If you tend to be a judgmental person, don’t read this. Seriously. It will make your problem ten times worse. Shat’s about to get real up in here, folks.
I was the girl in high school who went to parties and camping trips in the Rockies and stayed sober (well..except that once). I remember a camping trip where I sat on the back of a friend’s Jeep, watching everyone barf behind bushes, and I thought, these people are idiots. How is this fun?? It wasn’t because I had an innate moral compass; it was because I had a very dear, anonymous someone, who was a recovering alcoholic and would be incredibly disappointed in me if I caved. I knew that this Someone’s greatest fear was that I would follow his/her path and spend half of my life making up for the lost years of alcoholism.
Last night, my lovely other half slept on the couch. Yep. It happens about once per year, but we always wake up and laugh that I got the bed and he got the couch. Not this time. He went to work and I sulked. All.day.long. Not the kind of sulking where you sit in a ball all day, oh no. Motherhood doesn’t allow for that kind of foolery. It was just the nagging sort of sulking that lingered in the back of my mind all day. So when it came time to making supper, I had my glass of red wine that I often enjoy while cooking. But tonight, as an escape from my sulky brain, I allowed one glass to lead to two annnd I am lame and get tipsy beyond my one. Sooo while I listened to a fun, carefree station on Pandora, and set the table for myself and two tiny taters, I realized I was floating through the kitchen, gracefully piling slow-cooked chicken and rice onto plates and performing little pirouettes when I finished. “Tipsy Me” was making a mess of the kitchen, but it was a fun mess. Tipsy Me sat at the kitchen table and dealt more gracefully with a screaming, flailing toddler than I ever have. EVER. Tipsy Me explained with eloquence to the elder brother that the littlest needed time in his room while we ate so that he could learn not to throw fits at the table and that this would prepare him to be his best. That wasn’t it. Crap. Sober Me can’t even recreate the amazing speech that Tipsy Me offered to the eldest boy. Tipsy Me read story after story after story (add 5 more stories to that) to the young’ns and spontaneously tossed dishes in the sink, (making an even bigger mess of the kitchen), just to chase them through the house and hear their laughter echo off the walls.
In the midst of the pirouettes, and the floating, and the laughter, and the “best mom I’ve ever been” charade…. I was scared. So this is how it happens, I thought. The fading that happens to drained parents who let their one drink lead to two- just to escape. And then three- because it was a really hard day. And then four- because Tipsy You is waaay better than Sober You. And before you know it, psshhh, four is nothin’! I totally get it. And let me tell you, if I didn’t have my amazing, anonymous, recovering Someone, and now an amazing, not-so-anonymous, recovering little brother, I think the fade would happen to me, too. Perhaps partially because alcoholism tends to be genetic, but more so because life is life, and to escape so easily sounds divine.
Let me tell you something. I did NOT want to write this. Not even a little bit. It’s embarrassing to be transparent, knowing that at least 30% of the people who read your words will get them all topsy-turvy and make you out to be even more of a turd than you’re already confessing to be. However, while I floated around the kitchen and danced to songs I didn’t know, this post came to me…not the idea of it, but the whole stinking thing. The same thing happened when I wrote about depression, because I KNEW that God was going to use it to reach one single mystery person. That is why I am writing this uber random post.
If that one person is you, and you know that you have a problem with alcohol, I am pleading with you to get help. Please don’t spend half of your life making up for the lost years. Please don’t allow a substance to control the incredible person you are, at your core. AA is a great place to start, or other similar programs that some churches offer. Confession is the best place to start in overcoming any weakness, so….
Hi. My name is Johanna. I am not an alcoholic, but I very easily could be.
Start there, friend. Well wishes on your journey to recovery and freedom from addiction.