Who me?

learning to see myself clearly

Why can’t I talk about this?

I am not sure why I haven’t talked to anyone about my decision to stop drinking.  It just happened.  Perhaps it’s time to give it some thought.

Today is the last day of a two week vacation from reality.  Reality has been tough for a while.  Maybe to understand I need to retrace the path that led me to this point.

I met my late husband in a local bar in 2008.  I was a regular.  I had recently found myself an empty nester and found it nice to know there was always a place where I could see people I knew.  It’s a draw to a lonely person to have a place where someone will make you laugh, where someone will be glad to see you.  The funny thing is, the alcohol was not the draw in the beginning.

Dear husband and I quickly retreated into our own world, an alcohol soaked world.  He moved in after he lost his licence and his job.  He would have dinner and drinks waiting for me every night when I returned home.  We had so much fun.

When we married in May 2011, he already was showing signs of illness.  I figured that he’d go to a doctor when he got on my insurance.  Well, it took 11 months to convince him.  Finally, I made a doctor appointment.  Unfortunately, because he didn’t have a doctor it was going to be 4 weeks before he could get in.  By now, he walked with a cane.  I did everything around the house.  There were no more dinners waiting for me when I came home.  I took care of him and loved him unconditionally.  I still believed in our future.  I had hope.

Our first anniversary, a Friday, was the first time he failed to send me an email in the morning.  He was feeling so poorly he didn’t get out of bed.  The next day, I thought his color looked off.  He didn’t drink much that weekend, he was feeling rough.  Monday, I finally convinced him he couldn’t wait for the appointment.  He agreed to go to urgent care the next morning.  That night he slept on the couch, he felt too unsteady to climb the stairs.  The next morning he couldn’t walk and he was clearly yellow.

I called my friend, Jim, who is one of two full-time firefighters in our small town.  He came with an ambulance.  25 days later my dear husband died, having never come home again.

I rarely left the hospital during that time.  I didn’t drink.  I did go to my doctor and get a prescription to help.  Afterward, I rarely drank and did a pretty good job of weening myself down to only a pill a day.  I was numb without help.

I had 3 months off of work.  I was a hermit, but I thought I was okay.  Eventually, I wandered out to my old watering hole.  Old friends welcomed me warmly and I was on the slippery slope.  It doesn’t really matter the details, but by this past fall I was out at least 4 nights a week.  I told myself all kinds of stories about why it was okay.

In October, my 24 year old son, his girl friend and their dog moved in.  I began to see myself through their eyes, not that they ever said a word, and I didn’t like what I saw.  A few Saturdays in a row hung over on the couch, growing credit card bills, a missing bumper on the back of my car…

When my winter break arrived, I was worn out and depressed.  The kids went south for the holiday and I was alone.  I didn’t leave the house for 5 days.I turned down Christmas invites.  I couldn’t face someone else’s happy holiday.  I went to the bar at the Chinese place up the street alone on Christmas; that will make you reflect.  When NYE came around and I was back in the same spot, I was not happy.  The next day, I considered the fact that I had only left the house 3 times in 10 days, twice to go to a bar and once to pick up my damaged car, I needed a change.

I started this blog and my journey to sobriety alone here with my dogs.  Tomorrow I have to go face the world.  I hope it’s kind to me.  I need to build new routines, so many of the old ones feature drinking.

I think it may be a control thing.  I am not ready to let anyone into my world.  We’ll see how it goes when I go out into theirs.