Day 8 – How the worst of it started

Made it through another day!  My mood was much better today.  I made sure that I had a calm evening because yesterday was pretty busy.  I’ll get to bed at a good time and I’d be really happy to experience a pink cloud day tomorrow – fingers crossed!

There are alot of things that I want to confess, just stories that I want to tell in hopes that it will help me to let go of them.

I actually know exactly when and why I started drinking so heavily.  I didn’t at the time, of course, and I was only able to pinpoint the event recently.  But it was an unsettling awareness to be able to go back to the exact time, remember it clearly, and even see some of the places that I might have been helped or been able to help myself.

It was a break up.  I was dating someone for a little over a year.  I loved him, I loved his friends, and I loved the glamorous international life we might have together.  I traveled to his country and met all of his family.  He met mine.  Even though we had different cultural backgrounds, we wanted similar things and shared alot of the same values.  Nothing really went wrong, but things also weren’t as right as I wanted them to be.  Finally, I felt like we could go on dating for years and years and nothing would ever evolve, grow or move forward.  I didn’t need to marry him to have a great relationship, but I think he needed that more traditional continuum and didn’t really know how to handle me.  I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that I broke up with him and I was the one who fell apart.  The time after we broke up was when I began drinking alone.  Up til then I only drank in social situations and when I went out to clubs with friends – it was still binge drinking several times a week, but I thought that’s what everyone did.

During the time I dated this guy, I also did not keep up relationships with most of my friends.  I preferred his friends, I loved being with them and I barely keep up the relationship with my closest friend.  I had my sister nearby, but she felt sorry for me and more so indulged my sadness than help me to move past it.  So, I wallowed.  I began a hobby in wine.  I looked up different wines and brought them home.  At first it was one or two glasses and I went to bed crying.  Then, one morning I woke up on the couch, confused, went to the kitchen and realized I drank the whole bottle.  I was truly in shock and convinced myself that I must have spilled some, there was no way I drank and entire bottle myself.  That summer, I signed up for netflix and spent almost every evening watching all the shows I never watched before (no cable) and drinking every evening.  I slowly began to rebuild some of my friendships and make new ones, but I had to put on a happy face and be fun so we could become friends again.  I rarely talked about that breakup.  I also received a scholarship for graduate school, moved from my shitty, roach infested apartment (that he helped me move into) and moved to the place I still live now.

All I did for the next two years was work, go to school, and try not to drink too much during the week.  But I drank almost every day and I mostly drank alone.  When I went out with friends, I tried to keep it under control, but there were times I was not careful and was completely wasted and incapable of helping myself.  I’m amazed some of those people stayed friends with me.  The year after I finished my M.A., I was easily up to a bottle a night.  I had to call in sick several times.  Then I decided I wanted to move up in my career.  The next job I got, I was hungover at the interview and I made myself a promise that if I got the job I would stop drinking.  I didn’t – stop drinking, that is.  I managed to get all my work done and become a leader in the organization, and I kept drinking.  This past year, I moved up some more, got another new job.  This is the most challenging and highest position I’ve ever held.  I drank more heavily than ever all of last year, because as long as I got my work done on time, they didn’t really know when I was working.  I have absolutely no idea how I drank and did this job.  It was truly by the skin of my teeth.

I’ve known my drinking is dysfunctional and abusive.  I started researching the whole topic about two years ago.  I would mostly research medical information because I wanted to know how much damage I was doing.  I didn’t really start exploring the social-emotional side of drinking until a couple months ago.

And now, I’m starting to cry, which usually means I’m coming to the end of my thoughts and my post.  I’m not going to edit this one.  I’m just going to put it up and look at it later.

I started drinking regularly, heavily and alone 6 years ago but I abused alcohol from the time I was a teenager.  I have been sad, bored, lonely and resentful.  I have isolated myself and only protected very few close relationships.  I’ve found any reason to break up with anyone I’ve dated.  I have a whole barrel of feelings and emotions that I have pushed away and avoided.  Sometimes I avoided them with accomplishments because if you continue to have accomplishments then it must not be that bad.  But mostly, I’ve avoided myself and my life with alcohol.

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7 thoughts on “Day 8 – How the worst of it started

  1. Really touching post. I have found myself thinking we can have achievements, but for what? Compensation? I think I’ve short changed myself somewhere. Reading this book by james Hollis has helped explain a lot for me. I think if my relationship didn’t work out for me and I was single and still drinking… It would be very messy and just a bit scary, if I took the time to notice. I’m glad you are here and you are doing something positive. I find Getting stories down in writing is a cathartic experience. Being sad is okay. It gives context to how much better things will be. Take care, Paul.

  2. Beautiful, honest writing, Suzy and so much of it resonates… isolating, pushing people away and breaking up with them before they get too close in case they hurt you.
    You’re not avoiding now, you’re analysing your past and looking how to better make your present bearable. You’re doing great x

  3. ah, bad-breakup alcohol. on the couch for hours watching pay tv movies taped to VCR (i’m dating myself). i could have been at the gym, out for a run, reading fiction. instead i was deep into a 6-pack of beer crying through Terms of Endearment. Again. I mean really. Now when i look back i can’t imagine going “there” again. Alcohol is like a place for me now. And I don’t want to “go there” any more. It’s sunny and light and full of promise out here …

  4. Thank you blogmunnity (specifically Belle, Paul, Imogen and Cleo), I can’t believe how much your comments support me and give me the confidence and courage to keep this going. I know there might come a time when you have to be bluntly honest about something I share and I welcome that….but, for now, your kindness, support and intentional reaching out have exceeded any of my expectations for this blog. Sincere thanks. -Suzy

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