My Recovery Rock Bottom – Part 4

When I first quit drinking 8 years ago, it wasn’t by choice.  I was an alcoholic who knew deep down I could never drink again but I refused to accept it. I did not want to be done for good and therefore, wanted to protect my right to drink by not being honest about how bad my drinking really had gotten.  I remember another sober woman telling me early on that the reason I was refusing to admit my alcoholism to anyone else was because once I did, it closed the door on ever drinking with whoever I told the truth to.  And she was right.

I wasn’t even a month sober when I found out I was pregnant. By the grace of God, I was finally going to become a mom and now had a perfect excuse to not drink.  Staying sober was easy and hiding my alcoholism even easier.

In early recovery, social gatherings were my main trigger.  After my daughter was born, I had breastfeeding as an excuse but now, staying sober wasn’t as easy. I’ll never forget a business dinner my husband I attended.  We toured our host’s wine cellar and then went to dinner where the wine never stopped.  I was “white knuckling it” the entire time.  Upon departing for the evening, the host insisted we return after I was done breastfeeding so I could enjoy their collection. It took everything in me not to cry right then and there – so I waited until we got in the car and let the tears flow immediately.

Self-pity was my favorite.

Fast forward 7 years later and I no longer fight the anxiety of being the only one not drinking and being asked why.  But I do still fight the triggers on the rare occasion and it’s usually because I am restless, irritable or discontent.  Last weekend we attended a lunch at a winery.  I had been to wineries in the past – sober and pregnant.  But I had never been wine tasting at a winery and I always wished I had.  Isn’t that funny?  But I digress.

Tensions ran high with my daughter as we prepared to leave for this lunch and on the way there, I decided: I’m gonna drink today.  That thought was immediately followed by “no you’re not” and then from there I proceeded to judge myself for even considering such a terrible idea at almost 8 years sober from alcohol.

The longer we were there, the less I wanted to drink but the more annoyed that I was still somewhere I no longer wanted to be.  The person next to me was drinking and when he was asked by the server if he wanted water, he responded with “I’m allergic.”  I laughed out loud and he looked at me with a dead pan face.

“Wait, really? You’re allergic to water? How is that?” I said.

He proceeded to explain to me that water tastes like shit and he refuses to drink it.

5 minutes later, my impatience for our food to arrive took over and he turns to me and says,

“Just chill, have a drink.”

I look at him and say “yeah, no, I’m allergic.”

I get the same dead pan expression staring back at me and then he says “really?”

“Yep, when I drink, I break out in poor judgement, make bad decisions and end up in handcuffs.”

I can’t tell you what his response was.  Did he laugh? Probably and that was my intent. But more importantly, two things happened after that: One, I planted a seed.  And two, any remaining ounce of desire to drink was immediately removed.

That is my intent for living my recovery out loud and proud. By sharing my truth and being honest, I’m planting seeds in the minds of other potential alcoholics and by doing so, I’m protecting my need to stay sober. 

#morewillberevealed

My Recovery Rock Bottom – Part 3

“You wouldn’t know, you’re not a mother.”

My friend was right.  She was a mom in the depths of toddler hell and I was childless.

What you don’t know is, I had suffered a miscarriage less than 6 months prior and was actively trying to get pregnant again – I wanted to be a mother more than anything.

But she did know.  She knew that and she uttered those hurtful words anyway because she was struggling with something I knew nothing about. Which is funny because, I ALSO was struggling with something she knew nothing about. She didn’t have to “try” for a baby and she never knew what it was like to lose one either.

I called my husband on my way to work to invite him to my daily pity party of 1:

“Can you believe she’d say that?” (waaaah waaaah) “She KNOWS how bad I want a baby!” (waaaaaaaaah)

I had already polished off the wine from the night before.

“Have you been drinking?” he asked

Of course I lied. I lied all the time about my drinking. But everyone close to me knew I was an alcoholic. Down deep, even I knew, but I was drowning in a sea of denial at the same time. Less than 6 months later, I got my second DUI on my 32nd birthday. 2 days later, my husband told me he thought it best to wait 6 months to get pregnant. Devastation is an understatement. I wanted to get hammered but instead, cried myself to sleep because it had been decided for me that I was done drinking. Sure, I could have drank but I did not want to deal with the consequences…not that weekend, anyway.

I went on to relapse a handful of times over the next two months and for some reason, my husband changed his mind on baby making.  I picked up a sponsor to make everyone think I was serious about sobriety (cuz I wasn’t) and she highly suggested I wait a year to get pregnant.

What do you think this dry drunk girl did?

1 month later, I saw 2 lines and it wouldn’t be too long until I would experience the challenges that come with ages 0-5 that my friend was lamenting about just before she dropped that insensitive statement on me.

Do I regret getting pregnant in my first year of recovery? Of course not!  God did for me what I could not do for myself.  I’m convinced that had I not gotten pregnant, I would have drank again and again; causing more wreckage along the way. That being said, I’m also positive that had I put more effort into my recovery that first year, I would have been better equipped with tools to handle life when it got harder after we brought home baby #2.

Because being a mother is hard AF. I cannot imagine doing it drunk.

Being a mother (with alcoholism) without a complete reliance on a Higher Power proved to be unbearable. For me anyway. Hence the name of this series – My Recovery Rock Bottom.

#morewillberevealed

My Recovery Rock Bottom -Part 2

This is 1 of a 5 part series. Some have been password protected.


I was moving up the ranks in my drinking career when my besties started having babies.  While they navigated through raising little humans, I was raising hell on my path of self-destruction.  When they complained about the woes of motherhood and nursing babies to sleep, I was nursing hangovers and complained about who wasn’t living up to my expectations.

One time my friend told me she fantasized walking into her backyard, hopping the fence and running away to start a new life because hers as a working mother (and wife too!) was just too hard.  I didn’t get it.

Like, at all. 

Then, I got sober and had children of my own; and then I got it.

I got it so hard.

2 years ago, I hit another bottom and it was way worse than my last when I was drinking. My daughters were 5 and 3. My life, as I knew it, did not look like I thought it would almost 6 years in recovery. I was unhappy with every single aspect of my life and was desperate for change. I remember driving to work one day and screaming at the top of my lungs to God “HELP MEEEEEEE!! I CAN’T DO THIS!!!!”

I cried a lot. Every. Single. Day. I lost my temper with my daughters constantly and took it out on my husband too.  Our marriage was falling apart right before my eyes and he was oblivious. Which made me feel even more crazy.  How could he not see, I wondered? I was picking fights left and right, with him and my coworker. 

It felt so strangely familiar to how I felt when I was drinking so I didn’t understand – how could I feel this way again and I’m still dry AF?  It didn’t take long for me to realize that I was not in recovery at all because had I been doing the things I was taught to do when I first got sober, I wouldn’t feel so helpless, alone and out of control. 

Instead, I was going at it alone. I was without a sponsor and had a very small circle of sober friends.  I wasn’t going to meetings and I wasn’t being of service in any way, shape or form. As you already know, I also had gotten myself addicted to Adderall but that’s neither here nor there; that only made my bottom worse.  Most importantly though, I wasn’t praying.

I knew right then and there that if I didn’t take charge of my situation, I was going to drink.  I didn’t believe it when my peers talked about the “relapse before the relapse” but I still listened to what they said to do when that happens and I started praying.  I went back to meetings and I started reaching out.

Next thing I knew, I had a sponsor who accepted me and my choices in recovery (that was a miracle!) and was discovering new recovery communities I didn’t know existed outside of the little AA bubble I had put myself in.  I seamlessly quit Adderall without any help and managed to close out 2018 with a new lease on life.

At 8 years AF, my emotional rock bottom taught me that I still have a lot of growth to do and it has nothing to do with staying sober and everything to do with me and how I show up as a human being.  It became abundantly clear that as long as I remain aware of the following 5 lessons I learned from my emotional rock bottom, I’ll never have to go through one again:

  1. I’m not just an alcoholic, I’m also an addict and I still have some addictions to overcome. As long as they aren’t booze and Adderall, I’m going to be just fine.   
  2. I am not alone and there are always people out there suffering way more than me. The more I give a shit about other people, the less I focus on myself, the better I feel. Selfless acts of service do a soul good.
  3. Recovery is so much more than just not drinking or using; I need a program of action to stay somewhat sane. I’ve been taught the tools and it’s my responsibility whether I choose to use them or not. 
  4. I need a community of like-minded people in my corner – and I have chosen the Fellowship of AA. But I’m not here to promote AA, just sharing what works for me.
  5. I need a Higher Power – and mine is God. The Creator of the Universe, the Master of All Things, God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – as long as I turn my will over to Him every day to the best of my ability, I’m good. It’s when I let up on my spiritual connection when things start to go sideways.

I’m grateful for my bottom because it brought me back to the path I never wanted and now never want to get off. It’s been a very transformative 2 years and I’m in a much better place today.  But I’m not done. No way – I’ll never be done. Recovery is a journey, not a destination.  There’s still work to be done on myself and people to help along the way. I cannot wait to see what the next decade brings.

#morewillberevealed

Skeletons 3.8: My Reactiveness – Part 3

When I had to quit drinking, I said “fine, but you aren’t gonna take the cigs away, it’s all I have now.” So, I’ve been a closet smoker, off and on (but mostly on) for the past 8+ years.  After each pregnancy, I swore I wouldn’t go back but of course, all it took was one and I was hooked again.

Caffiene? If I could walk around with an IV with a constant stream keeping me “up and at em” all day, I would. Stimulants, I love them! Coffee, diet pills, caffeine pills, Adderall, basically any upper that keeps me going – I’ll take it! Reeealllly healthy and smart of an alcoholic who also suffers from anxiety.

Drink decaf you say? Um, no. That’s like drinking a virgin anything. For an addict like me, if I’m not going to feel from the consumption, it’s a waste of my time. No thank you!*  I don’t judge those who do drink decaf, it’s just not for me.

Or is it?  Just today, one of my sisters in Christ (SIC) told me that decaf coffee might help curb the appetite now that I have quit smoking.  Well okay then, decaf it is. I legit don’t need that much caffeine anyway. Plus, I don’t mind putting on 5 pounds but not 10.**

Yeah, you read that right. I quit. And for good this time. I finally conceded to my innermost self that I could not do it without assistance.  I finally admitted defeat and got on Chantix, among other medications that I will not speak of.  But if you go back in time and read all of my posts, I’m sure you can figure it out for yourself.

Yeah, you guessed right.  I’m keeping some details to myself now.  I know I’ve been an “open book” and I don’t regret a word of it.  But I’ve also changed my perspective on some things and sharing certain details is one of them.  There’s just some things that don’t need to be put out into the world for all to read…ya know?

That said,  I’d be remiss if I didn’t tie this post back to my over the top reactions to circumstances.  And I’m so done talking about my very colorful past; so to recap, I’ll wrap it up with a what?

Yep, you’re right, a list.  Here are 3 scenarios that happened in the past 3 years, in which I CSW reacted but I didn’t:

  1. Coulda – A male admirer left me a note asking me out.  He was married.  I could have had my husband call him and rip into him.  But I didn’t.  I took a picture of it and got rid of it.  I allowed my husband to read the note (at his request) but I didn’t include the number.  It took balls for that guy to make such a bold move, as he knew I was married as well; apparently it’s way more common to open up a marriage these days. Is it for me? No. Do I judge those who do? No.  Live and let live.  That’s what I say.
  2. Shoulda – A womanizer looked me up and down and asked if my figure was “natural.” I was so taken aback and lacked confidence at the time.  I replied with “ummmm, yeah, I’ve always been smaller but I also run.”  He proceeded to talk about his overweight daughter in such a way, I wanted to punch him in the face.  But I didn’t.  I didn’t say anything.  But I should have.
  3. Woulda – One of the DUDS I wrote about had been trying to connect with me multiple times.  I finally conceded and allowed him to make his amends.  He was the second of 3 DUDS that I finally forgave and freed myself from.  BUT, I made some poor choices after and if I could take them back, I would***.  If I could go back, I would have blocked him right after he made his amends.  Lesson learned…again…oh well.

Men, they’re a big part of my story and someday, I’m gonna have to tell my girls what they are up against; with men AND alcohol.  I have a lot of lessons that I have learned that I wish, had I not been so stubborn, I would have learned sooner.

Oh well.  I know what to do today and that’s all that matters.  You know why?

Because they’re watching my every.single.move.

#morewillberevealed