Friday, January 27, 2006

The rise and fall of an alcoholic part 2

Taking up from where we left off... I am 23, I've got two small children. I started college a couple of months before the divorce, mostly because husband #1 was against it. I mean what a waste of money if I was going to stay home and raise babies, right?
I was alone, none of my family lived in the state, I had no friends since most of them were church related and sided with the husband. I was unemployed. I lived in low income housing. Except for college, I was one step away from spitting out a few more kids and becoming a welfare statistic. I had made myself quite a mess in a very short time. Perpetually seeking the father figure, I was always attached to one guy or another, right off the bat. Being a bargain shopper, I seemed to always choose the guy right off the discount sale rack. At this time in my life I was an odd combination of attributes, independent yet clingy, insecure yet stubborn, free floating yet with some sense of direction. My self esteem was horrible and worse yet, I was too dumb to know it at the time. If I were a weather pattern, it would always be storming from the conflicting temperatures.
In college I found myself once again trying to find acceptance. The first guy I found lived in my apartment complex, life with him was a party, all the time. We went out every weekend and often hosted week day parties at one of our apartments. Between parties, weekends and school, the kids were always with one sitter or another, usually a teenager, which ever one I could find at any given moment. I rarely saw them unless the party was at my place. I was completely mystified when this first guy broke it off with me because he soon became tired of taking care of me once the party was over. I had no ability to drink and stop, once the drinking started I could not stop until I'd passed out, often leaving my date to find the sitter and my kids and tuck all of us into bed. The next boy was a paramedic student... I was a nursing student, it seemed perfect. He gave up on me after staying up with me all night after a party. I blacked out part way through the night and he took me home. He went door to door in my apartments looking for the kids and when he got to the apartment of the previous guy I'd dated, he got a sympathetic pep talk... after finding the kids and bringing them home, I was passed out and choking on vomit... he kept me alive that night, but left in the morning, never to return. I just didn't get it. It didn't even dawn on me that this was not good. Through out the rest of school, I had Adele, my best friend. I decided it was time to take a break from guys and just have some fun and Adele was the ticket. She was a cop's wife of all things. He worked every weekend so we took my car out to the clubs so he wouldn't spot her and we played into the wee hours every weekend. Life was a series of phone numbers never called and of one night stands. We were having a blast and yet I was not with any one person long enough for anyone to be too concerned. I drank myself pretty, I drank myself funny, and I drank myself smart...
Adele was the first person I'd ever done drugs with (other than pot) and we actually made a game of trying new things... while studying we would chose one drug and see how our weekly test scores faired on Friday. We tried it all, my first time skiing we were drinking and high on crank, I actually thought I could ski and went down the "black run" on my first time up. Everything was a competition and that was the only reason I think I made it through school at all. Safety never occurred to either of us, I became so accustomed to driving drunk that I thought I drove better after drinking than I drove when I was sober and often drove the kids home at 3:00am after a night out.
Towards the end of school I hooked up with a wonderful guy who dealt coke from work. I can't even begin to tell you how badly that went. I graduated from school and soon started work at an area hospital where I routinely stole halcion and valium just so I could catch some sleep every couple of days. I finally walked out with a gun pointed at me after my daughter (then 3) asked my best friend if she could live with her after mommy was dead. The kids saw it, but I did not...
I continued to drink, but was pretty burnt out on drugs and violence. Rather than drinking till I passed out, I had perfected a technique of drinking all day, every day. By this time I was non-functional unless I was drinking.
I met the next guy in a bar, I thought it would be another "pick up" but he called back... we spend a couple of years and moved through a couple of states together. His drinking habits were much like mine, mandatory for a "relationship" with me. Beer was like soda and really didn't count as "drinking" at all. At a 7-11 one night a clerk mentioned the amount of alcohol I bought, so I started stopping at different stores on my way home from work every night. We felt OK about our drinking because we never drank hard alcohol until after 5:00pm except for weekends. We frequented several bars on a regular basis and again never thought twice about driving home afterwards. I remember running a red light at a major intersection and we just thought it was funnier than hell... thankfully the kids were not with me that night. Thankfully God watches out for drunks.
Because the kids were now older (5 and 8), babysitting was not so much a problem, we just tucked them in bed and after they were asleep, we went out. The thought now strikes terror in my heart, but I didn't give it a second thought at the time.
We were close friends with another couple; we saw them every day, had dinner and drank every night... One day, out of the blue I asked my friend: Do you ever wonder if you have a drinking problem? She laughed at me. But my mind set was beginning to change. I was feeling guilty; feeling like there must me something more. Drinking at home was no problem, but I was calling in to work a lot, I was on my last warning. One day at work a nurse offered me gum, I declined, but she insisted... she could see I was still somewhat drunk from the night before. My secret was getting out and rumors were starting. I was growing uncomfortable, even a little paranoid. I decided this discomfort was not from drinking itself, nor from my need to stop. I decided that I was growing uncomfortable due to some childhood issues I was carrying around and perhaps some counseling would soothe my spirit while allowing me to continue the lifestyle I'd become accustomed to. I made an appointment.
At my first appointment I was asked to fill out some paperwork and included in that is a questionnaire. I answered the questions honestly except for the drinking part. Writing it down, it did seem like a lot of alcohol, and I could no longer remember the last day I didn't have anything to drink, if you counted beer, which I did not. I deleted much of the beer and cut the hard alcohol in half when answering questions... I knew I wasn't an alcoholic, I had a job, I had a relationship, I didn't beat the kids and I'd never been arrested.
They declined to work with me unless I was in treatment.
I was pissed.

Herein lies hundreds of detailed posts, this is just the "quick" overview.
It looks like there will be one more part...

posted by addict @ 8:06 PM |

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