The first night was easy. I was still hungover from the night before, New Year’s Eve. I wasn’t planning on drinking any more than a glass of wine, well maybe a bottle, at home and just watch TV until I was tired. I have never been a big fan of staying up too late and getting less than 7 hours of sleep. Not since college anyway. And now the bags under my eyes in the morning are enough to get me in bed by 10pm. As if the alcohol didn’t do enough damage. I would rather have my alcohol and go to bed early than stay sober and stay up too late. As if I had a choice. I am an alcoholic. Every morning, I walk across the hallway into the bathroom, begrudgingly turn on the light, and am either relieved at my reflection or absolutely mortified at the bags under my eyes. They are so puffy, it appears as though I was socked in both eyes. At first, I lean into the mirror as if I were a man trying to find that last nose hair he just can’t grab. Then I turn away as if I had just witnessed a horrible murder and try not to look again. Then comes the shame. And the frozen spoons. And whatever miracle product I have discovered that says it cures morning bags and dark circles.
The second night? That’s tonight. Not so easy. You see, I have never made it past the second night in my attempt at sobriety. It is just too hard. I give in too early. I told my daughter my New Year’s Resolution was to stop drinking. That may have been a huge mistake. I guess I was looking for a little more accountability. If I make a promise to a 13 year old, maybe I will be less inclined to destroy it. .
I detest New Year’s Resolutions. They are a major set up to fail. Let’s take the one thing we love the most, but is most likely killing us, put it on a pedestal, and tell the world you will never do it again. Crazy stupid! Yes, the good intentions are in your heart. But it’s a way out for when we fail. And usually we do. So I can say when my daughter sees me with a glass of wine or a beer, “Oh honey, New Year’s Resolutions are just attempts with good intentions. They rarely come to fruition.”
My alcoholism is to the point of no return. I don’t think I can ever be a normal drinker. Alcoholics don’t drink like everybody else. I can’t have just one. What is the point? It doesn’t change how I feel. And isn’t that the point? I hate to feel. Always have. I suppose that is why I am in this predicament.
I am taking my kids to their Nana’s house tonight. Christmas break is almost over. She wants them to spend a couple nights as she claims she never gets to see them. For myself, I will be walking into a household pharmacy. I will have a nice selection of morphine and dilaudid, muscle relaxers and valium. She doesn’t keep much alcohol around anymore, but there will be some. All I have to do is ask with my puppy dog eyes. Another quality of an addict… Manipulation. Now you know where some of these issues I have originated. At least ninety percent of my family are addicts. Most of them still using. I am the youngest. I am 40.
So tonight will be a huge test. The odds are stacked against me. I usually fail. I have always failed at this. I have been to treatment twice. Once 15 years ago and the other 8 years ago. I am afraid. I wish I could just be a normal person and go out and have a good time. I used to be able to have a drink or two without blacking out or becoming obnoxious. I could handle a bottle of wine at home in the evening without yelling at the kids. My body is changing and so is my ability to handle my liquor. In other words, my alcoholism is progressing and I am afraid I cannot beat it.
People’s secrets keep them sick. I have close to a hundred, I am sure. And I will fight til the death to keep it that way. I can never work the steps of AA, because the 9th step is righting all the wrongs you have done in your addiction. In person! There is just no way. Maybe that is the root of my drinking. I am killing pain I do not want to feel. I can’t bear the thought of having all of those secrets rush to the front of my head. I have worked too hard to suppress them. What in the hell do I do with them? It’s easier just to stay sick and keep the mess buried in the dark places in my head.
I’ll keep you posted about tonight. Happy New Year.