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Old 10-26-2013, 10:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
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My VERY LONG STORY

I know this is long....but I felt I needed to get it out:

I don’t know exactly when I became an alcoholic. I was raised by a single (alcoholic) mother…who I watched die from alcoholism at age 72. She was bloated, jaundiced and all of her organs stopped functioning. My sisters and I agreed to “pull the plug” the day after Christmas, many years ago, when the doctors told us that she would not recover from her self-induced alcoholic coma. Later, we found medical reports from 1991 indicating that she was a “chronic alcoholic” which, of course, we knew.
My childhood was spent never knowing what she would be like upon coming home from school. Was she hiding behind the front door waiting to whack us, as she often did? Would she wake us up at 2:00 a.m., when she got off of work, to check our homework, to hit us…or did she just want to talk? Definitely a roller coaster. My dad was not in the picture much…she would not let him be…..He had remarried and there were always fights over child support. I later learned that he, too, was alcoholic….but he was finally able to maintain sobriety for 9 years, following a stay in a sober living home. In his later years, he was able to have a drink or two….and ultimately died from congestive heart failure. Apparently, he had been a batterer as well….one of my earliest memories is hiding in the bushes with my mom having a butcher knife …..to defend herself against him….
I do remember the first time I got drunk. It was at a party in high school (maybe age 17). I remember drinking Tom Collins until I was throwing up in the bushes. Someone took me home, and my mother just put me to bed…no consequences from her.
I married, for the first time, at age 18. I wanted to get away from my family. Turns out that I married a drug dealer (cocaine) and a batterer. He was 27. I stayed in this abusive relationship, doing my share of coke, participating in the “disco scene” and was able to drink a bottle of wine a night…all by myself….for 7 years. I endured isolation, black eyes, (almost ) a broken jaw, following a night of drinking tequila, and numerous cut lips, bruises, etc. Pure domination and control. I was working and finishing my Master’s degree at the time. When I finally got the courage to leave, my dad came to the rescue. Stayed with him for 2 weeks before returning to work, since I knew my ex was following me. I moved into my own place, dated and drank….but never thought it was really a problem. During Spring break and Christmas vacation, I worked on Cruise ships as a children’s hostess…planning activities for the kids (I was a teacher during the year). During cruises, the ship’s crew got drinks for 70% off…..my bar bill at the end of a cruise ate up whatever I had made in salary for the cruise. I never knew what I did the night before, or whose bed I would end up in (or who would be in mine). But, hey, I was young and was only beginning to think I drank too much. I met my 2nd husband on a cruise. He was the ship’s photographer. We dated for about a year, when I found out I was pregnant. BUT, I was dating others as well….and had gone on a couple of binges, having one night stands (including one with my first cousin) so I wasn’t sure who the father was. He believed it was him (and I have never told him otherwise) and we were in love and got married. I stopped drinking during my pregnancy, but maintained that once I gave birth, all I wanted was champagne and a carton of cigarettes! (BTW…in 1984, I had 2 DUIs and attended alcohol classes, pregnant….ugh!) I gave birth in November of 1985. The doctor said that he did a blood test and that my husband was, in fact, the baby’s father. (I have since discovered that he is not….but still have not told him. My daughter knows this though. Her father is my first cousin). My husband, as it turned out was/is an alcoholic also. He stopped working on the ships and drank beer and watched TV. I drank right along with him, but vodka was my DOC. During our 9 years of marriage, we had another daughter (1988)…and I actually drank a few glasses of wine during that pregnancy. Once, again, after the birth….I was back at it. My husband would tell me that drinking dark lager was good for breastfeeding…ugh! (During the course of our marriage, I did one final stint on the cruise ships, which ended up in me getting totally drunk one night, going to my cabin alone (I think), but ending up with a guy on top of me.) Finally, my husband went back to work on the ships (in 1991) because we needed the income, and I was totally resentful that I was working like a dog…I had enrolled in law school (hoping not to drink, since I had to study) the year before. So, he was gone, I was teaching during the day, and going to law school at night. (I had finished my Doctorate in Education in June of 1991). I hired a live-in housekeeper to watch the girls….since, at that time, I knew my drinking might result in their neglect. She began hiding my vodka so I wouldn’t drink. On November 11, 1991, while both of my girls were at a sleepover, I got drunk and called the AA hotline. I went to my first meeting totally wasted….but the woman who took me didn’t give up on me and became my first sponsor. I stayed sober for 8 years. I got sober while he was working on the cruise ship. Once sober, I kind of looked around and said to myself, “What the hell am I doing???” I divorced my husband, quit law school, survived the 1994 earthquake…and my oldest daughter’s diagnosis and treatment of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis….and excelled at my job…still staying sober. I met my 3rd husband in 1996….sober. We were married in 1998…still sober.
In 2000, we took a family cruise, so I could show my husband (and the girls) the Caribbean. I remember sitting on deck and, without a second thought, the words “vodka/tonic” came out of my mouth when the waiter appeared. Needless to say, I was off and running again. I thought I could control it…but I basically ruined the trip, and almost my marriage, due to my drinking.
Somehow, I made it back to the “rooms” again and managed to put 3 years together, before I tried to have “just one” again. I went back to the rooms again…in May of 2006….and maintained sobriety until we decided to move from California to a condo we owned in Costa Rica in 2010. I attended a couple of meetings…but we were 2 hours away from them so I stopped going. I felt accountable to no one, not even myself….and again tried to drink like a “normal” person. Even when I “drank too much” , I rationalized that I “wasn’t hurting anyone”….My girls came to visit at Christmastime in 2011…I don’t remember much of their visit. Glad I took pictures…but I HATE looking at them and seeing what I have done to myself and to them. I called the AA person here, again while drunk, and told her I wanted to get sober. She told me to call her back when I hadn’t been drinking. I never did.
Most recently, my youngest daughter (now 25) begged to come visit in July. She had been clean from heroin for a year a while back. Little did I know that she was using meth. I thought she was coming to help me (since I had broken my ankle, while NOT drunk) in June….and my husband needed to return to the States since his mom’s health had declined. I had put her in rehab when she was 19 due to a DUI and following me finding empty bottles all over the floor in her apt., covered by dirty laundry. She connected with the chef in rehab, who is now 43…has 16 felonies and he got her hooked on heroin. At any rate, I think she was detoxing here. She slept all day every day, only to wake to eat each day. I was cooking and cleaning up after her. I went through all of her “stuff” and found no evidence of drugs….but I was so very resentful. Although she and I had been drinking buddies over the years, my sister even warned me that she might try to get me drunk in order to get money. Well, the inevitable happened. She wanted some rum to have with coke. I told her to pick me up a small bottle of vodka. Of course I ended up drinking the whole thing and don’t remember really what started it all. Ended up that I called my husband in the States, who told me to go into the bedroom and close the door. I did. She put a chair against the door so I couldn’t get out. Prior to that she had gone downstairs and left the car running in the middle of the road and said, “You better go deal with that” (keeping in mind I was still on crutches and barely walking). I called management and the manager came over and got her to open the bedroom door. He helped her pack her things and put her in another condo for the night. The next day, we gave her cab fare to a motel, having a shuttle to the airport for her return flight the next day. Apparently, she lost her passport though, so she returned to the condo to look for it….by that time my husband had flown back. Of course she did not find it (although she was convinced we had it) and management gave her more money to get to the Embassy (about 6 hours away). I guess she was stuck in San Jose, the capital with no money, no place to stay, etc. for about 3 days, until a friend of mine from England wired her $300.00. We have had no contact since she left…..although I did find burned aluminum foil in the paint cabinet when we were moving out of the condo (to a beach house). So…..she is still using. Other than that, I have no idea…..but what if I hadn’t gotten drunk that one night??????? I am so very sure that things would have been different . I feel so very guilty. What mother leaves their daughter stranded in a foreign, that speaks a different language, with no money, no food, no place to stay, etc.?! That was July 29th.
From that day until October 15th I drank from the moment I woke up (after a couple cups of coffee) until I went to bed. I knew I had to stop…..I did….cold turkey, and this time suffered from nausea, headaches, sweats….no shakes though….for 5 full days. I have never detoxed before.
So…now I am on day 12…..again….
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Old 10-26-2013, 10:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Wow I read your whole story and my head is spinning. You've sure been through alot!!! You aren't new at this getting sober thing, you've proven you can abstain, yes. Time to do more then just not drinking!

Welcome aboard
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Old 10-26-2013, 10:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks, ImperfectlyMe! I know it is long....but somewhere inside I knew I had to tell it here....thanks for reading it. Yes, I know how to abstain. Have worked the steps 3 times....might try something different this time...not sure yet....no meetings are close here, and somehow I just feel like such a failure...
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Old 10-26-2013, 10:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Trudging: I agree completely with what you said at the beginning. It is a very long story! A long, long story! What does it tell you? That you can drink "moderately"? That you can "have just one" and then leave it alone? That it makes things better for you? That it has helped you deal with your daughter?
You're back trying to stay sober again. Is it going to be the same as before? Any thoughts on how to make it different? Perhaps, now that you have entered into a period of not drinking, it's time to seek out advice, counselors, doctors, other alcoholics in recovery, a wise and intelligent, caring sponsor, others on this website who have been where you are and who have managed to break the cycle and get free of having their lives yanked around by booze.
Don't be ashamed. You've had lots of alcoholism in your family. But that doesn't mean that you have to drink yourself to death like your mom did. You can be happy. There are ways to do just that. Seek out the folks who have been where you are and ask them how they escaped. You can do this.

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Old 10-26-2013, 10:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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WOW - trudgingagain, your post reads like a movie script.

Just one brief comment. You're not a failure, given what you've archived many times over, despite that small weakness all of us here share. It's life and you'll be living free soon.

Good luck!
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Old 10-26-2013, 11:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Maybe that something new is here at SR. It's been my only real sober support system, so far so good!
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Old 10-26-2013, 11:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm so glad you're here, trudgingagain. I imagine you feel some relief getting all that out of your head and onto "paper".

I took my time reading your story because I know it was very important for you to get all that out.

What is your next step? Posting and reading here is great and there are many paths to recovery. Have you looked into AVRT (Rational Recovery), SMART, Women For Sobriety?

Here is a link to some recovery programs: http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...formation.html (Recovery Programs and Resources Information)

Stick around. We're here for each other. We're here for you.
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Old 10-26-2013, 02:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks all....I do know that when I stopped going to meetings...I relapsed. Right now I am using this forum and taking a look at SMART and Rational recovery as well.
wpainterw....I have learned that I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT drink in moderation. It starts out well enough...but doesn't take long to return to my alcoholic drinking. Not even ONE drink. A friend in AA, years ago, used to call people like me "scouts"...checking out what it is like "out there"...always to return after a relapse, once again seeking sobriety. Obviously, drinking has not made things better, or helped me deal with my daughter (although I was sober during her DUI, rehab and subsequent heroin use)....just not this last time. I know I need support....and I am trying. I live in a remote area of the country where there are not meetings....so I HAVE to try something different. Thanks for your directness....a bit hurtful...but nonetheless, spot on!
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Old 10-26-2013, 02:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks for sharing your story trudgingagain...I truly believe that some are tempered in fire and come out stronger, and sounds to me like you might be one of those.

I really hope that 'this time' is your time
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Old 10-26-2013, 03:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks, Dee....I hope it is too....it HAS to be. Getting too old for this and afraid I may not make it back ..... Just came back from "town" and I swear, EVERY SINGLE PLACE has a Happy Hour sign....from like 11:00 am to 7:00 pm. They seemed like neon signs to me...ugh! Probably a "normie" wouldn't even notice them. This is MY TIME....
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:42 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Hi Trudging:
How's it going? That's interesting about the fellow referring to "Scouts", people, like I was, going out to experiment whether they might possibly drink in moderation. I was one of the more famous "scouts". And I heard other AA folks refer to that as doing "laboratory work", experimenting to see whether they might just "possibly" have a drink or two, or three...Even though the laboratory tests invariably failed, at least for me, I had to be thorough and insisted on further experiments. Amazing thoroughness! And very predictable results.
Look at it this way. You've decided to give up slavery and get something in return. Sobriety and happiness. Seems like a fair exchange.
If you have problems getting to an AA meeting, then why not try to join with others to form your own? Or investigate, as you say, other programs, like Rational Recovery. Although I had issues with AA, but stuck with it, I don't think it's the only way out. There are other ways to sobriety. Being in contact with other recovering alcoholics helped me.
Good luck and every good wish to you.


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Old 10-27-2013, 07:54 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Thanks wpainterw....it is going well....day 13 I just joined WFS, as well as this forum, and am checking out some other programs as well. Since I am familiar with AA, after all of those years, I do know that it "works if you work it", which I stopped doing. I do, however, remember much of what I learned. Guess I just didn't keep practicing it. I will build upon what I know and stay close to those who have more "time". Thanks for the input
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Old 10-27-2013, 08:58 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Hi Trudging:
Not sure what "WPS" means. Anyway, if as you say it "works" for you then that's what counts. What worked for me was contact with other persons in recovery. I spent a very long time just doing "counseling" and kidding myself that I could drink in moderation- just a glass of wine or so at some social occasion. That seemed to work for a while, a month, maybe a few months but always it got me going eventually down the long slippery slope and as time went on the slope got steeper and more slippery so it didn't take long until I was in deep trouble again. I was a slow learner. As I said, what finally seemed to do the trick for me was contact with other persons in recovery. In that way I was able to cope with my denial and get some fine ideas about ways to make it work. I had some issues with AA but benefitted greatly with the good stuff. Good luck.

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Old 10-27-2013, 09:04 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I meant WFS...oops..Women for Sobriety....thanks again...and I am trying to seek out others in recovery....
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