THE BEGINNING. AGAIN.

I’ve done this all before.

I’m sitting at the office on a Monday morning sipping iced tea from a clear plastic cup while repeatedly marveling at how closely the golden brown color tries desperately to be whiskey. My mind independently repurposes the actuality of my beverage with what it COULD be in my imagined paradise of never ending intoxication in a world void of hangovers and responsibilities. I know for a fact that iced tea wishes it could be whiskey. I wish it could be, too. Iced tea, however delicious, would give anything to be as cool and carefree as a glass full of Bulleit and I don’t blame it for aspiring to such beauty. I’ve spent the past six years flooding myself with beautiful alcohol in what appeared to be an attempt to actually become it. Or at least get as close to its calming perfection as humanly possible. Obsessive wandering of the mind and for what? I should be working. After all, this is the first Monday I’ve been on the job without feeling deathly ill.  I didn’t even drink whiskey and somehow that’s what tea is making me long for. I could switch to lemon lime seltzer but the mere taste of it immediately fills my mind with thoughts of vodka sodas and makes me seriously question whether or not I’m beginning to feel the tip of a buzz even though I know there is nothing buzzworthy in my cup.

Last Monday I sat at this same desk with my head in my hands trying not to vomit. I had the kind of hangover that makes you literally question whether or not you might die. It’s difficult to describe this kind of profound illness to someone who has never experienced it. In fact, it probably should have its own name altogether. There exists an overwhelming sense of doom and anxiety that makes any task completely impossible to execute. You repeat phrases to yourself rhythmically and rock yourself back and forth while you wonder if you might be losing your mind. “I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what do. I don’t know what to do.”  My pulse was racing and I kept my hand over my chest as if that might keep a heart attack from showing up. I left my desk and took refuge in the handicap stall in the men’s restroom where I realistically weighed my options and assessed the likelihood of being able to make it through the day. It quickly became apparent that this one was too bad to endure upright. I had already missed several Mondays this year as a result of my Sunday night binge drinking and I knew this was not going to go over well with management. Still, I made my way from the restroom, gathered my things, walked to the office manager’s desk, and told her that I had just started vomiting in the bathroom (I hadn’t) and that I needed to leave immediately.

While walking to the train, something entirely unexpected happened. After years of hiding, rationalizing, downplaying, and avoiding, I seemingly became possessed. I opened a blank text message to my boyfriend and typed:

I’m sure this comes as no surprise to you but I have a problem with alcohol. I’m tired and exhausted and can’t pretend everything is okay anymore. I need help and need to be sober.  And I need your support. Desperately.

I waited for what seemed like days before he finally responded:

Absolutely. I’m there for your. Whatever we need to do.

I sobbed on the train the entire way home, went to McDonalds and ordered disgusting grease saturated breakfast food, walked the rest of the way to my house, and climbed into bed for one of the most miserable 8 hours I’ve ever endured. He eventually arrived at home after his work day and I sobbed all over again in his arms. 

It has been one week since my last drink. I haven’t sought help other than opening up to my thus far supportive partner. I haven’t gone to meetings. I’ve only been able to find the courage to read blogs, articles, and message boards online. I’m hanging on by a thread and know that I need to start doing the work again. Did I mention I’ve done this before? I don’t have the energy to tell you about last time because I’m too busy dealing with this time. Maybe later. I hope there are some readers to be had out there. I could use the encouragement.

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33 comments

    1. Week 2 just barely under way. Today is day 8. I waited until I had a week before I started this blog to make sure I was serious. I think I am. Thanks for commenting, Stacy! Nice to meet you.

  1. This is a cry for help, I think. I hope you can take the small steps you need to! Get to a meeting, continue being honest, don’t drink no matter what.

  2. Hi and welcome. I can totally relate to your story. You just reach a point where you have to say STOP.
    It is hard as hell, but the blogging world is filled with support, comfort, and love. We are all the same. Out here binge drinking and not stopping after one bottle of wine (me) is normal.
    People are great, make a few comments here and there and suddenly you have a support group.
    I personally believe AA is awesome, but it took me 73 days to get in the door.
    As they say, don’t look to far forward. You only have to do this one day at a time. Be kind to yourself, put yourself first, and if you need to just go to bed. Who cares what time it is.
    Check out Belles 100 day challenge at Tired of thinking about drinking. It worked for me to know I was accountable.
    Stay Strong!

  3. Thank you for your blog and your honesty. I came across it today and it is nice to feel less alone. It has inspired me to make a change in my life as well: I can’t go on like this. It’s tiring and embarrassing, and unfair to the people who love me.
    Keep writing and I will keep reading.
    Thanks for being so inspirational.

    1. So glad to meet you here and I’m very humbled that you’ve taken the time to read my ramblings. Be strong, lean on people, and do anything and everything in your power to not pick up a drink. I look forward to getting to know you!

  4. Dear 6yearhangover,
    I am a Psychotherapist in Cinnaminson, NJ and have written two books to help children cope with and understand alcoholism. These books were written at the request of a client who wanted to explain his alcoholism to his young daughter and was having trouble finding the “right” book to do the job.
    “Daddy’s Disease” and “Mommy’s Disease” have been on the cover of the “Courier Post”, featured on NPR’s “Voices in the Family” with Dr. Dan Gottleib, and on Take 12 Radio.
    I would very much appreciate your considering reviewing my books for your blog and would be happy to send you copies of the books if you are interested. (electronically or hard copy)
    Thank you so much for your time and for the good work you do.
    Best,
    Carolyn Hannan Bell, M.S., L.P.C.
    http://www.alcoholismhurtskids.com

    1. Hi Carolyn. I don’t have any children of my own and I myself am an adult child of an alcoholic. Not sure I’d be the right fit to review these and worry that it might stir up some stuff that I’m not quite ready to deal with? Thanks so much for reaching out, though.

  5. As someone who is usually pretty good with words, I am finding that I can’t find many today. After reading through several blogs, finding things that resonate with me and make me grateful and sad and happy and devastated all at once. Maybe I’ll find my words again. Right now I am grateful for yours. I am lucky to have found your blog.

    1. I’m grateful you are here reading and joining the conversation! You have a friend here! It’s awesome that you are reaching out and trying to figure out what this thing is that’s going on and what you can or want to do about it. Very nice to meet you.

  6. Hi 6Year, just discovered your blog, really resonating with me right now for various reasons… am thinking of blogging, and therefore committing to 100 days sobriety and going from there, but really I know I need to stop drinking full stop. I don’t drink daily but when I do I turn into a lunatic! I battle with moderation but always eventually turns into crazy binges- not cool with two small children! Keep posting, and i’ll keep reading.

    1. Hi Becky
      I am a week in and like you struggle with moderation! What a great expression 🙂 hope to keep seeing your name here – I’m a newbie too xxxx

  7. Hello London calling! Don’t know your name but I love your blog. Love it really. I too was 6 years sober then blew it and need and want to come back. Please keep writing you are giving me hope x

  8. Thank you for stopping by my blog. I really love Intherooms.com, especially their text based meetings. I have a side bar for contacting me, if you want other ideas. I’m glad to see your work, so talented! Keep telling your truth!!! Good site, here!

  9. I am encouraged that you were able to just stop drinking. I’ve been struggling for a LONG time with HOW to just stop. In the morning I really believe I want to/need to stop, but on the way home from work I buy more wine and just seem to habitually do it. Quitting drinking doesn’t seem like such a good idea at 5 p.m. I’ll be following along in your struggles. You are encouraging me. Thank you and good luck.

    1. Barbara, I am the same way…wake up extremely tired and hating myself until about lunch time then by 5pm i am AGAIN on the way to the grocery store (different ones each day) so that the cashiers dont catch on to my habit. Another two bottles of wine and money wasted. This blog is encouraging and i intend to keep following along. Thanks Good Luck

  10. I have been thinking of you and wanted to say hi! You are past the 6 month-mark now – congratulations! I remember finding your blog in April when I had lots of starts and stops and I was still struggling to make the alcohol free route stick. I just passed 5 months 🙂 Please accept this big thank you for all the motivation and kindness!

  11. Thank you so much for this. Today I’m doing the hungover dance after binge drinking all weekend. I think I might also die, I have also stopped and been here before. This gives me the courage to change this gives me hope for sobriety. Thanks

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