Addiction, Anonymous, Guest Posts

Confessions of an Alcoholic.

December 5, 2014

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Hello Jen, I follow you on Facebook.

I know you are a writer and I had something that I wanted to share with people without them actually knowing it was me.  I would be interested in hearing people’s opinions on my topic. I love your “don’t be an asshole” and your amazing quotes. Please do not post my name or anything, I am one of your followers but don’t want this on my page.

Okay, here it is…it probably sucks because I am not a writer but I think it just may help someone not get to this scary place…

Why Am I an Alcoholic?

I don’t know where to begin. I always use the phrase “did the chicken come before the egg or the egg before the chicken?” I know, I know…cliché right? Well I find that I feel the most insightful when I am drinking and everything seems to make complete sense or no sense at all while I am intoxicated. And, honestly, I have no idea when an easy “fun time” became this crazy journey that I am on. I am under the grips of something so incredibly powerful yet so incredibly benign in the eyes of some.

I find myself listening to comments such as “why don’t you just stop?” and “you can stop whenever you want to, but you just don’t want to.”

Truth be told…it’s not even just listening to those comments, but believing them and eventually making myself feel more guilty and miserable and partaking of my alcohol nightmare even more than the day before just to quash the guilt.

I started drinking in college at 19-years-old. I never had done any drugs or had I even had a drink until I was 19. My high school friends were drinking at 15 and 16, which I thought was awful at the time. However, my father was very restrictive of me and basically ran my life so eventually, I rebelled. And, boy did I!

I was very outspoken and spunky and I really knew what I wanted in this world and wouldn’t take no for an answer; I wish I were still that spunky little girl. Now it seems that I am just angry and bitter about meaningless things like the cashier that was rude or the person that didn’t acknowledge my cute kid when they smiled at them; nonsense.

Back then, I wanted to make a difference in the world and I knew just how I would do it, by helping others make their way. I knew that that’s what I wanted to do and I worked hard to get myself through school. I spent my first 2 years in my hometown and after that, I became increasingly unhappy with my crowded, sheltered and routine life. I had a boyfriend for several years that decided that he wanted to experience life without a girlfriend and that finally convinced me to go and do what I wanted to do

I finally gained the courage to leave my home and go away to college.

College drinking is tolerated, in my opinion, and I did lots of it at that time. I never expected it would later become a staple in my life.

I hated the hangovers and I hated the headaches and wasted mornings sleeping both off. I never imagined that I would become someone that would binge on alcohol at the smallest sight of a stressful situation in life. BUT, I did eventually become that person.

As the years passed, I worked on my life, career and relationships and I also worked on drinking…a lot. But only on the weekends so I felt that that was okay.

I mean, why couldn’t I have some drinks on the weekends right? I deserved it; I worked hard and I felt that I had the wherewithal to be a successful woman and then let loose on the weekends.

I thought it was what all 20 somethings were doing. I never saw my drinking as a problem and in fact, at that time, it wasn’t, but it would lay down the bricks for a long road ahead in my life.

After a while, the drinking became more and more prevalent and I began to be out of work here and there to accommodate my late sleeping and then I learned how to lie. Oh, I don’t mean just lie like “my dog ate my homework.” I mean really lying to cover myself and why I was not at work. It interfered with my work, but not enough to make me feel as if this were actually a problem (that was the alcohol lying to me.)

I really just thought that I was working and I DESERVED couple of extra days off no matter how I could get them. I mean, the company had sick days and I was an excellent worker…if I don’t get sick then why can’t I go out and have fun and drink and say screw it the next day and take my sick days…they were mine to take right? Again, lying by the alcohol and lying to myself about what I was doing to accommodate my nightmare and its wishes.

I did this “weekend drinking” for many years. Here comes the LONG ROAD…my younger brother died unexpectedly.

This is where the egg or the chicken comes in. I began to drink more often and more heavily.

I attempted to use logical strategies to explain to myself why I was not an unhappy person and how I could “talk myself” out of being sad or hurting in a way that I was not used to feeling. I tried to be logical about my grief and the stages of it in order to get through it. However, all that self talk was exhausting and was numbed out by simply drinking whenever I could; and so was the pain of the loss of my sibling.

It worked. For a while.

I got married and felt happy, but even this caused me stressful moments. How could I be happy when my little brother was dead? This made no sense to me and the self-talk would again begin, with a little more alcohol at this time…I mean, now I was married, working and successful. There was no way that I was, or could be, an alcoholic (excuses, excuses). I thought that every day that I drank was just one more day that meant nothing but just gave me a simple way to view life and relax.

As it turned out, I was setting myself up for the very long road of sadness and disappointment in the person that I have become. It is still a road for me, I wish I could say that I have gone to A.A. and that I have put in the work to be better and sober but I haven’t done that; YET. I live a life if hiding and excuses even though by all accounts and standards, I am successful and thriving.

It is like the elephant in the room that I am the only one that knows is there.

I am writing this today not just telling you my story, but honestly asking myself why? Why am I an alcoholic? What in my life made me take this road? When exactly did this road become mine? Why can I have this wonderful life and still be plagued by this LIQUID imitation of life? But most importantly, when will I fix myself? When will I stop? Will I ever stop? Will I live to see 50? Will my children ever have to learn that their mom died because of alcohol use and she could have stopped it? How can I ever overcome this?

I find myself thinking about my amazing and supportive husband having to endure the loss of his spouse and my children having to do the same yet, my shame overcomes me and I do NOT want people to know this is my truth so I am afraid to go to a meeting and see anyone that knows me or can jeopardize my career or my life in general. It is the most difficult thing I have ever done…being an alcoholic. My story is ongoing.
If you are reading this and are feeling anywhere near what I feel-  don’t be ashamed to ask for help.

Also, learn what your triggers are and learn how to use coping mechanisms that don’t involve alcohol.

Learn that even casual drinking can possibly turn into something that you do not want in your life if you do not make yourself aware of yourself and how alcohol affects you. Parents: educate your children on alcohol and make sure they are aware of the consequences of abusing it.

Something inside me is hiding, embarrassed, and not wanting to make this into a big thing in my life (to “others” because it is a big thing to me and my family.)

I know what I have to do, and yet, I have not done this for fear of embarrassment, even though those closest to me and who actually matter are well aware that I have a problem.

Don’t be that person. Don’t be like me.

Find your beauty, trust your support and your strength and stop hurting yourself. I know that I have a good life, and like I said, egg or chicken first?

I am not sure why I am so sad and punish myself with this nightmare or if this nightmare is what makes me sad and punishes me, but I guarantee you that drinking is not helping to ease my anxiety and pain but actually increases it and is physically and mentally killing me every time I abuse it. Alcohol veils itself as a helper in times of need but actually, it is a hindrance and a shroud. Be your own helper and learn to love yourself no matter what.

Yes, I am trying to get there but I didn’t want to wait to get there to write this to try to help others.

Note from Jen Pastiloff, founder: Please post comments to anonymous below as she will read them. Also, if you are struggling, post below. I moderate comments and strictly enforce my “Don’t Be An Asshole” policy.

Join Jen Pastiloff, the founder of The Manifest-Station, in The Berkshires of Western Massachusetts in Feb of 2015 for a weekend on being human. It involves writing and some yoga. In a word: it's magical.

Join Jen Pastiloff, the founder of The Manifest-Station, in The Berkshires of Western Massachusetts in Feb 19-21, 2016,  for a weekend on being human. It involves writing and some yoga. In a word: it’s magical.

 

 

Jen Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Join her in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the Tuscan hills above. No yoga experience required. Only requirement: Just be a human being.

Jen Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Join her in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat Sep 17-24, 2016 by emailing info@jenniferpastiloff.com. Click the Tuscan hills above for info. No yoga experience required. Only requirement: Just be a human being.

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38 Comments

  • Reply Janet December 5, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. I feel compelled to respond because I too am an alcoholic. I finally found the courage to make it to a meeting almost six years ago, and I want to share with you that they have been the best six years of my life. I completely understand the hiding and the lies and the awful feelings of self-hatred that come with all of it. I want you to know that I empathize with you and that I send you love. I also want you to know that AA will never judge you, and that even if you do know someone there, that person also had a first meeting to go to. I’ve never felt so supportive and loved as I have in the rooms of AA. But everything happens in its time and if it’s right for you, you will find a way. In the meantime, I applaud your courage to write and share this piece, and while I don’t know you, I support you. May you find peace.

    • Reply Sam Mwao November 11, 2016 at 1:53 am

      Thank you for your inspiring comment Janet. I am also trying to shake this monkey. I am from a third world country (Kenya) but alcoholism has gotten the better of me in the last 10 months. From an organized boy to a careless man who cannot even take care of himself. We are better than this!

  • Reply Angela December 5, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Thank you for this brave piece of writing. Alcoholism is a terrible disease and it can happen to anyone. I wish you strength as you continue your journey and I hope the paths you follow, whatever they may be, will bring you peace. Much, much hard love to you.

  • Reply Eva Hagberg December 5, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Reading this made me cry, because I get it, so much. I was terrified to ask for help for my problem drinking because I thought, either, that it was too shameful ever to talk about, or that I wasn’t yet in a place bad enough for people to take time out of their lives to help me. I’m so proud of you for putting into words these ways that you feel. It’s so hard. I wondered for a long time how I had become an alcoholic – if it was childhood trauma, or bad behavior in college, or a desire not to be a responsible adult – but when I finally let go of needing to figure out why I was acting the way I was, and just accept that I was, things got easier. I was able to ask for help. And I’ve had a lot of it, over the last seven and a half years of not drinking, one day at a time. Life is really hard as a drinking alcoholic. I feel for you. And I’ve been there. And thank you.

  • Reply Jeannie K. December 5, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    You are a beautiful, shining soul and I am so glad you shared your story. I have been sober and in recovery for 5 1/2 years and it has been SO, so worth it. What I want to tell you is that there is a HUGE community of people who feel just like you do and when we get together and support each other magic happens. I spent so many years trying to quit on my own and trying to figure it all out in my head. (How can a broken mind fix a broken mind???) I read all the self-help books and did the counseling – but none of that could help me until I got honest. Through a series of “coincidences” I found out an acquaintance was sober and I asked her how she did it and she brought me to a meeting. Was it love at first sight? No way! But, I was so sick of myself and I believed that these people had felt like me and found a solution to their problem. I did what they suggested and little by little I began to find peace. I learned that I used alcohol to solve my problems because I am an alcoholic. When I take a drink it begins a phenomenon of craving that makes me want more. Normal drinkers don’t experience that. I didn’t *want* to want more. I didn’t *want” to drink so much I blacked out at home night after night. I didn’t want so spend all my time alone with the remote control and a glass (or seven) of wine. But I did. Over and over again. Please know that you are not alone and that if you truly want to stop, there is help for you and when you decide to go to that first meeting I hope I’m there to welcome you.

    And don’t forget, if you run into someone you know – more than likely they are alcoholic too~

  • Reply angela December 5, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    I am a suffering alcoholic as well. I was a strong, disciplined woman since I was a child, but alcohol has taken away everything i once loved about myself. I have attended a few meetings over the last couple of years, but I feel lost and alone. Nothing has helped me to stop. My husband, who I have been with for 12 years (since I was 18) told me last night that he wants to separate. I am lost and I have no one to blame but myself and my disease. Thank u for sharing and I will keeo you in my prayers.

    • Reply Sarah December 5, 2014 at 9:17 pm

      Great news!! When one door closes, another opens!! Without fail. Blaming yourself in this case is a bad idea, instead….simply take responsibility 😉 Clearly that is where you seem to be. As for suffering, I personally “suffered” for many of my adult years, I am likely oler than you at 37. I was looking for love in all the wrong places… in a man, in a bottle, in shopping for material things, fancy vacations and outings. I was recently taught by a trusted teacher of Kabbalah that suffering is voluntary. When exactly does one sign up to suffer? Believe it or not , we do. You have served your time, suffer no more. You are already 100%, look in the mirror and remind yourself of that FACT!!! There are definitely some curtains that need to be removed to see all of your potential but it is in each one of us, and those curtains are controlled by us. It takes hard work and dedication to a better life. When you make the space to receive a new reality, it will begin to appear. Claim happiness like it is yours for the taking!! Sending love and prayers your way, and please return them in kind. It’s always one day to the next!! Please do not beat yourself up…

  • Reply Dianne December 5, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Kudos to you for recognizing you have a problem. That’s the 1st step. I lost my cousin at 48. I wish she had had the courage to face her demons. Please. Make it to 50. And beyond. I wish you peace.

  • Reply Susan December 5, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Thank you for sharing which is a step in the right direction. After 28 years of finding a solution on a bottle, self hatred, self destructive behavior and looking for anything that would fill that gaping hole inside , I finally made my way into AA. We are all scared when we go to our first meeting. What I found was HOPE…..amazing hope that I thought died a long time ago. I’ve been sober for 7 years and I now own my past. It doesn’t control me. You as well as anyone who has an addiction problem, are worthy of recovery . Pray on it and take the next step to your first meeting. Go on line and search AA meetings in your zip code. Hugs

  • Reply Pamela December 5, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Your words are so powerful. I hope you take all your good advise to heart and Janet’s. While I don’t know either one of you, I support you both in your fight with alcohol. Hate fucking alcohol. It is some of my earliest memories. My Dad lost that fight. My Mom won! she got sick of it @ 54 and Quit. I am so grateful I was able to have 10 years with the true her before she passed. I have 2 awesome brothers, they both are alcoholics. Breaks my heart to see how they have limited themselves with alcohol. and now their children. I allso have the addictive personality. food and cigarettes ,work. I.m old enough to know better. I’m trying to do better. That day at a time thing. your story touched me and I just wanted to send you some love and light. take care of yourself.

  • Reply Jen December 5, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    The beauty, Anonymous, is that there’s hope. When I went to my first AA meeting a little over a year ago, I felt completely naked in a roomful of strangers. I was terrified of what would happen at that meeting, but was more terrified of what would happen if I didn’t walk in the door and listen. By the end of my first meeting, I’d both cried and laughed (mostly cried), and I knew I was safe and in exactly the right place. This last year, as a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous, has been the best year of my life. Like you, I did a lot of thinking about the “why” of it all. What I have realized is that, for me, the “why” doesn’t matter. What matters now is staying sober and living a productive, amazing, happy life. I’ve run into someone I knew before from “outside” AA, but he’s in the program for the same reason I am, and it’s still safe. Still worth it, so worth it. You can do it. I support you, and would hug you if I could. You can do it. There is hope.

  • Reply Victoria December 5, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    I get it. I wish I didn’t. But I do. The shame, the guilt, the lies, the regret….

    I stopped drinking almost four months ago. Still took me at least a month to recognize that I had a problem. Then I went to a meeting. I worked in the drug and alcohol field for 17 years. I was CERTAIN I would run into a fomer client or collegue. And I have. And they have not passed judgement. Why? Because they HAVE walked in my shoes. They get it.

    It was freeing. Liberating.

    For the first three months I HATED being sober. I went through the motions because I was afraid of dying. Then I started to feel joy on a level I didn’t know was possible. And life felt ok.

    Just under four months clean and sober at this point. I do it all over each day. That’s all I can do.

    I wish you luck and I will be praying for you. You are special and unique and valuable. Don’t forget that.

  • Reply julee December 5, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    After being married to my husband of 24 years I chose to divorce him and our divorce became final a few days ago. I played my part and was addicted to pleasing but I could not see that. My husband was addicted to alcohol and to me, and in the end I chose to divorce him because he could not hear me…I spoke English and he did not hear me. He does not think he is an alcoholic, but for me the way he acted when using alcohol and the terrible things he did to me led me to make the choice to leave.

    I think we are all deadening our pain with something, and at 48 I am just beginning to acknowledge mine. My husband dulled his pain, his not-good-enoughness with drinking and eating and Xanax and smoking, and I did my best to love him, but it could never be enough because people can’t do it all.

    And I deadened my pain with pleasing and shame, thinking all along that if I could be everything to everyone that I would be ok.

    No one is ok, so don’t think that they are. We are all afraid of dying and lots of us are really afraid of living.

    You are valuable. But you have to make choices for yourself even if you have a disease…when we are sick we should ask for help. You may have never asked, but it’s time to ask or at least expose yourself to the idea of help.

    There is joy in the midst of sadness, and I have found it, and I hope my ex-husband can find the same joy. I just can’t be the one to help him anymore.

  • Reply Barbara Potter December 5, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    I am so glad you wrote this. I don’t drink and never really got anything from it even if I do once in a while on occasion. So I am glad for that. I lost someone I cared about once who came from an alcoholic family and he was an alcoholic too. He once told me on his 30th birthday that he would not live to be 40 as that is the age his dad passed. It might have been an accident with his dad or it might have been suicide no one ever knew for sure (he crashed his plane in the Santa Monica mountains at age 39) but it left a hurt on his children. So my friend also died at age 39. He had an enlarged heart, unknown to anyone even him, alcohol was not the cause of his death, but I think of all the years he wasted using alcohol to get by each day and what he missed. Writing this is the first step in helping yourself. Thank you for doing that.

  • Reply Barb December 5, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    wow. Thank you for writing this.

  • Reply Michelle December 5, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Hi,
    Thank you for sharing. I feel your pain and angst deeply. I hv been in my own abyss for years and might be going through the same thing but in a different way.
    I hv tried many ways to help myself and sometimes there are good days. I hope you will too.

  • Reply Sarah December 5, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Your words are inspiring. Inspiring to so many people in a similar predicament.{me} BIG props on stepping out of denial to “own” your reality. That is beyond huge, it means that you are rejecting certain parts of that reality which is more than half the battle in my opinion. The ability to re-claim, even re-write via re-reading our story is the ability that we all have at any given moment. The following advice is not directly to “you” since I do not know your circumstances any more than your story shares. However, I have some similar fears and have been recently working through them, so take it with a grain of salt. Now, forgive yourself, forgive others along the path and take a minute to figure out the players so that you see where blame has possibly been placed. The negative outcomes that result from alcohol abuse are not worth dwelling on for too long as they can likely leave one self-loathing. Rule #1, know that you are whole, even when you feel broken, you are actually WHOLE. The creator made you that way and if you are still here then you are still whole. Alcohol abuse, and the traumatic loss of a loved one, and so on and so on… those things can skew our identity and self-worth. They are no more than a disconnect from the endless light that we each behold. Darkness that is keeping our light from shining through. One by one, the veils of darkness can be removed, through self inspection and desire for a different and more promising outcome. Forget the doom and gloom that you perceive your horizon to be holding as a result of your behavior or the loss and lack in your life . Re-illustrate your your horizon, your vision, with your own beautiful landscape, the one that you always dreamt of but have convinced yourself is impossible. Once you have it in your minds eye, keep your eye on the prize!! Circumstances will make you waver, but take it a day at a time, not letting the worries of yesterday rob you of a beautiful today or tomorrow. If you feel yourself faulter, forgive again!! You are strong enough!! You are 100%, those veils of darkness are just blocking a piece of your light that is already shining beneath. Reveal it for the world to see. I do not know you personally, but I only see 100% light. You are brave and inspirational, keep up the good work!!

  • Reply Janine Canty December 5, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    First off, Thank You. For being brave and sharing your story. Thank You for having compassion and empathy for other people, while you are in the midst of your own struggle. You don’t deserve the pain you’re in. Picking up a bottle does not make you a bad or a weak person. It never did . Sharing this as you have, shows great, great, strength. I am the adult daughter of an alcoholic Father. I am the Mother of a beautiful young man who is 30 years old, with a 2 year old daughter. He can quote “The Breakfast Club” Word for Word. He’s lifelong dream was to do stand up comedy. He collects his favorite quotes in a leather bound journal. He spent his wife’s pregnancy reading them to his unborn daughter. He’s funny, and sweet, smart. He has a killer slow smile. He’s a smart ass, like his Mom. He’s also a drug addict and an Alcoholic. Slowly dying from chronic pancreatitis . Thank You, Thank You. For reminding me that my child is so much more than the pain he cannot quiet. Thank You for reaching out. It’s the first step. It’s a biggie. Much love, light, and luck to you

  • Reply Janelle D December 6, 2014 at 1:52 am

    Dear, Anonymous,
    Thank you for sharing your story, that alone deserves a high five! It is so hard to take the first step into a meeting. It can feel awkward and really uncomfortable, but that eventually turns into relief that there are others with you who share the common desire to stop drinking. We all have different details in our stories, yet we all share common feelings of guilt and shame, as well as a sense of “incomprehensible demoralization” that causes us to say, “Enough!I need help and I cannot do it alone!” I hope you can trust that meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous are just that: anonymous. If you do run into someone you know, they should be familiar with the code of AA: that what happens, who attends, or what is said in a meeting, stays in the meeting. I think you have already worked your first step in admitting you’re powerless over alcohol and that it has made your life unmanageable, so I hope that you will find your way into the rooms of AA so that you can put 11 more steps in between you and a drink. Good vibes to you and your family, you can do this! The program of AA has worked for so many hopelessly incurable people, why not you too? It worked for this alcoholic. Not only did AA help me stop drinking, but it has also taught me how to be a better person in the world. I can be present in my relationships and feel joy, love, peace, all without having to take a drink. The people of AA can love you until you learn to love yourself. You deserve the best in life!

  • Reply Margherite December 6, 2014 at 3:40 am

    Why? Why me God? Was the burning question in my mind. All of my life I felt different,like a square peg in a round whole. In 1973 I was led to a psychiatrist office after a “nervous breakdown”. A “meltdown”is a kinder word. My journey in therapy led me to various, counselors, therapist, psychiatrist etc etc. Not one ever asked about my alcohol consumption or use of street drugs…I didn’t know what was wrong with me and why I felt the way I felt..Never could pinpoint my demons and fix me…I certainly tried all the tricks in the books and when there were no more rabbits in my hat, by The Grace of God, I was literally, catapulted in the miraculous world of Alcoholics Anonymous… I will be sober 27 years on May 10, 2015…Alcoholism
    a family desease that is passed on thru generations and in our DNA. No human power, including myself, could relieve me of it..It’s the only desease that tells you don’t have a desease…cunning and baffling it wants you dead but it will settle for miserable…Step 1 states WE are powerless over alcohol, that our lives have become unmanageable. That WE hooked me in…I never have to walk the road to recovery alone….
    It has been a journey, one day at a time, that I would’t trade for anything the world has to offer……
    I get on my knees quite often and ask God for His guidance, wisdom and help on a daily basis…..Alone I get lost in this, sometime, very dark world. with God on my side I can live this beautiful life He always had planned for me but was robbed because of my desease..I have been restored to sanity and I walk among the many miracles of the God inspired 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. I wish I can give you what I have…I can’t. you have to want it badly and willing to go to any length to get it…Never found the answer in the bottle. I was lost and now I am found by His amazing grace. Ask God for help, as I did,and He will lead on a journey that you can’t imagine..One small step at a time with Him…I will pray you surrender and take the first step…Find a woman’s meeting and leave “foolish pride” outside the door and you will become the next walking miracle….Loving blessings from a recovering alcoholic…….

  • Reply Troy December 6, 2014 at 7:45 am

    Wow, as a father in my mid 40s who has fought this same fight most of my adult life, this is very strong. It hits the way that closes gaps between my thinking and a normal persons thinking. I fear the stress of the booze saturated Holidaze that lay ahead, wanting to be there for my wonderful wife and kids, and remember it afterward. I have dabbled in AA and Smart Recovery, both worked as long as I worked it. I get busy, I get complacent, I let other things become my main priority, and bam, the booze sneaks in like an invisible hitch hiker and weasels its way back in my life. Its my choice, I realize that. I need to work each day. Thanks for your writing and be well

  • Reply Vickie B. December 6, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Your story sounds all to familiar to me. I am an alcoholic with 96 days in recovery. I never thought of myself as having this damn disease, even though I come from a long line of alcoholics/addicts. I guess I somehow thought I was stronger and smarter…..and like you, only drank on weekends. I was forced into outpatient treatment due to a dui, my first at age 49, and boy was I mad!! I didn’t belong there. I wasn’t like “those people”, who needed to be in treatment. It took me almost 2 months of group, going 3 nights a week, 3 hours a night, to realize I did belong there and I WAS one of those people who belonged there.
    The amazing thing about this disease, and what I hace hwared over and over again….is that MOST of us don’t know why we are alcoholics. We just know we are and know what we have to do in order to live healthy and sober lives.
    AA is a godsend. There are meetings all over the world, all hours of the day and night. They don’t charge for what I consider to be lifesaving hours. They will always tell you to keep coming back and they MEAN it.
    You are not alone. There are tens of thousands of us out here…….just waiting for you to come join us!!

  • Reply Claudia M December 6, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Thank you for writing this. I feel like it could be me writing the same thing! I struggle with alcohol as well. I need to quit but I don’t want to – b/c I feel happy when I’m buzzed. I’m afraid to go to AA b/c I don’t feel like it would be the right fit for me and I’m afraid that it won’t really work. It’s scary to know what ‘should’ do and that I’m not doing it. I have 3 small children and more than anything, I want to grow old and watch them live life. If we lived in proximity, I’d say let’s hold hands and go in together!! 🙂 Good luck and much love!

  • Reply Erin December 6, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Writing this is a huge step for you. I have family members in recovery and using actively. My child is in recovery. I learned a lot. The important lessons I got from his disease was that 1) he didn’t want to be an addict 2) he didn’t want to hurt the people he loved 3) he was in so much pain, using made it go away for a moment, so he didn’t have to feel) 4) he was not his disease 5) he went to bed every night saying he was going to stop in the morning 6) he is the love of my life in addiction or recovery 7) Al-Anon saved me as well. I’m so sorry you are going through this. I know if you could stop you would. There are people who don’t judge, have compassion, and get what you are going through, you can find them at AA. I can feel your pain and agony in writing this, but it’s an awesome step because of your raw honesty. I don’t know what’s it like being an addict. I’ve seen the struggles first hand and I wouldn’t wish addiction on my worst enemy. (I don’t have enemies). I love my addicts with all my heart and if I could take away their pain I would. I believe when you say you can’t stop and that the addiction is in control. You wrote that you don’t want your children to be without their mother, that’s a tough one. I will pray for your safety and that you have peace one day. I know I don’t know what it’s like to be you, but I do understand and have compassion for you. God bless and I admire your bravery in writing this letter. I wish I could give out a universal hug. Take care and I’m rooting for you.

  • Reply Aftab Kazi December 7, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Just as we human beings are vulnerable, we are equally strong. Sudden stresses in life make us drink. But I have done so in a medicinal manner. I drank in college for the fun until completing my Phd. Then I suddenly decided to quit both drinking and cigarettes. All at once. During a teaching assignment in West Africa, I started cigarretes and alchohol again. After two years upon leaving, at the airport I through away my cigarettes and had one last beer on the plane. I did not drink for the next three years until ex wanted separation. Although it was a ver peaceful and respectful divorce, stress levels were high. I started drinking and smoking cigarretes again. It took me ten years to overcome the pain of divorce. But, again I stopped drinking with an exception of a few wine drinks with my colleagues once in a while. This also stopped for three years. But whenever overseas I drank. I am back now and stopped drinking for three months. But now I am at 66 and all alone. So I do enjoy a few drinks every now and then. I tell mysel, who cares now that I am already old. That is very true. A physician friend of mine visited me ten days ago and stayed four evenings here. He was surprized at my extremely minimal drinking habits, particularly shocked at me diluting wine with water as well. I told him that I can stop drinking right now but I won’ because I enjoy it. Many people have their own life realities. Considering mine, I feel that it is not alchohol but something else psychological in-between that makes people drink without control. This is an issue that needs much more exhaustive research. People should not feel ashamed for drinking, but need to find out within themselves the reasons for drinking, how to minimize or manage. In the end, everyone with age and experience grows up with wisdom. Kind respectful regards.

  • Reply Debbie December 7, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    I am very sorry to hear of the struggle you are going through. The fact that you have admitted this to yourself is so huge and is a great place to start. So many addicts never even get this far! Now take the next step. If going to a meeting feels like too much, find a therapist and start your journey to recovery there. I am 14 years sober and credit much of my success to a wonderful therapist who has guided me through hell and back as I figured out the reasons underneath my sadness and anxiety and addiction. I grew up in an alcoholic family and I promise you that your children will grow up with less pain, less shame and more security and happiness when they have a healthy sober mom. You are worth it and so is your family. One…..step….at….a…time.

  • Reply pam December 8, 2014 at 10:01 am

    You just took the first courageous step – telling your story. Time, space, courage, love and trust. Give those gifts to yourself. Know that you are worth it. Know that you had within you a courageous power and you used it to take the first of telling your story. That is huge. That is incredible. You are amazing. Trust. Trust yourself. Trust that you can continue to nurture your own spirit with love and patience. Know that changes take time. Give yourself space to breathe. Love – you’ve shown love for others and yourself by putting your words out and connecting with others. Use that energy and momentum to continue forward!

  • Reply Andy December 8, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    At 52 years old I went to see a shrink. I had just left my 3rd wife and had decided that I must be doing “something” wrong. She told me that I was an alcoholic…among other things….and that I needed to DO something about it. I was a well known manager in my company….but I called one of my subordinates on the phone. He had been disruptive in the past to the point that I almost had fired him on several occasions. Somehow he had managed to “clean up his act” and was at this point doing fine. We met at a coffee shop after work and talked for about 5 hours. He gave me my first “big book” that night and met me the next day at a morning meeting before work. That was almost 25 years ago….I haven’t had a drink in that time. Yes…I have met others in the program whom I had know outside. The became even closer to me. I have learned that ALCOHOL is NOT the alcoholics PROBLEM….it’s their SOLUTION! The real problem is LIFE. AA has given me answers on how to deal with life….without using alcohol or drugs. Today, I am the man I always WANTED to be!

  • Reply Rodger December 9, 2014 at 7:52 am

    Thank you so much for sharing. Maybe this would be a good first step for you: http://www.aaonline.net/ they have meetings throughout the day. God bless you… Try this first baby step!

  • Reply Dee December 9, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Dear anonymous,
    My heart is aching for you… I understand and have lived that hopelessness you are sharing. Our stories are very similar. There is hope, don’t give up on yourself. Life can be beautiful and all you ever imagined it to be. It is not easy, but it is so worth it. I hit my bottom with alcohol three years ago and in the ensuing years, my life went through many changes. I often say it has been the worst three years of my life and the best three years of my life. I am finally living at 45. I love the fact that I am an alcoholic. My life is abundantly better in every way. I just celebrated 35 months at the end of November. It was hard work, I had to stop seeing myself as a victim and realize I had choices. I didn’t want to drink anymore. My father died from this disease and left me as a two year old. In my teen years I reached for alcohol to numb all of those “why me” feelings of growing up without my dad and with a step father who was emotionally abusive . You have to want your sobriety and recovery. You have to be honest and willing. And if you see someone you know at a meeting… truly they are there for the same reason you are love… Worry about yourself and getting well. May you be blessed with the strength to start living happy, joyous and free…

  • Reply Alisha December 10, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    The shame, guilt and lies will kill you as you continue to try and drink them away!! I know I too am an alcoholic. I have a little over 3 years sober however its one day at a time! If you think people at an AA meting or the like will look down on you because they know you and you don’t want them to know you too are sick then they already know, it takes one to know one. We, as people who have a disease and a PROGRESSIVE illness, know our kind whether you want to be known or not, and it’s not a bad thing AT ALL!!! Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous saved my life!! Saved me from the torture I bestowed upon myself through the endless amounts of alcohol I tried to consume to bury the pain, the hurt, the shame, the guilt, ALL the NEGATIVITY. Please not only for your family but for yourself, reach out to someone, anyone you can trust, just for today and find a meeting! Just TRY! You are worth it and if you don’t think so today, one day of recovery may just convince you that it is so very true!!!

  • Reply Helen December 29, 2014 at 6:36 am

    Your story is so similar to mine. I looked at life through the bottom of a wine glass (eventually vodka – stronger, cheaper, deadlier) for 25 years until I crawled, beaten, into the rooms of AA 2 years and nine months ago at the age of 46. I was terrified that I would meet someone I knew there, totally missing that they would be there for exactly the same reason as me. And I DID meet an old friend. As I walked in she held her head in her hands and I thought, ‘She doesn’t want me here.’ We talked about this at a later date and she said she’d done it because she knew the suffering that she’d been through, and was heartbroken that I’d had to suffer the depths of active alcoholism too. Over the next 2 weeks, she picked me up every evening and took me to a meeting, making sure I was in the only safe place for me at that time. She helped me more than I can ever thank her for, set me in the habit of going to AA and I continued to do 5/6 meetings a week until I felt able to spend an evening safely at home. I go to 4 meetings a week now – this is what I need. Meetings are my medicine, just like a diabetic would take insulin. I truly hope you can find your way to a meeting very soon – that first step into the room was the scariest but most wonderful thing I have ever done. I didn’t see how I could live without alcohol, couldn’t see how anything could change – how wrong I was. My life now is beyond anything I could have hoped for – a family rebuilding itself, the wonderful relationships I now have with my adult children, and a marriage that is repairing itself gradually with the help of both AA and AlAnon. I send you love and all the positive vibes I can muster to give you courage to take that first step.

  • Reply Kat January 28, 2016 at 1:55 am

    ** I know this is an old post, but Jen recently re-posted in Facebook, so I added my comments there and felt I should do the same for here.

    I don’t know if she reads your FB because she did say she wanted to hear from people…. hate to get all Yoda on you, but the answers you seek you will find in the fellowship of A.A. yes… Alcoholics Anonymous. They say attend 6 meetings? Before you make any decisions whether it’s for you…. why?, it gives you time to absorb what you hear and also each meeting is unique. This is coming from someone who is a member of the complimentry fellowship Al-Anon and there are many who are members of both fellowships. It is a disease… God grant me the serenity to ACCEPT the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Someone I love is affected by alcoholism and this affects me. I know I cannot change the fact that they affected by this disease but I can change, my thoughts, perceptions and feelings when dealing with the affects it has on me. There is also Al-Ateen for children who are affected by the disease. I was told it is a family disease, so I thought ok one out of three children will inherit it, which tends to be true. But what they meant is it doesn’t just affect the alcoholic, it affects anyone who is connected to them, friend or family. This can be said of ANY disease. All the fellowships mentioned bring the focus back to where it needs to be… onto yourself. Not others, not the disease or the drama of everyday life…. and that can be scary, because it so easy to get into other peoples business then deal with our own shit, so it’s nice to have a large group of people who are on various levels of that struggle and it’s their strength hope and various levels of insight that bring about many epithanies to ease us back to peace of mind aka serenity. It sounds like you/she has taken a 1/2 step towards step one…. We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable. hint: after step one… you take the next step, step 2. PS a saying they have in the “rooms” as they like to call the fellowships, You get there when you get there. The door is always open and you are always welcome… always.

  • Reply Jamie Sterk January 28, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    Dear Anonymous,
    I myself am in recovery and every day I believe that I have been blessed. If you ever need a friendly sober person to speak to, please find me on FB ‘Jamie Marie Sterk’ I have learned that you can never have too many friends, especially in recovery. My love goes out to you and I hope that I hear from you.

  • Reply Lori January 31, 2016 at 11:06 am

    I see the dates posted & it’s been more than a year since you wrote this very powerful piece.
    How are you doing?

    xoxox

  • Reply Freddy November 4, 2016 at 1:22 am

    Thank-you all for all the encouraging and inspiring insight. I think I’ve been an alcoholic for a lot longer than I care to admit. Looking back at my life, it makes perfect sense, and explains a lot of my behavior. My father drank and ultimately died of cirrhosis when I was 24. That pain and anger only gave me the ammunition and reason to drink even harder. I’ve hit many rock bottoms, and just as many failed attempts to quit. At 40 now and 12 days sobber I reckocknize my inevitable downfall. Im accepting my alcoholic reality. It’s comforting to know that I’m not alone out here…and that somebody else out there truly understands my struggle.
    I pray for you all and thank-you for the light you’ve brought into my life. Out of the darkness comes the light…
    Bless.

  • Reply Chelsea Olivia Gregor November 17, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    Thank you so much for your courage to write. I am going on 5 years since I first decided and made an active effort that I needed to quit drinking. I always loved drinking and the way it made me feel. Calm, insightful, and a temporary happy when I wasn’t. It was a combination of an acceptable social drinking environment and going back to school after 10 years. Something changed. I had become dependant. Physically. And emotionally. The depression was torture and the detoxing was the worst. But finally I got sober. And I know it can be an uncomfortable word, but I now have relapsed and that word is my favorite. I never knew I could be so happy not drinking. I honestly didn’t know myself well enough to know how I felt on a daily basis. I turned into a candle and my confidence was amazing. I had finally come to a place of acceptance with not drinking. It is a social issue that needs less stigma and more facts. I see my dad drinking his retirement away, and I see that I am cut from the same cloth. Yet my mom can drink twice a year and enjoy it. Fact is, I’m good at it, and I can do it alone. Starts slow, but if you stop hydrating and eating properly, it’s history painfully repeating itself. I know now, that although the latter half of my 5 years was more successfully alcohol free, I didn’t take care to ensure my independent and destructive side didn’t slowly take over. I mean, I was truly happy. I was even open, to certain people. And there in lies what I feel I need to do. This relapse was depressive, caused me to call off sick, was an awakening. And although I’m not 100% back, I’m weaning and eating again. But I do know I need to go to AA. I’ve been, back when I wasn’t to the point of needing it, and I genuinely (aside from saying I was an alcoholic, it was too soon) loved the stories and messages. I live in a small town and the fear of being recognized has more than once stopped me. But I know in my heart of hearts, I have been through more pain and self awareness, and being unable to drink is something that is not shameful. It’s a depressive, a poison, and blows out my candle. I have seeked alcoholic recovery stories, to recovery methods online and this is my first time sharing. I feel more confident than ever that it’s, to us, a socially acceptable potion to make us feel better, calm, wonderful, but it leaves us with as big of a downer than it did high. And no one likes a depressive state. And that’s where the hair of the dog becomes a 3 day bender. I’ve been there. More times, and trust me I knew better. Don’t give up. Ever. Build your spirit up. Know that it’s not all your fault. I’m 4th generation on my dad’s side and my brother was lucky enough to not have to struggle through this. I tried and finally broke free. I like to think things happen for a reason and I hope to share my story one day on a deeper scale. Relapses can happen. I can’t believe it happened again, but I’m way better without drinking, and the world is getting more hip to that. You’re not alone.

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