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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.}