulty getting to sleep and staying asleep once I'm there, that when I wake up in the wee hours of the morning, my first thoughts are, "God, please just help me to get through this and not drink," rather than "I've got to have just a little drink to get back to sleep." Grateful that when I opened the 'fridge this morning and saw how dirty it is, I realized I have the energy to tackle that task today.

And grateful that there is a meeting to go to tonight, even though it's not my favorite thing to do, and may not ever be.

Because this is what I do know that I have to do to stay sober today.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Believe

Please do not believe me when I tell you I've dumped out all the alcohol. I'm lying. You need to look for it. Do not trust me. Are my lips moving? If so, I'm probably lying.

I hate, Hate, HATE myself and this truth about me, but you need to realize that this IS my truth. I don't know how to be honest when I can lie. Lying is actually easier than telling the truth for me.

I have to face you again in the morning. Knowing I've screwed up again, knowing I've hurt you once more. I don't want to do this.

In some ways, it would be so much better, and so much easier if I could just go ahead and die.

Then, I wouldn't keep hurting you, and hurting myself. Then, it would all just be over.

But, I worry so much about God, and if I would have eternal life, or at least life in heaven, if I killed myself. Could and would God forgive me? Could I ever forgive myself?

I know you hate me right now, and that's o.k. I hate myself, so your hatred is almost irrelevant. . . not that it's not important. How you feel toward me IS important, but I've screwed up so much so many times that I just don't even know what feelings are from you, and which are from me any more, and I just hate myself so much that I can't really believe you hate me any more than I do.

Please, PLEASE know that I hate, Hate, HATE being so sick. I HATE hurting you.

But, I will most likely continue to do so until I get well. Don't let me escape. Don't let me get by. Challenge me. Test me. Force me to be honest.

I love you.

Please love me.

Honesty

Just left my husband this note, outside the bathroom door, so he'll see it when he comes out from taking his shower (can we GET more cowardly than this?):

I haven’t really been asleep since you came in the first time to wake me.

I just couldn’t stand the thought of facing you.

I hate what I am, and I hate what I’m doing, and I hate what it’s doing to you. I want to stop. I REALLY, REALLY do. I have to, but I want to, as well.

As much as I dislike certain aspects of AA, and as much as I dread having to attend meetings the rest of my life, I hate being a drunk even more. For some reason, I can’t get and stay sober on my own, so I will go back to AA, even though I’m so ashamed of myself, and dread having to go back in and admit that I’ve failed once again.

There is not a meeting close by until Thursday night. There is one on ** Road in ** tonight, but right now, I still can feel that I have alcohol in my system, so I wouldn’t want to drive, at least until it dissipates (I know how ironic that sounds, but when I’m sober, or at least mostly so, I do still have good judgment).

I don’t know why I’ve chosen this way to medicate myself, or this way to live. I don’t like it. I hate myself. I hate hurting you. Please try to believe this, and believe that I want to get better.


Update: He's read it, and I cried and told him how sorry I am, and that I know that doesn't mean anything. I told him not to trust me. I gave him my car keys and my ATM and credit cards, told him if I had money, or a way to get it, and car keys, I couldn't trust myself to not buy alcohol.

But you know what stinks? When he asked me if I still had alcohol anywhere in the house, I flat-out lied and said I'd dumped it all out.

The real reason I can't go to the meeting tonight?

I'll still be drunk.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Hell to Pay

Well, it turns out he was just looking the other way. I got a little sloppy and careless about the amount I was drinking, thinking I was getting away with it so easily and all, and I slipped up on Thursday. He must have come in and found me passed out on the couch or something (I honestly don't remember anything that occurred in a 2 hour time span). I woke up and started looking for the bottle of wine I'd been drinking, and realized he must have found it and hidden it. Finally found the bottle today -- empty, of course -- which confirms this scenario.

I waited for him to go out on his nightly walk and then high-tailed it to the liquor store and bought a bottle of vodka and proceeded to get blotto. So, we had the confrontation yesterday morning (well, morning for me, anyway). He asked me if I'm aware of how distressing my drinking is to him. I asked him if he's aware that the stress he's causing me makes me want to drink. He was incredulous that I blamed him for any stress I'm experiencing. Later, I apologized for blaming him, but inside, I still do blame him and I resent his selfishness. He just seems tired of it all, and wants me to go back to AA. I'm tired of it all, too. Including, maybe the marriage.

A few minutes ago, he said, "Baby, please don't be so sad." I just got mad and told him not to tell me how to feel. I can't get past the hopelessness and the anxiety and the profound sadness I'm feeling. This is my reality. All the time, usually. This is what I drink to escape from. There is nothing in my life that gives me any joy any more and I don't know how to find it again.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Screwed

My life is so f***ed up again. I've been drinking again since 4 nights after I wrote that last (self-congratulatory?) post. I think I've been "getting away with it," in that my husband seems not to have noticed, or if he has, is choosing to look the other way. Generally, he gets really angry if he suspects I've been drinking, and won't sleep in the same bed with me, and that hasn't happened. I've tried to be careful not to get obviously drunk, but I've had horrible hangovers at least 2 mornings, because I've done a lot of the drinking after he goes to bed.

I don't even know why I started again. I'm under A LOT of stress due to the fact we're moving to another state so my husband, the full-time graduate student, can begin a 4-year PhD program, and I've got to look for a "real job" once we get there (my last actual job interview resulted in a 2-day confined-to-bed migraine), since we have no source of income other than investments that are starting to shrink. We have to sell our beautiful house so we can move to a MUCH older--as in 45 years--, much smaller, and much more expensive rental house, pack up and move everything we own in 4 weeks. Just normal stuff.

Normal stuff that happens to normal people who don't have to filter it through an alcohol-generated haze.

I just know AA is not the way for me to do sobriety long-term. I dread the thought of a lifetime of attending AA meetings, and having my social community be fellow AAers. I despise the "lingo," the "buzzwords," etc. (what the hell does "fake it 'til you make it" mean, anyway??) so I've got to figure out how to do this on my own, if I'm not going to go back to AA.

Sidenote for All AA People: PLEASE don't think I'm bashing AA. I think it's a wonderful program if that's what works for you, and if that's what you want for your life. I KNOW that what I'm doing now doesn't work, but I have to find what does work for me. I have tremendous respect and regard for all of you who've managed to get and stay sober through AA, and I will continue to give and seek support here in this community online.