wine stains

My sponsor asked me to write about the things that I was out of control. While discussing some new books to read, my therapist told me a story from this one woman book, it was about her love of sheets but ……. they had wine stains. That prompted me to remember my own bed. The first two years of grief, I spent a lot of time in the bed.

One mothers day, Anna drew me a card and on it it she drew mommy’s favorite thing to do, She drew me in the bed with a wine bottle to the side. I was horrified and quickly hid the card. a few years later, we moved to a house and I decided to put the TV in the living room and create the mom den and for several years I did not watch tv in my bedroom so help me get out of hiding and crying and drinking.

I remember and still have many sheets that have wine stains. I cannot get a wine stain out of my mattress cover because I washed it before putting my special wine stain remover on it. that’s right. I had to buy the big size wine stain remover for my laundry time because I had so many wine stains on my clothes and on my bed Lenins and on towels when I had to clean up my knocked over glasses or bottles.

Eventually I moved to the living room but when I started passing out and blacking out, it would stress the kids out the I was asleep in the living room and not in my bedroom. I tried to tell them, it’s ok. just let me sleep. I often would get up during the night and crawl back into my bed. sometimes I would remember and sometimes I would not. but again…. more reasons of things I did that caused damage to my children.

Our Mistakes can turn into our greatest lessons, if we allow them to.

My greatest mistake is choosing to buy a bottle of wine instead of saying, hey this is really a problem. but thankfully, I had been thinking it for lots of years so that when my child says, it’s a problem and also if you don’t stop, I’m going to tell someone that might cause issues….

What is my lesson teaching me so far. So far I’ve learned this with sobriety….

it’s really hard but not as hard as I thought it might be.

I love not being so hot at night

I love sleeping so well.

I love not feeling exhausted all the time.

I love remembering what I did the night before.

I love that my kids are not being further hurt by my drinking at night and that maybe they are healing.

Maybe that giving up my bottle continues to return me to finding out who I am now that I have 6 years of widowhood under my belt, that I’m finding out who I am after losing weight and returning to hobbies that were physical that I could no longer do. That I am learning about new hobbies that are just pushing me forward as to keeping me back or just entertaining me while I tread water and not go anywhere. One of my desires that has come up in the last year or so is that I want to know what love is again. Alcohol distracted me from truly finding out and now, I don’t want to have that in my body and maybe not even near my life. I want to know what love is like as the new me, this incredible, strong, smart, vivacious, passionate woman that wants to just live life fully.

Step 2

First I wonder am I supposed to write and think about step 2 already, or am I supposed to still be thinking about step 1. The twelve steps of AA are a bit mind boggling to me. They push the 12 steps of AA but I can’t seem to find the rule book to explain them or I should say, “work them” as they advise. The blue book definitely goes over the 12 steps and has stories but I’m frustrated with the male voice so it’s having a negative effect.

Now to my reflection.

Come to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

This is simply the baseline of my personal faith. For me I would say, as long as I have a mustard seed of faith, then God is with me. I personally can attest to the above statement due to losing John and losing my faith and saying, it’s all done God. and… then God was not done with me. I know in my heart that I have witnessed the love of God or the action of God because there is no way to explain how he/she/it showed up in the darkest moments for me after John died. I do tell people about this when I am asked to talk about “faith”.

But this… this step 2 is hard. I really felt it this past week when my therapist told me that all I have to do is ask God and he will help me. and I thought again some old thoughts but I know it’s because it’s such a primal thing.

  1. I asked God to save John and John died.
  2. I told God to fuck off and he did not. He sent me love in every way possible that only I could know it was God. and maybe John if John got to be an angel in which I hope to God that he did because that thought makes me so happy because John would be the best Angel.
  3. If I ask God to help me now, will he really?

So I am asking God, please God, do not let me drink again. Please lead my thoughts and cravings to somewhere else and instead help me heal myself. If I have to be with my thoughts, please let me use what I have learned of going through the trauma and replaying it and or not replaying it and be ok.

I’m asking God to let me be ok without numbing myself because it’s too much. and if it’s too much that I’m asking God to walk with me through it, help me feel it knowing that I’m going to be ok and it’s going to subside and I will find happy again.

When I can love myself and take care of myself and put myself first then I will know love. I want to find love with another person so much but why I spontaneously choose to put another person who I do not know ahead of my desires without even establishing a good relationship, I know that is the problem.

I need God’s help with me not drinking and not using the “buzz” of someone’s attention as a way to not feel.

Step 1

We admitted we were powerless over alcohol- that our lives had become unmanageable.

My sponsor suggested I should read Chapter 1 of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions and begin what I believe is my step work. See I’m still very new to AA and to admitting I am an alcoholic and I just don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing except … not drink.

So step one. admit I am powerless over alcohol.

I am.

I had been aware of the twelve steps for 20 some years now but applying it to myself and this situation was something that it took a few months for me to absorb and understand. Understanding that I had a problem with alcohol. For myself, it was forced in a way by my 12 year old daughter who had had enough. She herself had been the victim of my behavior I exhibited when I became under the influence and blacked out. She was all done. So done, she had been sharing with her sister, her brother, her therapist, her guidance counselor and finally my best friend, who she told, I’m going to ask for help. My best friend heard her loud and clear and was shocked that it was this bad. She said she was not quite aware of how bad I was until after the recent Fourth of July, she saw me quite drunk and acting rude to my daughter and she saw that I was not even aware of my actions. She saw me in a black out, then passed out then to rise again and to drink and eat.

A month or less passed and while taking my daughter out for a lunch and movie, my daughter surprised her with “sharing”. Then a night later when my daughter was alone with me and saw me drinking she tried to stop me and then said, I told “______”. (So Called best friend, has requested not to use her name and has asked to be refered to with a code name, I am not able to summon up the best substitute name so she shall now be called “______”). (Just to make her laugh).

Anyway, my dearest child, shocked me and this lead to a phone to “________”. Who then proceeded to tell me that yes, my child had told her lots and further more it scared the shit out of her, so she decided to tell the Ministers at my church, and she also shared with a friend of mine who she thought I was close to, but I am but I am not. Then she reached out to another one of my best friends, who ….. declined to react.

By the grace of God, this was enough to embarrass the shit out of me and I went into shock. My brother was called and he decided that he should step in as well.

I stopped for 3 days. then I decided to drink and see if I could be ok. Nope.

I then went to a Buddhist recovery group the next day, ready to begin…..

No AA for me I declared, I did not want that. I did not want to see anyone I knew. So I tried. and then about another week or so went by and then I got weak again. So I went to another Buddhist meeting and meditated.

I unsubscribed to all the alcohol things in Facebook and instagram. I started following everything sober. I told my best friend I was an alcoholic and she and I had a fight of sorts that I really can’t recall the details because I was still in shock of her telling everyone and my humiliation is what consumed me.

I tried to stay sober but I started to sneak in wine in tiny boxes thinking I could just have a bit and then hide it.

Do you know that my youngest child was so in tune with me that she would go and look for evidence and she found it. I was such a dumb ass. then they would confront me and I would apologize.

My oldest begged me to stop, she was leaving for college and she said she could not take it. So I saID I WOULD.

I had a dear friend in recovery and he helped me as much as he could but he himself struggled.

He sent me a book and I started trying to read the Buddhist stuff and it was good. I needed more. So I found a therapist. My parents agreed to pay for her.

After a month I told her about my trip to the beach where I snuck and drank and I had been drinking again but not getting out of hand. She looked at me and said, look- you are not going to recover on your own. You have to seriously do this or you will fail. You need more than therapy once a week.

Somehow, or another I drove a half hour to a beginners women’s group where I felt like I would not know anyone. There my male friend, coached me in my car to get out of the car, and to go in. As I got out of the car, a nice lady said, are you looking for a meeting? I said I was and that was the beginning of my real recovery.

A few weeks in, I struggled with my intense desire and frustration with this whole thing and not being able to be in control. That is when the first step really started making sense.

admitting and really knowing. I have no power over alcohol. When I reach out , actually when I steer my cart into the section of wine. I have already fallen off the wagon. because I have already made that decision to drink.

It is that moment that I talked about with my therapist and later my sponsor that it’s in that moment. I am powerless.

It is unmanageable if I do that and if I keep doing that.

It has been in this meeting that I have begun to dissect my addiction and share with others that I have a problem and I just am figuring it out.

Did you know I was an alcoholic?

As I peel away the layers of my onion skin that have grown around me in regards to being my authentic self. peeling slowly back the layers of grief that grew fast after John died, then the layers so thick of wine that had been growing before he died… I am getting to where I might be. I wonder… who are my friends? Who do I say, help to? Who will come around? Who knew already? I’m avoiding book club because I just don’t want to be around everyone having a drink but me. I don’t want to hurt around that drink that I cannot have. So then I wonder do my friends miss me? They say they do. but would they give up the drink to spend a couple of hours with me? One drink does not really cause problems for most apparently. Even in public, one drink would not cause me a problem immediately, but I can almost guarantee it would be the trigger that would lead me back into that grocery store into that wine aisle to get myself some secret wine. Then that secret wine might be guzzled in the car, while breaking 2 laws… open container and drinking and driving….

So where are the friends that I have even told. no one checks in. Alcoholism is something that apparently is close to grief, you don’t want to get to close to it. It might sting.