Enjoying wine with my friends at our monthly Bunco games, happy hours and dinners out is important to me. However, while my social drinking is moderated, it’s my personal drinking that has become very troublesome, progressively so over the past 3 years.
I grew up with an alcoholic father, who snuck around and hid his bottles and thought his behavior wouldn’t give him away. Wrong… He was sloppy and hateful when drunk, and at his worst when I was still in high school and I was the only child left at home. I felt abandoned, my brothers were all out of the house and my parents moved me to a small town from a good sized metro area when I was 15, forcing me to start a new school in a “hick town” I didn’t like. Because my mother thought if we moved to my dad’s old hometown where he could be a part-time farmer on his family’s 60 acres, growing soybeans of all things, that he would stop drinking… It was bizarre, like living in a surreal world that none of my friends had to live in. He not only didn’t curtail his drinking, he got extremely worse because he could drive out to the “old place” with a bottle or two and just hit it harder.
I was very depressed as a teen, and I got pregnant at 16, married and left the home for good, leaving my mother to battle with my dad on a daily basis. It was a dark time in my teens and twenties. I divorced at 21, sowed a lot of wild oats with my own drinking and such when I moved back to the city I loved, then married again at 25 to a sweet man. Fast forward 35 years and I am ashamed because I have been doing the same thing my dad did! Sneaking and hiding alcohol. For what reason? Heck, I’m not sure, other than maybe I felt I had always lacked control or say-so in the events of my life. I’m exploring the “why” as I start adjusting the habit.
In the middle, I lived many years while raising kids and building my career without abusing, oh occasionally going out and getting tipsy with my husband or friends, but not at home. So at some point after they were older, I started hitting the wine or making a screwdriver in the evening. Then as a habit the minute I got home from work. Then one at lunch out with workmates. This has been a growing issue for about 10 years, escalating over the last 3 years. Now it’s definitely affecting my marriage (which has its other issues as well, not related to my behavior), my relationship with my adult daughter and my job performance. So ~ I’m determined to return to the moderate attitude I used to have about drinking moderately for fun with friends, not for defiance or control or to dull emotional pain. So here I am, MM. I’m not religious so AA is out, and honestly my desire is to again have healthy feelings about enjoying a glass or two of nice wine, occasionally. I’m giving it my all, as at this point to proclaim total abstinence would make me depressed and probably set me up for failure, since if you slip even once you go to jail without passing GO. I’m not into feeling punished by never being able to have something I like again – no. And I’m not into the rah-rah 12 step, I-have-no-control thing. I am discovering I am a powerful soul, an extension of our Creator’s source energy, visiting here in a imperfect (for now) physicality. I am exactly where I need to be, right here, right now.
To assist me in this and other life challenges, I have also started seeing a psychologist/therapist whom I am sharing the MM method with so she can help me tackle this project with moderation as my goal. (Unfortunately there are no MM-friendly therapists in my Blue Shield network.)
I’m looking forward to this forum and to realigning my drinking habit to a healthy and enjoyable aspect of this amazing life! I enjoy reading other’s challenges and successes, and will contribute as my journey unfolds.