I always go back and forth about referring to my drinking habit as full blown alcoholism or a strong alcohol dependency. On one hand, I felt like I couldn’t live without my “earned” nightly drinks…On the other hand, once I stopped drinking, I didn’t experience any of the nasty side effects that others have experienced when they detox from alcohol (the shakes, seizures, strong cravings, etc.) Either way, alcohol was a growing problem for me that needed to be changed.
Some days, I’m okay with admitting, yea I was an alcoholic (or even a high functioning alcoholic which at first, sounds like a heavy drinker that still somewhat has their shit together.) But I will admit, everything was unraveling.
My health. My relationship with my husband who was concerned about how much I had been drinking, but pretty much kept quiet about it. My growing irateness, and irritability with raising my 4 kids, all born within 4.5 years of each other. Alcohol became the way to cope with bad things, celebrate good things, and to just say hey, I made it through another day.
Random Alcohol Memory
During Memorial Day weekend of 2016, one of our dogs was hit and killed by a car suddenly, unexpectedly and it just devastated us. We had been visiting my parents for the weekend, and other family was staying with them as well to celebrate the weekend.
I consumed an unbelievable amount of alcohol that weekend to drown my sorrows. It was unreal, losing a pet, who was a member of the family, having to help my small children deal with their emotions and questions (where is Duncan? Where did he go???? Ugh, my heart……) Even seeing my husband, who is always cool, calm and collected, crying and sobbing for our sweet puppy who had gone too soon. So what did I do that day, after bringing my dog to be cremated?
I said F*ck everything. I’m getting shitfaced.
I drank. Heavily.
Way more than my normal benders.
I drank, mixed drink after mixed drink, took double shot after double shot, with family, snuck a few on my own, and just tried to numb the pain, to forget what happened.
And I felt that this was all justified, and it was okay for my kids to see me in this state because look what the hell just happened to our family!!!
But you know what happened the next day? My dog was still dead, I had a HORRIFIC hangover, and I still had to tend to my family physically and emotionally, all of us in an emotionally raw state.
No amount of alcohol brought back my dog, obviously.
Drinking accomplished nothing, other than making me feel even more shitty.
Drinking accomplishes nothing!!!!!!
Anyway, back to my drinking habits….
So What and How Much Was I Drinking Everyday?
My nightly drinking routine would switch between wine (merlot blends) and rum. I tried to slow down with rum and just drink only wine, but pretty soon, I went from finishing off one 750 ml bottle of wine, to polishing off two bottles in one night. This made me self conscious, especially to my husband who was aware of my drinking but generally kept to himself about it.
So I moved onto the boxed stuff.
Where you can’t measure how much has been drank just by looking at it, since the box contained the bladder with the wine, keeping it out of plain view.
So I would buy a 3 liter box of Bota Box wine, and pretty soon I would be able to finish it in a night.
So I started buying more than one at a time, so that I could hide one and quickly replace the finished one as needed, so that I could keep the true amount I was drinking under wraps from my family.
Towards the end of my drinking, I could finish a full 3 liter box and start on a second 3 liter box before going to bed/passing out.
In terms of spirits, rum was my top choice, and lots of it. (or anything that was around, but usually we had rum in the house.)
On average when I would have rum nights, I would drink 6 or so DOUBLE shots of rum with Coke Zero. And in between drinks I would usually sneak another shot or two while making myself another. So this is at least 12 plus shots of liquor, perhaps even a large glass or two of wine to make myself think I was “slowing down.”
And to say it again, this was my drinking every night for 10 plus years. Not occasionally with some nights off, not once a week binges. This was my drinking habit every single night. FOR YEARS.
For some, my drinking amounts might look out of control, while for others, it might seem normal. It is truly relative to the individual. The most important thing was that I wasn’t comfortable with the amount I was drinking every night. I began to question it, realizing that even though I was still functioning on a daily basis, that the amount of alcohol I drank was not healthy. I was on a downward path of destruction to my self, my health and my family’s well being.
If you are reading my blog and maybe questioning your own drinking habits and whether you should stop drinking, know that you aren’t alone! I know for me at first, it took a while to adjust to the thought of never drinking again.
It actually took years for me to adjust to the thought of never drinking alcohol again.
When it was suggested over the years that I stop drinking, I fought the thought of sobriety with all I could. I don’t need sobriety! I can control my drinking! (nope, not at all!) I grieved my relationship with alcohol and wasn’t quite ready to give it up.
But when I was finally ready, and my mind finally came into alignment with what I needed to do in order to break my unhealthy relationship with alcohol, it was actually freeing to me, not debilitating.
If you are ready to take a break from alcohol, Annie Grace’s new book, The Alcohol Experiment, is a great way to try out sobriety for a bit (30 days to be exact) while making changes from within for your happiness and overall wellbeing.
Her other book, This Naked Mind, which helped me immensely along the beginning path of my own sobriety journey, helped me to break down my own fears regarding alcohol and sobriety, and truly showed to me all alcohol really is: a toxic poison from which nothing good can ever rise. This book helped me stop drinking without the use of AA or any other recovery groups or programs, and I cannot recommend it enough!
Trust me, once you realize that alcohol and the gasoline you put in your car both contain ethanol (this is the ingredient that causes us to become intoxicated) you will never look at alcohol quite the same.
Have you ever questioned your own drinking?
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