My Story – Alcoholism Isn’t Easy to Face

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Recently I’ve found I’m being asked about my story. People are curious how and when I realized I’m an alcoholic and how my journey of recovering from alcoholism has looked. I have written about this in many ways on Sober Julie Doing Life and on guest post on other blogs, but now I’ll try to put it in one location.

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If you’d seen me two years ago me you may not have guessed that I am an alcoholic.

What do we think one should look like anyway?

At the time I had no idea that I was an alcoholic until I finally felt how close to the edge of losing myself I’d actually gotten.

I grew up in a stable home, did well scholastically and had many friends. I was married to an awesome guy with 2 children, a house and a dog.

How the hell had my life gotten so off track?

lost in life

Throughout my life I was a fantastic chameleon, appearing self-confident and assured yet inside I somehow felt “less than”.

I’m not sure why but in my early 20′s I began to drink regularly. LIKE A SAILOR. I took pride in the fact that I could drink with the “big boys” and leave ‘em in the dust. Thursday – Saturday nights were drunk fests, when most people were making memories I was blacking out. I had a great job, great family and all were well on these fronts…in my mind at the time it was normal for the youth to party like this.

I went to college for my 2nd diploma at 23 and didn’t really do the drinking thing because I commuted but Saturday nights are all a blur. Actually to be fair I was working 3 jobs and school so didn’t have much time but when I did, I binge-drank to oblivion. I think I had created a habit for myself of living my lives in different boxes, student, employee, sister, friend, daughter, party girl and never shall the two meet.

By my late 20′s I met who was to be my future husband. I got my first “real” career job and life was good. I remember feeling loved by someone other than family for the first time and my joy was huge because I loved him too.

wedding

Fast forward again to recent years…I was a Mom who worked, commuted and was often overwhelmed by the feeling that I wasn’t the June Cleaver type Mum which I strived to be. I compared myself to those other women who did it with seeming ease.

I was the Mum who ran out 20 minutes late with the diaper bag that I had forgotten to restock, not showered in a few days, frazzled, and dying for a coffee or perhaps something to eat for the first time in DAYS ….and I never talked to anyone about it.

My Alcoholism Began to Show Itself

This stress caught up with me….a glass of Shiraz on a Friday or Saturday night bled over time into a bottle. My husband loved the gregarious wife who had come back to him on weekends; I was carefree again for a few hours, witty, fun, SEXY!!

I was pretentious with alcohol, it was so important to me that it be “quality” booze until later when boxed wine and buck a bottle beer worked too. Heck I even drank sweet white wine my parents friends gave them for Christmas when I was in a pinch.

Monday to Thursday I waited (without consciously realizing it) to like myself again. I loved my daughters and enjoyed them totally but ultimately felt like I wasn’t the best Mom God could have chosen for them. I beat myself up with my internal thoughts as we women are apt to do. The only time I felt “free” in my own skin was when I was drinking at the end of the week.

This drinking had begun to take a turn, I could be fun tipsy Julie and suddenly for no apparent reason to those around me become Mean Nasty Drunk Julie. It was totally unpredictable by the number of drinks or type. Frankly I didn’t remember most of it. Black outs were common for me.

blackout

The time came after just another Drunk Julie night when I’d had enough, the shame of my behaviour was too much to bear. I told hubby (not for the first time) that I was done with drinking. That I had to admit I needed help. I had known for a long time that I had an issue, that I abused alcohol and didn’t know why. I also knew that the day I quit I would be changing my entire life.

FRIGHTENING doesn’t cover it. I was terrified to face a LIFE-time surrounded by alcohol and not being able to imbibe. I thought this would be excluding myself FOREVER.

Thankfully I was wrong, I’m almost 2 years sober and LOVE my life as I never had before….life is so much sweeter when you stop chasing happiness and ask for help.

Why not take a chance and learn to see the happiness right in front of you!

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Isaiah 58:11
“The Lord will guide you continually …And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail
AA – Twelve & Twelve Pg. 65
Since most of us are born with an abundance of natural desires, it isn’t strange that we often let these far exceed their intended purpose. When they drive us blindly, or we willfully demand that they supply us with more satisfactions or pleasures than are possible or due to us, that is the point at which we depart from the degree of perfection that God wishes for us here on earth. That is the measure of our character defects, or, if you wish, of our sins.
If we as, God will certainly forgive our derelictions. But in no case does He render us white as snow and keep us that way without our cooperation. That is something we are supposed to be willing to work toward ourselves. He asks only that we try as best we know how to make progress in the building of character.

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Comments

  1. C Wilson says

    How very courageous you are! First to admit that you are an alcoholic and secondly to seek help….It is also extremely brave of you to share your story so openly. I just know it will be just what someone needs to hear today to have the strength to make their own first step towards sobriety….God Bless!

  2. says

    Congrats Julie! Your story is inspiring because many of us “chase happiness” in some way or another. I have struggled with motherhood, depression ans salef image and though I’m better now I know I’ll always be working on it. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Deb says

    Thank You for sharing! Your blogs make me smile, laugh, cry, encourage, ect. I enjoy them all and I am so proud of your honesty and letting us see “Julie doing Life”. Hugs!!!

  4. says

    Wow – what a story. I appreciate your openess, honesty and braveness to share this with us! This post (as well as your many others) I”m sure will change the lives of many!

    You are a strong and beautiful person and kicking alcohol in the butt has made you even stronger.

    I support you and am 100% behind you in staying Sober! You go girl!!! You rock!

    Visiting from ~SASS (host)
    Multi-Testing Mommy recently posted..Now’s Your Chance to S.A.S.S. back, with the Saturday Alexa Stop & ShareMy Profile

  5. says

    It’s really amazing to hear a story about someone who was able to recognize the need for change in themselves. It seems that we always hear the very sad stories of those who were just too far gone, who lost too much of the good parts of their lives to their addiction. I’m so glad you were able to make a change and seek help before you lost yourself and what you hold dear in life forever. You are really strong to be able to do that for yourself. Keep going, you’re amazing.
    Ms. Key recently posted..Beauty and the Beast (in Disney Digital 3D) is Released Today!My Profile

  6. says

    Thanks for sharing your story. I think being honest and real about how we got sober and why we got sober can help so many people. And it’s clear you are doing just that with this blog. Sobriety is an adventure for sure. I just celebrated 3 years on the 2nd and let me tell ya my second year was amazing, challenging and just painful enough to prove that I’m still growing. Anyway, can’t wait to read more about your journey! Congrats.
    – Sean
    sean recently posted..Organizing the DemonsMy Profile

  7. says

    Thanks for sharing this, Julie. My husband is an alcoholic, which I don’t openly talk about on my own blog. Mostly because his story is not mine to tell, though it does effect my daily life. I admire your honesty and look forward to following you on your journey.

  8. says

    You are such a courageous woman. I grew up with a mom who battled many addictions and demons. She was a hippie from the sixties, she finally snapped out of it somewhere along the way of raising 5 kids. I say all the time she was not the best mom, but her last 10 years she became the mom I wanted, and she was an amazing grandmother to my kids. I am glad your moment of clarity came early enough for you to be the mom your kids deserve. Best to you Julie. xo

  9. says

    It takes a lot of strength to realize you had a problem, even more to do something about it. My dad was very bad off on alcohol when I was a child, and that led to drugs, and then that led to even worse drugs. Luckily he got out of it too, it took leaving his wife and his kids behind forever but that’s what he had to do. Sometimes we don’t exactly realize what we are giving up but you did, and that says a lot about the kind of woman you are. Thank you for sharing Your story, It was very touching. I am glad you found your path. god bless!
    Heather recently posted..Makeup throughout HistoryMy Profile

  10. says

    Thanks for sharing your story Julie. You are a courageous lady and I’m proud of you and wish you well. Ok, I just re-read that and it sounds sort of weird doesn’t it? But I am proud of you for deciding to not only help yourself, but to share your experiences and choose to help others as well. -SASS
    Deanna T. recently posted..Kelloggs Cereals, Not Just For Breakfast….My Profile

  11. says

    Saw the word sober and stopped in. Just made my nine year mark on the fifteenth. I appreciate your humility. Teaching others and sharing is the only way to grow. I’m sure your sponsor is proud.

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