Part 1 of 2 What I know today, above anything, is that I am that real alcoholic that’s outlined in the big book, fighting with BPD. The consumption of alcohol is just a symptom of what’s wrong with me & my main problem centers right in my mind. And if I don’t treat what is going on there, if I don’t treat alcoholism as a whole, if I walk through this program, thinking it is just abstinence from alcohol, what happens to me is that my sobriety becomes so painful that it suddenly becomes unbearable. And when my sobriety becomes unbearable, I will drink again or I will take my life. There is no other middle of the road solution for me.
When I first started drinking, I was finally able to cope with my internal demons and discovered a detachment from who I was. It was a power that I didn’t know existed. In my first drunk at 18, I immediately gave my power over to alcohol and for the first time ever, that hollowed out ugliness I felt inside was not quite as ugly anymore. I had this huge giant hole of darkness in my soul that suddenly alcohol had a way of making it not quite so deep.
But somewhere along the path of my life, I got this idea that if you knew how dark and how black and how broken I was inside of me, you’d recoil in horror and you’d run right out the door. And there was only one thing worse than being around people who were thinking about me, that’s being alone in a room with only me and what I’m thinking about me. Because you see what you might be thinking about me might be mean, but what I think about me is deadly. Because that was exactly what I would drink at, I would go and run at, gonna do things to hurt myself and those around me who do love me. I had found a higher power in alcohol that I didn’t even know I was looking for. I would leave claw marks in everything and everybody and in myself as I slid away from it.
The only thing I ever had a problem with in my alcoholism was that it wore off. Because when it wore off, all that madness in my head started again. And then the fear and the terror takes over because I know I may run out and I’m immediately planning how to get enough for the day.
Alcoholism is not a disease of denial. It’s not like we have it and ignore it. It is a disease of illusion. Where I can’t tell the truth from the false. 35 or 20 or 10 or even 1 year ago, if you had asked me if I was an alcoholic, I would have said no and I would have believed my own lie. But I had only one tool in the tool-kit and it was in the bottom of a hidden bottle of alcohol.
My husband and I met in high school, dated a few times and totally lost contact with each other. We found each other 9 years later. And then I viewed him as my knight riding in on a HUGE white horse to rescue me. I had a lousy childhood with sexual abuse and violent abuse where blood was splattered on walls and casts worn to hide broken bones and broken two by fours as they were used to hit me and stabbings and a gun held to my head and just a lot of blood and bruises and terror in general. I viewed grace as being conditional or non-existent. If you hurt me, I’ll hurt you more was my dad’s motto. I was really messed up. So, when I discovered alcohol at 18, I was off to the horse races. And I hid alcohol from anybody and everybody in my life because I did NOT want anybody to know how much I drank. I was hiding it when I got married at 27 years old.
I started having children when I was 30, thinking they could fix that big gaping wound in my gut that I didn’t know was a big giant hole in my soul. I wanted those babies more than anything, I had wanted to be a mom for so long. I had this thing where I wanted other humans to love me. And I also wanted something to love, because somewhere along the path of living, something inside of me had become unable and incapable to accept that I’m loved.
I became pregnant, and never touched a bottle the whole 4 pregnancies (yes, I’m a mom of 4 boys) and the year that followed while breastfeeding. So, for a total of 8 years in amongst my alcoholism, I had the wherewithal and presence of mind to not drink. Because I viewed those humans growing inside my body as being more valuable than my body.
Alcohol was never my problem, it was always my solution. I am that woman who was beyond recall. You see, after my boys came into my life, I put alcohol back into my system again thinking I would get that same bliss I had experienced at 18. But what I didn’t know about the illness is that it continues to grow when left untreated, whether I’m drinking or not. And it was as if somebody threw a match in a puddle of gasoline, and instead of relief, I got a level of unmanageability such as I’ve never known.
In 2017, 18 years after having my first baby boy, I found myself in a psych ward on suicidal watch, saying I was a threat to myself