DAY 19 - JULY 19, 2020
FOMO aided in my drinking spiral........
Did I mention the first time I ever drank? I was 14 years old, had heard about the 'popular' kids drinking at parties. I decided I needed to feel what that was like. So on a day when my parents and brothers were out, I took a small bit of hard liquor out of each of my dad's liquor bottles, diluted the drinks with coke, plugged my nose and guzzled. I rode my bike to my friend's house (not part of the popular crowd), about 10 minutes away and then the rest of the day is completely gone. I blacked out at 14. My friends took care of me, apparently I threw up a lot (thank God) and I woke up on the couch in my family room. My family came home at the end of the day, all sitting in the family room with me and no one said a word. Isn't that weird? I wonder if that was the first time I realized I was invisible to them.... They always just saw the good girl, it never would have occurred to them that I had a whole host of sadness and crazy emotions going on in my head. My little brother was a problem child, always getting in trouble, endless spankings. I forever tried to keep the peace. Emptying the dishwasher without being told, never lying, always happy.
Well, except for the inner struggle of searching for self- soothing that always came externally: As a young girl, sucking my thumb (until I was at least 8), then replacing that with sneaking food: I became a master of sliding my hand ever so gently down each row of oreos and taking one from each row. Also, I can no longer eat coconut covered marshmallows because once I used my allowance to buy a gigantic bag and ate the whole thing in one sitting. I had lots of tricks to self soothe with food. Then when I was 13, I started smoking. And that wonderful form of self-soothing lasted until I saw my 6 year old pretend to take a drag of my cigarette. We had always drank, which escalated when we discovered the fabulous hobby of making wine. Once I quit smoking, you guessed it, starting my nightly wine habit at 5pm. It then became the new 'reward', the new mode of self soothing. Obviously I lost sight of all that the last many years, but that seems to be where I lost sight of myself.
I now recognize the damage I inflicted on myself, physically and emotionally. This time, instead of a drink to calm and soothe myself, I go for a walk, listen to my sober audios, write in this blog, read posts from my sober tribe and email my sober coach. The look I get every day from my kids is so full of love, admiration and pride, it reminds me to look at myself in the mirror and remind myself, that this moment right here, right now, is simply enough. Without a drug, without numbing myself, without changing my mental state, I am finally feeling a sense of serenity and gratitude deep in my belly. It almost feels like butterflies sometimes.
Wow I have never actually told this story to anyone other than my husband. I know this blog hasn't reached many eyes, which in a way is comforting. But if this reaches just one person, someone who needs to know that the pain you are struggling with can be overcome. Please reach out to one, trusted person and start your journey today.