Thank you John and Tere for the responses. The first few years of being sober I was so grateful to not be a slave to my addiction and to have a job and a chance at life with my 4 beautiful kids. But I work long stressful hours and kids are never easy, then my only daughter who is 16 now was abused by her dad, aka my ex-husband, this last march. He had been abusive with me til I finally got clean and sober and I left him, but seeing her pain and devastation broke my heart and brought up so many painful memories. She is a precious, beautiful child who was humiliated by him to the point she was cutting herself up and she called me from his house bleeding and having taken extra doses of her sleeping meds. He refused to take her to a hospital, told her she was getting what she deserved, so I met the police at his house to get her out and got a legal agreement that she did not have to see him anymore.. But she couldn't pull herself together after that, cutting class and smoking pot and feeling hopeless. It was like seeing everything I have been through happen to my daughter, and I fell apart too.
Now she is in a dual diagnosis treatment center and I still have the 3 boys (her brothers) to raise and well over $50k in medical and treatment expenses for her so I feel like I have to pick up extra hours at work to bridge that huge gap.
So it is hard to know exactly, but I just wanted relief from how I felt. I had been sober so long, i thought maybe i could make it work for me. But of course I didn't get relief. What I got was feeling like a loser who is letting my kids down because with a dad like that they need someone they can count on. And the endless trying to kill the pain. It's funny how when I drink or take drugs to get an effect like getting to sleep or feel less anxious, in the long run I get the opposite- I feel more anxious and even less able to sleep, which means I need even more drugs and alcohol and soon I am back at the bottom of a pit wondering what happened.
So everyone has a story and I have had my share of the good as well as the bad, and I don't want to wallow in self-pity, but sometimes crap happens that really hurts. And I had quit taking care of myself and my recovery and took it for granted and got overwhelmed. But I have stayed clean so far today and I took the last of the drugs to the dumpster this morning. And if I can get clean again then those 7 years are not lost because I would have learned to stop before I get like I was when I quit in 2004. At that point I was taking 40 or so Vicodin a day (a nearly lethal amount of tylenol) plus drinking wine plus whatever Xanax I could get. The withdrawal was excruciating and my life was in shambles. It was weeks before I quit shaking. This time is bad, I don't mean to minimize, but the quantities I have been using are nowhere near where I left off (YET) so that I can get through the physical effects of quitting. And I still have my job and home and kids. When I got clean in 2004 then left my husband with only 6 months clean, all he had to do was tell the judge my record (arrests, hospital stays for OD's, etc) and he got the kids and house. I was jobless, homeless, and owed child support for the kids I couldn't spend much time with as I couldn't exactly care for them while living out of my car.
So I made my climb out of a hell that I had created for myself in 2004, and my goal is to turn this around without having to sink that low again. I did AA the first time, but had tried aa many, many times before 2004, so not sure that AA was the reason I was able to quit. I'll b going to some meetings with my daughter when she gets out of treatment. But it's not easy to get to meetings with my life as complicated as it is, and I'm hoping to find a recovery connection somehow. Which is how I got to this site. And why I am grateful that people responded to my post.
Last edited by Kim G; 07-26-2012 at 04:32 PM.
And thx kimber and Midwest sue. I rushed home from work today to see if I had any responses. Now I'm pretty sure I'll make it til tomorrow.
Thanks again for the interest and encouragement. My family of origin and marriage that began at age 18 did not offer me much connection, but when I found a community of people working together to get sober and stay sober, I found my roots. That connection with others was key, and I see that more in retrospect than I did in real time. How could these people who owed me nothing care so deeply about me? It gave me hope that there was goodness and meaning and purpose in life.
But as I got busy with life goals (establishing a home, trying to build security, etc) I lost those ties. In my isolation I hid my struggles from those around me- people at work and my kids- and my fear and shame grew until the value of sobriety diminished in my world and was replaced by trying to keep up outward appearances. And in my first post I said I wasn't really looking for a response but that was not true. I was desparate for a response. I need people to care more than a could admit. So thank you. You all are saving my life.
And I have been reading back posts. Being an alcoholic parent is my greatest regret but also the one steady reason I don't just give up and let the drugs pour in until the pain stops completely and for good. And John, I have been back to drinking and using for about 5 months. And I really thought I might pull off "casual" drinking and using. But the relentless obsession to get more and keep the supply up has been building and crowding out everything else. Even without the legal troubles, health troubles, etc that caught up with me last time, that drive that keeps me awake at night and nags at me all day to get higher sooner is making my life hell.
And I love the vodka in the trunk story. I so get that. I have more than once downed a bottle of listerine when I couldn't get to the store for beverage alcohol. The crap we put ourselves through chasing peace of mind from a bottle is astounding. The more we chase it the sicker we get, and the worst thing is we have moments of seeing how perfectly insane our behavior is and yet we cannot stop ourselves.
So today I stayed sober but I did fantasize a few times about scoring something- booze or pills or something. But I didn't and I'm glad for that and so, so grateful that my Internet plea for understanding has been heard. Saturday I go to visit my daughter at rehab for the family program. And I will bring my iPad and keep posting and keep reading other people's stories. The one and only place I have found the comfort I am seeking when I reach for a bottle is in the understanding heart of another human. I am not religious, but the experience of connecting with people creates for me a powerful force that gives me the strength to do the seemingly impossible.
Kim G and evryone else-- I wish I could give you some advice Kim for I am finishing my 3rd week of sobriety. I do not feel I am experienced enough with sobriety to give you advice. I can tell you this forum has helped tremendously for me and I read it everyday and post too. Sooo many people have given me great inspiration and websites and articles to refer to or a great quote to keep you going for the day.I too could not go to rehab or AA so this is a great place to get support. I hope over time I can offer the support that has been given to me. Each day I am thankful for not drinking.If you have time to read the previous posts on this site that was a great help too.
You brought something up about your daughter that reminded me of my first awareness about alcohol problems. I came to an awareness when I watched my son turn 14. He was beautiful and I thought to myself how did I start drinking at that age? I was growing so wonderfully then I chose to put the alcohol in my system. Every milestone my kids achieved I related to what I had done with my body and was sooo saddened. I blamed my parents for not knowing better at the time but over the years realized I was crying out for attention.Now I feel I need to be strong for my own health, I do not want to leave this legacy for my children I want them to remember me as a strong, caring woman.Best wishes to all, so excited about finishing 3 weeks of sobriety and reeping the benefits so many of you are living
Wow, some very incredibly moving posts here. A big issue for me is the shame and guilt of being an alcoholic parent. I so don't want it to be true in any way. I always had such good intentions for my kids, wife and personal health. Yet day after day, I would end up turning to king alcohol. Alcohol was getting in the way of everything, EVERYTHING. In the end, there were almost no benefits to it and what benefits there were was extremely short-lived. I had become a person I could not respect - I was a drunk who was entirely unreliable and whose promises were complete bullshit. The nature of this disease and the effect it has on my thinking mean I have to have constant vigilance against it. I must remind myself everyday where I was and where I want to go - and this leads to recommitting to a 'Don't Drink, No Matter What' policy and taking steps everyday to grow my life.
Freedom Day: 12/25/11
Well said, Eric.
Originally Posted by Eric
Today is a new day for all of us. Enjoy the simple pleasures of sobriety. Last night I bought some Haagen-Dazs White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle ice cream and sat out on the front step with a bowl. Heavenly!
We're all leaving behind ugliness and pain. Replacing that with loveliness is the best way to move forward!
What will you do to treat yourself today?
WOW!! Some incredible stories! Kimber, I'm SOOOO proud of you!!
Kim G...welcome to our family. We, as a group, live or have lived, very dysfunctional lives. Every one of us at one time or another. Your pain and tribulations are something that will make you a stronger person! I know it sounds like a cliche, but IT IS TRUE. Today is the first day of the rest of our lives (sorry another cliche - but so true) - and this is for all of us! We can't change the past; even if it was just a second ago. It's done! Over with! NOW is the breaking point. One either gives in to the urges or surrenders to the fact that I can't live like this anymore or else...
Your story sent me chills and I was at a loss of words until I just started my keyboard therapy. Believe me it works! We don't really realize what SO many people go through in their lives. Look at some of these rich and famous people; they live in gorgeous houses, drive expensive cars, go on beautiful vacations to all corners of the world; and we get jealous and think "why can't I be like that". Then you read stories about these people going through all kinds of problems and worse. They are more f_____ed up then the rest of us! So I guess what I'm trying to say is, no matter how bad you think you have it, somewhere, someone has it worse!
As one of my favorite Grateful Dead songs goes: "sometimes the lights all shining on me, other times I can barely see, lately its occurred to me, what a long strange trip its been"!!
Good luck Kim and everybody! Have a wonderful day!!!
Hope ur watching our opening ceremony here in London! Catch up soon. Toodle pip. I'm so excited!
Freedom Day: 12/25/11
Alison! It's so good to see you here! I'm at work but I'll see if I can catch some of the Olympic excitement online.
Please give us an update soon on how life is treating you!
Hi all. Made it through day 2. The hardest part is that every few hours or so my mind comes up with some scheme to drink or use and tries to convince me that it is a good and reasonable idea. Then I have to explain to myself why it's not. It's a tiring and anxiety-producing process, but I am grateful not to be having serious withdrawals. I do know from experience that the intrusive and unwanted thoughts about getting high die down- at least they did last time.
John, I wish for you to be able to experience joy. Joy has been rare to nonexistent for me for a while now. The months preceding my resuming drinking and the months of drinking have ranged from flat to pretty miserable, but what I experienced in the years I had sober before my downward slide was a full range of emotions. I was often at least reasonably content and every now and then downright happy. I want to believe I can be in that range of emotions again, and I want to believe that is true for all of us.
My bags are packed, and my flight leaves tomorrow morning to go see my 16 year old daughter in rehab. Haven't seen her since i left her there june 2nd and I miss her terribly. Not wanting to go to her family program at rehab still using was a big part of what tipped me over the line of wanting to get sober more than I wanted to keep drinking. It would feel seriously rotten to be claiming I am there to support her recovery when I am completely wrapped up in my own pursuit of getting high.
Kimber, your story is encouraging, and I am glad to hear you focus on the positives of your parenting. I have done plenty wrong as a parent, but I too have done plenty right and I need to remember that.
I will take all of you with me via my iPad- goodnight and pls send prayers, karma, positive energy, or whatever you can spare to me and my daughter.
Good luck Kim G. and to your daughter too.I will pray for you
Freedom Day: 12/25/11
I'm so impressed with the combination of intelligence and compassion in this forum. Everyone expresses themselves with deep thought and awareness. Is that our curse? Do we overthink life?
Lately my mind has been racing backward and forward with regret, worry, disappointment, yearning, hope, self-judgement.
Today I'm going to try to stay in the moment. I'll try not to analyze everything.
Sending positive thoughts to all of you on this beautiful Saturday morning. Carpe diem.
P.S. No matter what, don't drink.
Last edited by Midwest Sue; 07-28-2012 at 06:40 AM.
Wishig all the very best today and good luck to both our Kims on this very important day for both of them.
I pray that you stay in the moment through the tough journey you are taking in love for your children.
Your heart will keep you sober today. Stay in touch with your heart and stay out of your head where what can be over whelming thoughts resides.
Peace be with you both.
Quote of the Day
"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up."
– Anne Lamott
Hope everybody has a great weekend!! Good luck Kim and Kimber!!
Made the 12 hour journey, starting at 3am, but got to see my baby (16 y/o) girl. She is doing great! She looks happy and comfortable with herself and committed to stopping her self-destructive behavior. I'm not so naive to believe that she will be fine from here on out. But now she knows that happy and sober co-exist and if/when the going gets rough and old habits and bad choices resurface, she has seen and experienced an alternative so that she can find her way back. If I could have one thing in this life it would be to see my kids have lives that they feel good about. I hear kimber's story of her son and I cannot even contemplate my child in jail or OD'ing. Which I guess is a little odd since ive done both more than once. If that's how it goes, I'll cope. But for now I will cling to the hope that they will be spared from the ravages of that free fall into addiction, and I hope kimber's son finds his way, too. I did drug court once for a year. It was a pretty effective motivator at least for a while. Wish I could say it kept me clean but it would be another several years til I got any real traction with that.
Day 3 is about over and I still am wishing for a substance to ease my aching heart, but so it goes. And time marches on.
Hi Sam; it is what it is!!!!
Hi everyone- so many new voices and stories, I haven't really had time to catch up, but I wanted to chime in. Kim G. and John, I am glad you are here, because this forum and one other were my mainstays when I quit a year ago in June. I think it is really helpful to have a community to turn to, and other people's stories to read to help you stay strong.
For years (decades, really) I held my drinking up against that of others to compare and satisfied myself that I was "not that bad", but the truth of the matter is that alcohol was making my decisions for me, and I know that in the long run it will only continue to get worse. For me, writing down a journal of my bad behavior while drunk was helpful... I also don't feel joy like I used to, but I do believe that I am slowly regaining that ability. For me, the only key is to just have kind of a Zen attitude about my feelings of unhappiness and just sit through them, and my desire to drink as well, when it comes up. Sorry if this is disjointed and rambling...
The thinking about alcohol, the planning, the justifying- they are all signals that alcohol is trying to have its way with you, and I guarantee you, especially you, Kim G., that you will be happier with yourself, and more able to love and care for your daughter and sons if you stay sober.
STAY (sober today and yesterday)
Another day of the family program at my daughter's rehab, another day (day 4) sober for me. But I keep thinking that when I get back home Wednesday evening my husband's sleeping pill refill will have been delivered from his mail in pharmacy- a 90 day supply. And taking 1or 2 of those makes 4-6 margaritas really feel even better. Which is so completely messed up because it is stealing his meds which is deplorable. He does not abuse them, takes them once a week or less, doesn't drink. And I tend to black out which leads to horrible consequences eventually because I will drive like that or effect my work in some way or otherwise screw something up. Not to mention my kids. My daughter in rehab thinks I'm sober- which I am right now- but it would hurt her and all my kids in ways I could not undo if they see their mother sloppy drunk. So the battle in my mind rages on. Will I choose drinking or sobriety? Do I have a choice, or is my addiction so far gone that I will be unable to stop myself? I am really scared that I am going to destroy my life which would almost be ok if it weren't for having kids who would be terribly wounded in the process. I wish that I didn't torture myself with thinking about drinking. The AA literature talks about a "jumping off point" where we cannot imagine life either with or without alcohol, and that is where I stand. Damn uncomfortable place to be.
Ruth, interesting you would post a response about dealing with cravings at the exact time I am posting about being tortured by them. Hearing someone else who has successfully made it through that sober helps more than i would expect. And I am going to make a partial list of my drinking fiascos right now. A complete list would take me all night, so I will just try to hit the highlights.
For me, it has been important to not fight my decision to quit. It was like flipping a switch for me. When I start to wonder if I can just have one, or some other such bargaining tactic, I just turn off the thought because I don't drink any more and that's that. There is no question that I am better off without alcohol, and when I start thinking that I can drink again and be "OK", I know that is just the beast trying to regain control. Water makes a big difference, too I found that half the time I reached for wine, I was actually just thirsty for water! Stay strong! Go to sleep, do whatever it takes, but each day, get up and decide that that day, you will not drink, no matter what! I know you can do it.