Hi All – Today I wanted to share an email I received from an ex-drunky drunk! I just love hearing from you guys because it never fails to make me feel less alone. We are not freaks, we’re just people who can’t handle our alcohol and therefore, need to stop drinking it. It’s fairly simple when you think about it. Here’s Hilary’s letter:
“I have struggled with being a “functioning” alcoholic for a very long time. I was quickly becoming non functioning when I decided to quit drinking.
I started drinking when I was 14 and since then was living for the next drink. Through my twenties I started to notice it becoming more and more of a problem but was always justifying it by thinking I was single and just having fun, I was a “party girl”. I was living in downtown Boston and going out drinking probably 4 nights a week and drinking at home the other 3. But, there was just me to worry about so it didn’t seem to matter that I was drinking my life away. If a boyfriend got on my case about it I would dismiss it as being his problem, he couldn’t handle dating someone who was independent and liked to party. But I knew in the back of my head my drinking was a big problem and despite my attempts to get it under control it was getting worse not better.
I became pregnant, (unplanned because of a drunken night) married, and living in the burbs in the matter of a year. I didn’t drink while I was pregnant and thought I had it in under control because of that, I clearly didn’t have a good understanding of my disease.
I began to drink just as much and then even more after I gave birth. I was in danger of losing my husband, baby and job. I was blacking out and hung over almost every night/ day of the week and I didn’t know how to stop. I felt hopeless, as much as I had the desire to stop drinking I just couldn’t. It was the only way I knew how to cope with life for so long. I became depressed and started having severe anxiety which are things I had dealt with my entire life and used drinking to cope with. Now the drinking was making those things even worse.
Luckily I reached out just in time. After blacking out and making a scene at a family event (my husband’s side unfortunately) and realizing I was going to lose my son if I didn’t get help I called a friend who I knew in recovery. I went to my first AA meeting that week and have been sober since. It has been quite an awakening learning more about this disease from research and talking to other alcoholics. I always thought alcoholism was simply a problem of control and now realize it’s so much more then that.
It’s still hard for me to tell people that I don’t drink anymore. Mainly because it makes them feel uncomfortable. I’m hoping that people like you and sites like this might help to give others more understanding/ acceptance of us alcoholics.
I’ve been sober for 7 months now and I haven’t been this happy in years. I realize that I’ve been living under the dark cloud of alcoholism for a very long time, probably since I started drinking. It provided me so many things and became the only way I knew how to cope with life. It relaxed me and and me feel happy and confident, even if only for a little while it seemed worth it. But in the end it didn’t make me happy, drink after drink it was always an attempt to fill a void that was never full. I’d have a drink in my hand and be thinking about the next. It was a completely unsatisfying addiction. Now I’m focusing on my family, career and personal en devours and am so amazed at all that I am able to accomplish without being drunk, hungover or thinking about when, where and how I will get drunk next and how I will hide my alcoholism. When I think about all the time / money I spent on that addiction I would have accomplished a lot more by now. But… no regrets. It’s because I went to that really dark place that I was able to come back and be more happy then I’ve ever been.
Thanks for listening and for giving people like me a forum to discuss our addiction without feeling like a Neanderthal.”
Thank YOU Hilary for sharing your strength and hope! Please come to the Booze Free Brigade if you are looking for an online source of support to quit drinking.