Hi Readers–I need your help! Day 97 here! My 100th day is Friday and I’m excited to make it the best day ever!
I’ve been thinking a lot about coming out on Facebook to family and friends. Mainly I want to do this for accountability– especially with summer festivities in full swing. I am planning on posting this on Friday but wanted to post here first.
I welcome any and all constructive criticism. I have no idea if it sounds too long, too wordy, too vague, etc. Here the draft I came up with:
Today is a special day for me, today I have 100 days of no alcohol!
My journey began back in the spring of 2016. I had developed pleural effusion, diagnosed at the ER when I was being checked for a lung clot. I was told there are many reasons I could have gotten it and to follow up with my general practitioner.
As I waited for the follow up appointment, I was researching pleural effusion (I had never heard of it prior to this) and found out that it could be caused by liver problems. Knowing that I was drinking WAY too much, this information kind of put me into panic mode.
When I went to my general practitioner for my follow up visit, I had decided to ask for help with my drinking– I knew it was time to STOP what I was doing to myself. I had even researched a local inpatient rehab center and thought I might need to go there in order to help me with this “problem.”
Leveling with the doctor, and being 100% honest about my “problem” was one of the single handedly least effective things I have done in my life. He told me that I didn’t belong at the inpatient center– that was for drug addicts (I think those were his exact words– and I know now that this is the most untrue of the untruths). He told me that his office has a GREAT outpatient program at his office and to call their social worker for more information (he RAVED about this social worker).
Problem #1 was that the social worker he referred me to no longer was working there. Problem #2 is that once I DID reach a social worker (same building, different office), she would not let me join her program because I was still actively drinking. Granted, I didn’t know HOW to stop and every phone call I made seemed to be a dead end. I knew that AA was out there, but honestly, everytime I thought about having to go to an AA meeting I would just start bawling.
I spent the entire summer thinking that I was nothing but a failure and that no one could help me. This was all very untrue–there is loads of help out there and shame on the doctors who are completely clueless when it comes to addiction.
Towards the end of the fall I discovered podcasts that were centered around that taboo topic of sobriety. As I listened to these stories some ideas became wildly clear to me. First off, it is OK and (somewhat normal) to go to an AA meeting (or another recovery meeting– there are many different options out there). Secondly, there are SO many people out there who viewed their drinking as problematic and have stopped– people JUST LIKE ME. I instantly felt not so alone. I found a few Facebook groups to join that were recovery based.
This opened up a whole new world to me. In fact, as a person who was watching all this wonderfulness, but still not able to get there (I was still drinking at this point), it always reminded me of my favorite movie, The Wizard of Oz. I was in black and white kansas and all of these sober people were in the land of Oz, enjoying a colorful and vivid life. I still did not know how to get there.
I finally decided that I wanted it more than anything else in the world. The first few days were HARD. It was abnormal and uncomfortable. On the 3rd day it was my late mom’s birthday and Anthony came home to me crying in the kitchen while making dinner. He hugged me, thinking that I was crying about my mom. I was crying because I still had some boxed wine in the garage and I wanted it, SO fucking bad. I was crying over fucking poisoning myself– not my dear mom, and that haunts me to this day.
When you make the decision to stop drinking, it’s not abnormal for the process to take a couple or even a few years. I stopped for over 90 days in 2017 and for 127 days in 2018. I feel that this last time is probably my final time and that I am done with relapsing (God willing).
The point of this long rambling post, overall, is for my own accountability. We have a lot of summer parties coming up and I don’t want to get sucked into the cycle again– no matter how appealing it seems.
Secondly, if you or someone you know needs help feel free to reach out to me. I still hate the experience I had talking to my doctor– and still shocked and outraged that he was not able to give me ANY useful information with a matter so serious. How can modern day doctors be so uninformed about such a huge issue in today’s society?
Lastly, if you think you NEED a drink because of X, Y and Z, consider this: Alcohol has the same chemical makeup as ethanol (gas). Not only is it truly a toxic poison that does a number on our body, but it affects our brain as well. I’ve always considered myself an anxious person and was surprised when I noticed my anxiety go way down during sobriety– and for me to feel real joy. There is something beautiful about going through life day in and day out without the need to escape through alcohol.
Overall, I have much less stress and have developed real coping mechanisms instead of reaching for an instant numbing agent. If you are a drinker, I have nothing against it–or you, it is just not for ME. I’ve already had my lifetime allotment of it, so I will have to pass.
If are stuck in a cycle and are sick and tired of waking up sick and tired, give me a call ❤