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Don’t Get Drunk Friday: Laura’s Story

I missed a week and I’m sorry about that but I hope this makes up for it. Laura wrote to me a little bit about her story and I immediately demanded a post. Laura, thank you for your bravery and for being an inspiration to God knows how many more wanna be non-drinkers out there. Check out Laura’s blog No One Here To Save and/or join us here at the Booze Free Brigade. Now, heeeere’s Laura.

I’m not exactly sure the day that I became an addict, but I do know that when I was 11 I drank for the first time. I drank, got drunk, blacked out, and woke up in a bathtub the next morning. I’m not sure which friend I told my parents I was staying with, but I can assure you the words “alcohol poisoning” never came up. From that first raging hangover until my last handful of pills, I never used again for any other reason then to get high. There was no “social” drinking for me. Well, I guess it would start socially, and maybe even stay acceptable for the first few hours, but then I’d cross over some mystical line that made it impossible to go back.

I was the most popular, most athletic and most kiss ass teacher’s pet you could ever dream up throughout my school years. I was an A student, pot head, and a jock that could, and would, fit in with whatever group I was running with that week. I was getting kicked out of service organizations at school for refusing to sell donuts on the one hand, and wooing the faculty with my coolness by bringing my “teacher pal” a six-pack of Moosehead. God, times have changed. Drinking with the faculty, I’m pretty sure, is frowned upon these days. I thought I had it all, and keeping it came at a price I was willing to pay. Hell, I enjoyed.

By the time I got married, I was drinking probably 70+ drinks a week. Yup, married…. When I was 32 years old, I planned and executed my wedding, and don’t remember a minute past 7pm. You may be thinking what kind of guy marries someone in raging active addiction…. a really good intentioned one. Someone that loved me, or still loves me really, in his own way. He’s taken care of me since we met, and these days, being that I am now capable of doing that myself, the boat is a rockin. We’re struggling to keep moving forward, but when your ideas about everything change so drastically, the journey gets a bit rough…..

My drinking came to a screeching halt when I found out I was pregnant with my first son, and I haven’t had a drink since. That was February, 2003. I can still remember those feelings like they were yesterday…. How am I going to do this sober? How am I going to survive without the booze? Fear. Not happiness or contentment that I was carrying my child… Full blown fear. Do normal people “allow” themselves three final beers before the OB appointment the next morning to confirm their pregnancy? My God stepped in that night, no question… absolutely no question. I made it through that pregnancy and the next, clean… strong. So Nicholas and Matthew came into my life 15 short months apart.

I’ve heard and can now attest to the fact that addiction is a progressive disease. Over four years had passed when, after my hysterectomy, that first pill hit my system. It was like I hadn’t missed a beat, and those years of living sober were gone. My obsession to use was back and better than ever, and I spent the next 18 months getting and using Lortab. I was spiraling out of control, and it seems as though no one knew. How do you take 60 Lortab a day, close the evening shift with a Xanax and Ambien cocktail, and no one notice? How do you spend $1000’s of dollars a week on drugs, have them delivered to your door, and no one, i.e. my husband, notice?? Hmmmmm. You lie and manipulate, that’s how. You sit on the board of your children’s school, you participate on every committee physically possible, you go to church, hell for that matter, you bathe. You don’t “look” like an addict.

Every morning when my feet hit the floor, I’m reminded of the day I finally hit my bottom…. the day I knew that if I didn’t quit using, I would die. I knew the time had come, and I wanted to detox as quietly as possible. (First red flag…. you may be in over your head if you think you can detox quietly.) When I heard my 5-year-old throwing his guts up down the hall that day I ran to him and quietly thanked God. I could detox, and if I threw up, it would be perceived as the flu. Jackpot…. my secret would be safe. (Second red flag… you plan your detox around your child’s flu.) Well, I threw up alright. My husband found me on the floor by my bed in my own vomit physically unable to get myself into the bathroom. I told him what was happening and then begged him to get me help. An emergency room visit and six hours later, the doctor explained in no uncertain terms that my detox process would have killed me. Killed me, as in no more. At that second, I was done. I knew that I could never use again. That was just over two years ago.

Addiction is a bitch, no question. And God it’s exhausting… every day, all day, consumed with making sure that I would stay high. Today it’s about learning how to live. Live without spoiling my kids, or over indulging those places in them that remind me of me. It’s about learning how to keep all the other areas of my life in check. Although I’d like to believe sometimes that a Hermes bag would fix what ever is wrong in my world, my junkie friends laugh and gently remind me that I was totin’ a Prada bag the first day I walked into a meeting, and oh yeah, I was still walking into a meeting…… Point taken.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on November 26, 2010 4:41 pmDon't Get Drunk Friday9 comments  

9 Comments

  1. Lisa H. said,

    Fabulous post! Thank you for sharing your story, warts and all. I love your honesty, your humor, and your courage. So glad you made it back alive and are at peace now. This gives me so much gratitude for my own sober life!

    | November 26, 2010 @ 6:18 pm

    • Laura said,

      Thanks so much… It means even more to me than you can imagine… Check out my blog. I’d love to get feedback about that as well! Take care and stay grateful!
      Laura´s last blog post ..You’re worth it…

      | November 27, 2010 @ 5:06 am

  2. Jae said,

    You’re funny, brave and full of truth. Love this post. Thank you for sharing it with us, Laura!! :)
    Jae´s last blog post ..Robbed

    | November 27, 2010 @ 2:28 am

    • Laura said,

      Absolutely my pleasure. I’m going to check out your blog! Thanks again for the kind words….
      Laura
      Laura´s last blog post ..You’re worth it…

      | November 27, 2010 @ 5:07 am

  3. Melinda said,

    All I can say is WOW!
    Thank you for your bravery and honesty. I would love to know how you dealt with a husband who didn’t notice what was right under his nose. I am having a hard time with this part.
    (No, I am not blaming him for my problems but seriously I need his help and can’t find a way to ask him)

    | November 27, 2010 @ 4:36 am

    • Laura said,

      Hey Melinda~
      I’d be happy to talk about this some more with you…. It’s touchy for sure. you can email if you’d like sometime. lmcardaropoli@me.com. My husband still says he had no idea, which I still call bullshit. But, sometimes I think they are so scared about what’s next that they freeze up where they’re comfortable. So incredibly unfair to you. I get that you’re not blaming him, I wasn’t either when it happened to me. They may never understand it, but you deserve his support. Supporting your recovery is not enabling your addiction. Don’t let that card throw you. Mine played it pretty early on….. Please email sometime!! Take care…. Laura
      Laura´s last blog post ..You’re worth it…

      | November 27, 2010 @ 5:12 am

  4. Sheila said,

    Thank you! These Friday posts keep me going so I was very happy to read yours a few days ago. Awesome post — Thank you for your honesty and humor – And I too checked out your blog and loved. Of course you were so popular and teacher’s pet — you’re so funny!

    I ran to the store the night before my OB appt because I had to get one last bottle of red down the hatch. The tricks we play!

    I knew my marriage would change when I stopped drinking — husband still drinks — but I don’t think I was prepared for just how much. I don’t think he was either…

    Thank you again, oh brave one!

    | November 29, 2010 @ 4:42 am

  5. muskrat said,

    Wow…so glad you were able to get help. Isn’t it crazy what we do to ourselves gradually?
    muskrat´s last blog post ..sunday morning breaking down

    | November 30, 2010 @ 3:19 am

  6. Laura said,

    God, me too girl….
    Laura´s last blog post ..Calm down…

    | December 1, 2010 @ 4:17 am

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