This is what I wrote shortly after my last relapse 7/28/18:
The good news is that after drinking several days this past week, I am so incredibly excited to get back on track. There is so much misery to active addiction– physically, mentally, spiritually. I miss the AF me! I cannot wait to get back to being physically active, strengthening my spiritual practices and living with that feeling of peace that comes from being substance free. I’ve proven that I can do it and be happy and free ❤
It’s about 3 weeks later and I’m still not back on track. Still drinking nightly, still not exercising, working mildy on my soul with readings and my 12 step workbook.
WHY is this important? Because when you kill the momentum with a relapse it is HARD to get back on track, beyond hard. It can make you do crazy things.
Like… here is something crazy stupid. Two days ago I woke up with a new resolve to STOP the drinking. I had a full box and a box 1/4 full of wine in the garage. I could throw away the 1/4 box but didn’t want to WASTE the full box. So — what did I do? I gave it away on my local Buy Nothing Facebook group. I did not want to throw away a whole unopened box and thought that a normal drinker may enjoy it…
The Buy Nothing site requires you to creatively gift items and not just give to the first person who responds. So I had people comment with a number and the number closest to mine by 5pm won. I felt slightly guilty for giving away something that I know is an awful toxin- but was hoping that a normal drinker would win it and truly enjoy it– not all one sitting.
The girl who won was ecstatic! She had just bought a camper and had a girl’s weekend scheduled and said it would be the perfect addition. I felt so good about it! She asked to pick it up the next day.
That night the wine witch started screaming at me and I still had all that wine in the garage. I should have dumped out the 1/4 box I had left but I didn’t. I decided that I would drink that and then stop (that’s funny).
Well I bet you could guess what I did next. I opened that box that was meant for the winner of my contest. WHO does that? The entire time I was thinking about it and then opening the box, all I could think is how INSANE the whole situation is. Insanity is another name for my addiction.
I try to learn from each relapse and setback. I don’t think I ever wrote about the details that ultimately lead to my decision to open that first bottle.
My nephew was staying with us for the week before Boy Scout camp and the scene around our house was typically chaotic. I was scheduled to go to scout camp and then up to Tawas immediately after for a girl’s weekend celebrating my sister’s birthday. I was excited for the girl’s weekend and hubby kept remarking the week before that after having my nephew for so long and Boy Scout camp that it was a well deserved weekend of fun. I was pumped!
Two nights before the girl’s weekend, while I was at camp, BAD things were happening.
At camp it was an ice cream social followed by a dance party. My nephew (who is a part of the troop and who I was responsible for) kept disappearing and I learned that he was wanting to start a fight with another boy on the dance floor. My own kid is very docile, I’m not used to dealing with this type of situation. It was a highly stressful night– no fights ensued but I was on edge the whole time.
After the dance party we all got ready and went to bed. As another parent said goodnight to the boys, we learned that my nephew was not in his tent. It wasn’t a huge deal, he was sitting with the other troop that we shared the site with at the fire– but again, he was supposed to tell someone where he is at all times. I had to have another stern talking to him and deal with some disrespectful actions.
As I laid in my cot my frustration grew. I was annoyed with the disrespect that my nephew showed me and that I couldn’t enjoy myself because of the added stress. I was also annoyed with my body. I have rheumatoid arthritis and had been doing great (which I attributed to 100 days clean of alcohol) but my body was beginning to deceive me. My shoulder and foot had progressively gotten worse throughout the week and were now throbbing as I sat in my annoyance. WHY? I thought, WHY now, WHY here?
I wasn’t close to being ready for sleep so I reached out to my sister and let her know that I was SO excited for her birthday weekend. Her text back let me know that there has been a change of plans.
Her daughter, who had just found out that she is pregnant, had most likely lost her baby. My niece was beside herself with grief so my sister cancelled the girl’s weekend and arranged for us all to be at the cottage together to help console my niece.
While it made me sad and anxious, I knew that there was nothing I could do about it and accepted it. As it turns out, by the way, she found out a couple weeks later that the baby was fine, but we had no idea of knowing that at the time.
I then texted my hubby, as we normally chatted before bed. I didn’t like hearing what he had to say.
He had some news also. His sister lost her kids for at least 12 months. One of her kids is my nephew who was at camp with me. My hubby had to get interviewed by CPS to let them know where he was at. We were just so relieved that CPS didn’t come to camp to question my nephew. I was so sad for him knowing that his life was about to change and he had no idea.
All this SHIT— WTF?????
I don’t know if it was that night, or the next day, but I made the conscious decision that after camp, when I got to the cottage, I was drinking. My sisters weren’t too happy to hear (even though they are drinkers–they know my struggles and my journey). I was completely ok with it– or so I said. “People are losing their kids!” I shouted. “I’m not going to stress over a few drinks!”
I knew it wouldn’t be a one night thing. Hubby’s vacation was the following week and I thought, well I blew it– might as well drink on vacation too (because who doesn’t love hangovers, headaches, anxiety and the shakes when you are on vacation). I thought after his week off I could focus on my sobriety.
And here we are, 2 weeks after his vacation and I’m still in this cycle. I don’t even want to quit today. I DO want to quit sometime soon. Just not today. Maybe I won’t be able to this time. Maybe it’ll turn into day drinking and waking up with the shakes. Maybe my liver will fail and I will die a slow and painful death eating my words about just a couple of drinks.
To my family, I am sorry. I am doing the best that I can.
To anyone who is reading this, if you have clean time cherish the heck out of it. If it’s 1 day, or 10 or 100– cherish every single day. And if you are thinking you might relapse, think about how hard the first few days were. The first few days are always the hardest and will always be so hard regardless of how much sobriety you have. Folks, people relapse after years of sobriety and die from it. This is real.
Don’t let an event– or series of events out of your control make you think that you have the right to give in. That is your addiction taking advantage of you– and he/she will! I’m quite certain that with every piece of bad news I received, Betsy was doing a happy dance in my head.
The only thing that I can promise is that I will always be open and honest about my journey, no matter how ugly the truth is.
I do have hope that better days are ahead.