As you read yesterday, I hit a rock bottom. A rock bottom that I didn’t expect to be my rock bottom…. But nothing else worked!? I wasn’t deterred by embarrassment, risky decisions, sickness…. None of it. I was scared by my husband’s actions that night. I was scared of how many nights I didn’t remember and what type of actions (like his) that I took..?
My husband would tell me (sometimes) of things I did or said and I would think who the heck is that!? WHY did I say or do that? 9/10 I did not agree with I did or said… is it true the “drunk person says their truth”? I would say no…. but my husband would say yes. He started to believe the ugly things I would say (how can I fault him?) and our relationship was hurting.
We’ve never had a perfect relationship, but my drinking (blackout drinking) was hurting us so bad. As Elizabeth Vargas said (in that clip I shared earlier @ 13 min mark), “And it made all the real problems that we needed to discuss and work through frivolous in comparison…. I’ve just gone and changed the narrative in a pretty dramatic and destructive way…”
So embarrassment, risky decisions, sickness, my dad talking to me, my sister ratting me out for drinking after this talk… didn’t stop me. My fear of actions and words from my spouse (intertwined with the thought, “I’ve done some bad things”) halted this behavior. Also, that infamous night made me think of a couple in my local town having a night out, resulting in his death by her hand. I can’t do that to us, our families… This needs to end.
As I said, my spouse has not stopped drinking and I do not think this is a good decision. He says he is a better drinker than me – tends to be less mean and harmful when he is over the line. I do not agree with this, but within these last 115 days we have not fought over drinking (or loose mouths that got us there), so I will let him analyze his actions. He has thrown up at least twice over the last 115 days over drinking and been hungover a handful of times. He also tends to drink everyday. One of those nights of throwing up was on his birthday…. He was passed out in the basement with friends still over (something I have also done far too many times too). He made excuses that he started with hard alcohol before people came over and it “just hit him”…. Well fine, but you were passed out drunk before 11 PM with people at our home. — I’m working on myself. MYSELF.
On to me…. So the bratty child that Jean talks about was harsh that first month… Relentless. She’s still here, surprises me sometimes! Silent all week and gets on me hard on a Sunday afternoon for example. But I have been able to tolerate her, stand beside her, and stay her off. She’s pesky and mean. She’s cunning, baffling, and powerful (as the AA folks say).
I can’t say that I have a good method to stand strong these last 115 days, but here are some thoughts:
1. I didn’t start AA meetings, mostly because I work so much and hadn’t quickly found one that fit in my schedule. I did find some amazing folks on YouTube to listen to their stories and advice (which is totally AA-ish). Here are their sites:
2. I did upload an App – luckily the first one I tried I liked: “EasyQuit: Stop Drinking App”. This App gives you the day count (occasionally hours), the drinks passed (averaged on your estimated drinks per day), the money saved (averaged on your estimated funds spent per week), life regained (tons of good stats about all parts of the mind & body that are recovering), they provide tips & a game to pass some time if you need the distraction (which I have used).
3. I worked more or changed my schedule to cover difficult times – after work mainly. I would stay late, work more, make things (almost) overlap so I didn’t have as much time at home… to stare at that bottle which was calling my name. This helped! I made myself busy on a Saturday morning when all I could do was think about a sneak sip or when I could visually start drinking.
4. No more ordering a drink at lunch or dinner… This obviously needs to happen to keep the count going, but that was a simple starter for my time between August and December. I knowingly stopped drinking at meals and in public. This flows into behaviors of not picking up a drink at home then.
5. Going hand-in-hand with that – stop going to places that promote that behavior. Do not have lunch at a place that serves alcohol (def. eliminates places we go to, but fairly easy), avoid having dinner at places that serve alcohol, do not enter a bar (dependent on the event/situation). I can say that I definitely avoided situations between August and December because of these new rules I had established for myself.
6. Don’t buy something you want to drink (have alcohol that you want to consume in your house) and find a replacement. I tried more water (I’m a good water drinker as it is), I tried teas/coffees, I tried things with sugar (so many people said to replace your alcohol sugar intake at first) – but I hate to “drink my calories”, I really do not like soda… What could I do? For some reason bubbles helped. I picked up Kumbacha. I did extensive research on the alcohol in it to make sure I wasn’t doing any replacement of that (you would need to drink about 8 bottles of Kumbacha to = one beer). I do not find myself craving Kumbacha (good!), but I do find it feels and acts like a fun drink when I need it (helpful!).