I woke up hungover again Friday, December 7, 2012. I woke up a few times, barely reaching consciousness when the kids brought up the french toast I’d promised to make, mumbling some sort of goodbye when my husband took them to school. I’d had who knows how many beers and cigarettes the night before. I finally woke up enough to get out of bed at 12:40 PM. My day off mostly gone. Sad because I didn’t get up to practice spelling words with my oldest who had his classroom spelling bee that day. Suffocating because the truth was big and huge and staring me right in the puffy face. “You must quit drinking or you will lose it all.”
I’ve been promising myself I was going to quit drinking for as long as I can remember. Journals from my early twenties until now all declare my intent to give up booze and start living. My most fervent wish in all these writings is to give up alcohol. And why, why it clicked on that day? And did it? Or am I on day 3 of sobriety again only to cave at day 5 because I feel OK again, OK enough to drink, to smoke cigarettes- because I deserve it, that’s why. And everyone isn’t perfect, certainly not me. And it’s not every day, only one or three times a week. Big deal. So why the fuck not? Who cares anyway? The kids don’t notice I’m half drunk during bath time and stories, and I’m sure my husband doesn’t notice that by the time he gets home I am a few drinks away from blacking out. And I manage to get up and go to work, or save these binges for nights when I have the next day off and the kids are either in school or can play video games and watch TV all day while I sleep it off, unable to come down and play with them because I feel like total shit. I tell myself they’d rather be playing video games anyway, and the dogs like laying around all day, and that lazy days are what everyone needs, right? Right.
I did something different this time. I called in sick to work two days in a row, not hungover, but as a tender gesture to myself that playing “life is normal life is normal” isn’t going to work anymore. I am terrified- TERRIFIED that I cannot remain sober and will have to trip and roll in my own homemade gutter hundreds of more times before I die from loneliness and shame. My broken self hunched over in front of my two glorious children who grow up to become glorious in spite of me not because me.
I have been reading blogs written by people JUST LIKE ME. This helps immensely, and I always do better when I have some words to read, to balm my crazy mind with a layer of clear-coat healing. I emailed an author of one of these blogs, and she emailed me back.
I am tired of being afraid to admit that I have a problem with alcohol. A big one. I cannot drink if I want my life to shine. Period.
I have a drinking problem. And I want to be sober. And alive. And free.