The last night I drank alcohol will be burned into my brain forever.
It was a random Tuesday night, five days after my doctor’s appointment where we had agreed that I would take January off from drinking to see how my anxiety improved. I only made it three days.
I was downstairs reading Understanding the High Functioning Alcoholic by Sarah Allen Benton. I had purchased it on Kindle earlier in the day because I had read a passage somewhere from it that I connected with instantly. I must have been asking Google again if I had a drinking problem.
Once again, I was on my third glass of wine, only having intended to have one, and I found myself not being able to put this book down. Every page hit me like a ton of bricks. It was like I was reading from my own diary—my own experience that I was too afraid to ever put into words. I even laughed out loud because I couldn’t believe how much this author knew me, what I was thinking, and how I was living.
For the first time, I didn’t feel alone. I felt understood and an almost happy relief.
It was then that I knew. It was right there in black and white. There was no more running or hiding or making excuses. I couldn’t deny the fact that I had a toxic relationship with alcohol and that I was addicted. My “high functioning” behavior was just lipstick on a pig. My ability to make it to hot yoga class in the early morning and sweat off my hangover made me no better or less addicted than someone who couldn’t.
I walked upstairs and kissed the kids goodnight and met my husband in the hallway as he was headed into the bedroom, knowing full well that I wasn’t going with him. I looked at him and said, “Don’t worry about me. I’ll be up later. I’m going to be fine.” He looked at me and said, “Don’t be too late, Honey. It’s a Tuesday night.”
I reassured him I’d be okay.
What did I do? I walked back downstairs. opened another bottle of wine, and proceeded to drink the entire thing. Of course I did. I had to celebrate the fact that I’d realized I had a drinking problem.
Let that one sink in for a minute.
The next day, I asked my doctor for help and everything changed. I began to take my control back and stop lying to myself.
I chose to get sober because I wanted a better life; I stay sober because I got one.