Thursday, January 28, 2010

addiction re-dux

i was really triggered all over the place on this week's business trip. to be and feel safe, do i have to shutter myself in my house, living my life out as a hermit? (at least the frizzy hair wouldn't be an issue!)

most of you know i work for my brother, who believes that a moment without food is like human life without oxygen. each meal has to be a gourmet feast, and in between we stop at starbucks for lattes -- about 3 times a day.

we were in the south, and the food is heavy, heavy, heavy. even the water seems fried. the towns were adorable. i loved the shops and quaint restaurants over-looking the water or sitting in some historic building.

but there was just too much food. and my brother is, shall we say, loquacious. so meal times get exquisitely boring.

in the old days, wine was the answer. i'd drink it to numb out and phase out my brother's voice.

trigger alert, here, for recovering drinkers. i'm about to linger too long on my beverage of choice

Wine then kept me from eating a lot. in between bites, i'd linger long on the deep red river in my glass. i loved the look of the stem and the feel of the glass...can you tell i loved me my wine?

this was a hard week. one morning, i stopped taking my antabuse, the drug i take to keep from drinking. until then, i hadn't even considered missing a pill since i stopped drinking may 12.

without the antabuse,i started a romance in my head. the antabuse would be out of my system by about saturday. saturday, i was supposed to have coffee with a new friend. yum, wouldn't it be nice to meet for a drink, a real drink instead? and then i could see my friend joan and have a drink. she was a drinking buddy. on fridays we'd go to a favorite bar and drink wine and nibble salads. she'd flirt with the bartendars; i'd relax. i haven't seen joan since june -- we don't really have all that much in common when i'm sober. i feel guilty, but i'm trying to protect myself.

oh the dreams went on. as i sipped my third diet coke at dinner, i comforted myself knowing that on Saturday, i would have wine. on the plane, i smiled thinking about our NEXT business trip, when i'd amuse myself with cabernet as the plane ride unfolded.

what was i thinking? finally, i decided to reach out to my therapist. my brother and i were about to board a plane -- i didn't have time to call her privately. i had so much to say, so i whipped out my computer. i couldnt' connect to the internet (although my brother had no problem with his). finally, i connected and wrote the email with seconds to spare.

i texted her too even though we were supposed to turn our phones off the plane. I told her that i didn't want to be secretive, so i was confessing, but i wasn't sure what i wanted to do.

it was very important that i told her but that i realized this is my decision. in the past, if i "confessed", it always meant that i was ready to stop drinking or drugging or restricting or whatever other unfortunate behavior i act out.

but this time, i figured out that the choice is MINE, the decision is MINE. wow, that felt good.

then i took the antabuse.


  1. Wow, this really shows how far you've come. I think it's totally normal to romanticize an addiction, whether it's wine, starving, binging, whatever. BUT, you reached out for help, which is huge, and you continued your antabuse, which you knew was the healthiest choice for you. Traveling and being out of your element would be a trigger for anyone, let alone in the South, with a loquacious (love that word) brother! It sounds like you are staying very aware of your needs and making sure to take care of yourself. I don't think you'll have to be a hermit forever. We all need to shelter ourselves sometimes, for protection. I've decided that as I gain more self-confidence and trust in my choices, I won't have such a hard time being around triggers. For now, I'm just happy I know what my triggers are so I can get ready for them! I'm glad you're taking care of yourself :)

  2. It won't be forever you have to hide yourself from it all. Eventually you probably won't struggle so much to avoid your addictions. You are in early stages still. I think it is harder for you because you are around your brother who embraces the very things you need to be careful about. So perhaps doubly hard.

    The thing is, you recognise the problem and have worked out what to do about getting on top of it. That is what counts. You have come a long way.

  3. It's so great that you are able to reach out to your t for help when you need it. How do you do that? And what kind of help does she actually offer, or is the act of reaching out that helps you, not necessarily her response? I tried asking my t for help once, but I screwed it up because I don't know how to do it, and it turned into a big mess. I really admire you, for staying sober, for recognizing you have choices, and for reaching out for help.

  4. Wow. So interesting, your struggle, and so inspiring that you were able, with the help of your knowledge, your therapy, to reach out for the help you needed and make it effective.

    It is interesting how our brain can trick us, isn't it? It's like, you can rationalize anything, (overeating, drinking, drugs) brains are such clever things.

    Congrats on overcoming your temptation and desperate moment and coming out the other side with your new life intact.

    Write anytime, it is always good to hear from you and hear how you are doing.

    Topiary love to Weight!

  5. I am very glad you reached out to your therapist. And just in case you didn't know, you are ballsy for getting through this week and defeating your destructive fantasy.

  6. Wow, drinking is so prevalent in our culture--it has to be so hard not to. And I know what you mean about wine getting you through boring dinners. Takes a lot of strength to stop. Good for you!

  7. I'm so proud of you!!! Good for you.

    You're amazing.

    None of what you described could have been easy, and coming up with the solution for your quandary is a huge positive step. Take 'em one at a time, girl, no punishment. It's a journey. A painstaking journey. Next life will be easier, right? That's what I try to hold on to.

  8. You are amazing! I'm so glad you were able to reach out to your therapist.

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