Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Real Confession

Yesterday, I had some serious talk for you.  Today, I've got a real confession.  Both topics are important discussions with me spilling some extremely personal details.  I promise that I will return to gifs, books, hashtags, and randomness soon enough.

A few years ago, I explored the possibility that I was an alcoholic.

Why did I do that?  Because I recognized the following:
  • I drank to avoid and hide from reality and feelings
  • I drank excessively
  • I binge drank
  • I drank to the point of vomiting regularly
  • Black outs were becoming more and more frequent
  • I acted and behaved in shameful ways when I drank
  • Because of black outs, I wouldn't remember some of those actions
  • A few times, drinking interfered with work responsibilities
  • I was no longer fun and entertaining when I drank; I was mean and obnoxious
  • I put myself in dangerous situations
  • I put others in dangerous situations (ex: I drove more often than I care to admit when I had no business driving; this is not something I take lightly; I'm just trying to be honest.)
  • I drank excessively alone, not just in social settings
  • I was depressed, and I was adding a depressant
The above mentioned behaviour patterns occurred over a 15 year timespan, from the ages of 21 to 36.  Some were a regular part of my drinking habits the entire 15 years; others were just at certain times of my life.  All occurred multiple times, some of them regularly and frequently enough for me to admit that I needed something to change.  I wasn't just having "fun" anymore.  It was a problem.

I went dry for 6(ish) months.  During that time, I was seeing a therapist, I read books, and I went to AA meetings for about 3 months.  Through this personal journey, I learned that I was abusing alcohol like a drug.  Just because it is legal, does not mean the way I was using it was appropriate or acceptable.  I made changes in my life with the way that I viewed the use of alcohol, plus the amount and the frequency I drank.

I drink now from time to time in social settings.  I go dancing with girlfriends, have drinks, and let loose.  Or, I enjoy a few ciders with a BBQ.  Every now and then, I enjoy a drink or two at home to wind down.  But, I skip it a lot more often than I partake.  A couple of Fridays ago, I'd had one of those weeks that I wanted to go home and enjoy some wine.  I bought the wine before heading home.  That bottle is still in its paper bag.  I never even got it out.  Once I got home, I didn't want it.  So, I haven't opened it.  I will at some point, but I won't do it "just because" ... or even worse, because I want to hide and avoid life. 

I like alcohol.  Beer.  Wine.  Tequila.  Whiskey & Bourbon.  We can still be friends, but the kind of friends who catch up once every few months. 

I am not in anyway shape or form judging anyone else's drinking patterns or habits.  I am a strong believer in personal journeys.  And, this is a part of my mine.

Wednesday link-up with Nadine & Kathy 


  1. What a great subject to be open about. It is so great you were able to take account of what was going on in your life and be able to make the changes you saw fit.

  2. Best wishes to you as you continue on your journey, friend. :)

  3. Love this! Alcohol addiction is rampant in my family so I've always tried to be very careful. You are so brave and strong for stepping back and realizing that you were abusing it. I'm also a firm believer that everyone needs therapy. HAHA.

  4. oh sweets - thanks for sharing! that takes some guts and man have you shown a bunch of those this week :) it's ok to admit when something isn't working for you and i'm so glad you recognized it and turned it into a good life change :)

    xoxo cheshire kat

  5. I think it says a lot that you were noticing patterns and your own behaviors, and then on top of that you decided to make a change. Thank takes a really strong, conscientious person. I'm glad you don't feel a dependency and you're able to make decisions about your health- that's such a huge accomplishment.

  6. I think it's interesting that you explored the possibility of alcoholism and I think more people should do so. I'm also encouraged that in your explorations you found that you weren't really an alcoholic, coming from a family full of alcoholics I've always wondered if there are people out there like you.

  7. Love your openness and honesty here. I had a similar experience, where I noticed the pattern of drink, blackout, feel like crap and embarrassed about the small bits of a previous evening I could even remember, rinse and repeat was all too frequent for me. It's hard to be so painfully honest with yourself, and I remember wondering the same thing — am I an alcoholic? Given my family history, it wasn't an out-of-the-question wondering. I went on a personal journey too where I abstained altogether for a while before being able to introduce a celebratory cocktail here and there back into my life with a new-found ability to moderate that hadn't been there before, and my life is all the better for it now.
    Thanks for sharing this honest piece of your story with us. Helps us to understand and know you better, and it's comforting I'm sure to many who see similar stories of their own in this post.

  8. My brother in law died from alcohol last year. So young. Drinking does its damage. more then people realize.
    Glad you had a wake up moment & made moderation a thing in your life. The world needs you for a long time :)

  9. I don't drink that often, I just don't like to do it anymore. I've never been an at home drinker unless we were having a party, so I'm not the daily drink person. I can go out and have a few drinks or not have any. I do not need alcohol to have a good time or to be comfortable in a situation.

    MFD got sober over two years ago and that's changed a lot of what I think about do people know what they sound like when they appear to not be able to get through a day without it? Or when everything revolves around wine? p.s. bloggers: you didn't invent wine. LOL There's more to life.

  10. Girl, just when I thought I couldn't like you are amazing, do you realize that? & for you to do it all on your own is awesome & I love that reading was a big help to you. You are awesome & I'm giving you a looooooong distance hug from Wisconsin! :)

  11. I'm so glad you were able to evaluate yourself and get to a better place. It's crazy that some things are illegal while alcohol is not. Not saying it should be, but it's one of the strongest and most easily obtained drugs.

  12. Love it. You recognized that a bad habit was forming (even if it was over a decade of time) and you did something about it! I know, for me, I don't drink anywhere near what I used to. Not because I have a problem or I'm self-medicating, I simply don't want to. At this point, drinking "heavy, again, for me, is having 3 drinks in one night and that happens maybe once a month. Way to go for doing what works for you!

  13. yes to this. my father was an alcoholic, so i have always been super weary of alcohol and drinking and people who rely on it heavily. i am worried if i drink too much, i will turn into my father, and even though i know i am nothing like him, it scares me. it also scares me when KC drinks on the weeknights, even if it's 1 beer. i'm 29 and am only just now comfortable enough to have a drink on a weekday and not feel like an alcoholic. i know that is so dramatic, but he really screwed with the way i think about alcohol. the other day i had a horrible day/week at work, and though i joke all the time that i'm gonna go and drink etc etc i don't actually do that, i'd much rather curl up with a cuppa and a book, but i went home and went straight for the baileys, and i made myself put it away. i know i can be responsible, but i am scared to rely on it. anyway, like how i made this about me? i do want to talk more about this in email because i have a situation that is recent that i want to talk to someone about haha but i don't want to put it out there on the internet. but really, kudos to you for putting it out there and just being awesome you.

  14. It takes a lot of strength to recognize something like that in yourself and even more strength to do something about it. Not to mention the strength and bravery for posting it! Kudos to you, and I'm glad you were able to take control of the situation.

  15. I love your honesty, Erin. I'm so glad you decided to write about two serious topics back-to-back because to me - that's what makes blogging great. I love reading lighter stuff, and trying to add more of that to my site, but also believe that being real about our lives, including the not-so-shiny-and-happy parts, is critical. I'm proud of you for recognizing your drinking was getting out of hand and for doing something about it. By sharing this, you're definitely helping those who are in denial about their struggles with addiction, whether it's alcohol or something else, to find their courage to face and deal with the problem.

  16. Growing up, both my grandfathers were alcoholics so my parents didn't drink much. Just the occasional celebratory drink here and there. They never really talked about drugs or alcohol with me, in high school I wasn't interested in any of that and didn't have my first drink until I was a 19 year old sophomore in college. The heaviest drinking days for me were in college and consisted of drinking maybe 3-4 nights a week, maybe less. Never in my life getting black out drunk. I actually hate getting anything more than a little buzz because I have serious control issues and don't like feeling out of control. These days I might have a drink or two on a Saturday but never any more than that. I dont need alcohol to have a good time and I never feel pressured just because others are drinking.

    As an adult, I have come in contact with a few people that had problems with drinking. Not full blown alcoholics, but people who abused alcohol like you speak of above. Its a fine line to walk and any person who can see it and admit it is better off than most.

  17. That's seriously so brave to be so open about something like that. The awesome thing is that you realized it before it came an even bigger problem, and now you know what your triggers are too!

  18. I love you. You are amazing and to open up about your struggles is a testament to who you are.

    That is all.

  19. Wow this is some heavy stuff. It takes a strong person to recognize an addiction in oneself and take the steps required to kick it to the curb. I have only started drinking in the last year, but I can see how it could spiral out of control. Thank you for being so willing to share.

  20. I love that you shared this part of yourself. Alcohol is such a weird thing because, like you said, it can easily be abused like an illegal drug. Just because it's legal doesn't mean it can't hurt you (or others).

    I used to drink a lot more than I do now. Sometimes I'll go months without it. I do like drinking (and maybe that's a bad thing to admit but I do), but reading your list made me go, "Oh, shit. Yeah. I've done a lot of those things."

    I appreciate your openness about tough topics. Sometimes I want to share more personal, serious things on my blog, but I get scared. I've written some stuff like that, but there are some things I feel uncomfortable sharing (at least right now). This is inspiring, though ... Both your ability to recognize a potential problem and overcome it and the fact that you were willing to share that struggle. This is why you're one of my favorite bloggers! :-)

  21. Thanks for being honest! It is something so many people struggle with. I have struggled with it myself and have quit for long periods of time. I think realizing that you have a predisposition to enjoying alcohol and then learning to manage that is key! Everything in moderation!

  22. Brave of you to face your own addiction! I'm glad you're in a better place now.

  23. That's such a hard thing to admit, so I really applaud your honesty! It's an easy thing to use as a crutch or abuse. I think we've all had feelings of "I wish I hadn't drank so much just because I was feeling sad," so to some extent I totally get it! I'm glad you feel you've regained control and can enjoy without feeling abusing

  24. Great post! I love that you are so honest and open!! I'm so glad you recognized your behavior and were able to work it out. I was a bit of a party girl in college, drinking just about every weekend. It slowed to about once a month after college for a year or two and since having kids, I hardly drink at all. I have drinks, sure, out to dinner with friends or at a game, but I don't drink to get drunk. I'm too old to feel so crappy the next day. Haha!

  25. I admire your honesty and I'm so glad you're in a better place now.

    My stepdad is an alcoholic, but sadly will never reach the point where he's willing to admit it/get help.

  26. Your candor is inspiring, and I truly appreciate your honesty and openness in sharing your journey with us. There was a time when I wondered this as well. I'm glad that you were self-aware enough to recognize that there was a problem, and brave enough to take steps to correct it and find a balance that works for you.

  27. Dude, there's so much dust in my office right now. Like a freakin' dust storm just blew through! But seriously, you're an amazing woman and I'm so glad we're internet friends. I've definitely had the same thought, but I'm overly conscious I think. I barely drink. When I'm out in public, I tell everyone it's because I can drink cheaper at home and when I am home, I tell myself, no, it's been a bad day, go on a run, do not drink it away. Yet, when I have drinks on on bad days, I struggle to get past the feeling of, "Is this how my Dad got in his ways?"

    So thank you for #realtalk about this situation and for being awesome. Especially the awesome part though. ;)


I love comments, and I enjoy our interactions. I respond via email, but if you're a "no reply blogger", I can't. Don't think I'm ignoring you!