Hidden

 

Hidden lives, hidden bottles, full and empty, hidden vessels of booze, mugs, anything to disguise the contents.  Cupboards, drawers, inside winter boots, under beds, the garden, everywhere imaginable.
Then morning dawns, panic, trying to remember where the previous nights binge had been stashed. Inevitably forgotten, leading to all consuming anxiety and frantic searching to ensure the secret remains hidden.

Does any of this ring true with anyone else?

It was never meant to be that way.  There was never any ambition to be an alcoholic. It was a gradual tightening of the rope around my throat, a slow suffocation; so subtle it was undetectable.

Fortunately, I had a rude awakening and was given a chance of freedom and escape from delusional affects of alcohol.  I have no doubt that ultimately, my so-called best buddy would have led to my death.  Either through the damaging effects of alcohol, or my increasing desire to end my life because of the all-consuming belief that everyone would be better off without me, worthlessness and guilt. All beliefs fed and fuelled by the warped sense of loyalty alcohol deceivingly promised me. The process of self medicating my severe depression failing every step of the way.

And now?   An overwhelming sense of gratitude for my sobriety and to be free of the binding, asphyxiating chains.I’m one of the lucky ones.  A fact I remind myself of every night when my head hits my pillow and every morning.

If I can you can……..

Amazing Grace

Regrets are pointless.  My son was chatting to me this week about the injuries I caused to myself while drunk.  I said to him that I wish I could change the past, but I can’t.  He replied “no, but you have changed our future”.  Words cannot express how much this comment from him means to me.  The hurt and anguish they have gone through and yet he, and my other children, still believe in me.  I am truly blessed –  ‘Amazing Grace….. I was once lost, but now am found’…..

My heart and soul are full of gratitude to be living in sobriety; to everyone who helped me turn from a life of destruction to fight against the ills I was suffering.  The continued battle with depression and anxiety.  However, I tell myself DAILY that there is nothing that life can throw at me that will be helped by alcohol.  The same can be said to every single person living with addiction – it will take you to oblivion but whatever you, we, are hiding from will remain regardless.

Many people will experience times when with a heavy heart they feel the helplessness and frustration of being the parent of a child who is struggling emotionally.  You can only feel as happy as your unhappiest child.  But remember, as a reliable, dependable, supportive, but most importantly SOBER parent you are THERE for your child.

I live in hope that I continue to avoid jumping, again, onto that out of control express train of doom and destruction.

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.
Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

 

A letter from a husband to a wife

Rehab 2014 –

We are thinking of you all the time and really hope to get back the old you by never drinking again!
It’s quite difficult to put down into words how hard it has been to live with you over the last few years, but I will try. I think back about 5/6 years begging you to stop and it’s got progressively worse since.
Do you know that your character changes completely when you are drinking? The other week I showed you a video of you which illustrated what we have to live through on an almost daily basis. And that was you on a good day. I get a feeling of dread of what I will find when I go home, whether it’s on the way home from work, or from taking the kids to activities or when I’m on a bike ride and sometimes I feel that you are quite determined to prove me right – whenever.
For most of the last few years we see you in the morning for a few minutes, with most of our contact during drunken times. It is particularly difficult spending so little time with the ‘nice’ you and so much of our time together with the drunken one. Yet on an almost daily basis we get up, forgive your drunkenness and lies and hope for a better day.
I’ve really notice a change in our wonderful kids, and since I’ve been explaining your illness to them I’ve gained some insights into how they have been affected.
I really believe your drinking is causing them to be less happy. They are sceptical about you being able to get better having witnessed so many broken promises and all the lies given to them on a daily basis. There is now a massive trust issue in our family. They all believe that you are going to be drinking as soon as you get home.
Socially I have noticed less and less invites. Not really surprising as you have become a liability at parties. You were always the drunkest person there, with opinions that are embarrassing for me, and your friends. Often we have had to return home early or sometimes you disappear (which might be ok if you were in a state of being able to find your way home). The one friend who knows about your illness tells me that all your friends know about it, not because anyone is gossiping but because it is there for all to see, whether it’s on nights out or visits to our house during the day.
I dread our meals out together as they have been with the drunk you (almost without exception) for years. Not someone I want to spend a night chatting with. This leads me to think of your accusations of lack of affection from me. But the reason for this is that I feel I’m always with the drunk you, not the sober one that I want to show affection to.
Trips to school have become an increasing issue when you are mainly not sober, I don’t feel I get embarrassed easily, but I find some of these nights really uncomfortable…as well as what the parents might think, what do the teachers think, do they hear the slagging’s and will social services be alerted to our situation? Trips to A&E are become more frequent, and this too is embarrassing, not really because of your (drink related) injuries, but the way you speak to the staff who are trying to help you, whilst all the time claiming not to have been drinking.
You have to realise that there is a massive job to do in re-building trust in your family. BUT we are so pleased and proud that you are there attacking this issue and showing massive determination to get better. We all love you and miss you (the sober one) and we all are looking forward to getting the rest of our lives back on track!
All our love,

YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE

(Gosh I haven’t written a blog since September last year, I hadn’t realised that it has been so long, have been busy living my life!).

“You only live once” is an often repeated phrase. However, I disagree! You only DIE once, but LIVE every day of your life. Therefore, I can’t help but wonder why people on a regular basis willingly consume a toxic, and addictive, substance? Don’t panic I’m not on a crusade to get everyone to live in sobriety, (although the world may be less troublesome), but just to question and think about why they drink and the effect it has, or is having, on their everyday lives. Wasted weekends, lost memories, examples being set to their children, increased sense of anxiety and panic, ill health, loss of working hours…….
A legal poison, cleverly marketed to ‘hook’ the consumer into indulging in its mind altering ability over and over again. Available in ever increasing varieties, taste and flavours to appeal to all palates, disguising its naturally foul taste.
Would ‘normal’ drinkers, (I’m no longer sure if there is such a thing), consume alcoholic beverages if it wasn’t available in a palatable form preferable to them?
How many people enjoy having a hangover, or suffering the after effects of alcohol?

 

Me

I’m just an ordinary, everyday, middle aged mum, wife, etc etc, who over half a decade ago became overwhelmed by life, depression and anxiety;  whereby I gradually became dependent of alcohol to get me through the day.  First it was just the reward of a glass of wine at bath time.  Over a relatively short period of time of a couple of years, this slowly increased.  When I gave up time to become a full time stay at home mum it really escalated out of control.  “Wine o’clock” crept earlier and earlier into each day.

Looking back I was mentally and emotionally a complete wreck, and had been for years, holding things together by the thinnest of threads.

My darkest days were spent unable to drag myself out of bed.  Wishing I was dead and believing my family would be better off without me.

There were times when I would contemplate driving into a wall, or disappearing without a trace.  I would go to bed at night praying that I wouldn’t wake up the next morning.

Drinking became a way of trying to seek oblivion from my obligations, and the ever increasing sense of drowning despair and suffocating panic………..

I Am Addiction

To all who come into contact with me I wish you death and suffering. I am the disease of addiction – cunning, endlessly patient and bafflingly powerful. I have killed millions and I am delighted. I love pretending that I am your friend.

I’ve given you comfort, was there for you when you were lonely; there for you when you wanted to die. All those times you wanted me I was there for you. I love to make you cry and to upset you.

I’ve always been there for you. When things were going well in your life you invited me to join in. All the good things in your life that you said you didn’t deserve I always agreed with you. Together we were able to destroy all those good things.

But your recovery and sobriety weaken me. However, don’t be fooled as I will lie here quietly, biding my time, waiting, waiting……..

Fourth Birthday

4 Years sobriety, 16th August 2014 I took my last alcoholic drink. 17th August 2014 I entered rehab; a 28 day intensive program in an acute psychiatric hospital, without which I am certain I wouldn’t be where I am today.

My admission notes state “My drinking is out of control, I am self medicating to help an underlying depression. Since stopping work 12 months ago my consumption has increased…my family are a string protective factor for me and my drive to recover and maintain sobriety”.

My journey in rehab not only helped me stop using the drug of my choice, it enabled me to understand the nature of addiction and, how it affected my life. I learnt that life can be fun without alcohol and how to maintain sobriety.

There is in my heart eternal love and gratitude for all those that helped me, stood by me and continued to love, when I despised, loathed, hated myself. From wanting to die to loving life, finding confidence and self esteem seems incredible.

Sobriety is the best gift I have ever given to myself and those around me. It hasn’t always been easy, but my life is better than I ever imagined.