Day One

I have the perfect life. From the outside I feel I have an enviable life. I am married and have two beautiful children. We have a house, two cars, and the means to do most of what we want. And yet I have been an alcoholic for about 10 years, living in my own private hell. I'm sure if I thought long and hard enough I could determine what "caused" my addiction, but for me none of that matters. All that matters is I can't live like this anymore.

Today is Day one. I have had at least a hundred "Day Ones". The day I wake up and decide to change. The day I decide I am going to stop drinking and be the perfect mom I want to be. I have had a few day twos and threes - where I actually managed to stay sober for that long. Other than during my pregnancies, I have not been sober for more than 3 days in a row in over 10 years.

By some miracle I managed to stay sober during my pregnancies - and I often tried to use these sober times as a catalyst into longterm sobriety. After having each child I felt anxiety knowing it was only a matter of time before I started drinking again. And it always happened.

Once the kids were four months or so. With my second child I had to stop nursing because I stopped producing milk because I was constantly dehydrated from drinking.

I look at my children every day and wonder why I haven't been able to get sober for them. They are the two biggest reasons for me to get healthy. It angers me and saddens me that they are 'not enough'
of a reason for me to put down the bottle.

Each Day One starts with me feeling a mix of shame, guilt and a little bit of hope that I will NOT DRINK TODAY. By noon I usually still feel hopeful. By 4pm I start to feel anxious and my brain plays tricks on me. I start thinking that maybe just one or two drinks would be ok to get through the evening. By 7pm I have decided that I don't have a problem and I open my first drink. By 11pm I am drunk. This same scenario has played out so many times.

My husband worries sometimes, but like every other addict, I am a master manipulator. We open a bottle of wine and for every glass he has, I have two. He usually doesn't notice, but occasionally he will confront me and ask what is going on. I can usually get away with saying I have had a bad day, or I am depressed and he stops questioning me.

There are times he has gotten angry at me but I will just shut down and refuse to talk about it. I'm sure he feels helpless about the situation, but he sees that the children are happy and healthy so perhaps that is good enough.

I don't know what else to say. I suppose I could list all of the details of my worst drinking experiences as many do, but I think there is enough of that out there. I don't feel the need to share those details. Imagine your own worst drinking experience and I probably have been there.

What I do know is that this is another Day One and I really, with all of my being, hope it sticks this time.

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