I am owning this one. This mortal coil that I designed myself around alcohol. Shakespeare wrote in 1600 (Hamlet) about shuffling off this mortal coil. He basically meant to die, but Hamlet was tormented in life and spirit and suicidal and all sorts of built-up resentment and wrath against his Uncle Claudius and well; he was pretty pissed off at this life’s conditions that were piled upon him. So, I can take the definition of “my mortal coil” and in a gentler fashion say “my isms” and my dis-ease defined my own “gentler” daily “coil” so to speak.
Do you remember when and for how long you were in denial about your alcoholism? At the time, like me it wasn’t internally, externally or maybe even socially obvious. There may have been a quiz online taken here or there “AM I AN ALCOHOLIC” and a few embarrassing and questioning mishaps a year (no jackpots yet) but functionally at home, work, life – things were good and no one was complaining. If they did, well – they just kind of sucked or maybe they were just the person I had hurt or embarrassed.
When I got engage and before I officially got married, I was still hiding the amount of alcohol I drank. I had the luxury of having the place to myself some nights a week. It was my DOWNTIME. So, I could still drink 5 times a week without anyone being the wiser. 2 days off was always pretty good. I would start off with some wines with dinner and then kerplunk with my bottle in front of the television. Now, what to do with the evidence. I would toss those empties at the gas station, the trash bin on the way to the office, didn’t matter as long as the evidence was gone! I was not an alcoholic, just a bit ashamed that’s all.
Then there was the phone calls. I would all my mom up a LOT and talk her ear off. Then I’d call her again. And again. And again. All in the same night as I got drunker and drunker. Oddly enough, she wouldn’t say anything. Then, the husband nagging began. I noticed he’d isolate every night while I sucked on that wine bottle every night with the beer chasers to follow. Ask me if I cared. I did not. I was selfish and in DENIAL.
DESCENT AND MODERATION, MEDICATION
Did I want to end my marriage? Not really, but I wasn’t happy either. In order to continue to abate my misery I agreed to try and moderate. Here it comes. I tried the following:
- Wine spritzers, they ended up turning into just wine after two
- Just two glasses, pah-lease.
- Just on weekends – again, when the cats away; weekends turned into Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday
- Just beer. Always turned into wine.
- Moderation websites! Moderation apps on my phone! Try it for 30 days, if you can stay sober you got this moderation thing. I never made it past 2 days, 5 drinks was always the goal, not the limit.
- Special occasions. Nope, see moderation.
- My son and I would go to dinner together (from the time he was born) because I was lonely and it was an excuse for me to get the alcohol into my system as fast as possible after work. This was NOT moderation. This was replacing. I would end up hitting the liquor store kid in tow picking out the wine for that night and the “weekend” because I had to do that errand anyway.
Then there was the genius of Naltrexone. My doctor prescribed me Naltrexone when I told him my cravings were outweighing my desire to moderate. It worked for a bit, I was optimistic, the husband seemed happy I was trying and then it all crashed down. I drank faster and hid more. I stopped taking it. I blew literally right through its capabilities. My mind was set. I needed to be drunk. I needed to feel stupid.
What happened after really is the surprising part. I did slow down, but my binges got worse and worse. I still drank a lot but I was trying to hide it in other ways. I started to drink and drive again because “outside events for work” were becoming a priority. I started to hit “mini-jackpots” and cars literally (parked ones). I passed out in hotels and drank on planes. Anywhere no one could see me was where I could drink. I did stop calling my mom because the shame was too much. I finally started to reach out. The first person that I did, oddly enough was my husband. This time, I only looked at him as my friend. Only he knew my anguish at this point. He knew I couldn’t moderate. It was time to end it.
There it is. The end of “my mortal coil.” Isms and all still are there but I am no longer dying. I am not anguished.