I have been in recovery for 932 days.
They say that alcoholics are fortunate because we get to experience two lives. There is Before I Got Sober, which wasn’t exactly the lying-in-the-gutter-covered-my-own-feces kind of bad, but was quickly heading there, and then there is the second part of my life.
This summer, a whole lot of crazy opportunities started falling out of the sky. I was in The Washington Post. I was on the radio. ABC brought a crew to my house and filmed for 12 hours. I spent a lot of time talking to Deborah Roberts.
It’s generally considered positive for amazing experiences to rain down upon a person who is trying really, really hard to do the next right thing, so imagine how confusing it was for me to feel empty and paralyzed.
I wanted nothing more than to hide out in my house, speak to no one, and forget I ever loved writing. I wanted to change my mind on all the things. I wanted to take it all back, undo the improvements and hours of therapy and self healing.
And while I didn’t consciously think that drinking was a good idea, my fallback for every uncomfortable feeling is STILL, after 932 days, to numb out.
“I feel like if I walked into a greenhouse full of marijuana plants, I’d probably start grabbing fistfuls of leaves and cramming them into my mouth,” I told my therapist. “Can you get high from eating raw pot leaves?”
So here is the deal: the addict part of my brain doesn’t want me to get better. She wants to keep me sick. She doesn’t want to help other people. She knows that the more I tell on my disease, the harder it will become for her to destroy me. That part of me flares up, big time, whenever good things happen; she whispers in my ear that it’s not real, that somehow I’m fooling everyone, I’m not qualified or worthy enough to actually succeed.
Sometimes, I believe her.
But, on the day I told my therapist I wanted to cram unprocessed marijuana into my mouth just to see what happens, she pointed out to me that secrets like that one are exactly why I need to keep doing what I’m doing. Yes, it is SO UNCOMFORTABLE AND SCARY, OMG. Yes, it’s possible that I could royally fuck it up in a very public way. Telling the world about recovery means that I have to fully commit to sobriety. There is no going back. I am all in.
And that, to a person like me, is the scariest thing in the world.
Here is a link to the piece they wrote about my story on ABC.
Here is the short segment that aired on Good Morning America last week.
Tonight, the full episode will air on Nightline. I don’t feel ready. I didn’t do the things I wanted to do beforehand, like hire a web designer or finish my book proposal or … or … or. But, like my friend Audrey reminded me, I would never feel ready. So here goes.
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Stay the course, girl, for all of us who ARE You
I am so happy you are recovering. I would like to give you some inspiration to stay on the recovery for life, if I may.
I am a 50 year old, mother myself, I am also a child of a wine drinking mother. It breaks my heart my mother is not with me, to grow old together and watch my daughters life journeys with me. My mother passed away in 2011 from sclerosis of the liver. She kept this from me until she became very sick one month prior to her passing. When I went to visit I knew my mom was sick, not sick sick but I had limited time with her.
I grew up watching her have a glass of wine in her hand, even plenty of pictures with her and that wine glass. Its wine, right … that cant kill ya, they say it healthy and good for you. She didnt just drink bottles she drank the gallon bottles. She was always funny when she had too much. I understood why she drank. She had a hard childhood, lost both her parents by the time she was 16. She was married to my father… narcissist controlling ashat.
As I became a young adult, she became mean. I now started to understand alcoholism. The behavioral patterns, she was a functionin alcoholic. I asked her to stop, to cut back. She tried, and she fell. Again I tried to logically explain it to myself and excuse her, even after she passed. I lost her when I was 41 when she passed. I was not ready to lose my mom, I dont if you are ever ready. Not at 41 w preteens, going through a 2nd divorce. So coming from a child of an original mom wine club, I commend you for coming out and forward about your addiction. Thank you
I know mommy time is hard, it’s much harder now with social media. I am proud that you put the glass down.
I am so proud of you! I know it isn’t easy and struggles are plenty! When I saw/heard your son in the video, it brought tears to my eyes! He is so awesome! I very rarely drink, experiences such as almost being left behind in Cabo by a cruise ship in my younger days and having a exhusband who was a raging alcoholic was enough to put me in my place, lol! But this issue really bothers me. It’s like you are shamed if you don’t drink. The questions of why not and explaining myself over and over again only to be told “come on, just have one!” And the same thing is happening to my oldest son who is 26 and grew up with that alcoholic exhusband. There is such pressure to drink! All his friends go out and drink and he has had to distance himself from them and unfortunately, finding new people to hang out with that don’t pressure you to drink or judge you for not, is hard to come by! I know many Elementary school teachers who live for their wine and it is just so sad! Anyway, I’ve been following you forever and I just want to say I think you’re awesome! Many people wouldn’t have shared what you’re going through and I’m so glad that you are. Thanks❤
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As an introvert I can relate to how all the attention is energy draining. Yet at the same time all the attention is so positive. I’ve really enjoyed following your blog and your journey. You’re fighting the good fight and helping so many others. Thanks for sharing it!
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You’re doing great and I’m thankful for you helping to break down the stigma moms with alcoholism or addiction issues.
Also, in case you come across a marijuana field in the near future, unprocessed pot leaves will not get you high so turns out your sobriety wasn’t even at risk there 😂
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I enjoyed reading your post and could relate to many of your feelings, especially the addict brain. Thank you for your openness! 💕