48 days sober – go me!! I can honestly say that this is the longest period I’ve went without an alcoholic drink in 20 years plus – isn’t that crazy?! And I don’t have any urge to go back to it. Yes, I get the odd craving and sometimes have a non alcoholic beer just to feel like I’m not missing out but it’s literally 2 or 3 as I get bored. Imagine, me, getting bored of beer! Previously I guzzled beer after beer while thinking when’s the next one, do I have enough in the fridge, should I get some more just incase…. the numerous times I can count running out and then doing a manic dash to the shops before they closed half cut and talking shite to the poor shop staff that just wanted to close. Once my bag was full again the panic subsided and I drank until I fell asleep. Oh sleep, that drift into oblivion that I welcomed and rarely got apart from with the drink. I hated going to sleep without drink. I would hear every noise, take at least 2 hours to nod over and then have the lightest sleep without it. Of course I knew that a boozy sleep wasn’t a real sleep either but I had this fear in me about going to sleep – not that I wouldn’t wake up, but that the day had went too fast as it was and I didn’t want it to end. Time was just going too fast. One minute I was just turning 30 then bam I’m turning 40 – and I still felt like I wasn’t adulting, I was an imposter at this adult stuff. I really have no clue why but I’m sure it’s some deep down fear of death which has always haunted me from I realised what it meant as a child. But now, I’m sleeping like a baby! I fall asleep shortly after my head hits the pillow and I sleep right through with the odd toilet visit or silly dream (usually to do with work, drinking or other worries). I don’t want to go back to the fitful nights and exhausting days.
I’m in my 7th week of AA and it has been an absolute life saver – I am so thankful to those rooms. Listening to other peoples stories and daily lives and sharing my own thoughts has helped dull the constant buzzing in my head and made me face up to my emotions. I had been drowning the noise and feelings out for years and now I can learn how to deal with them. I have got myself a lovely sponsor, James, who has been sober for 32 years and is an inspiration. He has taken me under his wing and is going to guide me through the 12 steps and I’m very excited to be starting them – I am ready for this recover! One thing said by many of the old timers in AA is that Alcohol is just a symptom of the problem – which I truly believe is the case for me. They say, the easy part is putting down the drink when you come into the rooms, the hard part is working out what made you pick it up and dealing with the defect of character that we all have. Not everyone may agree with that if their desire to drink is still so obsessive and I can understand that having obsessed and wanted to drink constantly before I reached my rock bottom. My dad is one of those – he does not want to stop drinking and he said to me yesterday – that is the difference between you and I – you want to stop.
With all this talking within AA, my counsellor and my friends and family it’s like I’m on a roll and ready to explain myself. I feel I need to explain to my brother, mum and dad how I really was with my drinking before my melt down as I had hid it, to a certain extent, very well. Us alcoholic’s are very clever you see – as one guy says in AA – I haven’t met a stupid alcoholic yet. Well, we are clever maybe when we are not drinking so we can cover our tracks but that’s about it sometimes. I was clever in the sense that I kept different circles of friends that only experienced my alcoholic drinking on the odd occasion but put them all together and it was obviously not normal or moderate or even binge drinking. The same went for my family as my mum and dad are divorced and my brother only seen my drinking if he visited mum and her and I were having a girly night. But they weren’t stupid either, they knew my love of beer and they knew I was a heavy partier in my day but now I a heavy drinker they would say but I don’t think they would have called me an alchy. It was time to fess up!
When I told my mum I was in AA she went quiet and said whatever makes you happy and she supported my decision. I asked her not to share it with the family yet as I wanted to see what it was all about and if it helped me. So there my hubby and I were sitting at my mums the other week to tell her about our IVF information and we started talking about AA. I know mum was worried about my recovery if I took something on as emotional as IVF but I had spoken to the professionals about this and they said I was actually in a better place to do it now than I would have been last year. Last year I was drinking flat out, not dealing with my problems, not talking and isolating myself. Now I have professional support, AA, friends and family back in my life properly and I’m off work so no stress there (will tell you about the work madness again). I have a safety net and I’m in no way going to jeopardise my sobriety for my mad head. I’m under no illusions that IVF may not work and I’m really positive about the hormones as everything has been explained to me and there’s help all the way – I had heard that women found the hormone explosion a torture but I’ve been reassured that my course of hormones are in short succession so I shouldn’t feel much different that I do before my period – happy days! So mum was content and very happy for us. I just got a thought about telling others in the family when I said to mum ‘you didn’t tell anyone else I was in AA, did you?’ to which she replied ‘yes, some’ – me ‘who did you tell?’ – mum ‘just the family’ – ‘as in who?’ Mum told, my aunties, my uncles, my brother, her best friend, my cousin (who will tell other cousins) and maybe the girl in work she’s friendly with who comes from my home town and know’s loads of people I know – but apparently she won’t say anything!!!!! Feck sake mum!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Firstly the work friend is not going to pass on telling this juicy bit of gossip and, as with all small towns, it will be round the houses in no time arghhhhhh! I was annoyed with my mum but I love her to bits and she’s been an absolute rock to me all my life. I’m under no illusion that after all her suffering with my dads alcoholism I have probably put her through a good bit too. She did not deserve that at all and I have amends to make there. She would say I don’t and I didn’t put her through anything but the worry I caused her and the guilt she carried about my drinking is there and I’m gutted about that. My eyes are opening. So I swallow my resentment and forgive and move on – who cares what anyone else thinks apart from those that love you and see your fight. As many friends have pointed out, she was probably proud of my actions and wanted to share them. I’ll go with that lol!!
I had wanted to talk to my brother myself about AA and the IVF so I text him to say about calling over for a chat. I called last Friday and we talked for over 2 hours and it was so cathartic for us both I believe. I explained how my drinking had spiralled and how I was debilitated with anxiety and couldn’t function anymore. Where drink had helped that before it was now making it worse but I couldn’t stop and I went head first into a breakdown. I explained that my husband had probably saved me by seeing the behaviour and highlighting it – constantly to my annoyance! I told him how I blamed myself for the infertility and couldn’t get it out of my head. I was on self destruct and it was only a matter of time. My brother started to talk about our childhood and how we were probably more affected by my dads drinking than we realised. It was so good to talk about it all with someone who obviously got it and was there. When I was leaving my brother hugged me tight, told me he loved me and how proud he was of me – that meant the world to me!!
So now, I am no longer isolated. I am with my family, my trusted friends and my AA family. They are key to this recovery – I know it and I’m not letting go EVER!