Blogs


Notices

Coming out of lurking mode to introduce myself...

Old 04-30-2015, 02:56 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 1
Coming out of lurking mode to introduce myself...

I've been reading these boards for over a year, since my first diagnosis last March of an enlarged liver and alcohol-related fatty liver. I was told to stop drinking then, but I was too physically addicted and was self-medicating severe depression and (not) coping with relationship issues. I couldn't go more than five hours without a drink, or I'd begin to shake, feel nauseated, hot and cold, heart-racing anxiety... For over a year prior, I'd have to drink in the mornings just to get through the morning nausea and shakes, then I could work all day and race out of the office on the dot of the end of my shift to have a drink on the way home and buy a bottle.

My on-again, off-again long term partner had already been making comments about my "sneaky drinking" for some time prior to that. This was a man who could put away a liter of whiskey between him and one friend every night for a week and while hungover the next morning, never needed the hair of the dog or had to have booze hidden around the house from me and our roommate to ensure that there was always some available. (I regularly bought them a bottle and kept a duplicate hidden for just me so that I had a backup.)

I started becoming completely reliant on alcohol after a very traumatic incident where I had blacked out drinking at home while my partner was out and woke up to find my roommate--my partner's best friend--on top of me. As a result, my relationship with my partner became very strained; I could not remember almost anything of what happened except that one moment before my mind checked back out, and I was covered in bruises.

Our relationship issues became more and more severe and resulted in a very difficult split for the first time. He was my first kiss, first lover, first everything, and I took it extremely hard. I drank constantly to numb myself. By the time I began a new job, I had to drink throughout the day just to keep myself stable and functioning, but never got truly drunk until I got home from work.

Then my partner moved back in with me and it all started spiraling downward until I was bringing two liters of wine to work with me in reusable coffee mugs--one for before lunch, and one for after lunch. And even then, I was functioning well enough that I was promoted to a supervisory position and was working between fifty and sixty hours a week, even after I was hit by a car in a pedestrian crosswalk outside the office building on my way into work. (I did not disclose to the ER doctors that I was intoxicated or alcohol-dependent and was released the same evening having received dilaudid and xanax by IV, where I proceeded to drink wine until I fell asleep. It was a miracle I didn't stop breathing.)

Still, I was so ashamed of my dependency and no one seemed to notice anything different about me, not even my long-term partner. I was given a great deal of leeway to work from home often after the accident, which was an awful amount of freedom to drink all day.

It wasn't until I began vomiting my first glass of morning wine and having to slowly drink another to stabilize myself that I needed to change something. But I kept putting it off. I couldn't quit just then--I had to work every day, I was managing our household, I needed to learn a new programming language and rewrite the protocol manual at work...

It came to a head in June, when I could no longer keep most food down, I was so bloated my shoes didn't fit on my feet, and I began turning yellow and vomiting blood. A coworker mentioned to me that I was looking frighteningly yellow, and she had a relative die of liver disease with the same skin tone. When I mentioned that I couldn't keep food down, she very kindly told me I should see a doctor as soon as possible.

I called my mother, who took me to the hospital, and I went through detox for the first time. I was diagnosed with alcoholic hepatitis and placed on steroids for eight weeks. And when I was released from the hospital, I truly intended to stay sober and felt lucky for the fresh start. I told everyone I didn't need AA or any recovery program, that I could do it on my own. And for those first six weeks, I stuck to it. I didn't touch alcohol despite the insomnia and the anxiety and the fact that my partner was still drinking like a fish and keeping liquor in the house.

And then one day, I thought, well, it wouldn't be so bad to have a few sips of wine. I had it under control...

Of course, that lasted until I was laid off two weeks later, along with fifteen other employees. They gave me a very generous severance package and told me how to apply for unemployment because it was due to a work stoppage, but it was still a crushing blow to me because I loved my job. I stopped on the way home, bought two one-liter boxes of Bandit wine, and drank them both sitting in the park. Then I went back and bought a 5 liter box of wine, took it out of the box, and hid the bag inside it in the trunk of my car after I walked back home.

The months between losing my job in July and being taken to medical detox again in October are a blur to me of being unemployed and drunk. The distance between my partner and I was growing more and more, and I hid not only that I had started drinking again, but that I was drinking so much. I kept a bag of five liters of wine hidden in my art supplies where he'd never look. I hid a sixteen-ounce coffee cup under the kitchen sink behind packages of sponges and soap so that I could drink while I was cooking him dinner or snacks, or so I could sneak a few gulps while he was in the bathroom. He went out so often that between his affairs and his work, he was rarely home enough to be able to judge how drunk I was.

I was not happy by any means. I hated myself, and I hated the alcohol, but I knew it would be extremely dangerous to try to detox on my own, and tapering never worked for me. I just kept putting it off again until the inevitable happened and my parents came to visit, saw how yellow I looked again, and took me straight to the hospital.

I'm told that it was a very close thing. I had no idea how bad it was for the body physically to relapse and go through detox over and over again. My parents were told that I had about a 30% chance of making it through the detox, and hospice was brought in to sit with them.

I "woke up" five or six days later in a different hospital than the one they had driven me to initially, tied to the bed and completely lacking any knowledge of what happened. I finally understood. There could be no more drinking or I would die. So, I moved back in with my parents and was in and out of the emergency room on an almost weekly basis for the first two months afterward. I was so ill that some days I couldn't get up except to walk to the bathroom across the hall, assisted by my mother, who was thankfully a medical assistant who had quit her job to care for my ailing grandfather.

It has been a very long road to starting to feel remotely healthy. My doctors have not yet done a liver biopsy, nor will they give me a definitive answer about whether or not I have been officially diagnosed with cirrhosis, but they've discovered esophageal varices, pre-cancerous colon polyps, and in the initial first few months, I required paracentesis multiple times to deal with ascites. I am 187 days sober today, and I have done it without attending AA, although I have read the Big Book and found it very helpful along with a wonderful extended family support network.

I'm curious whether anyone else around the six month mark started dreaming excessively about liquor when actually able to sleep? The dreams are never about drinking being fun--I'm always already in the downward spiral of hiding my drinking from everyone and feeling ashamed and trapped. I have no desire to drink again, but I still pause looking at those wine bottles every time I grocery shop. What stops me is that I never, ever want to be that ill or ashamed of myself again. I never want to see that look on my mother's face as she tells me that if I truly want to kill myself, there were more expedient ways and I was responsible for planning my own funeral so that she could at least bury me according to my own wishes.

One day at a time. Sometimes one hour, sometimes one instant. I am grateful for every moment now, even the rather unpleasant ones that come with liver disease, but I'm sometimes irrationally scared I will just wreck it somehow for absolutely no reason.

Has anyone else had these kind of doubts about themselves once they're finally sober and understand how awesome it is to be free of that weight of addiction?

Thank you all for reading this very lengthy introduction. Just reading these forums every day and knowing I'm not the only one who struggles sometimes has given me strength to realize that I don't have to let liquor control me ever again.
malialoke is offline  
The Following 18 Users Say Thank You to malialoke For This Useful Post:
alphaomega (04-30-2015), Axiom (04-30-2015), BadSneakers (04-30-2015), ccam1973 (04-30-2015), chickippo (04-30-2015), Fluffer (04-30-2015), LSC1 (04-30-2015), lunar (04-30-2015), Meshelly (04-30-2015), mirage (04-30-2015), Notimetoloose (04-30-2015), SDH73 (04-30-2015), Soberween (04-30-2015), sugarbear1 (04-30-2015), thomas11 (04-30-2015), tokidoki (04-30-2015), TroyW (04-30-2015), UnixBer (04-30-2015)
Old 04-30-2015, 03:16 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Member
 
Della1968's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Fingerlakes,NY
Posts: 4,536
Welcome and wow! Maybe now some meetings are counseling would help with maintenance? You've had quite a road to travel.
Della1968 is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Della1968 For This Useful Post:
ArtFriend (04-30-2015), lunar (04-30-2015), malialoke (04-30-2015)
Old 04-30-2015, 03:23 AM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Member
 
ESD907's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Florida
Posts: 554
I know what I just realized. We are too in love with our stories.
ESD907 is offline  
Old 04-30-2015, 03:40 AM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,174
....I don't get the impression that malialoke is the least in love with her story.

wish you all the best for your recovery mali....you can make it out.
canguy is offline  
The Following 9 Users Say Thank You to canguy For This Useful Post:
ArtFriend (04-30-2015), BadSneakers (04-30-2015), brynn (04-30-2015), ccam1973 (04-30-2015), Dee74 (04-30-2015), Della1968 (04-30-2015), Fluffer (04-30-2015), lunar (04-30-2015), malialoke (04-30-2015)
Old 04-30-2015, 03:47 AM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 1,087
Originally Posted by ESD907 View Post
I know what I just realized. We are too in love with our stories.
How rude.

And mali, thanks for the taking the time to let us know about yourself. I definitely know how working from home can contribute to drinking excessively. Sounds like you have an excellent family and support network around you though, so you can always be grateful for that.

All the best, and please keep posting and let us know how you're doing.
TroyW is offline  
The Following 9 Users Say Thank You to TroyW For This Useful Post:
ArtFriend (04-30-2015), BadSneakers (04-30-2015), ccam1973 (04-30-2015), Della1968 (04-30-2015), Fluffer (04-30-2015), lunar (04-30-2015), malialoke (04-30-2015), Nowsthetime (04-30-2015), tokidoki (04-30-2015)
Old 04-30-2015, 03:52 AM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Dee74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 202,341
Blog Entries: 1
Hi and welcome malialoke

I'm sorry for the dreadful things you've been through but it's clear you're a survivor and I'm really glad you've joined us.

I've experienced drinking dreams at varying intervals - personally I chose to attach no importance to them and they faded away as quickly as they came on.

Do you think there's a connection for you between them and you pausing to look at the bottle aisle, though?

D
Dee74 is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Dee74 For This Useful Post:
ArtFriend (04-30-2015), brynn (04-30-2015), malialoke (04-30-2015)
Old 04-30-2015, 03:53 AM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Member
 
Della1968's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Fingerlakes,NY
Posts: 4,536
The stories help me I remember many painful parts of them and know what 1 drink would lead back to. Also I think it is cathartic for people to write it all down and get it out to "should" be understanding and supportive.
Della1968 is offline  
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Della1968 For This Useful Post:
ArtFriend (04-30-2015), BadSneakers (04-30-2015), brynn (04-30-2015), malialoke (04-30-2015), mirage (04-30-2015), TroyW (04-30-2015)
Old 04-30-2015, 04:08 AM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Member
 
ZaBoozer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Posts: 1,371
Welcome malialoke, this is a great site and you will find a lot of support here. Congratulations with the days you have already achieved and good luck going forward. Your story is very inspiring. Many thanks for posting.
ZaBoozer is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to ZaBoozer For This Useful Post:
ArtFriend (04-30-2015), Dee74 (04-30-2015), malialoke (04-30-2015)
Old 04-30-2015, 04:11 AM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Toronto
Posts: 56
Thank you so much for sharing. Your story is one that I am sure will be subscribed to and reread many many times, and possibly save some lives.
You have truly been to hell and back and I wish you continued enjoyment in every moment.
Thanks again for spending the time and effort into helping us all by sharing.
steffie is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to steffie For This Useful Post:
Cauliflower (04-30-2015), Dee74 (04-30-2015), Della1968 (04-30-2015), malialoke (04-30-2015)
Old 04-30-2015, 04:32 AM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Member
 
Marcher13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 6,224
Welcome toSR malialoke.
Marcher13 is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Marcher13 For This Useful Post:
Dee74 (04-30-2015), malialoke (04-30-2015)
Old 04-30-2015, 04:47 AM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Member
 
tokidoki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: the driftless zone
Posts: 1,017
Welcome to SR and thank you for sharing your story.
tokidoki is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to tokidoki For This Useful Post:
Dee74 (04-30-2015), malialoke (04-30-2015)
Old 04-30-2015, 04:55 AM
  # 12 (permalink)  
Member
 
Tang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Midwest
Posts: 1,450
Thank you for sharing your story. I too have dreams of drinking alcohol.
Tang is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Tang For This Useful Post:
malialoke (04-30-2015)
Old 04-30-2015, 05:00 AM
  # 13 (permalink)  
Member
 
lunar's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Mare Crisium
Posts: 1,889
Welcome and thank you.
lunar is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to lunar For This Useful Post:
malialoke (04-30-2015)
Old 04-30-2015, 05:13 AM
  # 14 (permalink)  
Adventurer
 
sva777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Tuxedo Park, NY
Posts: 1,099
Intense and truly horrifying account, stories like these keep us reminded to stay away from the booze.
sva777 is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to sva777 For This Useful Post:
brynn (04-30-2015), Dee74 (04-30-2015), malialoke (04-30-2015)
Old 04-30-2015, 08:01 AM
  # 15 (permalink)  
Member
 
Cauliflower's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Canada
Posts: 691
Thank you for sharing. I am hoping that you will continue to recover and regain your health. Never go back there, life is too short as it is, and you had a very close call. This is your second chance, grab it!
Cauliflower is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Cauliflower For This Useful Post:
malialoke (04-30-2015)
Old 04-30-2015, 08:10 AM
  # 16 (permalink)  
Member
 
FreeOwl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 8,167
Thank you for helping me stay committed to sobriety with your reminder of how bad it can get.

Welcome.
FreeOwl is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to FreeOwl For This Useful Post:
brynn (04-30-2015), malialoke (04-30-2015)
Old 04-30-2015, 08:53 AM
  # 17 (permalink)  
Member
 
NikTes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 687
Thanks for sharing that and welcome to SR.
NikTes is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to NikTes For This Useful Post:
malialoke (04-30-2015)
Old 04-30-2015, 09:05 AM
  # 18 (permalink)  
Member
 
fini's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: canada
Posts: 7,186
malialoke,
congratulations on coming out from lurking.
you've been through more than one wringer!.
getting connected and engaged with others has been hugely helpful to me in staying sober.

Seattle...hm...i think you have options other than AA. last time i checked, there was a LifeRing meeting close by (LifeRing - LifeRing), and probably also SMART.
fini is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to fini For This Useful Post:
malialoke (04-30-2015)
Old 04-30-2015, 09:30 AM
  # 19 (permalink)  
Feed your head
 
Soberwolf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 67,035
Blog Entries: 4
Maliaoke welcome its nice to meet you
Soberwolf is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Soberwolf For This Useful Post:
malialoke (04-30-2015)
Old 04-30-2015, 11:08 AM
  # 20 (permalink)  
Member
 
PurpleKnight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Ireland
Posts: 25,827
Welcome to the Forum Malialoke!!
PurpleKnight is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to PurpleKnight For This Useful Post:
malialoke (04-30-2015)

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:06 AM.