My Girls

After a night of drinking with my friends, I stopped by a casino a block from my house to gamble a bit before I went home. I was wasted and trying to talk the bartender into selling me a beer after hours. He pointed across the bar and told me that the guy sitting over there had beer. I went over and talked him into bringing his beer to my house. I did not know he had a girlfriend, or what kind of person he was, but I invited him into my home. That is how I met the father of my daughters.

Within a month or 2 I was pregnant. He moved in because he thought it was the right thing to do. I let him because I thought I couldn’t do it alone. We were both wrong. The entire pregnancy was terrible for me. He rarely came home and when he did he was wasted. At this point I found out about his girlfriend, and was blamed for breaking them up. He cheated on me regularly. I lived in a constant cloud of depression. He always promised me that when the baby got here, he would quit drinking. I believed him. On the day I went into labor, he was hungover. I had to drive myself to the hospital because he didn’t have a drivers licence. She was born on July 8, 2002. Sweet baby Kayla.

After she was born, the drinking didn’t stop. Things kept getting worse between him and I. We moved a 3 times in her first 9 months of life. At the third place, the dam finally broke. The bartender called me, as he had a million times before, to tell me that my boyfriend was out of control and I needed to come get him. In the past I would have, but this time I said no. He walked home and was furious. He choked me, kicked me and punched me, all without any memory of it. The night before finals and waking up our daughter. The next morning, I took Kayla to daycare and went to school. After my final, I went to a friends and called the cops. He went to jail.

About a month after he was gone, the letters started rolling in. He was sorry. He was done drinking. He loved me. After 9 months of him being in jail, I took him back. We weren’t happy. We were roommates. On January 28, 2006, Shorty was born. Little miss Adriah Rose.

Things kept going bad for him and I. We brought the worst out of each other. I stayed because I thought the girls and I needed him. I was wrong again. I divorced him. The whole relationship and divorce were brutal. Depressing. Scary. But getting away from each other improved all of our lives. I get to raise two of the most amazing girls in the world. I would go through that a million times knowing that they are the prize. And that, is how I met my girls.

 

Once Again

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This is the third time this year I have attempted to get sober. That seems crazy to people who don’t understand my brain. Shit, that is crazy.

Becoming sober is not a pleasant experience. Of course, it varies between everyone. It can be deadly. My process has always been the same. The first day of sobriety is simple. I’m hungover, and I can do hungover. I have spent most of my adult life hungover. But then, it becomes painful. I get quick sharp headaches. I call them zappers. I imagine my brain drying out and misfiring to cause these. My body temperature goes crazy. One minute, I am overheated, the next I am freezing. I get clammy. My hands shake. My anxiety is so high that it is hard for me to focus or control my emotions. I cry. I panic. I have extreme mood swings. I can’t keep up with my thoughts, let alone expect anyone else to. My heart feels like it will beat out of my chest.  I am exhausted but can’t sleep. And here’s the kicker, my life goes on. So while I am feeling all of this, my kids still need a mom. My bills still need to get paid. My employer still expects me to do my job. And I don’t want to tell people that I am going through this. I have already failed. Fortunately I have my husband. Getting sober is a different process for him. So while we are both going through it, we can help each other because our pain is different.

After I get through all of this, I am exhausted. I have not had a goods night sleep for 10 plus years. I have not gone to bed drunk or hungover for over a decade. My head hurts. My body hurts. But I know I am healing. Everyday, I can feel it. I can feel the life coming back into the body that I allowed to become a zombie for years.

Getting sober is not easy. Its really really hard. It hurts. It is fucking terrifying. If you are expecting instant butterflies and rainbows, you will be sorely disappointed. Its getting up when you feel like you can’t. Its believing in yourself when you have no proof that you should. It is fighting demons you can never get away from. It is literally taking life one minute and one day at a time. You have to go through it to get to it, but don’t stop. Everyday is better and nobody deserves to live their life in a blackout.

Messed Up Priorities

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I am a good mother. Everything positive I have ever done, has been for them. There is nothing that I have ever wanted more than being a mother. And I have been blessed with three, two girls of my own and a step son.

Recently, I have had to take a good look at myself. The truth is, I have not been reaching my potential as a mom. I could do so much better. Because the truth is, my two priorities have been booze and family. And now, I have to finally admit, you cannot be both. I cannot be the mother I want to be and that my kids deserve to have when I am drinking 3 to 5 nights a week.

I have given my kids birthday parties every year, but I was always hungover. I was hungover for parent teacher conferences, Christmas mornings, school plays, the list goes on. When I was hungover, I was crabby and irritable and lashed out when my kids didn’t deserve it. I was never abusive to them physically or even verbally. I was guilty of being neglectful to them.

My kids always have had what they needed. Shelter, food, clothes. When I could afford to get them extra, I did. But numerous times, they wanted me to hang out. I will always say another time, or maybe tomorrow. Tonight I am drinking in the garage.  My daughter cried and begged my husband and I do stop. The only thing that came out of that was that we finally quit driving drunk to the bar and leaving them alone.

I am so ashamed of how I let booze come before the most important people of my life. Without even seeing it coming, my priorities got so screwed up.

At this point, I have to leave it behind me. My words are pointless. I cannot tell them that I will be there for them. I cannot tell them that I will choose them over booze for the rest of my life. My actions to this point have made my words irrelevant. So all I can do, is keep moving forward. I am lucky to have the love of my babies and from here on out, I will do everything I can to prove that they are the most important things in my world and the best thing that have ever happened to me.

 

 

The End of the Beginning

My relationship with booze started decades ago. It started innocently enough, some boones farm with friends at a high school party. Sneaking bud lights in my friends room. I was instantly in love with the feeling. It made me feel happy. It made me feel fun. And beautiful and likeable. Up until that point in my life, those were not feelings I had frequently. Every chance I had to drink, I took it. I used to take cans of beer in my backpack and go to the bathroom and chug one at a time. The fact that I never got caught is shocking. I probably could have quit drinking then, but I had absolutely no interest in doing that.

After high school, I kept the party train on track. My favorite saying was “I don’t drink anymore. Of course, I don’t drink any less!”  I thought that was hilarious. When I was 19, I got so drunk at a party that I passed out while driving home. Literally. My car went right underneath a semi truck. Inches from taking my head off. I went to alcohol counseling. They told me I wasn’t an alcoholic, it was just my age. Did some community service and paid a lot of fines. I probably could have quit drinking then. Still not interested.

After my wreck and my legal consequences were behind me, I got right back to it. Drank every night. Always knew which bar to go to on which night to get the best deals. I drank to get drunk. And I always succeeded. Being hungover was my norm. I lived to drink and I drank to live. I’m not sure if I could have stopped then, because I didn’t.

Then in 2001, I found out I was pregnant. I met the father at the bar, and drinking was our only thing in common. So I stopped. He didn’t. That pregnancy was a time of heartache and stress. Then she was born. He went to jail for drinking issues. I started drinking again. He got out and we both sobered up and had another daughter. But, like I said, our love for booze was all we shared. We fell apart. I didn’t drink like I did in the past, but I still drank. I know I couldn’t have stopped drinking at that point. Not on my own.

Fast forward to now. I have a new husband who I am madly in love with. 2 daughters and a step son. A full time job.  And an extremely messed up relationship with booze. All that time it would have been easy to stop, now its painful and scary. We’ll get into those details later. But it is time. Time to discover who I am without the booze I have been hiding behind. So I will quit. I will end this beginning and start a new one.