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|09-16-2009, 07:33 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2008
Cubile75 - My Story Part 2
After school, my new wife and I started our own business and bought an old farmhouse in the country that needed lots of work. We live there still after 23 years.
We started our family and ended up having four perfect children. Yes, we had parties, and I would have weekends with old friends... but I didn't drink everyday, never had blackouts, and more or less behaved myself... as I found that taking care of little kids and changing diapers and making bottles was no fun at all while hungover.... I also worked in a profession where I could not be on duty while drinking and I was on duty a lot.
Somewhere in the mid to late nineties I discovered I could get stimulants... They made me focus, gave me energy and put me in a great mood. I could have seen a physician and had them prescribed, but I found a much easier way. Our business was doing very well, we were busy and our kids were growing up. I became a scout leader and still am, 15 years later. I never took more stimulants, mostly Ritalin, sometimes Adderall, than I could handle without getting nervous or interfering too much with my sleep. Since I couldn't drink while on duty... that never got out of hand either.
But at turn of the century some bad things happened. My dad died unexpectedly and I was devastated and bitter. I was served with two opportunistic lawsuits. Business wasn't as good as it was because of market forces outside of our control. I quit the part of my profession that required me to be on duty and to be always available in person...
I took more stimulants, everyday, more and more.... I needed to drink more, and now I could, to get to sleep. Then I found out that benzodiazepines helped a lot with sleep and could take the edge off the jittery feeling from the stimulants. And of course... there always the alcohol.
The lawsuits... they defined about two years of my life... depositions, meetings, worry, more meetings and between the two of them, three weeks in court in the same year... The first I won with a jury vote of 12 to 0... I remember driving back to the office... after the closing arguments, waiting for the verdict.... after a snowstorm, sun glistening in the branches of trees... music on the radio... I realized at that moment it did not matter what the verdict was... God loved me and I was a good man... I told that to my wife who was at home waiting... we cried.
The second I won hands down also... but it was after eight miserable contentious and stressful days in court... the drive home was different... My wife had planned to visit her family far away for Thanksgiving and she was taking the kids with her. I was planning to go also, but I was in court much longer than we planned and so I stayed home to catch up on work that had piled up while I was at the courthouse... I was alone... My brother practically begged me to come to his house for Thanksgiving dinner... I refused... Winds blew in on Thanksgiving and knocked down three beautiful 70 year old norway spruce trees and I threw my back out while struggling with a chainsaw, in the wind and rain... Something broke besides my back and those trees that day... I was alone and bitter and I rejected God and I failed to be thankful, for anything... that day... I drank and drank that weekend and I never looked back. That was in 2003...
You'd drink too if you had my life....
My oldest son went away to college 3 years ago. I missed him. I was drinking more and more, taking more stimulants so I could drink more and more... and a hole opened up inside me and I could not fill it... I wasn't blacking out, but I was drinking a lot, and drinking everyday... I would sleep in the day, drink until late and then knock myself out with benzos... and then...repeat, and repeat and repeat... Bottles of vodka hidden in the car, in my closet... and in my desk drawer at work.... for when the day was done... and sometimes... before.
You'd drink too if you had my job...
In May of 2008 I did have a blackout. Our family was traveling, I had taken too many pills and I was afraid I wouldn't sleep... I took ambien, and halcion and drank a bottle of wine... and a couple of beers... I became verbally abusive and threatening to my youngest son, whom I love, like all my kids, with all my heart... The next morning I had a terrible sense of dread... self loathing and humiliation... It was then that I knew something was really wrong with me...
Eventually, I was able to stop the stimulants by the end of July... It sucked and it took a couple of attempts... By then though, I had substituted alcohol and still took lots of ambien, sometimes not to sleep... but to fill that awful hole that kept getting bigger and darker... Soon I had no choice but to drink and I drank all the time.
It was on my 24th wedding anniversary, in September, that people with badges and scary looking ID cards came to the office where my wife and I work. They were interested in where all that Ritalin was going.... Devine intervention number three.
To keep my job, I entered a voluntary recovery program and spent two months in rehab. I was almost literally dragged kicking and screaming into long term residential treatment. I didn't sleep the first week I was there. Thankfully I didn't need medical detox... but those first few days... well... you know. I didn't appreciate rehab much. I resented it, a lot. But I wasn't drinking or taking pills. And that was a start.
After rehab, I entered out-patient treatment, a voluntary recovery program with monitoring and AA. I am still there and I am sober.
Months of discontent and restlessness... a heaviness in my chest and my head spinning every morning upon awakening. Shame.... Lots of shame.... I didn't feel worthy even to watch movie, much less to be able to concentrate long enough to watch it. PAWS? I don't think so, but maybe... But the hole always there, looming. And did I mention the shame?
90 meetings in 90 days, well.... almost.
Temporary sponsor, yep.
And just what were my wife and I to do??? .... I had brought dishonor on our business, family and myself.... Shame, regret and guilt. Overwhelming. And my wife... she'd lost her drinking buddy! Not that she drinks much, a tall white wine spritzer at the end of the night... period. But those nights of candles and music and maybe a fire or a full moon... how would they be without my drink, well drinks, well.... lots of them, for me...?
It was and sometimes still is, awkward... And I had a resentment... she can have her drink and what do I get? A sprite Zero?
But through the program of AA, especially the first three steps, with the help of my sponsor and many of the AA "hardliners" here at SR I have had a solid step one experience, a step two experience and a very powerful, and, well..... a life altering... step three experience...
I have worked a couple of step fours and a step five. I am currently praying for the willingness to ask God to remove my character defects... I am making another list.
The hole is closing.
The drinking problem is removed... I enjoy being sober at the end of the evening, relaxing with an herbal tea while my wife has her glass of wine... I am not resentful, but grateful... I don't have to drink, God has relieved me of having to make that choice. I wake up in the morning and my head doesn't spin and I ask God what his will is for me and I pray for the power I need to carry that out. I thank God at night.
Am I recovered? The compulsion to drink is gone. I do not obsess about alcohol, there is beer in the basement leftover from our last party and I have it there for guests... I don't think about it. The problem is removed. I get to go fly fishing with my sons, ride my bicycle through the countryside, we will hunt this fall and ski in the winter. I make love with my wife in the candlelight and sometimes, the moonlight...
Another divine intervention. I am alive.
Recovered? Not yet, I still have some more work in the steps. But I feel myself change. It feels good.
|The Following 24 Users Say Thank You to Mark75 For This Useful Post:|| |
artsoul (05-07-2010), aussieblue (11-21-2011), Bert1 (05-07-2010), bettterlife4me (12-04-2010), CalicoCate (11-14-2011), dickensen (10-12-2011), ElegantlyWasted (07-26-2010), EnufisEnuf (06-25-2011), firestorm090 (08-17-2010), HideorSeek (01-28-2010), Inafishbowl (02-25-2011), Kelrunran (06-03-2010), RecoverRN (07-27-2011), RevivingOphelia (06-03-2012), RobbyRobot (04-10-2010), Rusty Zipper (02-14-2010), SerenityICP (01-29-2010), Shoei (09-06-2010), ShootingStar1 (02-01-2013), Sneezy (02-09-2010), SoberforME (10-11-2010), spryte (05-07-2010), sunnigirl (08-25-2010), Wilde10 (07-19-2010)
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