Skeletons 2.5 – My Reactions

In this next post, I talk about my interventions. Fun times, you guys, fun times. If you think you may have a drinking problem, well, I hate to break it to ya but you’re probably right. Wanna chat about it? I’m all ears! You can find me on Insta @myrecoveryrevealed.


Reactions:  Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. – Charles R. Swindoll

I’m just going to cut to the chase and give you a clear picture of what alcohol does to an lush like me: a codependent, conflict adverse, people-pleaser who needs validation, praise, love and acceptance from others.  In my right mind, I’d never be on a rooftop as my family approached my front door below shouting “WTF are you doing here!?!?”

And on that note…

Intervention #1, 2006

My sister was concerned after I shared something disturbing that had recently happened when I was drunk at another dude’s house. Disturbing enough that she felt it was time to get my parents involved. All 3 of them arrived unannounced. They calmly expressed their worries and asked why I was so sad. I recall mentioning not being pleased with my life, depression and whatever else I could muster up for self seeking pity. There was no drama. I knew I had a drinking problem and I was going to fix it! I set out to stay sober for 2 weeks. And I did. But then I drank again and I picked up right where I left off.  I moved back in with my parents for the last time and gained SOME control but not for very long (per usual.)

Fast forward 6 years and being the go-getter that I am, I managed to set myself up for not 1 but 2 interventions, back to back. Go meeeeee!

Intervention #2, February – 2012

In Skeletons 2.3, I talk about the events leading up to this quiet sit down. It was just H & my parents and once again, I was calm and not defensive. But that’s only because I was sober and knew I couldn’t talk my way out of this one. H asked me why I kept relapsing and my dad said “it’s the disease.” At that moment, I silently agreed with him. I had no defense of my own. Once again, I solemnly swore that I was done drinking for good.

I told you what happened next: I took advantage of a stop to run into the store for something and prepared for Intervention #3 by smuggling 2 mini-boxes of wine back home for a rainy day.

Ha! Just kidding…

Intervention #3, the very next day

I also share details about what led up to this showdown in the post before this.

You know that horrible feeling when you wake up in the morning, not remembering something troubling from the day before and then you do remember and your heart sinks? I’ve experienced this feeling many times, post drinking and not drinking. Well this was my reality waking up and I was going into panic mode. My mom was talking to my mother in law and what I was hearing discussed enraged me. I was chain smoking in the back yard trying to think of a reasonable excuse I could give my boss as to why I had to miss work.

I was beside myself.  Not because I was being forced to quit drinking. I knew I needed help stopping, just not the level of help everyone else was insisting I needed.  I was trying to tell them all this but no one was listening to me.  I knew how much I was drinking and it sure as heck did not require a supervised detox and 30 days at an inpatient facility.

But again, no one was listening to me.  My internal need to be heard was being ignored and I felt like I was being a treated like a child; and in their defense, I WAS acting like a child. 100%.  My power of choice had been taken away from me and I was throwing a tantrum.

Long story short, I did end up getting evaluated.  Physically, I was not in withdrawal and I answered all questions honestly, thus determining what I already knew: I qualified for outpatient rehab, NOT inpatient and I started the 6 week program right away.


When I have shared scathing details of my drinking career, people say “I can’t picture you acting like that.” I know. Neither can I.  When I think about all the questionable and downright unacceptable things I did, it almost feels like a completely different life. Like, I can’t even fathom living that way.

But I did. I lived it. And by the grace of God, I lived long enough to come out the other side. However, my inability to take responsibility made it take much longer than it should have. As a result, I stayed a dry drunk until December, 2016.

It wasn’t long after then that God said “alright, she’s ready now” and intervened in a way that made me question EVERYTHING.

Including my chosen path of recovery.

#morewillberevealed

Skeletons 2.4 – My Recovery Responsibility

Responsibility (past & present): “Every time you point a finger at someone, there are 3 pointing back at you.” – Unknown

img_9841

My favorite game to play in life has been the “blame game.”  Call me out and my go to reaction is more often than not, defensive. I will go to great lengths to justify my mistakes by giving you all the details that led up to them, paying particular attention to who and/or what I could blame so that I am pardoned. Not only that, if push comes to shove, I’ll even unfold my laundry list of transgressions made against me to deflect from the issue at hand.

Before taking my recovery and spirituality seriously, my former ROD had pointed this out to me in the past and I would deny it tooth and nail. I didn’t even understand this concept and had never heard of the “blame game” until S2 related to me when discussing marital quarrels. She stated that she too could be a “blamer” and that it’s important to be mindful of our roles in difficult circumstances and to not shift blame where it doesn’t belong.

When it came to my drinking, everyone, everything and what happened around me was to blame and I carried that mindset with me into recovery.  If I couldn’t make a meeting, complete some step work or get together with my sponsor or friends in the program, you best believe I had an excuse as to why and it was almost always not my fault. Unless backed into a corner, I straight up could never take responsibility for ANYTHING.

If I didn’t know better today, I’d likely still be twisting, manipulating and lying my way out of everything so long as it didn’t hurt anyone and I felt assured that I remained in your good graces. Old habits die hard and I have to really check myself at times.

Truth be told, my recovery suffered because of all the lies I was telling myself: I’m not an alcoholic, I’m not like everyone else, they need help more than me, everyone else made do (or not do) it, I will drink again someday, blah blah freakin’ blah.

There’s only one person to blame for my slow progress and spiritual growth in recovery. All I had to do was take a look in the mirror to see the real person at fault:

Me, myself and I.

#morewillberevealed

Skeletons 2.3 – My Reckonings

Reckonings: “Most of us have been unwilling to admit we were real alcoholics. No person likes to think he is bodily and mentally different from his fellows.” (BB, Chapter 3)

I’ll never forget a moment that occurred while talking to my sister on the phone.  It was day time. I was drunk and I remember saying to her something to the effect of:

“I’m an alcoholic and I don’t care.”

I’m quite certain that is the only time I ever called myself an alcoholic and actually believed it. Up until the end of 2016, every other time was me just saying it because that’s what I knew everyone wanted to hear and/or expected me to say. In my heart of hearts, I knew I was but I just could NOT accept it.

“My name is Pixie and I’m an alcoholic.” And in my head I’d say next , “not really but I’ll pretend to be so you leave me alone.”

I was no stranger to AA, however. See, with every sizable consequence that could have been way worse, I’d go to a meeting or 2 just to compare myself to “real alcys” and prove to myself that I wasn’t AS bad as them. They say to look for the similarities and not the differences. Not this stubbon ass. Alllllll I cared about were finding the differences and if there were similarities,  I still deemed them way worse off than me. The most common comparison I made was to my uncle. Alcohol literally ruined and essentially took his life. Surely if that’s what alcoholism looks like, then I am definitely not an alcoholic…right?

What I didn’t realize for a long time is that I was exactly like him, I just hadn’t gotten there yet.

My fierce pride and obsession to drink was so strong, it took several interventions to finally get me to agree to seek treatment (albeit, kicking and screaming.) And not the type of interventions you see in those reality shows where there’s a professional interventionist and letters being read by a big group of people. (Yes, I compared myself to those people too.) Just a handful of concerned loved ones telling me I needed to fix the drinking problem before it got worse.

Fact: alcoholism is a progressive disease. It always gets worse the longer one stays in their addiction. And mine did. Aside from an intervention I did on myself in 2011, I was intervened on 3 other times. I was hanging out with one of my exes, drunk on the rooftop in the middle of a work day just minutes before the first one happened. The final two interventions occurred 6 years later on a weekend – one on Saturday and the other the very next day.  I was in legal trouble and wasn’t supposed to be drinking anymore. But I just could.not.stop and I’d get sick thrills out of hiding it when I could. So having that attractive image in your mind, try to get a a clearer visual as I relive it for you here:

#1: Saturday –  The previous night, I went to see a movie with one of my besties*, aka one of my peas in my pod (PEA) or my ride or dies (ROD.) I was 3-4 drinks in before meeting up with her and she could totally tell.  We had a bite to eat and then went to see a romance movie. I passed out and missed all but 5 minutes of the flick.** PEA had to wake me up and I drove home…without my phone.  I don’t know how I made it home safely or how H didn’t smell the booze on my breath in the morning.  We went to an early breakfast and I couldn’t believe I was pulling it off.

By now I had realized my phone was at the theater so I retrieved it on my way to my parents house where I was meeting my other bestie at the time, ROD, to go for a hike. Shortly after my arrival, H called my parents’ house requesting a sit down. PEA had texted him to make sure I had gotten home safe because I didn’t text her when I got home.

I can’t remember my exact demeanor but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t freaking out.  In fact, I know I was relatively calm because as soon as I met eyes with my  ROD, it was almost as if I didn’t have to tell her. She knew. I knew. We both knew. Yep, I had been caught red handed and it was right then that I laughed my last laugh for a good long while when ROD looked at me and said “I’m going to call you RED from here on out.”

Hence the birth of a new nickname and boy did I take it seriously. So much that on the way home, I was sent into the grocery store to get I don’t even know what, and I had the balls to buy 2 more mini-boxed wines and smuggle them inside my purse for the next day. Nevermind the fact that I had literally JUST promised my husband and parents that I would never do that again.

#2: Sunday – H went into the office, as he did often early in his career. I figured I had enough time to drink one and sober up before he got home. But then he called and told me to get to an AA meeting. My car was at my parents house so I asked a dear friend for a ride and she gladly obliged.*** I went to a meeting buzzed, came home and continued to drink a little more. Next thing I know, H is home and he smells it. He leaves to get our parents and so what did I do? I left too.

It was about 2 hours and an ultimatum later and I was back in my living room telling H and our parents how much I hated my life. It was decided that I was to stay at my parents house that night and get evaluated for rehab the following morning.  Can you imagine what that must have looked like?

Have you ever experienced….

…..taking a dog for a walk when they don’t feel like it?

…..trying to give a cat a bath when it’s in their natural instinct to clean themselves?

…..dressing a toddler who is does not want to stay put?

Yeah, it kinda went down like that.

#morewillberevealed