Come Here Often?
Well, the answer to that question is ‘yes’ and ‘no.’
I have been struggling with the idea of sobriety and giving up alcohol for probably the last 5-7 years. That almost-constant internal struggle should have been a sign (hey, dummy!) that something needed to change. And I don’t quite know why Now is the time and the moment I am ready to take the step forward, but it is.
These past years, I have searched for signs on the internet for the key, to take a Cosmo quiz, or for someone else to say, ‘Hey, you’ve gotta problem.’ Granted, I probably would have told them to fuck off and lived in my little world of denial, decided they were the problem, gotten super-self-conscious about the observation, and then done somersaults trying to prove to them that I’m really fine. Okay. Awesome. Great.
I think my life has been a lot of proving to myself that everything is okay. I am an over-achiever, and a doer to the nth degree. I couldn’t possibly have an addiction problem, because look at me! I am successful in my job, I am a somewhat decent mother, I own a house, pay for bills, do added art on the side, and all in all, am a totally awesome, strong, confident woman.
… Except I’m not.
Every time I thought about having a drink at the end of a day, or beating myself up in the early morning after another regular night of 4-5 glasses of wine, I would hate myself. I was constantly full of shame and embarrassment for my actions, my hiding in isolation in my house, my dirty little secret – the monster I kept hidden. I felt like a fraud. Like I never deserved what I had – love, babes, support, art, etc. I always felt like I was holding my breath and waiting for someone to find me out. Actually hoping someone would find me out.
After reading sober blogs from a bunch of phenom women (I especially related to The Sober Journalist), I realized that ‘alcoholic’ does look like me. All these years of struggle, I couldn’t see myself in that word, or in that idea. Nowhere in that stereotype of ‘alcoholic’ did I exist. But I see now that I do in a hundred million ways.
I’m glad I found myself out. There is a lot to sort out in the days to come, but I am feeling hopeful. … Not super-patient, but that’s more a personality flaw than anything.
Day 2, World. Woot.