I know a lot of people get upset when you discuss the merits of AA. But that isn’t what this is all about. It’s really about trying to find a new way to live. And that has been the hardest part for me. When most of the time your brain tells you and your body tells you that you just don’t want to. And the only time you kind of did is when you drank. For me, there is no pill or therapy that changes that. I live in a very isolated world. I am no longer invited anywhere either because there will be alcohol or because I have said no too many times in the last 5 and half years. If I do happen to go to something I feel the urge to flee within 15 minutes. All the noise and lights are overwhelming. I remember times that were good, laughing and talking with my bestfriend all night. Doing stupid stuff that was funny not hurting anyone. Feeling like I belonged. I can’t do that now no matter how hard I try. You are fighting a war with yourself until a bout of mania comes. And even that isn’t fun. Spending too much money, talking too loud and fast thinking you know it all. Then crashing into a pile on the floor crying, getting yelled at because you’re crying again. It’s a never ending circle. And I know there are people out there that are worse off than me ( I am told this often) but when it is in your brain like a parasite you don’t see it. I don’t crave the alcohol I crave the dive bar atmosphere where all us misfits weren’t misfits for a little while. I had to pretend to be someone else there, talking politics, art, animals, world events wasn’t going to cut it. So I guess even then I had to pretend like I do now when people ask me if I’m “ok”. Because honestly I’m not. I’m tired of taking all these pills everyday, taking care of my dad only to be ignored or yelled at, tired of knowing I have twin that really doesn’t care about me as much as I do her. Most of all I am tired with grief. I am physically ill and my dad wonders why I was as white as the snow this morning. I told him 10 times he didn’t listen. Not many people ever did. When I drank they had to because I was bigger then and a reputation of sometimes being not so nice. When sober I couldn’t say boo to an ant. I’ll keep trying because I want to travel, see my animals and watch my nephews grow a little more. That’s all I can do right now.
I try to read about other people like me. I fit into some of the categories. Spending sprees, promiscuity, impulsive behavior, feelings of guilt and shame, worthlessness. The last one is a biggie for me. Also the feeling of not belonging. When I was younger, as young as 12, at my own birthday parties I felt like an outsider. I was watching a movie of someone else’s life. I would look in windows of stores and see happy couples or friends shopping together. I would think “Why can’t I be like them?” I never felt good enough and tried everything to get that feeling. Make up, hair products, expensive salons, clothes, expensive perfume, breast reduction, you name it. And went into bankruptcy doing it. I would see people I knew getting married and starting families while I was still partying to fill the ache in my chest. I feel grief like no other pain on earth. And it never goes away. Sometimes in a depressive state it’s like me entire body is made up of exposed nerves. I have had depressive episodes that lasted more than a year. Now I seam to be in mixed states. Having doctors tell me there isn’t anything left for me to try except more shock therapy. I just can’t do it. Once was horrific enough. Focusing on and replaying traumatic events is killing. I can’t watch my mother die over and over. But I do. Meds help a little. They help me stay out of bed, help my stutter and alleviate some of the crying. But it isn’t living. Family and friends limit the amount of time they talk to me. I don’t blame them. So I find myself alone most of the time. You don’t know what it’s like to go without human contact. Just a hug or to hold my hand. I have promised not to hurt myself. I won’t, only because I am scared about what happens when you die. If there was a guarantee I would be with my mom I would go in a heartbeat. But I still have things I want to do. So I keep trying.
I am an Alcoholic. If I say it enough times maybe people will get it. Yes I am also Bipolar. Being Bipolar does play a part in my alcoholism but it is not the cause of it. There are many factors in play when it comes to my drinking. Both of my parents are alcoholics. My parents quit drinking when I was about 8. My mother passed away 6 years ago and she was still sober. Alcoholism is on both sides of my family. There is also mental health issues on my mother’s side and my father has always suffered from anxiety and is not a social person. I have had severe anxiety for as long as I can remember. I would be dry heaving before I had to go to school every morning. When the Bipolar manifested at around 14 it became worse. Depression was added. So was the feeling of being worthless, unwanted, ashamed, ugly, stupid, and not belonging. Alcohol made those feelings go away if only for a little while. Even now after being sober for 5 years I could drink. Not because I crave alcohol but to take the pain away. No medication or therapy has been able to do what alcohol did. The problem is I thought I was only hurting myself. The truth was I was hurting everyone around me. My parents had set aside money to bury me. Everytime the phone rang at night they got scared. My sister was too. I would end up in the hospital or jail and they would get a phone call. I was selfish in my disease. At one point my mom was fighting lung cancer and I was putting added stress on her. I hope she forgave me. I never got the chance to ask for her forgiveness.