Time to be Honest

Today, March 7th 2020 should have been Tony’s and my 4-year Sobriversary. I should be writing about how glorious life still is on the other side of alcohol. But I’m not because we’re not still on the other side of alcohol. We’re back in the thick of it again. And, it bloody sucks.

At the end of last summer, on a whim while making late-night music with my family, I had a sip of my sister’s wine. And then someone appeared with a glass for me, and then someone else kept it full all night long.

I went home and told Tony. I was honest, because that’s what you do when you’ve committed to sobriety and you fuck up. You get real. You admit your mistakes. And you move forward.

Except we didn’t move forward. We moved backwards.

My mistake was all the permission he needed. Tony started coming home with a bottle of wine now and then to go with our grilled steaks. It tasted terrible to me. Then he started coming home with two bottles of wine twice a week. I could get through the terrible tasting first glass, and suddenly I wanted another glass and another. That was always my drinking problem. I didn’t drink often, but when I did, I didn’t know how to stop. Then he found those fruity new hard seltzer drinks that every brand is hawking. Those started coming home every night. I watched in horror as it got worse and worse.

I tried to pretend everything would be alright; he assured me it would. I didn’t drink often, but just as before, once I started I didn’t want to stop. And now with no tolerance, three drinks of anything left me with a wicked hangover. The novelty quickly wore off. Not to mention I was wracked with guilt every time I drank.

I didn’t want to be that person. I didn’t want to go back to the hell we had created before.

I started reading and researching and came across a medication called naltrexone. It’s an opiod blocker that helps take away the buzz and the desire for more to keep the buzz going. That’s basically all an alcoholic is chasing when it comes down to it. There’s a lot more science to it than that, obviously, but you get the gist. I messaged my doctor telling the truth and she prescribed it no questions asked.

And it worked.

It made me awfully sleepy for the first hour after taking it, but it made alcohol taste even worse and it truly killed my desire for anything more than the first couple of sips.

But then I got inconsistent. And it worked less well. I spoke with another woman online who had had great success with it; her alcohol cravings were nearing “extinction” as she put it. She told me I have to be consistent. I have to take the medication every single time I drink. In a nutshell, I had to be honest.

I convinced Tony to try it with me once. He hated the sleepy, loopy feeling it gave him and said he’d never take it again.

He’s been consistent.

Now, he’s drinking almost daily.  I did drink all the fruity drinks recently when we were on a tropical vacation, and I’ll join him for a drink once or twice a month at home. But I have no desire to be a drinker anymore. Tony, unfortunately, can’t stop and doesn’t seem to want to. He stays out after work every night and comes home to us later and later all buzzed up. At first, he’s annoying to me and goofy with the kids. But when the alcohol starts wearing off, he’s impatient and mean. He mocks me. He yells at Iris. He dropped Julian.

This is the man I love. And I’m willing to fight for him. I’m willing to stand beside him to help him see what this drug is doing to him and to us. But right now, I don’t know how. I’m so angry that he would even consider risking all we’ve built ifor the sake of a false buzz.

I know it’s chemical. I know it’s addiction. A disease. Etc.

I know.

What I don’t know right now is how to love him through this. I’m so very afraid. It got really, REALLY bad between us before we got sober last time. There were bruises. There was blood. I can’t go back to that. I won’t. And, I will never let my kids be around that.

I will leave him before anything happens like that ever again.

But I don’t want to have to.

I want to raise my kids with their sober father who is sweet and funny and quiet without the booze propping him up. I want to love this man until I have to cut his steak for him, until I have to drive the car because he can’t see or hear anymore. I don’t want a poisonous liquid to ruin us and our peaceful grow-old-together future.

I want to celebrate more Sobriversary’s. I want to reach big anniversaries of all sorts.

And I want to always be honest. Because that’s the only thing that’s going to save us now.

And we’re in dire need of saving.

The Hard Way

There are only a handful of dreams that impacted me enough that I clearly remember them now years later.

In one such dream during my time working at Microsoft, I needed to meet my manager  on the other side of a small pond. One route around the pond was wooded and the other side was an open meadow. Continue reading “The Hard Way”

Three Years Sober and Counting

March 8th snuck up on us. Busy with the wee babe and the six-year old, we were surprised by our Sobriversary this year. Last year felt like a major accomplishment; this year felt like just another day.

Because it was. 

At three years sober, we’re wellsettled into a life without alcohol. That old life and who we used to be feels very much in the past. So much so, that at times I look at my ever-present ups and downs and wonder if I truly am better off. I still experience depression. I still have much to learn as a parent. I still have a messy house. I still have weight to lose. I still don’t accomplish everything I’d like to. Continue reading “Three Years Sober and Counting”

Dear Lacey

Dear Lacey,

I remember the night you were raped. I remember some of the details clearly, other details not so much.

My parents were gone and I had friends over when I shouldn’t have. We were seniors in high school and you were a freshman. You were my younger sister’s friend, but I don’t remember if she was there. When some of the jock boys showed up, they had been drinking. Continue reading “Dear Lacey”

Awake and sober – the journey continues

It’s getting easier to talk about. We’ve been non-drinkers for two years now and it’s time to look back at who we truly were before we quit.

Today, March 8th is our two-year sober anniversary. Our “sobriversary” as I can call it now that we’ve had more than one.

We didn’t go to rehab. We haven’t attended any meetings. We just quit. Continue reading “Awake and sober – the journey continues”

Start by Starting

I don’t have to be perfect to tell a story and the story doesn’t have to be perfect to be told.

 

“Are you bored?” I asked him. My eyes went to the wine glasses we had filled with our alcohol-removed merlot. It was Valentine’s Day and he’d done what he always does to make an event special: he brought home steak.

“Bored of what?” he asked. “I ran all day.”

And he had. February 14th is a day filled with various colorful tasks for a freight and errand runner from The Angle: Continue reading “Start by Starting”

I Will Be

A journey through the grief of miscarriage

I had the makings of a child in my womb for eight weeks and five days.

On the Friday before Thanksgiving, the pain and bleeding started, and I knew. I didn’t want to know, but there it was. It was the beginning of the end of a pregnancy I had longed for and rejoiced in. It was over before we even got to speak of it, and there was absolutely nothing I could do. Continue reading “I Will Be”