Wednesday, June 8, 2011

True Confessions

I saw this article on Facebook by a new author that I plan to read in the next few weeks.  Her name is Amy Hatvany and her newly published book is called Best Kept Secret.  (you should read it!)

Anyway, on Facebook today, she put up a link about signs you might be drinking too much.  It's a short article, and one I easily could have written myself.  Here it is if you're interested. (with permission)

My story is slightly different, but the basis is very similar.

Back in December 2004, I caught my husband cheating.  He left at the end of January 2005 "to figure things out" and by that he meant "start a new life with a younger woman with no kids, a clean house, a slim body".  He told me he was living with his brother.  He was not.

My oldest child was away at college.  My son was in high school and my younger daughter was in 8th grade.  My son had a job but no car, so I had to pick him up from work.  

I "needed" alcohol to be able to get into that bed alone every night, the bed I shared with my husband for 23 years.  I'd wait until all the kids were in for the night before I'd start drinking.(sign #1, watching the clock. also rule #2, making rules)

I'd consume a magnum bottle of Merlot every night.  That's the big bottle they have in restaurants when they serve wine by the glass.  Or I'd down half a bottle of Captain Morgan with my Diet Coke with Lime.  I'd pour the rum right into the soda can so the kids wouldn't know I was drinking. (they knew) (rule #3, sneaking)

When I was good and drunk, I'd go to bed.  I have no idea how I functioned, but the doors were locked, lights were out, coffee ready for the next day, I woke up in my pajamas, in my bed.  A few times I had no recollection of doing these things.  I NEVER EVER intentionally got in the car and drove!!!

One time I started drinking early in the evening.  When it was time to get coffee ready for the next day, I realized I was out of coffee.  I can't wake up after a bender and not have coffee!!  My son had his driver's permit, so I had him drive me to the grocery store to get the coffee.  I wasn't drunk, but I had 2 glasses of wine and didn't want to take any chances.  I thought I was being quite clever!  I learned the next day that if we had gotten into an accident,  I'd have been arrested for drunk driving (or something like that) because my son was driving with someone was was NOT a responsible driver!  So don't do that!!!!

I did this every single night for about 3 months.  The funny thing is, I was going to therapy once a week.  I told my therapist what I was doing.  He was concerned that I was developing a drinking problem.  I told him that was not true!  I was doing this very deliberately!  I could stop whenever I wanted!  I needed this to be able to go to sleep.  Sigh.  So in denial.

What finally made me stop was this.  I was going to my therapy session on my day off.  I had drunk a large bottle of wine the night before, as usual.  One of my tires was getting low, so I stopped at a gas station to put air in my tires.  When I got out of my car, I bent over to fill the tire and I nearly fell over!  GASP!!!  I WAS STILL DRUNK AND I DIDN'T KNOW IT UNTIL THEN!  That scared the hell out of me!  I still had enough alcohol in me that I had lost my balance.  

I told myself that I had to get a grip and stop the drinking.  And I did.  That day.

I didn't have any alcohol for at least a year after that.  Now I can have a drink or two and be okay.  There are times, however, if I have a bottle of rum or tequila in the house I tend to have 1 or 2 drinks a night until the bottle is gone.  So I rarely keep any in the house.  Besides, with the diabetes, I shouldn't be drinking anyway. 

I have gotten past my ex-husband's cheating and leaving me.  I can even be in their company and be fine.  If you saw us, you'd think we were friends (trust me, we're not.  Maybe my girls get their acting talent from me after all!)  Suffice it to say if (or I'd like to think when) their marriage breaks up (oh yeah, he married her shortly after the divorce was final... no one went to the wedding), I will celebrate!!

Even 4 years of dealing with John's battle with Lymphoma has not driven me to drink.  My drug of choice now seems to be food, and junk food at that.

Today I'm happy.  My kids all finished with school.  They are living their own lives.  My oldest is getting married in a month.  And hopefully, at John next doctor appointment ( a few days after the wedding) we'll find out that the cancer hasn't returned.  We have our fingers crossed.  If not, then we begin the next battle to get rid of it.  And I'll do it without booze to help me.


Kristy said...

You are amazing. Thanks for sharing your story. Good luck to you and John!

slommler said...

Wow!! How wonderful that you were able to police yourself and stop!! That is impressive!!
Good luck to John and to you
And congrats on the upcoming wedding

Amy said...

Joanie -- Thanks for being real. I'm so glad to have "met" you.

dana said...

Thank you Joanie. It's nice when we discover that blog writers we like are human too! The difference between your lout of an ex-husband and your present husband is that the first one CHOSE to hurt you.

Although John's cancer is hurting you, he sure the hell didn't CHOOSE it. Therein lies the difference.

With my second husband Joe, I discovered that LOVE means you do NOT purposely hurt the other one. I used to think that was "normal" and just the way life is.

Now YOU know better also.

The Retired One said...

good for you proud of you for getting it together and happy you have a wonderful life now!

Martha in PA said...

Thanks for sharing Joanie. You have done an awesome job of moving on with your life, and I am happy you have found a love again with John!