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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pouring My Heart Out & Putting it on My Sleeve.

I almost don't even know where to begin.

**Warning. These are incredibly raw & honest words. I don't know why I always turn to this blog in times of hardship, but it helps blurting them out**

It's been 6 months since my last blog post & since then I feel like so much has happened. Another miscarriage in August, after seeing two babies at my first ultrasound in July. Claire turned 3 and started pre-school & dance class. We went on a Disney cruise and visited Disney World in October. Spent Thanksgiving in beautiful San Diego & Christmas & New Year's at home, here in Salt Lake. I turned 26 on 1/11. & Oh yeah, I came to the realization that I have drinking problem, hit rock bottom, put my marriage in jeopardy and started seeing a counselor & quit drinking two weeks ago.

I'm not going to call myself an alcoholic, as hard as it is not to. That word seems so permanent, and I am not going to live with that label for the rest of my life. Why? Because I am choosing to overcome this. Sure, I will always struggle with it. I have an addictive personality. I come from a bloodline of addictive personalities, I'm genetically pre-disposed. But I am NOT using that as an excuse for my drinking problem. And don't want to walk around with the label on my forehead for the rest of my life. I'm sure after this, people will think what they will & refer to me as such, but I am not going to let myself  refer to me as an alcoholic.

I've always enjoyed drinking. Wine in particular. I'd have a few glasses at social gatherings, I liked having a glass while I cooked dinner, while I ate dinner & while I sat on the couch after dinner. Wine became my third arm, if you will. If it was 5 o'clock, I had a glass poured.

I would always justify  drinking to myself to make sure I never thought I had a problem. "Oh, all the ladies on InstaGram have their cocktails now! Time for mine!" -"I had a hard, stressful day at work, I need this." -"Claire was a little demon today, I need to unwind from this." -"I will just have a couple of glasses while I'm making dinner to relax."

But then, after the second miscarriage in August, I turned to alcohol as a coping mechanism. I drank to feel happy, and to numb my pain from not only losing 3 babies in a span of 3 months, but to mentally & emotionally check out from life. I pretended everything was great! But on the inside, I was crumbling. And I didn't know how to deal. My husband was reeling from the losses just as much as I was. I didn't want to whine to him about how sad & depressed I was. He needed to grieve for himself, not for the both of us. I didn't want to put that burden on him. So, alcohol pretty much became my BFF, or so I thought. In reality, it was my enemy. Causing my life to fall apart right before my eyes.

It didn't take long for my husband to realize I was drinking more and more & the problems were still there. I didn't want to see it of course, because I didn't want to give up drinking. I couldn't stand the thought of not having alcohol in my life.

However, in September, we had a talk. Well, it was more of an argument. About my drinking. That's what all of our arguments had stemmed from lately, so I wasn't surprised. He basically told me he was scared about what this "habit" was becoming, and he thought I needed to quit. He didn't know where our marriage & family would end up if I continued down this path. It was either my husband & Claire OR alcohol. I couldn't have both.

I was pissed. Not at Dallas, but about the fact that I had to give up the only thing that guaranteed me "happiness". Wine had been my steadiness in all of the heartbreak we had gone through with the losses. HOW was I supposed to quit, just like that? I admit, I resented my husband a bit at the time for taking this away from me. Now? I couldn't be more grateful that he did so.

Fast forward to today. Without going into every single intimate detail (let's just say I was drinking in private & keeping it all to myself) I hit rock bottom on Monday, January 6th. Everything was brought to light to my family & I am proud & happy to say that with their support, I have been sober for 2 weeks. Now, that may not seem like a very long time in the grand scheme of things, but I am totally fist bumping myself right now. The past 14 days have been the most eye-opening, sobering (pun intended) days of my life. With the help of counseling, early morning gym classes, the support & love of my family & most importantly, the undying support & love of my husband, I am on this amazing path to a better, healthier, happier life.

With all of this happening, I had to take a break from InstaGram & Facebook. Between the posts of booze & pregnancy announcements (not together, of course!) every third picture, I just couldn't do it. They make me a green-eyed monster. "Why can she have a few glasses of wine without having a drinking problem & I can't?"-"Why can she carry subsequent babies to term, give her oldest child a sibling & I can't?" It was just a big ol' pity party every time I opened social media &it was so unhealthy for my mental state. I think it will take a while to not feel a pang of jealousy when I see these things. It's just a part of the process.

It has been a good thing though, taking a little break from social media. I've been intentional with my time with Claire and Dallas, instead of being half there mentally. And it has been so awesome. That, and not having my mind foggy from drinking every night while I am with them makes things even more awesome.

This whole sobriety isn't going to be easy, but it sure as hell is going to be worth it.
 
So, here's to 2014. A year of New Beginnings. A new me. A helluva better me & wife, mother, friend, daughter, sister, aunt.


(Thought I should throw in a recent picture of my little family. They are my everything, and the reason I am doing this. This was taken in San Diego over Thanksgiving. I didn't have a drop of alcohol on this trip, which was a huge challenge for me. But I ended up being one of the best vacations ever)


I have a long, long road ahead. But, I can to this!! Just keep swimming, right?

{I want to add that I never once put my family in danger because of my addiction. i.e. driving while drunk. But, it could have gotten to that point had I not decided to do something about this problem. And I am so thankful that I am deciding to change before something like that could have happened.}

29 comments:

  1. You are so strong for admitting you have an issue. You can do this and have such wonderful people to support you. Yay for the 2 weeks! Sending lots of prayers and love your way!

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  2. This post is amazing and you are beyond brave for putting this out there. It's very admirable and you are probably helping tons of other girls without even knowing it. Sounds like you have an awesome family and I am rooting for you!! Xoxo

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  3. You can do it!! You are already so much stronger than you know! Hang in there and keep on pushing through!

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  4. Praying for you!!! Big hugs!! I know it wasn't easy to bare your soul on here! Proud of you

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet words :)

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  5. Thinking of you and praying for your continued strength.

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  6. You know I understand all of this. I've had a few extra wine glasses since losing Brielle. I get it. Totally. And I'm so proud of you for being strong enough to realize there's an issue and to tackle it. xo

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  7. You go girl! I am so so sorry for all of your struggles, but I love that you are putting it out there on this blog. I think it will be healing for you and inspiring to others. Yes, just keep swimming! You can do it. And you will give your daughter a sibling some day. XOXO

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    1. Thank you so much! I felt the need to put it all out there. I need to give myself as much accountability as possible :)

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  8. Lauren! I am so incredibly happy for you! On feb 5 i will be 2 years sober. It's the hardest, yet most rewarding adventure, not only for ourselves, but our families as well. I am always here to even just listen if you ever need. I always remind myself, I would rather be sober and clean & think about being intoxicated rather than being intoxicated and have to get clean. You can do this!!

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    1. Thank you Jenae for your awesome words of encouragement! I am SO proud of you girl! 2 years!!? Can't wait to get there!

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  9. Hi Lauren,

    My name is Sarah and I follow you on Instagram (@nurselovesfarmr) and I don't know if you know me or pieces of my story, but I feel the need to share this with you, so bear with the longest comment ever in the world. :)

    To cut to the chase, my dad died of alcoholism in April 2013 and we were estranged the last 1.5 years of his life because of his addiction and his refusal to seek help and stay sober. It ripped my family apart. My dad was a closet alcoholic and was a chronic liar because of it.

    It is okay to own that you are an alcoholic. It is a DISEASE and people (perhaps yourself included?) don't understand that it turns from a choice to a disease because you become dependent on alcohol and cannot function/cope without it (see my post about that here.) My dad was ashamed and embarrassed of his disease and because of that he never fully recovered. He went to rehab twice and died from withdrawal trying to get sober on his own when he had a seizure and heart attack which lead to his death.

    In my family, even before I learned of my dad's alcoholism (I only knew since Sept. 2010), we have a very strong family history of alcoholism and addiction. Because of this I decided to not drink anymore, and I commend you on your decision. I too have addictive tendencies in my personality and it's not a risk I'm willing to take for my future and my family. My dad could never put his family ahead of his disease/addiction even though he loved us with most of his heart...he ended up loving his alcohol more. My heart breaks all over every day, and as you have - thank your husband for loving you enough to ask you to stop before it got worse.

    To put it bluntly, you will always be an alcoholic and be susceptible to falling into alcohol to cope/escape. It is not a curable disease but a manageable one. I pray you will always be as open and as honest as you are on this day that you wrote this blog post. It takes courage and strength to admit of your addiction and I hope that you have the support and strength to fight this every day for the rest of your life.

    From a daughter who grieves for her father every day - don't put your husband and your daughter through the same pain. It's them that suffers in the end, not you.

    I often wonder if a lot of the women/moms I follow on Instagram are addicts as they post pics of their cocktail du jour every day. It's their choice and decision...but I silently (until now) shake my head knowing that they're drinking around their children and how deadly that poison in their fancy glasses can be and that it ruins lives. I fall victim to social media "comparative anxiety" too...and it's okay to unfollow if it's what's best for you.

    I say this with love and kindness and wish nothing but the best for you and your family. Thanks for sharing your story.

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    1. Sarah, thank you so much for sharing your story & taking the time to write such words of encouragement & honesty. I agree with everything you said.
      I am so very sorry your dad lost his battle to this awful disease ( I hate that word). And I'm sorry your family has had to go through the pain of that.

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  10. Please update more, we need more blogs out there like yours! I love your honesty. I can't relate to the drinking issue but I had two miscarriages before I had my daughter and it is the hardest thing I have ever gone through.Good for you for getting off Facebook, I did the same thing. All the pregnant bellies on my newsfeed just made it worse and it's normal to be jealous. I will be praying for you! And, two weeks is AMAZING! You rock! It sounds like you have a very supportive family, you got this girl.

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    1. Thank you so much, Carol. I am so sorry about your losses. Such a crappy thing to go through once, let alone multiple times. I will definitely be making it a priority to update more. It helps me so much to put it all out here on my blog :)

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  11. I totally get this and see where you are coming from. Good for you for realizing the issue and taking steps to fix it. Social media makes it so hard on everyone, I remember during the year of trying for our baby it was so hard seeing all the happy "we're having a baby" posts. I think your honesty is commendable and brave. Wishing you all the best.

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  12. Oh Laur. It breaks my heart that you've been hurting for so long! You are already such a brave, strong woman and mother to write this out and to begin the journey to make a change. As lame as it sounds, we're all rooting for you! Social media can be a wonderful community but it's so difficult to not play the "compare me" game. Everyone has their own demons and many aren't willing or strong enough to share those as well. Continued love and support from all of us in Maryland! Xoxox So happy to see your beautiful face back on Insta!

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  13. Thank you sooo much for, AP. You are the sweetest! I really needed to put this out there for my "recovery". I need all the accountability I can get! :)

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