Aimee’s story is very fresh. When she wrote it she had fourteen days off the sauce. So I adjusted since there was a lag in putting this up. You can check out her new blog at http://www.findingaimee.blogspot.com
“It’s hard to say when I lost my authentic self, or if I ever knew her to lose. I grew up the daughter of a highly function, raging alcoholic. My mother who is amazing was hard pressed to have enough time, energy and patience for all of my siblings and me. I learned very young to lie. I lied to teachers, neighbors and friends about our family and home. I lied about things you shouldn’t even lie about. Mostly, I lied to myself. I envisioned grand fantasies about my world, current and future and repeated them so often that I began to believe them.
Fast forward to becoming a mother too young, getting divorced twice to finding alcohol and making her my new bff. I didn’t drink much in my teens and 20’s, too busy, too poor. When I hit 30, I was in a emotionally abusive relationship and HATED everything about my life; mostly myself and found that a couple of glasses of wine made the hate less severe and brought the fantasy back. When I was buzzed and lubricated, I was strong, sexy, funny. I wasn’t a doormat, weak or scared. I’m not sure when the switch happened from a few glasses of wine on the weekend to a few glasses on nights that ended in Y. My disease is a wily lady-she slipped in slow, whispered wonder in my ear and then she came in for the kill. I was powerless. I have considered myself an alcoholic for the last 6 years but only sought help 24 days ago. There was no big intervention, no come to Jesus with my husband (not the above mentioned relationship), I was in no threat of loosing my possessions or freedom-I was just done. I was done waking up trying to figure out how I got that bruise (and trying to come up with a plausible excuse when asked), done with gauging the mood of my husband and kids when I finally woke up, spinning, sick and clueless, done with the panic of “Oh my God, who did I call and text last night”? (I still think phones need breathalyzers on them to avoid said OMG moment). I joined Booze Free Brigade- and went to a meeting, and got more freedom than I sometimes think I deserve.
I have 24 days sober as of yesterday. I have 24 days of being present, knowing and remembering conversations. 24 days of no hangover-I couldn’t remember how good that feels. 24 days of having to deal with myself, my thoughts and all the crap that happens day to day with 2 teen daughters and a 7 yr old daughter, one husband, 4 dogs, a business, girl scouts and my theater commitments. 14 days of no shame, guilt or anxiety over my drunk behavior. There has been anxiety but I have managed and ended up dealing with it and moving forward with baby steps and deep breaths with a few prayers thrown up to the Big Guy.
The best thing so far about being sober is finding out who really cares about you. It is your 18 yr old telling you she thinks you are amazing and engaging you in conversation again in the evenings, it’s your 75 yr old mother crying as she tells you how proud she is and the best, my 7 yr old telling me I don’t snore anymore so she would like to sleep with me that night. It is realizing that the only thing you had in common with the neighbors that thumbed their nose at you when you told them you were not drinking and avoided you for the last 2 weekends is booze. No great loss. I used to be terrified of the thought of not drinking for the rest of my life, what about New Years Eve or Tues night for that matter. I have learned to not think in terms of anymore than today. My husband said to me last week on a Tues night, that before I knew it I would have a year under my belt; I answered before you know it, it will be Weds. That is as far as I allow myself to think and it makes it tolerable and doable.
I am not even sure where this story is going-there are so many layers to it-so much hurt from my past that brought me here, so much damage I have done to myself and others. I can only tell you that nothing in the last 6 years of my drinking feels better than the last 24 days of not drinking. I am scared, I am hopeful and I am sober, today.”