Thursday, September 12, 2013

Who Knew.....

that SO MANY of us feel these same feelings?! Whoa.....I honestly thought I was one of a very few who felt *crazy* when it came to other people's alcohol use and I felt like an idiot! I have spent years feeling embarrassed and ashamed at my crazy drink counting, heart pounding, dry mouthed, sheer terror in the face of everyone elses FUN.  Why can't I just relax and have FUN?! Because its NOT fun!!!  

I did talk to my sponsor and she was filled with kind advice to be gentle with myself, to let it all go, to only be around alcohol in small doses....then she sent me these thoughts about handling our fears:

"The first thing in handling our fear is owning it. Name it. Recognize it. And accept it. There is nothing inherently bad about being afraid. The danger comes from ignoring it and stuffing it, or by feeding it. After we acknowledge it we need to think about it. Why am I so bothered by this? Can I reason myself through this? We can talk about it, we can journal about it."

Another thing she said that really hit the nail on the head was that, "you never know when it will turn bad and that leaves us feeling very helpless." YES! What can begin as a fun time is always just one drink away at any given point from going bad. As a child, a little child, a preschooler aged child, I was a drink counter. I knew that the higher the numbers went, the more the risk of everything exploding became. Drinks 1-4 were in the green zone. We were all safe and all was still happy. Drinks 5-9 was the yellow zone and the stress was beginning to build. Drinks 10+ was the red zone. And of course this all depended on what type of alcohol was being consumed. Beer had quite a bit more leeway. Hard alcohol's red zone drinking could come much sooner than the 10+ scale and take us all by surprise.

I want to thank you all for your comments and sharing your experiences with me. Very meaningful. Some of you said things that really resonated with me..... lots of talk about PTSD (feels rather self indulgent using that term,) navigating landmines in the war-zone of alcoholism...either active or the long ago memories that are laying dormant in our minds and hearts, someone referred to watching my kids drink as watching them play Russian Roulette (YES,) lots of validation and permission to cry and to feel whatever I need to, and bless your hearts....confidence that I can indeed find my way through this!

I also got the name of a therapist that sounds like she will be a good fit. I don't think I can find my way alone through all of this, and I DO, most certainly, want to find my way out of this quagmire. I can't stand the idea that something has this kind of control over undo me emotionally where I am powerless to do anything to stop it.

Alcoholism is a cunning and baffling and powerful disease.The ripple effect of its mark in personal lives is very very far reaching.

So here we go.....
Bless you all!


Mrs. Dubose said...

I was diagnosed with PTSD and I thought it was ridiculous. But, I really have it. I am on HIGH ALERT all the time. I have to keep the ringer off on my phone as it will make me almost weak in the knees to hear it go off. My other children are on a very short leash even though they are well behaved and deserve more independence. They actually understand and they know I am getting help but oh, the symptoms are awful. Constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop is a very uncomfortable place to dwell.

At my meetings many, many people have shared that they cannot tolerate being around people who drink, so I know that you are not alone. I had a graduation party for my son this summer and we had NO alcohol at it. I make no apologies for it. Maybe as healing occurs I will feel differently but that is where I am today.

Hang in there. If you ever get a chance, drop by my blog and say hello. I started out writing about some health challenges I faced but eventually I admitted the struggles with my daughter and have written a lot about that as well.

Many blessings.

Dad and Mom said...

Just keep repeating, "I am not alone." You are not alone. None of us are alone.

notmyboy said...

We all live different lives until addiction takes hold. Then we are all the same. Weird how that works.

I have to say, you are one of my favorite bloggers. I might not comment much, but you are always in my thoughts and prayers. You are real. I think that is what I love the most about your writing.

Syd said...

I have learned to be much more comfortable now around other people who are drinking. I still find that I get anxious when people get drunk. I don't like to be around drunks. And I know it does stem from flashbacks to years ago when I saw my father drunk and also my wife drunk. These are not visions that I focus on but the gut reaction is still there. The disease is indeed far reaching.