Addiction can unfortunately be stronger than love sometimes... December 2, 2020
Updated: Sep 2, 2021
I am reading a book by Laura McKowen, "We Are The Luckiest," and there is a part that resonated with me. About how the addiction makes you do things that you just cannot control. The way I would choose to drink when I knew I shouldn't. Drive my kids with alcohol in my system, when I absolutely knew it was wrong. Because my brain was hijacked by this chemical dependancy. This dependency is real. And controlling. And even though what you are doing is absolutely destructive and hurting those around you, you are on this train barreling forward a hundred miles an hour and you just cannot stop it. And you hear this voice telling you to STOP, but you just ignore it. You just keep going. Keep drinking, until the voice becomes a whisper. Keep drinking. Keep drinking. And then it is silent.
I continue to think this week a lot about how I attempted to slow down my drinking in the past few years. I maybe tried to turn things around at least three times; I tried to change my behavior and become a moderate drinker. Turn myself into one of those people that can have just one or two drinks a night. Not get drunk. Like my husband. Like my dad. Not like my mom. I always failed. I always ended up drinking the entire bottle. Sneaking sips of my husband's drink when he went to the bathroom. Sneaking into the basement to chug a beer to heighten my buzz. At a restaurant, encouraging the bartender to top me off or to "add a floater." At the beginning of these great attempts, I think deep down I knew it would never work. I always knew that there was a problem inside me, and that I eventually I would need to stop. It was inevitable. I knew my end game. Probably from the very beginning back in high school. Knowing my genetic makeup from my mom and watching her stumble around the house when I was a kid. I was doomed from the start.
I tried reading "We are the Luckiest," about a year ago. I only got about 25% into it. It made me angry. It hurt. It made me scared. Laura McKowen pissed me off when she talked about how she didn't drink the wine that she smuggled onto the train when she was 30 days sober. I instead wanted her to fail and wanted her to slip up and drink the wine. Now, I feel guilty thinking that last year, I had secretly cheered her on and hoped she relapsed. I started reading it this week and I connected with the author SO well. I felt empowered by her story. I felt ready to follow in her footsteps. I was so happy when I reread that section of her riding the train, with the bottle of red wine. She was tempted at the 30 day mark of her sobriety. But she fought it. And I cheered for her.
I look around at my family and my life today. I close my eyes and think about all of the horrible things I have done in my past. I consider the evil addict's voice in my head and tell her to fuck off. I feel confident and ready. I feel happy. I feel strong.