Today's post is not at all on topic so you may wish to skip it. If you are looking for something fun to read hop on over to PK's place, Sunnygirl wrote another lovely Friday Fantasy story that I guarantee will be much more entertaining.
Today is a momentous day for me. It is the one year anniversary of something I am very proud of. Yet that thing I'm so proud of was a result of something that causes me great shame too. It's something I hid from all but the closest people in my life. Something I never really talk about, even now.
I never thought I would write about this here, but I find I am struggling to move on. I'm hoping if I write about it, get it all down in black and white that I will finally be able to put it behind me.
Today is the one year anniversary of my sobriety. I'm an alcoholic. It makes me cry just to type that. I never thought that would be a label I would have to own, but I do.
I come from a long line of alcoholics, my father and all 5 of his siblings were alcoholics. Both of their parents, my grandparents, were alcoholics. All 3 of my siblings as well as myself have had issues with alcohol.
I know there is a gene that puts people at a higher risk for alcoholism, I would hazard a guess that I have that gene. I also have had issues with depression and anxiety on and off my entire life which I know also puts me at a higher risk.
Much like sex my father introduced me to alcohol at a young age. There are pictures of me as a toddler sitting on his lap drinking a beer. I hadn't even finished grade school before I was regularly raiding the alcohol cabinet in my parents home.
When I met Musicman we were both drinkers. During the early years of our marriage we went out drinking with friends almost every weekend, but we didn't keep it in the house and we rarely drank at home. At that point it wasn't a problem as I had worked very hard to learn limits with some success.
I stopped drinking when I became pregnant with our first child, we also stopped going out very much because I was not comfortable being around people who were drinking when I wasn't. I wasn't tempted to drink, I just didn't enjoy being the only sober person at the party. I did not drink during my second pregnancy either. During the interim and following my second pregnancy I did drink occasionally, but it was not a problem.
I don't really know exactly when I let the drinking get so out of hand. I was busy working, raising kids, taking care of my home and family. Musicman and I became the primary caretakers for first his Mother and brother and then later my Mother. Musicman became very ill and required a transplant to survive. During all that time alcohol was not an issue.
It started innocently enough, Musicman took a second job working at a beer distributor. It was owned by a family member of his and he did it as a favor to them. They needed the help of someone they could trust so when they asked he agreed. He started occasionally bringing home a case of beer for the weekend. Still it wasn't a problem.
After a while I started asking him to bring it home a little more often. I found a beer or two after work while I was cleaning and cooking dinner was relaxing. At this point it still wasn't a problem, I'd have a few beers then dinner with the family and everything was good.
I started experiencing job burnout and decided to change careers. I signed up for school and started taking classes. I loved my classes, I really enjoyed the physical and mental challenge of it. Then I lost my job. I found a new job a few months later and I realized I couldn't keep up with both school and work, so I made the decision to quit school. At the time it was the right thing to do for my family, but maybe not so much for me. A few beers before dinner became a six pack or more a night and I'd skip dinner. Things were no longer so good.
Musicman tried to help me but I was not receptive to his help. I didn't think I had a problem.
A year and a half ago two things happened. I got stuck in the middle of a huge fight between my brother and mother and I lost my job. I spiraled out of control quickly and was drinking a 12 pack a day or more. This went on for many months. I realized I had a problem but I didn't care anymore.
I tried twice to quit but failed. I realized that if I didn't do something I was going to die and I didn't want that. I tried again, it was awful, I was physically ill from withdrawal for over a week. Musicman took care of me.
Since then I have worked very hard to recover. I started eating right and exercising and have had great results. That was the easy part. Facing the guilt and shame of what I did is much harder to deal with and is still ongoing.
I still cry when I think of how badly I failed, what a disappointment I've been to Musicman. I've come a long way in my recovery and he has been by my side every step of the way supporting me. I still have a long way to go, but I'm determined, I will not fail, I will not let Musicman down again.