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Poor timing... Getting pummeled by reality

Old 03-11-2010, 04:35 PM
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Poor timing... Getting pummeled by reality

This will appear to some to be a wordy, "whiney", post, bear with me, I just need to air a few bad turns as I know that will help me thru. I first posted here several weeks back after reading postings here for several weeks prior to that. Picked a nice "stable" calm time to quit and I had my last drink on Saturday morning, Feb. 20th (turned 50 last year, been a daily drinker for many yrs. while still manintaining my tech job as I only drank at home, ever). Abit of a rough stretch the first week, but I received immeasurable support here at SR. A week ago last Thursday, just before my 2 weeks from alcohol, my "safe" well paying job was cut by congress (it was one of those pesky "defense" tech jobs, therefore unpalatible to the current congrss). My last day will be next Friday. I'm thinking Ok, I can deal with this, I am skilled, educated, prepared finacially for a lay off, may take awhile, but I'll look for and find another job.

3 days later, last weekend, my wife wakes up Sunday morning and can just barely walk; backstory: 2001, a doctor made a mistake with her prescription medcine, her blood lost most of its ability to clot, she had a spontaneous bleed in her lower spinal column, needed emergency neurosurgery and even with that, it caused lower spine damage and she went from being 98% healthy to paralyzed from the waist down (in 24 hours) and in a wheel chair in a 3 level townhouse. Took her 2 years of brutal, painful physical therapy to get from a wheel chair, to a walker, to a cane, to where she is now legally handicapped but still walks with a limp and is in daily chronic pain. From 2001 for 3-4 years, I spent from 6:00a.m. until 10:30p.m. every day of the week, taking care of her, carrying her to the shower every morning, helping her dress, then downstairs to her wheelchair, making sure everything was within reach for the day before I left for work for the day, then finished 8-9 hours at work, stopped by the store(s), came home, helped around the house, tried to cheer her up, made numerous calls to in-home physical therapists and nurses for in-home care, helped with dinner, paid bills, took care of routine household things, got her upstairs and to bed, then came back downstairs for 1-2 hours and just got hammered every night as my own way to relax after another stressfull 15-18 hour day; _that_ was my treasured 1-2 hours of "down time" to myself to help me get to sleep, get up and do it all over again the next day.

Her being hurt and in pain and me seeing her and not being able to help stop the pain is one of my past, primary drinking triggers. Took her to a local emergency room this past Tuesday her pain was so bad, all they did once they knew her past medical history is prescribe more powerful pain medicine and told us to go see her regular doctors. I am 99% sure this health backslide for her was caused by her recent changing her part time job from being a cashier to doing alot of stocking on various store shelves which involves alot of bending, squatting, lifting, etc. We see her long time spine and pain management doctor next Monday and I am really hoping that is what it is and this is a short time thing and she can get back to where she was with rest and several weeks of physical therapy. I believe this to be the case as tonight, she can lift her left leg on her own much more than just a couple of days ago.

But whooee, ALL of my "Have a drink!!" buttons are being pounded upon numerous times a day since last Sunday; the _Urge_ to swing into a liquor store on the way home from work, buy a big bottle of vodka, help her in the evening get to bed and then go back to nightly, getting hammered to numb the pain of watching what she is going thru is almost overwhelming. By Monday, she could not lift her left leg off of the floor, just like when she was paralyzed before. I believe the only thing keeping me from drinking just now is what happens if I wake up at 2:00a.m. with her screaming in pain (as happened in 2001) and she needs to get to a hospital. I could call 911 and ride with them but to show up at a hospital drunk, in her hour of need is something I just cannot face. She is Korean, came here in '96, and while her English is good, she relies on me for all things medical and to make medical choices for her.

Have hung tough for now, have not drank anything since Feb. 20th, nor do I plan to, but DAMN this is sure making things harder than I planned for....
Thanks for listening, I feel better. My family and friends know what is going on and have been sympathetic and helpful, but _None_ of them know how this situation ties in so tightly with my past drinking. Just typing it out here and "sharing" the pain and difficulty helps!
Peace,
..Mike
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Old 03-11-2010, 04:42 PM
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Hi Mike,

I'm glad you posted. It's good that you are aware of things that are a trigger for you.

It seems like you're getting a couple of very difficult things thrown your way at this time. But, I'm sure you know that being sober will help you to cope and find your way through this. As you said, you have education and experience and hopefully, you can find a new job before long. I hope that your wife gets some good news from her dr next week.
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Old 03-11-2010, 04:49 PM
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Mike, you certainly have been challenged in many ways. I am so sorry to hear of your job loss on top of your wife's physical condition. It indeed is terrible timing when you're trying to get yourself together and have a new life. My sympathies for all that you're going through right now.

I will state the obvious - nothing is made better by drinking. I know I don't need to tell you this - getting numb is just a quick fix. All your problems would still be there in the morning - along with another one - you would have let yourself down by falling back on alcohol when you were doing so well. I have done this many times, and the guilt & remorse is so horrible - it just is not worth it for a few moments of so-called relief.

Sharing your pain was a good idea, and please know that you have many people on your side, rooting for you to make it through this without caving. Please let us know how you're doing. We care about you.
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Old 03-11-2010, 04:52 PM
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Sheesh Mike! That is a lot to handle for sure and as you said, you are 50 years old and have drank daily for how long. Of course you want a drink, BUT you know where that drink will take you and the consequences are not going to fix the situation you are in. A drink will put it off temporarily and then add to your set of worries.

Try (easy for me to say) to live in the present. Don't be looking at the "what ifs" yet. In other words don't put more worry on your plate because of what might be.

I did exactly the opposite of what I am preaching to you just this very morning. I logged on to our bank account and it was husband's pay day, BUT his check hadn't been deposited. His company is laying off like crazy and so I feared the worst and got all worked up for nothing. The problem turned out to be with our bank. We have NO savings and would be bankrupt if he lost his job. We aren't living high either, but we are living paycheck to paycheck.

I am sorry about your job, but at least you have something to fall back upon. I am sorry about your wife, but at least she can walk, breath, hug you, converse with you, and see. What I am clumsily trying to say is gratitude might help you too. I mean we are all grateful, but to really sit down and think about it and express it might help is all. You can believe all I felt is gratitude when I found out I misconstrued the paycheck incident.
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Old 03-11-2010, 05:15 PM
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Hi Mike,

I don't find your post "whiney"- it's good you posted about the difficulties you and your wife are facing right now and that it helped you to write it all down. Recognizing what triggers you is helpful, and I agree with Anna that being sober in this situation will help you find a way to cope.

Triggers show us where there are things that affect us emotionally or cause us pain, and now that we're sober we feel these emotions completely, without the numbing of any substance. And it s ok to share your pain, maybe you need a place where you can do this because you have to stay strong all the time to help your wife. So in my opinion that's not a "whiney" post, in a way it shows that you are making progress and are finding new ways to cope with feelings you have been numbing out for a long time.

Keep posting as much as you need, ther will be people here who support you and will listen. I hope that both your job situation and your wife's health problems will take a positive turn soon. All my best wishes, and lots of positive thoughts to you and your wife
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Old 03-11-2010, 05:20 PM
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You are right of course, I am grateful... Many doctors told me back in 2001/2002 that they had seen many people with my wife's level of spine damage that spend the rest of their lives in a wheelchair. My wife was having none of that and thru willpower and her refusal to wallow in depression, she recovered enough to be able to walk again. She will get thru this and I am behind her 100% every day. I have been away from alcohol just long enough to know with no doubts that drinking would just destroy any faith she has in me and her relying on me to be there for her when she needs me most. I would love to be numb again sometimes, but.... yeah, just a real shallow response to lifes challenges, a response that I have too often taken in the past.... _Not_ today. Most likely not tomorrow, and not the day after. Thanks again,
..Mike
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Old 03-11-2010, 05:46 PM
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Mike,

You certainly have had YOUR fair share of difficulties. That is for sure!

I was sitting in a meeting one time (a very long time ago) and there was this person there that was having a terrible week; There were a LOT of things going wrong in their personal life, and also in their career. That person what asking "Why? Why? Why?" Then, someone in the room said: "Why not?" I was a little shocked to hear that; I thought it sounded rather cold and uncaring! But, then the "smart aleck" went on to explain that we have good days and we have bad days. There were about 20 people in the room that day, and she pointed out that "We can't ALL have good days on the same day. One of us had to take a turn in the barrel!" She said "Just hang in there because someday the troubles will pass and then it will be someone else's turn."

Our Higher Power "allows" for us to be tested. Our Higher Power wants us to ask for help in seeing this through without hurting ourselves in the process.

Keep writing if it helps. I know it always helps me!
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by BurningChrome View Post



Her being hurt and in pain and me seeing her and not being able to help stop the pain is one of my past, primary drinking triggers. Took her to a local emergency room this past Tuesday her pain was so bad, all they did once they knew her past medical history is prescribe more powerful pain medicine and told us to go see her regular doctors. I am 99% sure this health backslide for her was caused by her recent changing her part time job from being a cashier to doing alot of stocking on various store shelves which involves alot of bending, squatting, lifting, etc. We see her long time spine and pain management doctor next Monday and I am really hoping that is what it is and this is a short time thing and she can get back to where she was with rest and several weeks of physical therapy. I believe this to be the case as tonight, she can lift her left leg on her own much more than just a couple of days ago.

But whooee, ALL of my "Have a drink!!" buttons are being pounded upon numerous times a day since last Sunday; the _Urge_ to swing into a liquor store on the way home from work, buy a big bottle of vodka, help her in the evening get to bed and then go back to nightly, getting hammered to numb the pain of watching what she is going thru is almost overwhelming. By Monday, she could not lift her left leg off of the floor, just like when she was paralyzed before. I believe the only thing keeping me from drinking just now is what happens if I wake up at 2:00a.m. with her screaming in pain (as happened in 2001) and she needs to get to a hospital. I could call 911 and ride with them but to show up at a hospital drunk, in her hour of need is something I just cannot face. She is Korean, came here in '96, and while her English is good, she relies on me for all things medical and to make medical choices for her.

Have hung tough for now, have not drank anything since Feb. 20th, nor do I plan to, but DAMN this is sure making things harder than I planned for....
Thanks for listening, I feel better. My family and friends know what is going on and have been sympathetic and helpful, but _None_ of them know how this situation ties in so tightly with my past drinking. Just typing it out here and "sharing" the pain and difficulty helps!
Peace,
..Mike
Proud of you for not picking up a drink,....your in my prayers.
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Old 03-11-2010, 07:15 PM
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Hang in there man. I mean, that's all we can do right? Think how much harder this sh*t would be to deal with sick and hung over every day.
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:01 PM
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Hi...and welcome! You certainly do have a lot on your plate. I'm glad you came here to talk about it.

Although this easy for me to say....by learning how to deal with this sober, you really do become stronger in your sobriety. My very best wishes to you. Please stick close to SR. Lots of good people here.
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:10 PM
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Yowza....you have a lot on your plate. i think you are a very strong person and are making some sane, but difficult decisions....you've been burning the candle at both ends for a long time...being a caregiver and working.

I don't think you are whining, you are just doing some much needed venting...

i wish you the best and continued strength.
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:45 PM
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Hello Mike,

A very wise sponsor in early sobriety taught me that when I felt overwhelmed about something, to say it out loud to people I care about who also care about me. She said it lessens the "burden" of carrying it all on my own shoulders. This always works for me. I hope it did for you.

That said, to drink again, you would go another round of this:
Originally Posted by BurningChrome View Post
Abit of a rough stretch the first week, but I received immeasurable support here at SR.
only the next time will likely be worse as recovering from a relapse is more difficult each time.

Originally Posted by BurningChrome View Post
...for 1-2 hours and just got hammered every night as my own way to relax after another stressfull 15-18 hour day; _that_ was my treasured 1-2 hours of "down time" to myself to help me get to sleep, get up and do it all over again the next day.
I hate to say it, but with no job, those long hour days are gone right now. I also lost my job in early sobriety. I could've picked up, but didn't. I also realize now that I *absolutely* needed to not be working full-time so that I could focus on my sobriety. I know your wife needs you and you are there for her - that is of utmost importance. How wonderful it is that you have some financial independence during this time to focus on your sobriety and your wife. I am a true believer that everything happens for a reason.

Originally Posted by BurningChrome View Post
...I believe the only thing keeping me from drinking just now is what happens if I wake up at 2:00a.m. with her screaming in pain...I could call 911...but to show up at a hospital drunk, in her hour of need is something I just cannot face.
Mike, I think you know how guilty you'd feel if this happened, not to mention how your character might be questioned by the medical staff. I am not badgering or accusing - I am speaking from experience only.

I also speak from experience and caring support when I say that a contented life in recovery is best lived when it's being done for you - not only because of circumstances that would fare better if you were sober (ie, a 2:00am wake-up call). If that is the only thing keeping you from drinking now as you said, please reach out further to find additional support systems that can help you build a strong foundation for recovery, rather than just having the "what ifs" driving your sobriety. That could easily lead to resentments which wouldn't help you or your wife.

Please continue to let us know how you're doing. I've been there and I care, Mike.
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