Kirstin - A New Normal
My unhealthy relationship with alcohol was sneaky…it literally crept up on me. There was a time when I would have a glass of wine on the weekend and that would be that. It’s funny how your journey in life can send you on a tailspin. I’m a wife, mother, and dog mom. I have a job that I love and a beautiful home…but the stress of life and my need for everything to be perfect and carefree led me down a dangerous path. Alcohol propped me up and I relied on leaning on it as much as possible. It took me being tired of being tired, as cliche as that sounds. Toward the end of my drinking career I walked around with a slight buzz all the time.
Let’s go back to July 2019. I started drinking a bottle of red wine just about every night. Vodka was my weekend jam, white and sweet wines weren’t my jams! It was normal for me to start drinking at 5pm and stumble upstairs to my bed around 11pm. I started noticing the cycle that summer, and it was so exhausting. I would wake up EVERY morning feeling like pure death. I’m not a morning person, but still, I was a pure monster every morning. Each morning I’d literally wake up, feel an incredible weight of guilt and shame, promise myself I’d stop, go about my day in full struggle, and drink later that night. WASH. RINSE. REPEAT! I was making it exhausting to be me. The constant red stained tongue, mystery Amazon Prime deliveries showing up, the nights of the room spinning which I knew were the precursor to a night running to the toilet to throw up were just getting old.
Around September of 2019 I started getting aggressive with myself. I had a plan! I was only going to drink on the weekends! Sounds good right, stay sober all week…drink myself to oblivion on the weekend! That lasted about 1 week. Ok, ok back to the drawing board because I just knew I could come up with a master plan that didn’t involve me living this so called - sober life! November 2019 I came up with a new strategy, I’d drink a glass of water in between each glass of wine or cocktail. I knew I had arrived! This strategy would revolutionize my struggle. I only became drunk, and now I had to run to the bathroom and pee every 5 seconds. All of that water and the fact that alcohol is a diuretic would prove to be a recipe for disaster for my poor bladder. Back to the drawing board. Then it dawned on me, January 21, 2020, at 8:53am, “Sis you’ve got to be done with this”. I was going to nurse my last hangover. This one was particularly dreadful and pathetic because that morning I had to muster all my available strength to get my mom to a medical procedure.
Oh no, that’s not the end of the story! A few days after my declaration…7 days later to be exact, I took another drink. I was stressed about something and just made the decision that I was going to open the final bottle of red wine that was in my house. I drank half the bottle (can we say improvement though) and dumped the rest! My sober date is January 29, 2020, at 5:43am.
Each day I gain a little more clarity, a little more strength, and a little more dignity. I’m finding my new normal. I’m finding ways to cope with stress and disappointment. I’m finding ways to celebrate the wins. There are good days, and there are dark ones. I’m no longer coming home from work wondering “what the heck did I order this time”? I’m navigating my new sober life, one day at a time. Sobriety has been the best gift I could’ve ever given myself.
I’m better for it. I’m a stronger woman, I’m a better wife and mother, and I love my new life.