Awake at 5:30am on a Saturday morning without a hangover! WHAT?!? Is this really me? Am I actually awake before 9am on a Saturday WITHOUT a hangover? Yup, I am! I'm having a difficult time falling asleep so I listen to my husband sleeping so soundly while making a little snoring melody while I binge watch Netflix and pray I can fall asleep soon. I eventually fell asleep around midnight and slept like a baby until 530am when I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep. So, here I am, writing in my blog on this cold winter morning in NC.
I keep thinking about what my "triggers" are so I can be mindful at all times. AND, I have many from what I've found out. This year has of course been unprecedented and brought on more triggers than I could have ever expected. The biggest trigger for me is boredom. I can stay so busy during the day getting everything done. Helping my husband, father-in-law, and my kids throughout the day can keep you quite busy, but when all is said and done, and I get a moment of downtime, all my thoughts go to...it's time for a drink! YOU deserve it! YOU did everything you were suppose to and more, so "go ahead a treat yourself"! I could really justify why I needed a drink every time I wanted one.
I'm one of the lucky alcoholics. My husband isn't a big drinker, thankfully. He never has been. I LOVED it though because I never had to worry about driving. He always took good care of me and protected me when I would get shit faced. Redskins football games, concerts, parties...he was always driving while I was two sheets to the wind. Did he like this? HELL NO! He put up with it for years (way longer than he should have). Ultimately, it got to the point of his enabling me (but he didn't know). This man would do ANYTHING for me! He is an amazing husband, but clueless when it comes to alcoholism. He didn't even remotely like me drinking as much as I did, but he'd still buy it for me. I guess if he didn't, I would have anyway. I was a happy drunk (for the most part). We never fought when I was drunk. He saw me passed out more times than I can even try to count. How attractive, right? He saw the slow progression of this terrible addiction over the last 20 years of us being together. He (and I) knew I had an issue controlling my alcohol, but never did we ever think I was an alcoholic. We've had more talks about this over the years that you'd think I'd have my shit together, but he was never forceful and never put an ultimatum on me. In hindsight, I wish he would have. It was just our "norm", unfortunately. Day in and day out. Weekends were always much worse than the weekdays, but even my weekdays during the pandemic became just like the weekend. It was terrible! Here my husband is working his ass off to provide for our family. He was stressed to the max due to our business being completely halted due to everything (like many others), and here, his wife is drinking as soon as the clock hit 3pm all summer break because I felt like I "deserved it". Well, I did in my mind, of course. How selfish could one be?!? I could justify ANYTHING for a drink. He never got angry at me, but the next day, he always let me know how he felt. I appreciated his honesty BUT wasn't willing to change my behaviors with alcohol. I knew I had to really want it for myself and I was just too stressed to pull myself out of the dark hole of self pity. He had his outlet and this was mine...although his outlet was a little healthier than mine, I was able to justify everything! I reflect on all the many drunken episodes (the ones I can barely remember and the ones he had to tell me about) and I wonder HOW he stuck around. Falling down, passing out, getting lost...you name it and he put up with it. He deserved so much better than this! I deserved SO much better than this! We tried counseling a couple of different times. I'd do better and then I'd go right back to where I was but even deeper in my hole of alcoholism.
I thought I was hiding it pretty good, but then I would make STUPID mistakes and embarrass the ever living HELL out of myself! WHY? I was masking my problem for so long. Hiding it with excuses. Friends talked to me and I would casually admit that I had an issue but politely say that "I was working on it", which I was, BUT wasn't really doing that much about it except my awareness was there. For about 2 years, I was FULLY aware of my alcohol issue. Following sober private groups on Facebook really helped my awareness. Most of the stories were describing my life. I was slowly understanding that I had a REAL serious issue. That didn't stop me though. I kept plugging along, day in and day out, making excuses and so on.
Moving to NC was a BIG moment for me in August of 2020. I moved to the MD/VA/DC area after I graduated from college for my first job in April 2000. Yup, this small town girl from NC left all she knew and moved 6 hours away from my family. Life was good. I had an awesome job that I loved. I felt so liberated and free, but I never planned on staying in the area forever since I was so close to my family. I met my husband in July 2001 and we fell quickly in love. We got married in May 2004. Bought our first home in 2005. Had our first kid 2008, second 2010. Built our first home in 2012 in a wonderful neighborhood where we met so many wonderful, life long friends. My mother-in-law died suddenly in 2014. My father-in-law had a stroke in January 2015 and couldn't live alone after that so we built another house to accommodate all of us. He was diagnosed with dementia in 2019 and a lot of my attention was on him during that time. He's such a great man and I'm honored to care for him. Being a caregiver on top of being a mom is quite an undertaking. He's mild dementia so he's still pretty independent, but we take care of everything for him and it's truly a pleasure doing so, and we wouldn't have it any other way, but this gave me more excuses to want to drink to "unwind". The pandemic really put A LOT in perspective for me and my husband. We were struggling for the first time in forever to make ends meet. So, we started questioning everything about our life. Where could we cut back? What were we doing in MD? I mean, it's SO expensive! We made a list MD versus NC. The cost, the pros and cons, etc...ultimately, NC was the obvious choice for us all. My FIL was hesitant at first but then on board with it (we wouldn't have moved without him). My parents were ESTATIC to say the least! I knew THIS was a new beginning for me. I CAN start fresh and be the person that I know I am. Like I said in my previous post, it didn't happen overnight, but it's happening now. 4 months after being here in NC, I am doing THIS! I will conquer my BIGGEST obstacle in my life thus far and I WILL keep doing it by His grace and mercy.
This scripture from Luke 21:34 “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap" spoke volumes to me. I haven't been the woman that God created me to be. I have done a huge disservice to Him through my actions. I have been "trapped" for so long. Now, I pray daily to be set free from this bondage for once and for all. He is the ultimate healer. HE makes ALL things possible, and thru HIM I will be set FREE and I am forgiven!