In 34 years, I’ve lived a pretty interesting life. I graduated college in 2007 with a BA in Clinical Psychology. By then I was married, had two of my three kids (the third one was born in February 2008), and had a job straight out of college. I’ve worked in the mental health field for a decade.
I wasn’t prepared for the things that would happen in the meantime- my younger son has ADHD and autism. My daughter was born with delays that took two years to fix. My “perfect” marriage fell apart right before my eyes. How did I handle it?
I started drinking and fell in love with another man.
I do not recommend either one of these things. One or both will destroy your family.
Both things happened right around the same time, and neither were planned, but that’s pretty much how life works. I went out with my co-workers at least once a week and drank heavily. I drove drunk, and to this day, I am very surprised that I didn’t hurt anyone else or myself. I didn’t get any DUIs but I probably should have. I was the loud, funny drunk. I spilled drinks in my purse but freaked out because I had a book in there.
Things got worse. I fought with my husband about almost everything, the kids were watching all of this going on, and I met with a divorce lawyer. I was eight days away from filing for divorce on September 1, 2015, when Jake (the other man) died.
The drinking got worse, because I could not deal with the pain. I felt like my world had shattered, and some days it still feels like that. I drank during the day, because I quit the job we had worked at together. I was barely functioning even when I got another job a month later. I spent many weekends drunk. I finally got sober after some lab results came back showing increased liver enzymes, showing that my liver had been impacted by my drinking. I knew exactly what my doctor meant when she talked about what would happen if I didn’t stop drinking.
My sober date is 1/1/17.
It has not been easy. It was not the most fun choice to make, but all of my friends are supportive. I haven’t had a single issue with anyone pressuring me to drink. Some days I want to drink, but I’ve got quite a few people I can talk to. I can also read, color in an adult coloring book or write. I love writing. Sometimes I write poems if I am not working on a blog post.
I have become a better person in general. I spend more time with my kids and husband. They have seen plenty and don’t need to see any more of me being drunk and/or hungover. My husband hated seeing me so drunk, and so did my friends. I enjoy being able to hang out with my friends and remember it the next day!
Thanks to being in therapy, I have learned how to handle my emotions a lot better. I can talk more about what bothers me, and this has helped my marriage a lot. We went from almost divorcing and hashing out custody arrangements in court to being pretty happy. My husband has been very supportive in my sobriety, blog and other adventures.
I never saw myself becoming an alcoholic, but who does? I just know I enjoy the life I have now. I take my days one day at a time. That’s all any of us can do, recovering or not.