The Lies We Tell
I grew up in a good home in a pretty rough town and attended a large high school. I did drink and smoke pot in high school, but had a separate group of friends that I did that with. I could hang out with the jocks and student council crowd and then also the pot heads and drinkers that hung out at the skating rink. None of the groups seemed to notice or care that I couldn’t really commit to a team.
When I went off to college I began to drink and smoke pretty often. I still managed to make decent grades and hold it pretty well together with lies and fake charm. I looked like a sweet, “good” girl and could play that role pretty well to get favors and leniency from professors. I learned how to be a professional liar. I lied about everything possible if I thought it would get me liked, or something I wanted. I desperately wanted to be accepted, and had no idea then that the real me was ok. Liar me was not!!
I married after sophomore year because I knew I’d end up screwing up the long distance relationship I was in if I didn’t. I moved to the town where he was attending school, and continued to be a heavy drinker and drug user. I used many different drugs, but pot and alcohol were my favorites.
Then the kids started to come. I love, love , love being a mom! My drinking was managed pretty well except for Friday and Saturday nights. I would throw down those nights and lived in a neighborhood that made it really easy. Everyone hung out in their yards and drank! As soon as I would pull into the driveway, someone would be yelling from across or down the street to come have a beer. The odds of having four alcoholic neighbors right by me are astounding.
When I was pregnant for the third time, I had a miscarriage at 12 weeks. I was already in maternity clothes and it was very painful, physically and emotionally. My drinking shifted. I turned to alcohol with a vengeance and as the only friend that understood my pain. I knew that my drinking wasn’t normal and began to hide it from my husband. It’s funny how I thought getting drunk every weekend was normal.
Two more kids came along and I resentfully stayed sober for the pregnancies and a bit of the nursing. Eventually, I would just drink how I wanted to and continue to nurse anyway. (Somewhere I had read beer was good for milk supply.)
Drinking slowly crept up, and up, and up in my priorities. I’d stay up really late so I could drink after my husband went to bed. He would see me drink some at night before he went to sleep and knew I was drunk, but didn’t see how bad it got. I’d wake up and get the kids to school and have some liquor in my coffee to stop the shaking. I’d run and buy some more beer and/or liquor for the afternoon. I’d replace what I had drank the night before and just hide some for later. By the time the kids came home I had a buzz and would drink all afternoon and evening. I would try and control what I was drinking from 7-10pm, when hubby was around so he wouldn’t really know the amount I could consume and still function. He’d go to bed and then I’d stay up until two or three getting wasted.
I can’t count how many times I drove drunk with my kids or attended their events wasted. I would often black out and try and piece together the day. So many times I’d just keep my mouth shut and listen to see if I could figure out what the hell was going on. If ever my husband or a kid was in a bad mood, I knew it was my fault. I had obviously done something to piss them off.
On the second day of a hangover that really scared me, I knew I didn’t want to live like that anymore. It wasn’t a big or catastrophic event. I just knew I was done, and wanted more to my life. I found a meeting and went and began the journey of figuring out how to be sober. I remember telling my husband that I had prayed for God to heal me of drinking and He hadn’t, so now I had to do it by myself. What a shock when I walked in and the first sign I saw was, “Let go and Let God”. I remember thinking ‘Oh great….He doesn’t like me very much and sure as hell isn’t gonna help me.’ But HE DID!! He came to me as soon as I turned my head in His direction. He ran to me and lovingly held me in His arms till I was well and strong. What an amazing God full of such unconditional love!!
Some of you may frown at this but I don’t go to meetings anymore. I know it’s there if I need it and am so thankful for the steps and how through working them I found God. I serve and help in other areas and with women.
I absolutely love my life, I love my family, I love my God, and I love all of you.
Thanks for sharing who you are with me.
A Sober Mommies Contributor is most often a non-professional – in and out of recovery – with reality-based experience to share about motherhood & active addiction, the multiple pathways to recovery, or a family member’s perspective.