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Frenemies

I’ve learned that it’s useful to view your addiction in terms of your relationship to alcohol, rather than just by how much or how often you drink. During a recent coffee date with my “sober sister” (see “Busted”) this concept made for a lively and eye-opening discussion.

My friend and I have had radically different experiences with alcohol.  I was a daily drinker who quietly “pickled” myself each evening, whereas she was a binge drinker who regularly experienced blackouts. While I worked hard to never appear drunk in public (but headed home early to tuck into a bottle in earnest), she was the “woo-girl” waving through the sunroof of a limo on the Las Vegas strip. She has a zillion crazy stories of her antics – often told to her by friends the next day since she couldn’t remember much – whereas I can only say I conquered the world in heels by day and retired to my couch a boring little pickle at night.

Fittingly, how we describe our relationship to alcohol is just as diverse.

I can only hope I do justice to her poignant reflections in this attempt to paraphrase her words:

It’s as though I have this boyfriend who is really great, really fun and all my friends like him. Most of the time we have a great time together and everyone loves having him around. But every few months he beats the shit out of me, so bad that I black out, and the next day I say, “That’s it.  We are breaking up for good.” 

But all my friends continue to hang out with him and they say, “He is SO FUN! We just love having him around – we still want him come to our parties. Can’t you learn to live with him? He is awesome – why would you want to give up such a great guy?”

And I want to say, “He has really hurt me! Don’t any of you care about what he is doing to me?” It pisses me off that they don’t even care how bad he hurts me. I know I can’t have him in my life anymore.

If a friend came to you and described this relationship, what would you say to her? “It’s fine, just spend less time together,” OR “Get the hell away from the creep! Don’t put up with that abuse. You have to take care of yourself. Don’t go near him ever again. He doesn’t deserve to be part of your life.” I can say for sure that my response would be the latter.

To describe my own nightly pickling as a relationship, I’d say it had become a constant, demanding companion that left me feeling bad about myself. It was the toxic friend that would text me 37 times a day and wanted my attention all the time.

 ……”don’t forget to meet me after work, ok?”…

 ……”do you think you could get off work a little early and pick me up?”..

 …….”ps don’t tell anyone I asked you to pick me up”…

 ……..”I will be at the business event tonight but act casual, ok. It’s better if people don’t know that we are such good friends”…

 …..”I know you are nervous about your meeting but don’t worry – you are amazing. You have everyone fooled and they’ll never guess how weak and stupid you are. See you after work!”

All day long I’d be annoyed by the constant demands, and would even tell myself, “no more!” but always I’d weaken on the way home from work and stop to pick up this “friend” who I just couldn’t tear myself away from.

This is the kind of friend who makes you feel good at first but then you realize the compliments were actually criticisms in disguise. (“Wow, in those jeans you can hardly tell how big your hips really are!”)  THAT friend.

It was a relationship that was sucking up increasing amounts of my time, my joy, my energy, and was taking a toll on my health.

What would you say to me as a casual observer of this relationship? Suggest I cut this person out of my life? Set boundaries and try to limit contact, and if the constant barrage of texts and messages continue  consider a restraining order because perhaps my actual safety could be at risk? Certainly you wouldn’t say, “what a great friend, how can I get some of that into my life?”.

So what about you? How would you describe your old relationship with alcohol? How do you describe it now? 

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About UnPickled

I am learning to walk without the crutch of alcohol. As I begin I am 1 day sober. Gulp. I drank in private and hope to quit just as privately. The purpose of this blog is to help make me accountable - just by following you will give me enormous support and encouragement.

Posted on March 19, 2013, in Getting Sober, Marriage and Alcohol Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 51 Comments.

  1. OMG……..I have been reading your blog since yesterday (Day 1 for me, again) and this post BLEW ME AWAY. I just finished crying and had to respond. The toxic relationship analogy was so perfect and a great way to put it and exactly how I feel. Why would anyone want to continue to be in a relationship like that??? I am trying again this year after only lasting 4 weeks last year, which is when I found your blog. I believe God sent me a personal message about 2 weeks ago. We were having dinner with friends at home and drinking wine, of course, and then planned to go down to our local town fireworks. They left to go home and get sneakers and their chairs and we were going to pick them up. While my husband was loading our chairs in the car, I thought “Oh, I’ll just have a little glass of vodka really quickly before we go”. No one will know right? Yeah, RIGHT. Well as I opened the freezer to get ice, I somehow just let go of my wine glass and it smashed all over my kitchen floor. I know some people are not religious, but personally to me, I truly believe in my heart that God wanted me not to have that drink. Well, it took 2 more weeks of my daily drinking (at home, out with friends, whatever….and I never know when to stop) and an embarrassing display of rudeness on my part when my husband’s friend visited overnight and after drinking too much, as usual, we were out to dinner and I berated him for not picking up our dinner tab because we were hosting him and how could he be so thoughtless? Imagine that, the rude, drunk girl telling my friend that he’s the rude one. So embarrassing. Of course, I apologized and we’re fine, but still. I finally just decided, I’m sick of waking up and hating myself literally every day of my life and feeling ashamed and guilty. I’m trying to stop AGAIN…. and I hope this time I succeed. Sorry for rambling…. Thank you so much for your inspirational messages. You are an eloquent writer (and very interesting).

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  2. Gayle Whittle

    Great post. I was an evening drinker. I would get quietly drunk at home. I avoided alcohol at events so no one would suspect How much of a problem I had. Your friend’s toxic relationship analogy is spot on. Thanks. Peace.

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  3. I just read this old post- I LOVE IT! For me it was a little of both!

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  4. This was a very spiritual read for me. I am the binge drinker. Party girl. When you talked about how to describe what alcohol was to me? Alchohol gave me the love and support I wanted from my mother. My mother was mentally ill. From the outside she looked okay but she wasn’t. I did not feel love. Alcohol loved me. She made me feel important. She made me feel confident. She listened to me when I had problems. I depended on her to much. I listened to her instead of being independent. I could not mature because every decision and experience I had she my mom (alcohol), had to be there. Periods of time would go by and I prove that I could be a responsible person. Never lasted always depended on her to make me feel.better because I Never could be alone. I needed reaffirmation that I was good enough some how alcohol was the only thing that did.

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  5. catlinwellness

    This is a wonderful post! I love the analogy of the toxic relationship. Mine was like the mother who on the one hand would “love” me, but consistently tried to hurt me. I would keep trying to get the perfect formula to gain her acceptance and approval (maybe peace?), but inevitably she turned her back leaving me more lonely than before…every freaking time. It wasn’t until I saw the lie that there was no love- just destruction- when I said “no more!”. I got my parenting from the 12 steps and people like you who “get” me. This week will be my 32nd anniversary.

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  6. Im so gonna do this!

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  7. First, congratulations on 2 years! An accomplishment to be so proud of! I am so glad I found this blog, thank you thank you everyone for sharing your stories. I’ve been reading all the posts and replies for the last two days. This is enormous support that I need and is so sad but inspiring to read entries that could’ve been written by me. I’m currently on Day 3 of several attempts to quit drinking over the past 26 years-was 16, now 42. Well actually, I mostly just enjoyed it with brief thoughts that maybe I drank too much until about 5 years ago when I became a health nut and thought I’d try giving up wine. Right. Coffee, no problem, but wine….I made it 10 days. Then I decided that wine is “healthy-ish”. And recently another 10 days while I’ve been on a juice cleanse. I’ve had so many hangovers and nights of regret, embarrassment, and no sleep that I can’t even count. When I turned 40 i felt a real shift in how my body handled alcohol. Not well, and my sleep got worse. My life includes a lot of socializing that involves drinking, wine tasting, business dinners, traveling, And a husband who drinks more than I do, and loves to go out during the week and weekends to eat and drink. And drink. And drink. Even if we are just home we drink. Sometimes, lately, I drink during the day. Not frequently, but sometimes. Wine is my drink of choice. It is seductive and full of promises that end in regret. So beautiful and delicious. The last time I decided (secretly) to quit drinking I promptly received a shipment from one of my wine clubs and out of the blue my husband bought a handy wine refrigerator so we could keep more on hand. He orders cases of expensive wine often. And we go through it like nobody’s business. There is always an event coming up, or worse, one I have planned myself that will include lots of wine drinking. And when I am drinking, I really don’t like myself. I know im fine socially without the wine, better even, without it. I know I will sleep better. Not say things I will regret. Not feel like shit the next day which will sacrifice working out, or doing anything productive. I can’t have one glass (even though one glass is when it feels the nicest, the least ominous) and its hard to stop. its getting worse. We now get a car when we go out so we don’t have to drive home. It truly feels like a crazed, angry monkey on my back. The thing that is hardest for me is that I think about it 24/7. The quitting, or the drinking, whichever. How it will affect my relationships for the better or worse. How will it affect my marriage? What activities will i do instead, and will my husband join me instead of drinking! or will he find a drinking partner in someone else? Will I have to stop hanging out with the majority of people that i do currently? What it will be like to be in the sun without a sparkly glass of relaxing rose, or by the fire this fall without a deep red Cabernet that flushes my cheeks and relaxes me like nothing else? Aaaaah! It’s torture!
    So again, I’m on day 3, and I’m focusing on healthy choices, and self care. Got some sparkly water at the store. Kombucha is good too, and I make a mean nighttime tonic that is soothing and relaxing and delicious. I have had the best sleep the last two nights. My husband called me last night to meet for happy hour. We ate at home and walked the dogs after instead. I told him today I’m not drinking as we are going out for date night tonight. He didn’t say much, but he’s heard me say that so many times over the past two years, he probably figures it won’t last. I figure it will. It has too. I’m ready. I want this. And it feels really good to say all this “out loud”. Will keep you all updated as to my progress.

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    • Whoa – your story sounds so familiar. I was just right where you are when I finally found the strength to leave it all behind. I can tell you that it is do-able. I promise that you have it in you to make this change. As we often hear: It’s simple but it ain’t easy. If you can’t seem to stick to it on your own, consider reaching out for some support. There are many avenues to recovery. Check out sherecovers.co for links to many different recovery programs. If you are doing okay on your own, you’ll still find it useful to see how different programs use various methods to help poeple dig into the reasons WHY they drink and make changes that go beyond simply “quitting”.

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  8. Dear Unpickled,
    Thank you so much for your blog and for your posts. It is a gift for me today, celebrating 10 months sober. I did not know what to do, I felt a need to connect somehow with with my alcoholism, just a need for a reminder of where I am coming from, so I’ve just googled 10 months sober. One of the results linked to your blog.
    I wanted to reply to your latest post, and I probably do that as well, but this one also grabbed my attention. Because while I was in rehab, I remember taking to my friend there, who was a much lighter drinker than me that it’s not the amount of alcohol that makes us alcoholics, but it’s the relationship with alcohol. And wondering how come our counselors in rehab could not get that, and made us all the same.
    Alcohol was my best friend. Not a derogatory BFF. A dear, close, most trusted friend, as close to me as a twin sister. It guessed my thoughts, knew how I felt and what I needed. Was always there for me, was never too busy, never had her own issues. Always said the right things, took away my fears, comforted my loneliness. Never failed me, if there was something I could not do alone, like walk of the house to get to work, I could do it with alcohol. I came to depend on my dear friend alcohol for absolutely anything. I could not even get in the shower in the morning, without some help. You see, I was weak, and i needed this friend. I felt I had no power, and I was grateful to my friend, everyday, for helping me get through the day, never asking for anything back. In the end, me and alcohol were one. I could no longer tell which one was me, and which one was my friend. Do I really like that guy, or my friend does? Do I really hate my job, or my friend does? Was I really offended by those words, or my friend was? I had completely lost myself. Not only feelings, but also actions. Was it me yelling at my boss, was was it my friend? I came to suspect, it was never me anymore.
    And now, since my friend is no longer in my life, I am utterly lonely. There is one huge black hole in my life. I have no more support. On the positive, I am always happy and surprised, I can actually do things alone. It’s quite amazing. Horrific failure at work today, no one to comfort me at home. But that’s ok, it’s a success if I can go though it alone. Because at least now I know, it is me who screwed up at work, it is me who is full of shame, it is me who spoke out. And tomorrow, it will be me who does better. Or, it will be me who screws up again.

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    • Congratulations on 10 months!! That’s wonderful. Your friend analogy version is very moving, and I share your feeling of loss. I grieved alcohol like a lost lover for months. The power of that grief was frightening and made me realize just how strong a hold alcohol has over me. It was hard but made it even more clear that I needed to quit. I hope you’ll spend some time poking around this blog and reading the comments from the many fabulous others in recovery who give and take tremendous support. I take strength from their words every day and am honoured to know that my story resonates with so many others like me. xo UnP

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  9. Thank you so much for this post and blog. I just stopped drinking three days ago and can relate to both types of relationships with alcohol. In my teens and twenties I was the “let’s party” girl doing crazy things that I usually didn’t remember or did remember because it led to something serious like an injury, fight, etc. Now that I am in my late thirties I stopped the outwardly crazy behavior but have become the go home and drink until I go to bed girl. I tried to reduce the amount I was drinking after having my son almost three years ago, but of course it didn’t last. Recently, now that he understands and communicates more, I have become more aware of my actions in front of him. I realized that drinking was stopping me from wanting to play with him, all I wanted to do was chill out on the couch and drink. I didn’t like the kind of mom I was being and was realizing how sad it was that I was interacting with him while intoxicated. I was reading him bedtime stories while drunk. I am really disappointed with myself and am trying to turn the page and live a life that doesn’t revolve around alcohol. Reading your blog is a huge help, it makes me realize that I am not alone in this struggle. Thank you.

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  10. I have probably read the above posting ten times. Damn alcohol! Very touching story…

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  11. My frenemy waited a long time for me. We became friends when I was 21. She waited, legs crossed, watching my child hood unfold and knew I would find her. I was shocked that we could be such buddies. She and my younger sister were besties when my sister began drinking at 14. I hated both and chastised my sister, threatened to tell on her when she would drink. But when I moved out from under my mom’s control that’s when she introduced herself to me: Hi, I’m vodka tonic! Wow, I was finally cool, I started partying with my sister. We went to clubs, I met my husband – all his friends were drunks too (although he never drank so I always had my d.driver). I still yelled at my sister who blacked out and was a crazy drunk, but not me.. I matured and moved onto wine. Me and my friend became much closer our relationship didn’t just involve partying. My compassionate friend helped me climb a tree one night, while wearing a bikini, crying as my family drove up and down a desolate road looking for me. My mentor got me through my first divorce and is holding my hand now for my second. She was very, very hurt that I dumped her when I became pregnant. When I went 10 months w/o a drink and came home from the hospital thrilled that I no longer drank she then became jealous. When I developed post partum depression she became MAD. As a punishment, she tried to snuff my time with my baby. Nap time was my happy hour. She and I re-connected every morning at 10:00, then again at 1:00 (which is when my baby was sleeping). At 4:00 I could barely keep my eyes open. One day I took a nap while my baby was up. My friend had an excellent idea: close the door so the baby will be safe and you lay on the floor as she crawls around. I thought it was my baby’s hands trying to get my attention and wake me up but it was my friend’s foot on my throat holding me down. I still can feel the prickle of the pink wool rug under my cheek. That was the last morning party I had with that bitch. Six years later I hate her guts becasue she is stronger than me. She is a bully and I wish I could murder her. To help me celebrate my second divorce this year, she bought me handcuffs, and then as an anniversary present, she threw the keys into the toilet and laughed as she flushed it.

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  12. Trying to find a way

    This blog was so helpful. I never new that so many feel EXACTLY as I do. Can anyone comment on what is the best things about being sober are? What is it that I should look forward too?

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    • Ooooooh where to start? Freedom. Freedom from guilt, fear, shame and just the HOLD it had on me. Feeling strong and proud instead of weak and broken. Looking better. Truly feeling my emotions again (good/bad). And knowing I am being a better mom. That’s a biggie.

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  13. I am just like you UnP quietly pickling myself each night, talking to that frienemy all day to make sure I will have “enough,” and I could have written RCNM’s post too. That’s my danger time zone. I am wondering how she is doing.
    My mother died the day you wrote this post. As she was dying, I wasn’t even trying to do my usual negotiations with my frienemy. I would let myself drink the whole bottle and make sure I had another for the next day. I promised myself I would stop then moderate after she died. But I didn’t. I promised myself I would stop for 30 days on April 1. But I didn’t.
    I’m still having about 4 glasses a night. Hiding from my husband how much I’m having. Parsing the bottles out in the recycling so it doesn’t look like *that* much each week.
    I had my first hangover in more than 10 years on Monday (“see, you don’t have a problem, you don’t even get hungover,” that’s a frequent text from my guy.)
    But I am overweight and know for sure it’s because of the wine.
    I also have these weird heart palpitations when I lay down to bed after drinking (and I don’t have them when I don’t drink). I’m turning 45 this year and avoiding going to the cardiologist because I suspect s/he will have a pretty simple prescription: don’t drink.
    Really happy to find you today.
    I had a period of about 4 months of sobriety about three years ago. I felt great. Then I decided to go back to Weight Watchers and I thought I could moderate by tracking (as I had done once upon a time). I also told myself I would quit again if it didn’t work. Three years of not keeping that promise to myself and three years of my weight stuck right where it’s been.
    I need to change, want to change. But also feel sad about leaving that frienemy of mine behind.
    sigh.

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  14. Thank you. I love your blog, I identify with your writing so much. Like your sister, I’m a binge drinker and her analogy is spot on.

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  15. For me, alcohol was the frenemy that my husband loved (beer all day – everyday) and was the life of every social interaction with his friends that would stop by everyday. She was the life of every party – there wasn’t a moment when she wasn’t around and everybody LOVED her. She would come all dressed up as hard liquor instead of her usual everyday beer. But she was apparently jealous of me and the wonderful life I had and would LOVE to embarrass me when I was trying to find out what all the fun was about. And believe me, she was oh! So delicious ! So much fun. And she would make me so relaxed and happy. But then in the middle of the party, she’d blurt out something like, “Did you know Valerie is a Black Widow”? and I would be SO embarrassed! I would run to the bathroom and throw up and sometimes loose bowel control at the same time as well, and then just to be sure I wasn’t going to get sick again, I’d lay down on the bathroom floor to be close to the toilet. The tile would feel cool and it would help calm my nauseated stomach. But we only had one bathroom, and my husband would find me there, basically passed out, and desperately try to get me to get up and go to bed. The next day I’d be so disgusted with myself and vowed I’d never talked to her again.. But I loved our frenemy too, because she started to keep me company every evening after my husband passed out early. I wanted companionship and I was lonesome. He went to bed already? It’s only 9 pm. Oh, Well, I’ll just play on the computer until I’m so tired I can hardly type. Now I’ve decided that she can be my husband’s frenemy, but she is now just my enemy – no longer part friend. My husband and decide when we’re going to bed – together. No more hanging out with our frenemy after he goes to sleep – and no more parties with hard liquor. I am now a “free-spirit” – free to choose who I hang out with, and I choose ice water with lemon. Thank you very much.

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  16. Thank you so much coming clean and unpickled for validating my suspicions and supporting. Happy to report that a bottle of……Lime Perrier later and I’m through day 2. You can’t imagine how helpful your responses are tonight. It will be a welcome change to wake up tomorrow without regret about tonight.

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  17. Thankyou for reminding me how hard it is for the first few days. I am now nearly three months sober and I read Unpickled every day. Thankyou for reminding me that I don’t ever want to have to white knuckle it again. My suggestion is to turn your mind into a different frame and think in terms of the cravings as a challenge. Welcome the cravings and then set out to defeat them. Treat the cravings like a personal challenge. Cravings usually last for 30 minutes. The first two weeks are the greatest hurdle and then for some reason the body forgets that it once needed alcohol and it calms down, It is an amazing space to be in when you have been years without sobriety to suddenly see things for the first time. Reading books like Drinking A Love Story by Caroline Knapp was a good start. When I say a good start there is a time when you know you are ready to give up. Caroline Knapp had to hit rock bottom before she could dry out. I was the same. Every night when I was drinking my husband would come home open the fridge and pull out a bottle of wine inspecting how much was gone from the night before.I felt like a naughty school girl. I had never really grown up. He didn’t seem to know that the one glass out of that bottle was nothing compared to the whole new bottle I had bought and stashed away. He would watch to see if I was slurring, or talking that little bit louder. If we flared up into a fight he would say You’ve been drinking and I would yell something stupid back.
    With me, I had tried so many times since i was in my late thirties to stop. I would go to the library and look for books about other people’s addictions, I would read a persons’s biography always looking to see how much they drank and if they did how did they give up, I would watch other people in awe if they only ordered tea or coffee when wine was an option. I used to sit in the car driving by myself fantasising that one day I would be sober. I am so proud of being sober now that I walk around with an air of confidence, no one is going to catch me reaching to the back of that cupboard to pour those hidden bottles of wine into hidden plastic cups. That I won’t find old red wine stained cups behind the sofa, that my credit card statements won’t be full of bottle shop entries, that no one will see that I could down a bottle of wine in an hour while doing the ironing. I am free as a bird and I am loving it. Hang in there RCNM

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    • Hey there, Coming Clean – just gotta say that you are a CHAMP and I love reading all the support you send out to readers. Mmmmwah!! UnP

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    • Thank you, I too am gonna walk with an air of confidence. I am proud of breaking the hold it had, just two days ago I sat here and said that I couldn’t quit. Today I did. There is so much information about the damage alcohol does to our bodies available. It is great to be free!!!

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  18. Day 2 and this is my first time writing a comment anywhere. I am thankful for this blog but I am in my own special kind of hell between 5-8 p.m. without my precious wine. It is 5:16. I’m not sure if I will make it through. In fact, I fairly certain I will not. I just need to get past 7 ish, and I know I can make it. It is just right this second and every second until 7ish.

    I am not a hardcore drinker but I drink too much and am not sure why. I am happy and have a very very good life. But I am hard on myself and when I walk in the front door from work and I start with the dinner prep, and the kids underfeet, no transition time, decision depleted, exhausted from the night before, checking emails from work because I leave at a reasonable time and everybody else needs to appear so “busy” and send emails 24 hours a day, obsessed with whether I’m parenting well, am I balancing alright, why I’m not at the best of the best at everything, what would it take to lose just 5 pounds, why is the front closet so messy, will these kids eat anything i make tonight that is not pasta – blah blah blah – 2.5-4.5 sweet glasses of any wine acts as a the ultimate pressure release. Like an epidural, really.

    After the first two glasses, I like me more, I seem to be my best self. Relaxed, happier, less short tempered. I don’t black out, I don’t throw up. I just am happier. I know something needs to change but I can’t seem to get to a place where I see an upside. That is the truth.

    So, tell me – anybody who has made it to the otherside, does the whiteknuckling ever stop or if I make it through today, will it be like this forever.

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    • Oh my God – you are right where I was. The thing is, you know. Right? You know something is off and despite that it all looks fine to the rest of the world, your “spidey senses” are telling you that the hook is in and you’re being pulled along. I have no doubt in my mind that you are holding it together and that you are managing alright. But addiction is so damn sneaky. It whispers “everything is just fine and you deserve this glass – nothing to worry about, nothing at all….” but then you wake up the next day and say “no more” and it all starts again. The definition of addiction is that when you remove it, it causes a negative reaction. The fact that you are finding it hard to get through the witching hour every night is an clanging indication that you are addicted. Your brain has been rewired and the pleasure/reward mechanisms are all effed up. When you get to this point “the elevator only goes one way” as they say, “which is down. But the good news is that you can get off at any point.” What that means is, if you continue to drink the amount you drink each night will increase, the time you start drinking will get earlier and earlier, your thoughts about alcohol will progress to a level of obsession, and you will inch your way towards a life where everything revolves around your best buddy Vino. RCNM, I am so sorry if this sounds preachy or critical but I am pretty sure every reader of this blog will be able to chime in with affirmation of this process. HERE IS THE GOOD NEWS: the next few days will be super sucky but once you are through the first bit, it gets easier and easier. It gets good and then it gets great. Yes, sometimes I do miss drinking. Sometimes I miss being “able” to drink. But I don’t ever want to go back to that hellish part of recovery that you are in right now, so I just don’t drink because I know my brain has been permanently altered in a way that can’t handle alcohol. I can tell from your post that you are smart and strong – you can do this. I hope this helps and please email or comment back to let us all know how you are. There is lots of great support available – you are not alone. It’s simple but it’s not easy, and lots of us have made it through. We are all here with our arms out to give you a pull forward or a pat on the back. UnPickled

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      • This is day one for me! After the “reply” to RCMN, you said everything I needed to hear. If I can just make it to day 2, then 3 etc. I was not hardcore when I went to rehab but my family felt I should go. That kept me sober for 4 years. But then a trip 7 years ago kicked me off the wagon and I have been going strong with my BFF ever since. I would give up everything to be sober today. Unfortunately, I live with an alcoholic. A wonderfully kind man but nonetheless a drinking buddy. So I will have to work around this as I journey on.
        So here’s to day 1!

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        • Sandie — UnP in her blog roll helped me find SMART recovery. I’m on Day 3. It’s really helping to read there. You can do this. We can do this!!!!

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      • I made it today, I stumbled across one of the mini-wine bottles, I threw it in the trash full, was afraid to open it and possibly get a whiff, I scraped my leftovers in on top of it yucky enough that I won’t pull it back out. I have almost made 24 hours!!!! Yay, me! I had quit for a year and found a hidden unopened bottle, thought I could have a little, from November to yesterday has been a living hell. It gets worse and worse. Now my stomach is mad at me from my esophagus all the way to my colon is totally irritated. I put down the wine bottle bought some probiotics to regrow my proper intestinal flora. I’m 53 years old my body isn’t playing no more games with this. I actually read that the good bacteria imbalance causes some of the cravings! No more, just what you said my brain and body can’t handle it, and its just that important. I haven’t been able to eat for days without it coming back up. I could barely make myself take a bath, just totally exhausted. I found some supportive sites to help me deal with issues that I was using the wine to escape. For adult survivors of abuse, that’s a big part of my problem. Pardon me when I get longwinded. I love you so much for taking the time and giving the world this wonderful place to come and be honest and encourage others while being encouraged. You are such a blessing to me, all of you. Thanks! Stay strong, wine is not your friend it will destroy your body if you do it long enough and some one else will have the money that you need for yourself!

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  19. Anonymous For Now

    Holy hell I’m glad I found you. You are JUST what I needed at a very important time of my life. THANK YOU. (more later.. I have some catching up to do!)

    Like

  20. I have this link saved under my favoriates and so happy to see a new posting today. The dialogue about the abusive relationship with alcohol really hit home for me. I have been abusing myself with alcohol for at least 12 years. I am 42 days sober today thanks to this blog. I am grateful that my 4 and 5 year old boys won’t grow up watching me drunk everyday because I hated myself. I am thankful to this new life and thankful to this site. Please keep writing and keeping the inspiration flowing. You encourage us every day to see the light and follow that tiny voice inside to finally give up the drink once and for all.

    Like

  21. Your blog inspires me Theresa. Like all of the other bloggers and unpickled. I am at 1 month today and can not wait to see what I feel like and who I become at 102 days! Very exciting times for all of us!

    Like

  22. a very old friend who I met at a low point in my teen years that I should have kicked to the curb 30 years ago. day 102 for me today and I just apologized to my beautiful daughter for having to grow up with an alcholic. she is amazing and kind and forgiving. I am feeling grateful for a chance to change. thanks for your blog! it is an inspiration

    Like

  23. Yeah, at three weeks! Feel good, strong and slimmer! Thanks to all out there!

    Like

  24. I love this post, I, like your sister, was a binge drinker with a very destructive relationship with alcohol. Yours was the first sober blog I found unpickled, and I read it from start to finish, I’ve been lurking in this cyber-sober-world for a few months now and wanted to say thank you, you’ve been an inspiration. x

    Like

  25. DB you are amazing. I know the same story was mine. I had my first drink when I was fourteen and ended up getting stitches after a fall. I can still see the scar. Now forty years later I am free from the dreadful “soul destroying” past time. I see now how many wasted moments, how many headaches, how many “like minded drinking buddies” I gathered as friends. I would love to talk to young people about the downward spiral that can happen. If I count up the cost in dollars it is something like $75-$100 a week for 52 weeks a year for the last twenty years of heavy drinking is $78,000. The cost of our first home! I have been living and breathing the nightmare. I have diary entries where my writing is almost ineligible. I thank this blog for saving me every day. I am ashamed but I am also proud that I have turned a corner and I am in a lovely place. My unborn grandchildren will love me because I have so much love in my heart to share. I hate to think of what might have happened if I was rejected by my children as being an unsafe grandma!
    We are fortunate to have each other.

    Like

    • I fooled around and started back drinking in November, my story is very similar to yours. I read yesterday that a University in Maryland is requiring entering Freshmen to take a course in the effects of alcohol. It’s about time. I was so scared and isolated all over again. Sorry, I just humped around there a bit in my writing. I can’t believe I quit again. Starting all over trying not to autopilot back to drinking.

      Like

  26. No thank-you! It was on March 3rd and at 10:37 pm that I was brave enough to talk on this site. I was in desperate help and your story and all of the blogs changed my life and quite possibly saved my life. Thanks to you and to all of the bloggers. From the bottom of my heart!I I hope that I can help others in the fashion that this site has helped me!

    Like

  27. A relationship with Alcohol? Oh yeah! My relationship with alcohol, or aka BFF, started out very innocent. We shared celebrations, special dinners, sad situations, happy situations, than in time..we shared any and every situation. Me and my BFF were funny, creative, bigger than life. We had life all figured out.. We were like two peas in a pod! Than in time we became deceitful ,cunning, lying, explosive! Than finally…SICK!. Sick in two different ways. A very sick codependant existence. My BFF was nagging, pestering and luring. Almost all consuming of my time. And sick as in physically. As time went on I was able to feel my liver enlarged. I had a fullness in the liver area when I would turn over on my right side. I had gained a considerable amount of weight. And oh did I love a good fight, expecially if the right buttons were pushed. I was dying. I had to sit up, wake up, and take charge. I had to turn my back on my BFF. I tell people that are very close to me that alcohol worked for me in the beginning….than over time it stopped working. Alcohol came into my life like a simple breeze on a summer’s evening. Alcohol left my life like a descructive earthquake, leaving mass carnage in it’s rubble. The truth is we were never BFFs, we were a sick, toxic duo. Alcohol still stands gleaming, delicious and tall, while I stand beatup, whipped, and brusied. Some relationship! We beat the crap out of each other…within an inch of my life!

    Like

  28. This is so true…Great piece! 🙂

    Like

  29. sorry…I went through every phase – AA, not drinking at all, drinking a little bit… – I tried everything. I dont know what works the best, but deffinately being sobe.r – its the best. There is no limiting drinking – sooner or later it will go out of limits.

    Like

  30. Nice post…but sad….feels like you are trying to get answers to your problem: why, why me..??? I am at state where I realised why…..actually no matter how much, what we drink, how often, with whom, etc., we drink because there is sadeness inside of us…its nno exuse – its a fact…when ewe were kids, we enjoyed certain things, and avoided what we did not…but being adults, we solve problems with alco, and escape from reality by abusing alco. I went throu

    Like

    • No “why me” pity party here! Tonight I celebrated my 2 year anniversary with gratitude and joy. But it’s important to look back at that “old friend” now and then to remember where we came from. I totally agree with what you say, tho, about mucking through your junk and understanding the “why” behind the toxic relationships.

      Like

  31. Wonderfully descriptive writing. Love it!

    Like

  32. Great post! Fantastic. I was exactly like you and booze was my little whisper in my ear .. and my ‘fun’ pal every night. Until surprise surprise the friend turned out to be a toxic enemy and I am so pleased it has gone from my life. Thanks for this… xxx

    Like

  33. I LOVE this! Like you, my “friend” was a constant texter…all day, everyday. To the point that my whole life revolved around taking care of that friend; even though I only spent time with him at night for a long time. Slowly he started finding ways to see me during the day too. That’s when I finally saw my friend as the abusive jerk that he was; and kicked him out of my life. It’s been 7 months since I’ve seen that friend…can’t say that I miss him at all.

    Like

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