Post by hope4me on Jan 11, 2016 15:53:19 GMT -5
Forty years of pretty steady drinking . . . I am done . . . again.
I started drinking when I was 14, but didn't get really bad until my late teens/early twenties. I've quit many times in the past, for a week here, two weeks there. Three times I actually tried really hard and the longest I've made it is 8 months. That was 16 years ago. But I must do it this time. I want to do it this time.
Although I've been able to hold down a job and am considered to be a success at my chosen career, I've been missing more and more work this past year and letting my responsibilities slip-slide away, missing deadlines, just in general not giving a sh*&. But I don't want to lose my job (5 years to retirement!). I want some self-respect. I want to regain my health. I don't want to hide from life any longer. I don't want to spend the remaining years of my life in an alcoholic haze. I may have 20 more years if I'm extremely lucky. The reality is more likely to be less than that and how do I want to finish this life? Certainly not like I have been living.
I can't let the guilt of a wasted life keep me from quitting. I can't let the guilt and shame of what I've been responsible for overshadow what I truly want. Which is sobriety.
It's going to be a rough road. My brother and sister are alcoholics. My dad a former alcoholic who is exhibiting signs of dementia. My mother is getting more and more dependent on others for help. One of my grandsons is starting to go down the same road I did at that age and I'm scared half to death of his propensities for addiction, depression, and crazy-making. My adult daughter doesn't drink, but she does smoke marijuana as much as she can. My son drinks, although how much, I'm not sure as he lives a couple of states away. An almost-grown granddaughter smokes marijuana. I don't think the other grandchildren are having such issues, but again, they live out of state, so it's hard to know for sure.
This is the legacy that is passed down from generation to generation. My father's mother was a closet alcoholic. I only saw her drunk once, but I didn't even know what was wrong with her until much later as I never saw her take a drink the entire two days I was with her. I couldn't smell it on her either. That was how good she was at hiding her drinking. My father's stepfather had a mental illness that he received shock treatments for. Grandpa spoke very little to his family members, going for days and weeks without saying anything to anyone. His illness and my grandmother's alcoholism affected all of the boys and my father ended up on the wrong side of the bottle . . . and he got mean in the later years. One of my father's brothers was a horrible, raging alcoholic up until a handful of years before he died. An uncle on my mother's side committed suicide after years and years of substance abuse. In J's case, it was heroin. My mother's father was an abusive drunk and my mother's temper when I was a child was legendary. Although my mother never took up any serious drinking, she has her own issues with food, money management, and cigarettes.
My husband is also an alcoholic and has not made the commitment I have. We've been together 30 years. I'm not sure what the future is going to bring, but I'm not going to make any decisions about the relationship until I get a solid year of sobriety in. My husband is a loving man. He is not violent or angry. He's a huge help and support to our family, in spite of his drinking. I love him and want to make it work with him, so I guess I'll just have to see how things go. When I've quit drinking in the past, he drinks less and doesn't get obviously drunk, so maybe it'll be okay. I just don't know at this time.
Anyway, I know this is a bit disjointed, but I wanted to get something out there before I chickened out. I am proclaiming my commitment to quit drinking.