Why I Drank, and What Happened

The links between why I drank and what happened as my drinking progressed matches this chart exactly.

I drank to cope: with anxiety (made it worse); a bad relationship (made it worse); work stress (worse); parenting stress (you get it).

The more I drank to cope, the worse care I took with myself. I only managed the bare minimum-clean clothes, basic hygiene, some kind of calories. Risks? Plenty. The worst of them was drinking and driving. I went to jail and everything. Work problems? See ‘jail’, above. I risked my professional license. I also was just phoning it in at work, and my job wouldn’t last long with me doing the bare minimum.

The other motive that fits my story is to “enhance” positive feelings. Basically, I read this as “to try to falsely create some.”

This is the one with binge drinking and blackouts and a primary outcome. This fits. If I’m trying to feel good (in other words, completely different to how I really feel), a slight warm relaxing feeling won’t suffice. But getting wasted, that’s more like it. Let’s dance. Ughhhhhh.

It helps me to work through some of my “whys” to fix what’s really wrong. It helps me to remember what happens when I think the fix for what’s really wrong is at the bottom of a bottle.

Happy Friday sober family! Keep it simple today.

**This is a very simplified snapshot of an NIH (National Institutes of Health) study from 2012, called “Motivational Pathways to Uniques Types of Alcohol Consequences.”

People Pleasing and Binge Drinking

I. Introduction.

I’m Nicole. I’m a professional, middle-aged, single mom living in San Diego. I’ve got incredible people who love me and I love them right back. I have a fulfilling, rewarding, challenging profession where I come home every day honestly feeling I’ve helped some people. I have friends who are so hilarious and solid that even on my worst days, I’m laughing. My teenagers talk to me. We’re all really close. I’m best friends with my little sister, my ride or die, the only one who knows everything about me. My fur babies are fun, I’m outside working out by the beach all the time…

So basically, living a dream life.

And it’s the life I came this close to losing. All of it. My drinking was getting more important to me than any of my loved ones, work, or responsibilities. I was neglecting it all. I’d spent my whole life believing that the most important thing, the critical thing, was to be a good girl and don’t rock the boat and make people happy.

I spent my whole life anxiously trying to make everyone else happy. Why would what I want matter? If you’re happy, I’m happy.

So I wasn’t really paying attention to how miserable I was, how I made everyone else matter but me. Sometimes I ate my feelings, sometimes I starved them, sometimes I worked them to death, but mostly (especially at the end), I drank them. I kind of thought of all that wine as medicinal. Drown the sorrows, and all.

Somehow I realized if I didn’t save myself, reclaim myself, my kids wouldn’t have me to count on. Somehow I knew I had to take care of myself and prioritize my physical and mental health. I knew alcohol had to be the first thing to go.

If I hadn’t gotten sober, I wouldn’t have had the will to leave a bad relationship and nurture my good relationships. I’d have let my business slide. I wouldn’t have this amazing community I love so much. Join us on zoom, listen to our podcast, connect with sober sisters. 🖤

Sexy mama

When my sister and I were little we thought drinking was what made you grown up. We saw our parents drink and have a great time. We watched them and their friends at parties and they seemed so sophisticated to us. They danced, talked, and drank like classy adults. The way we drank was anything but classy. Drunk me sent an email to my former boss telling her that my place of employment had been copacetic before she got there. I think you can guess why she’s my former boss. Drunk me ran over my own cell phone. Drunk me passed out in the street. I made an as$ of myself just about every time I drank. And let’s not talk about weddings. I don’t know how many credit cards I’ve had to cancel because they were lost. I’d either start fights or become best friends with people at bars. The aftermath was horrendous. Anxiety, nausea, and shame. I don’t have to feel that way ever again because I choose to live sober and clean. I’d rather be sober and sexy than drunk and sloppy any day of the week. Happy Sunday, sober family. Keep it simple today.

Killing mysElf

I would do ANYTHING when I was wasted. People would say oh I bet no one would do this (insert something ridiculous, dangerous, or illegal) and I’d happily volunteer. Consequences never crossed my mind. I literally cannot BELIEVE I’m still alive. I’d pride myself on being the badass drunk chick who could drink like a man, sing like gaga, and drive with one eye open. I’d lie and cheat and steal and wake up not remembering or caring, covered in bruises and scabs. I can’t sing for sh*t, by the way. Those poor musicians when I hijacked their stages. At the end of my not so illustrious drinking career I would have moments of clarity. I’d actually google how long it would be until my liver failed. I’d research the amount of alcohol I could drink at my weight before something really medically serious would happen. Why was I purposely ingesting ethanol in copious amounts? I’d get deep in the cups and cry. I didn’t know how to stop and I didn’t know how to keep going. My brain was foggy and my spirit was empty. I couldn’t do it for one more second. I waved the white flag and gave alcohol the win. Happy Friday, sober family. Sobriety gives me more than alcohol ever promised. Keep it simple today.

Not shitfaced

A long time ago my life revolved around alcohol. I didn’t go anywhere alcohol wasn’t being served. I pre-gamed and post-gamed with a drink or five. I always had a few “roadies” to make sure I was sufficiently drunk before I showed up at an event. It seemed that I was always at the store buying more supplies. I’d switch up the stores so that no one would notice the frequency that I was buying alcohol…not like they’d care anyway. I never left the house without gum and eye drops. People could smell the alcohol coming out of my pores. I’d wake up still drunk, knowing that the hangover was on its way. I’d either eat everything in sight or not be able to eat a thing….I could drink, though. After that first drink went down I could “rally” again 🙄. That’s no life. It’s certainly not what I was put on this earth to do. Even my worst days sober are waaaay better than my best days in addiction. Happy Thursday, sober family. Keep it simple today.

Bandaid

The little things I used to do to hide my drinking stopped working for me. As the problem got bigger and bigger so did my lies, justifications, and “solutions”. It was exhausting. My physical health was deteriorating quickly too and the hangover remedies that helped ten years ago didn’t help anymore. I felt like I was in a huge pool, sinking underwater, and a plug was pulled. The whirlpool was sucking me in and I could fight to stay afloat but the pull was too strong so I was heading quickly down that drain and nothing could stop it. I lost the battle to keep going. I was so tired of the daily struggle. Life can be challenging enough without my alcohol induced self sabotage. The only solution for this alcoholic was to stop drinking altogether. The feeling of serenity when I finally knew that I was giving it up for good helps me get through even the hardest days. It is such a relief not to fight a losing battle anymore. Happy Wednesday, sober family. Keep it simple today.

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Who the fuck

I’ve been trying to get to the why of my addictions. Why did I self sabotage for so many years? Why didn’t I love myself enough to get and stay sober and instead ingested and smoked copious amounts of poison? Where was the love for myself that I easily showed others? Why wasn’t I comfortable enough in my own skin without having to alter my brain and body with whatever substance was available?
Everyone’s why is unique. Simply put (there’s a lot more that goes into this), I wasn’t happy in my own skin. I had anxiety that a drink would make disappear. Until it made it worse. I thought I wasn’t good enough and cocktails would make me feel better, until they didn’t. That liquid courage helped me get over my fears. Until it debilitated me to the point of agoraphobia. My ego fucked me up y’all. Being consumed by what other people think almost killed me as I consumed more and more alcohol. Today I can honestly look at myself in the mirror and give me a genuine smile. Simple…as long as I remember who I am- and I definitely am, an alcoholic. Happy Tuesday, sober family. Keep it simple today.

gludedonttrudge

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IsMs

I knew I was an alcoholic but I didn’t know all that entailed. I thought if I could just quit drinking my life would fall into place. Putting the bottle down was a start. It was so huge. When I had a week sober I wanted to tell everyone I had ever met…”I DID IT FOR A WEEK!” So I did- tell everyone. Most people who knew me couldn’t believe it. After I had a bit of clarity… months into my sobriety, I realized that the “ISMS” in alcoholism is no bullshit. People say “I got sober because I had a drinking problem, now I know I have a thinking problem”. We are wired differently. That’s why when someone says we should just use willpower and quit that it never works. The I, Self, Me (isms) don’t disappear unless we focus on changing the way we think, act, and live. I never understood how people used to call me selfish. I know it always was all about me- what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go, who I wanted to be there. I tried to control the world around me. It’s insane to look back on all of those years and realize that people still loved me. They’re better people than I used to be. Now I try to starve the ego, feed the soul, and hopefully help another person struggling with addiction. Happy Saturday, sober family. Keep it simple today.

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Obsession

By the end of my drinking days, it was such hard work keeping a double life going.

I was exhausted.

I’d wake up wishing I could stay in bed all day, then force myself through my work day and parenting.

Alcohol permeated my whole day.

I’d start in the morning vowing to cut down, or take a break from alcohol. Often, I’d passionately promise myself I was just going to quit for good.

I’d run around, hiding any evidence of my drinking. Obsessing that I’d missed something that someone else would notice first.

I’d feel like I was dragging all day. By the afternoon, I’d be obsessing about the wine I’d soon drink to get some relief from all the obsessing.

I don’t even think about alcohol today, except when talking sobriety. It’s like some past boyfriend I only kind of vaguely remember and have no interest in what he’s up to now.

It’s so much better on this side.

sobersisters #sober #glidedonttrudge #soberlife #sobrietyquotes #alcoholfreelife #alcoholfree #nobooze #recovery #odaat #addictionrecovery #addictionawareness

Booooring

I wish I had a crystal ball to see into the future back when I was afraid to quit drinking. I stayed in the cups far too long thinking that I’d be missing out on life if I got sober. I had no idea that the life I was living was the life of purgatory. It consumed my mind – the thought of how am I going to have any fun if I’m not drinking at certain events? How will I go to parties, concerts, weddings? How will I get through a first date without a v and t? How will I relax at the end of a hard day of work? Years ago a good friend moved to the beach town where I lived. We had all sorts of plans to do things together once she moved there. We never did any of them. I saw her a few months ago and said I can’t believe we never hung out when you lived in Carolina Beach… what happened? She said, “I tried a bunch of times, you were always too hungover”. It hit me hard. I remembered those calls and texts and telling her I couldn’t hang. At least I told HER the truth, that I was too hungover. Most people would’ve gotten some bullshit excuse even though they could see right through me. I don’t miss out on anything by being sober. I get to do whatever I want, whenever I want to – as long as I don’t pick up a drink and fuck it all up. Happy Wednesday, sober family. Keep it simple today.

glidedonttrudge

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