Saturday, March 31, 2012

Holding Pattern

I've been doing some research into something. Something that I have been wrestling with managing well, with limited success. I've gained some insight, but have yet to find a good way to deal with the situation.

I think I started the research hoping to find that I was wrong about myself. Turns out the only thing I was wrong about was in thinking I might be wrong. What I found not only did not prove me wrong, it strengthened what I know about myself.

I looked exhaustively at personality traits associated with this phenomenon, hoping not to see myself. Thats not what I found though. I found a perfect picture of myself. No more trying to pretend this is not the issue. The reality is I already knew it, I just didn't want it to be true because I don't know how to deal with it in this case.

These are some of what I found, the ones that most definitely apply to me:

Quiet achievers but expressive in area's of emotional connection. They find that talking about emotional issues is a great outlet that aids in understanding themselves and others. Often appear moody.

Know stuff  without being told. It’s a knowing that goes way beyond intuition or gut feelings, even though that is how many would describe the knowing.

Being in public places can be overwhelming, places like shopping malls, supermarkets or stadiums, where there are lots of people around. I'm prone to panic attacks in crowds.

Feeling others emotions and taking them on as your own. You know when someone is not being honest. If a friend or a loved one is telling you lies you know it (although many try not to focus on this because knowing a loved one is lying can be painful). Or if someone is saying one thing but feeling/thinking another, you know.

Picking up physical symptoms off another, especially those who they’re closest to, somewhat like sympathy pains.

Digestive disorders and lower back problems. I have both.

Always looking out for the underdog.  Others will want to offload their problems on you, even strangers.

Constant fatigue, addictive personality, creative, need for solitude, gets bored or distracted easily if not stimulated.

Always looking for the answers and knowledge, likes adventure, freedom and travel, free spirit. Loves to daydream can stare into space for hours, in a world of their own and blissfully happy.

Excellent listener, won’t talk about themselves much unless it’s to someone they really trust. They love to learn and know about others and genuinely care.

Have you figured out what I'm describing yet? Are these common traits of a submissive?

No, these personality traits are not about being submissive, though some of them may apply. These personality traits, my personality traits, are attributed to Empaths. I am an Empath. I've known it for a long time. I manage it pretty well, except in certain situations.

The certain situation is related to Musicman. He is my strongest bond.  It's not a bond I want to, or can block. When he is having a difficult day with his health it totally physically overwhelms me. His exhaustion and pain wash over me like a wave. It is devastating for me and can reduce me to tears in a matter of moments.  I've tried to step back some, to reduce the stress for him and in doing so protect myself.  I don't like it much, but I don't see another choice.  It's been somewhat successful, but the only thing that is going to work 100% is for him to be well again. Until then, I'm in a holding pattern.

My biggest hope at this moment is for him to feel strong this weekend. If he is strong, I will be okay.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Six Month Review

I've been busy dealing with the day to day detritus that is my life, and as I do when I'm busy, I've been thinking. Assessing if you will, where I'm at and where I go from here.

Of course I can inventory and question all I want, any decisions made will not be made by me alone. I find that comforting, but I still feel the need to question.

The driving question of the moment is about this blog. It's been 6 months since I made this little place to air my thoughts. What have I learned, what have I accomplished?

There have been days when I have felt that pursuing this area of interest has made things worse. I doubted and I wondered if all the turmoil it brought into my life was worth the payoff? The truth of the matter is the turmoil was already present, I just didn't want to face it. But I did face it, and I survived, I've learned, I've grown.

I have learned that I am a submissive wife, but that submission stopped at the bedroom door. I suppose this could be true for many women, they are submissive in the bedroom, but not outside of it.  In true faerie form, I did it backwards.  I was submissive outside the bedroom only.  I have faced the demons in my past that made that necessary. I have accomplished the ability to take the next step, but that step will not be taken alone. I trust in that and that trust is calming.

I have learned that even while middle age presents it's own challenges, there are still wonderous new things to experience. New pleasures to be had. The safety I feel within my relationship has allowed me to accept things about myself that previously scared me. Things that hold great pleasure. Things that intrigue and excite me.  I've accomplished the strength to give voice to those things, though most times in a whisper.

I can't say exactly what has caused the change, I can't articulate the feeling. Acceptance? I'm not sure what it is acceptance of, but that is what it feels like. Calm, hopeful, like where we are at is okay, for now. It doesn't feel like where I want to be, but, I have a better understanding of which way to go.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Star Gazing

I like to dabble with astrology, so I couldn't resist the opportunity to have our composite chart done. I found the results interesting and pretty accurate.

The composite chart represents the fusion of energy that two people create when they come together. It is a third being. Like a child, it inherits qualities of both parents, though it has a life all its own and exists independently of either of them. The following interpretations should be regarded as being for the relationship itself, taken as an independent entity, as this relates to the meaning for each individual within it.

The placement of the composite Moon defines the core emotional focus of your relationship. It indicates the most sensitive area between you.

With composite Moon in the First House, your relationship has a strong emotional basis. You and your partner may feel an almost fated sense of connection. You keenly feel each other's emotions and simultaneously enjoy the freedom to speak very directly and spontaneously in each other's company. In a romantic involvement, you likely experience a high degree of mutual contentment and emotional fulfillment. You may each feel that an evening in with this person can be as exciting and enriching as an electric evening out on the town with most other people. The shared emotional world that you create and journey through together becomes a universe of all to itself. With this degree of energizing communion and shared mutual enhancement, you may only need to make sure that you two don't forget about the rest of the world altogether. With such a high degree of emotional connection with your partner, it may be difficult to maintain objectivity. You benefit when you make time to enjoy this special and wondrous connection, and also learn to make the most of your independence from it as well.

The composite Moon in Scorpio indicates a relationship with complex emotions. Regardless of your own feeling orientation, you may find that this relationship brings out some charged emotional material in each of you, and perhaps a shared tendency toward control, or even domination of your partner.

The placement of the composite Sun defines the core identity of your relationship, and the place where it finds its greatest vitality. It gives you a sense of the predominant flavor of the relationship.

With the composite Sun in the Tenth House, you and your partner likely share a common interest in matters practical and ambitious. It is likely that you know exactly where this relationship stands and where you are going with it. This is an excellent placement for professional or business partnerships. In a romantic relationship you have a common set of goals and it is likely that you value each other as means of achieving recognition. You mutually support each other in your career and professional life. One drawback would be that the focus of your lives together tends to be on work interests rather than personal ones, although this placement is obviously very good for going into business with each other. Talking about the world and your place in it is easy. The challenge is to remember to attend to your shared personal needs as well. If you can balance your need for outer achievement with your need for personal fulfillment, this connection will work well for you.

With the Composite Sun in Virgo, this relationship centers on its shared service to others, and in the gathering of the fruits of the material world, as symbolized by the harvest. Regardless of how either of you works alone, you will tend to have a reputation for duty and efficiency when you work together.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

What I Know for Sure

One of the things I know for sure after 25 years of marriage is that there will be difficult times. Times of stress and struggle. The stress can be something external that impacts the relationship  and causes the partners to struggle. The stress can also be internal, one or both partners struggling to deal with a stressful situation.

Difficult times can be defining moments in a relationship. They can make the relationship stronger, or they can break it. If the partnership is strong and the partners have a deep commitment to each other and the relationship, they will survive and be stronger. If the partnership isn't strong and there is no deep commitment to each other or the relationship, it will wither and die.

Like any other long term relationship Musicman and I have had our share of difficulties over the years. Our commitment to each other is strong, quiting is simply not an option, it never has been. We have faced stress in many forms, both internal and external. We have struggled as individuals, and as a couple. We have made it through the stressful times and become stronger from the struggles.

The last few months we have faced some huge amounts of stress, both external and internal stressors, which have caused our current struggles. I wish I could say there was and end in sight, but it may just be me being overly optimistic.

We have a very challenging week ahead of us, the stress levels on both sides are going to be very high. We will struggle to make it through the week.  Exhaustion will set in and will tempt us to just give up and let it break us. We won't give up though, that's not an option, it never has been.

The things we face this week can not be solved with spankings or D/s or anything but old fashioned hard work and the will to survive. We have the will to survive and we aren't afraid of hard work. We will make it through. We will gain some resolution to some issues and some answers on how to proceed with others. We will be stronger for it and we will use that strength to keep going.  This I know for sure.


Thursday, March 22, 2012


Musicman is a car guy. We both enjoy going to classic car shows.  If I've learned anything about working on classic cars over the years(and I have) it's that once you start fixing one thing you end up having to fix a bunch more things. The effects of wear and tear, and rust and debris on the vehicle make the broken pieces hard to fix without sometimes causing more damage. Then you have to fix that damage, and sometimes the pieces just disintegrate in your hands and have to be totally replaced or fabricated anew. People who undertake to restore a classic car sometimes call them project cars, because everything about it turns into a project.

The Classic Car Club of America defines a classic car as being between 20 and 40 years old and everything over 45 years old is classified as an antique. I guess in these terms Musicman is an antique, unfortunately we are the same age, so I guess I am too.  This current restoration project we have embarked on is turning into a bigger project then either of us expected, but so worth the work.

With the advent of spring the classic cars are starting to populate the roads again, soon the shows will start. Our project isn't quite done yet, just a little more work though and we will be road ready.

For me, thoughts of cars always turn to the car Musicman drove when we first met.  It was just like the one in the picture.

I loved that car.

I hated that car.

We had so much fun in that car.

That car went way too fast and sometimes terrified me.

One of my favorite things to do in that car was to go out to a place not far from our home. The place is a State Park that has a spillway and dam on the property. There is a pine tree situated at the corner of the dam. In the spring, if you park by the pine tree at dusk, you can look out over the valley and watch it come to life and slowly light up like a city.

The lights are fireflies and I find them breathtaking and magical.

Spring is here, but the fireflies haven't come back yet. We have a little more time to finish our restoration project. When it's done, and Musicman is healthy again, I have a memory I want to make.

The memory involves Musicman and me and a pine tree that over looks a valley of fireflies, crowned by the night sky, whose stars add to the unearthly glow. 

                                            Lightning Bugs

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Little Girls and Puppy Dogs

Musicman says I am his pit bull.


I don't feel much like a pit bull sometimes.

Sometimes I feel like a scared little girl.


Pit bulls don't show fear, they attack.


Sometimes I attack too, it just looks different.


Musicman knows what to do when I attack.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dreams and Puzzle Pieces

When I woke up yesterday I had a vivid memory of a snippet of a dream. It sort of haunted me all day long. Generally I do not remember my dreams unless I am getting a message.

I get three different kinds of dreams.

Recurring dreams, which are usually just bits and pieces that often on the face of things, make no sense. Usually with these dreams once I figure out what the message is they stop. If I ignore them they morph into recurring nightmares and terrify my nights until I deal with whatever the issue is.

Some of the dreams I get are premonitions of events to come. These can be scary because they pretty much always involve someone dying.

I also have dreams that are visits, often soon after a death they come to tell me they are okay. Those are comforting dreams, much like when I get a ghost visit.

I often feel different energies around me, most often when I'm out of balance and struggling with something. They just come to offer me support and whatever extra energy I might need to face the struggles.

Turns out the dream I remembered yesterday is a recurring dream. Yep, had it again last night.

Something else happened last night between Musicman and myself that has left me stunned and confused. I'm still working on processing it all.

I see the connection between the dreams and what happened last night, but the message isn't quite clear yet. I have also been getting a really strong energy of one particular person for a few weeks now. This has an influence on the situation too.

The problem with these messages is no matter how much I chase them, I never catch them. It can be somewhat like putting a puzzle together, but you don't have the picture of the completed puzzle to see how it is supposed to look. I also don't get to start with all the pieces. I have to work with what I have and fit the pieces in as they come.

Puzzles aggravate me. I don't know if I have all the pieces, but I'm getting a hint of the picture.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

He is Dominant

Musicman and I have very different personalities.

He is a pessimist, I am an optimist.

He is antisocial, I am a social butterfly.

He is very responsible, I am fun loving and carefree.

He is Dominant, I am submissive.

I was well aware of all the above statements, except that last one, when we married.  Yet, that is the one that has had the biggest impact on my life.

I knew that if I chose to be with him my life would change. I knew he was not going to bend too much.  That was okay with me, I'm very flexible. I wanted that unbending strength, not just his physical strength, but his strength of character.

He feels the weight of responsibility very acutely, to the point of having tunnel vision at times. These responsibilities can make him a very serious person.  He forgets to enjoy life.

We had an opportunity to get away for a couple nights. I had big plans. I had a pretty dress and sparkly shoes just waiting to be worn. I was looking forward to making wild and wonderful memories with him. Memories are the most precious things to me. No one can ever take those away.

I thought he knew how important this opportunity was to me, how much I wanted those memories. I was wrong. He didn't see me, he didn't hear me, he was stuck in that tunnel.

I try to live my life without regrets. I look for the lessons in the situations before me. I make an active attempt to be open to experiences that come my way. I long to make great memories.

I feel like I have missed an opportunity to experience an adventure that would have given me great memories. This opportunity was not something he could bend on right now.  I accept that.

He is Dominant, I am submissive.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

What Do I Do Now?

A decision needed to be made, we discussed things and he asked for more time to think about it. I gave him as much time as was available. There was a deadline that needed to be addressed. He had not made a decision so as the deadline neared I brought it up again. He made a decision. Before I took action and responded to the deadline I waited then brought it up one more time. Was he sure, was this really the way he wanted me to respond to the deadline? He said yes again. Simple enough.

I responded to the deadline the way he said he wanted me to, 8 hours later he started questioning me again about the the decision, going over things we had been over several times. I got annoyed and he ignored me. I've expressed VERY clearly to him that that is the worst way he could handle the situation. We dropped the topic for the time being.

As time got closer to the activity with now no definite decision in place I brought it up one more time. I told him exactly how I felt. I'm very capable of seeing both sides to a situation and I explained that I understood his hesitation. I explained that if he felt the decision needed to be a certain way that yes, I would be disappointed, but I would understand. He made no decision.

After taking everything into consideration, all the concerns brought up in the many conversations, I finally made a decision. I made the decision with the outcome in his favor. No wonder he says I make thing too easy for him. I do.

This decision is going to cause repercussions with good friends of ours. Normally I would cover for him, think of some way to state the truth without making him look bad.  I do this for him because I understand very well why he is the way he is. This activity would require him to step outside his comfort zone, something that is hard for anyone. I didn't expect him to do this for me, I know better then that. I thought he would do it for our friends, I was wrong.

I'm very disappointed in him right now, and I don't think at this point that when the repercussions come that I can cover for him. I say that now, but the fact of the matter is when it happens I don't know what I will do. I'm not capable of being disloyal to him, even when he behaves in a way that lets me down.

In addition to this incident he has made some comments recently. Comments not designed to hurt me, but they have. Comments that let me know he really isn't so interested in making any changes in our relationship. Comments that make me feel like I'm just another thing on his to-do list that needs crossed off.

I'm seriously rethinking where I go from here. Do I keep trying or do I give up? Normally I never give up, and since it is my happiness at stake here it really should be a no brainer to keep trying.

For right now, I'm tired of trying. I've also realized I'm not at all good at going after things that make me happy if they cause issues in anyway for the people I love.

I love him, but I'm tired and I don't know what to do. I guess the ball is in his court now, past experience tells me he will ignore it.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sweet Tooth

My thoughts have been swirling all morning. I've been cleaning and dancing around the house hoping they would come together. My house is sparkly clean, not so sure about the thoughts though. This post may just ramble on with no definite point...oh well.

The last week or so has been pretty much D/s free. The little stumble that sent me crashing revealed an issue that we needed to address. This issue's outcome is not totally in our control, but we have acknowledged it and are doing what we can to deal with the situation. I'm counting that as progress.

I missed the D/s. I was starting to crave it. I wanted to feel his control. I wanted to feel the pain.

Last night it came roaring back in the most delicious ways. Ways so delicious they left me a boneless pile of mush. I want to bottle that feeling so I can have it anytime I want. I know me, I'd want it all the time.

He did something last night that surprised me and from what he said afterward he acted on instinct and it surprised him a little too. It was not something I would have ever asked him to do, never even considered it.

I loved it. That surprises me too.  I hope he does it again. That doesn't surprise me.

It does make me think a lot about limits though. Clearly, I'm not good with limits. I see boundaries as a challenge. Can I cross them? Can I push them? I know me, I'll push them.

The physical part of D/s is new for us. I don't know what my limits are. I'm still working on processing the fact that my brain now experiences pain as pleasure. This hasn't always been true.

In some ways it's almost like being in a different body. It craves things it never wanted before. It reacts positively to stimuli that in the past it didn't. It confuses me, I don't know me anymore.

How do I know what my limits are when everything seems so foreign? On first blush I would answer that by saying Musicman knows my limits. But really how could he? If I don't know them, how could he?

What I do know is that I can trust Musicman, he has much better control then I will ever have. I've always known that and I think that is why it is so easy for me to accept his control. I'm safe there.

When I look at the possibilities of where this journey may take us, I feel kinda like a kid in a candy store.  It all looks so good, I want to taste every last piece of it. If left to my own devices I would run around shoving it all in my mouth at once. There are two things I can see that are wrong with that: you don't get the full flavor of anything that way, and, you make yourself sick.

Musicman has a sweet tooth, he also has much more discerning tastes then I do.  He won't let the pretty colors and the sweet smells intoxicate him. He's in control and that makes me feel safe. I'm content letting him choose the candy for me to taste.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Q&A How We Met

The lovely Kitty asked how Musicman and I happened to meet and how we ended up together. I mentioned briefly in a previous post that we had met dancing but that was all. So here is the story of how we met and ended up together.
First let me give you a little background about us both. Musicman was born and raised here where we live. I moved here at age 10. We are the same age and graduated from different highschools within days of each other. We had a lot of friends in common and hung around at the same places in highschool, his first cousin was one of my friends in highschool. We most definitely attended some of the same parties, but we never met. I have always told him that is because if we had met in highschool I would never have put up with his possessiveness of me.

After graduation I moved away and was gone for a number of years. I moved back when my then current relationship ended. I went back to my previous job and spent time recouping and deciding what I wanted to do next. I had made plans with a friend, after the holidays, at the end of the year we were leaving town together.

This was a time in my life when I didn't date, I went out to bars with girlfriends and picked up men for sex if I was in the mood. I had certain rules I never broke. I never gave out my phone number, I never took them to my home. I never saw them again. I used them on my terms for my benefit and walked away. That's all I was interested in, I DID NOT want a relationship.

During the same period of time Musicman was working and helping his dad care for his two younger brothers and Mom who was seriously ill. He dated some, but nothing serious.

It was the week before Halloween, the week after my 21st birthday, I was at one of my favorite bars with a friend. It was great little place that let us dance on the tables and the bar.  It was a total pickup joint, but it was so much fun, I was a regular there.

I was on the dance floor with my friend when Musicman came up behind me and asked me to dance. I said no, several times. He asked why, I gave him every excuse I could think of. He kept asking no matter what I said. Finally I danced with him, one dance, then he bought me a drink and we went over to a corner to try and talk. He was sexy as hell, dark hair, dark eyes, a leather jacket that just oozed sex. Definitely dangerous, definitely my type but so not for me, I had other plans. Shortly into the conversation I told him I needed to go check on my friend and said I would be right back.

He caught up to me as I was leaving with my friend. He asked for my number. I told him no. He tried to talk me into giving it to him, but I didn't relent. I told him if he really wanted to see me I would be there for the Halloween party the following weekend, then I left.

The night of the Halloween party I worked till 11:00 then my friends and I went to the bar for the party. I dressed as a pirate wench. I really didn't think he would be there. I had told all my friends, all week long I wasn't going to date him. He was waiting for me at the front door of the bar. I barely had both feet in the door when he was simultaneously expressing his appreciation for my skimpy outfit and covering me with his coat. That same sexy leather as the week before. I've joked for years that it was the coat that finally made me say yes. He wanted to take me home that night, I said no, but I did agree to an actual date with him the next night.

Our first date, I was wearing the same black high heeled do me boots I had worn with my pirate wench costume. He drove a red 72 Chevelle, it had black racing stripes and a broken front seat. It sat at an angle so I always had a feeling like I was in a plane on the ascent after takeoff. I accidentally put the heel of my boot right through one of his speakers. We went to see one of his good friends and his wife. His friend turned out to be the guy who sat right next to me in homeroom for all four years of highschool.

I let him come home with me that night, but I wouldn't let him in my bedroom. He broke my roommates couch trying to convince me. He also told me he loved me that night. I laughed at him. I told him he couldn't love me, he didn't know me. He said he didn't care if he knew me or not, he loved me. I didn't believe him and I didn't have sex with him.

The next weekend we went out again, I met more of his friends. Guys he had been friends with since grade school.  We drank, the guys played pool, I danced. His friends told me all kinds of crazy stories about him. I had a great time and this time when he took me home I invited him to stay. Sparks flew and I instantly felt something, something I had never felt before, that elusive connection. I knew I had found the right man, or rather, he found me. That night when he told me he loved me I believed him. We had known each other 2 weeks.

He stayed with me most nights after that. I moved into a new place 6 weeks later, he moved in with me. Six months later we were laying in bed talking about relationships and what we both wanted and expected from marriage. Our ideas coincided nicely, we married the following week.

Very few people believed it would last. After all what good could come from a union of the wounded wild child and the quintessential bad boy? This summer we will celebrate 26 years of marriage, more than half our lives.

I have felt for a very long time that divine intervention was involved in Musicman and I meeting and coming together, what do you think?



Sunday, March 4, 2012

Q & A Month and Followup to Comments

As I have been reading around blogland I have seen several posts regarding March being question and answer month. I have not been blogging all that long so I didn't know this.

I have written about some pretty serious subjects and some not so serious, the experience of writing no matter the subject has been an over all positive experience for me. So having said that I am inviting anyone with questions to feel free and ask. I'll do my best to answer them, even the hard ones.

I have added my email address in the About Me section for anyone that may be interested in contacting me in that manner.

My last post was one of those "serious subjects" I referred to above. I would like to thank everyone for the wonderfully supportive comments. I do feel like there were some questions I did not address however, so I am going to now.

Two people asked if I have gone to AA. I have not. I know that AA is an organization that has helped a great many people. I respect that and understand that as individuals we all have to do what works best for us. I considered trying it, but at this time I don't feel it would be good fit for me. I know this disease is something that will always be with me, something I will have to be very vigilant about, if a time comes that I feel I could benefit from AA I would try it.

I knew when I quit drinking that if I was going to maintain my sobriety I needed to identify and address the issues that caused the problem. I am actively doing just that and it hasn't been easy, but most often the things worth doing aren't necessarily easy.

Much of my shame stems from the fact that my father, who was also my abuser was an alcoholic. In fact he and my mother blamed the abuse on his alcohol use. It makes me sick to think that what I was doing in any way made me like him. I'm working on that.

As far as feeling like a failure, well, I definitely failed, I accept that but I won't let it define me. I'm a big believer in learning from my mistakes. I have looked hard at what I did and what I can learn from it. I have made significant changes in my life because of those lessons, and I will continue to work on it.

Musicman and I have always had a very strong connection. The kind of connection that goes deeper then love, deeper then great sex, deeper then devotion or friendship. He never gave up on me, even when I gave up on myself. What I did compromised that connection, that is ultimately why I made the changes to make myself better. That connection is the most important thing in my life and I am not willing to lose it.

Everyone has a story, this is just a part of mine.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Confessions of a Failure

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.