As Bill Sees it, page 24 out of Daily Reflections – by A.A. Members
In the beginning, it was four whole years before A.A. brought permanent sobriety to even one alcoholic woman. Like the “high bottoms,” the women said they were different; … The Skid-Rower said he was different… so did the artists and the professional people, the rich, the poor, the religious, the agnostic, the Indians and the Eskimos, the veterans, and the prisoners. … nowadays all of these, and legions more, soberly talk about how very much like all of us alcoholics are when we admit that the chips are finally down.
“I was no different.” Mix my addiction and my mental health disorders with a Narcissist and “BOOM!”… TNT was ignited.
After my ex-husband’s death back in 2005, I was devastated beyond words… as you may have read in several of my poems. We had been divorced since 2002, but I still loved him and at his funeral, all the people, family and friends shared with me that he was still in love with me. This was the hardest time in my life. To dull the pain, I just kept drinking in order to fall asleep because at least in my dreams I could remember him in all the good memories.
I was in no shape nor form to date again, at least not in the immediate future. However, family and friends insisted I get out there again, and just find someone to be a companion and have fun. “I still was not up to it.”
After being hospitalized back in 2007 for my addiction, I was released and went to an A.A. Meeting that very evening. After the meeting, a woman came up to me and said she would be my sponsor. She was tough, and she was gentle as can be… We formed a bond like no other. However, it didn’t last for long, and she was moving out to Colorado. Soon after, I gained another sponsor with whom became very close to. I was also very active in the program and was so proud of my accomplishment of being sober on my one year anniversary.
It was in 2009 when I met my boyfriend “KS”… Like all new relationships in the very beginning, ours was full of days on the beach, boat, and crabbing off the NJ coast. Our love life was off the charts as well… “Come on, you’d be lying if this has never happened to you in the beginning of a relationship.” LOL! It was all fireworks and excitement back then.
By this point, I was 2 years sober and feeling really good about myself. Yet, still feeling a bit guilty about the feeling of feeling so good, because, in the back of my mind, I would still think about my deceased ex-husband.
The beginning of 2010, I moved in with my boyfriend. I was a nervous wreck at first and felt out of place in the beginning, but he soon did make me feel at home.
That Spring we decided to go away for a long weekend to Baltimore, MD. This was also the weekend that changed my life forever. I was 2 &1/2 years sober, and “KS”, asked me while having dinner… “Come on, one drink isn’t going to hurt you, you can stop, and I’ll make sure you won’t abuse it.” – “NOPE” I should have just said that, but nope… I had two glasses of wine at dinner time, which made me feel giddy, happy, and free. The rest of this weekend was spent just that way.
WE, both compromised everything I had worked on for 2 & 1/2 years. He didn’t keep an eye on what I was drinking, he was the one buying it for me most of the time. But, I was stupidly in love.
2012 we got engaged. I was initially happy at first, but things sure did change quickly afterward.
It was more of an engagement of convenience. I was earning more money than him, and it was helpful because I was able to pay for the vacations that he always wanted to go on. “I never had a choice where mind you.” I was the one who helped his daughter when she was having money issues with fixing her car or college stuff. I was the one who could afford the nice dinners out. It literally was his way all the time.
I would suggest different things to do, such as, visit the Amish in PA., or go to a simple movie… Each time, I was told, “Yeah, maybe next time.” It got to the point where I was utterly frustrated. Another example was that he loved to cook, but so did I. Yet, when I would cook, he would stand over me like a hawk and critique how I was making a meal, or criticize it thereafter.
Back in May of 2014, I lost my job due to its doors closing. I took a few months off to adjust to this loss and tried to enjoy the Summer of his plans for every weekend. I was in a depression because I couldn’t nail a job right away. He would come home from work and claim I wasn’t trying hard enough which therefore I drunk harder and harder in order to go to sleep earlier because I didn’t even want to sit in the living room with him at night. It was a vicious circle every day in, and every day out.
Come December 26, 2014… Our engagement was over. That was also the time his child support was over, and my last unemployment check came in. “Convenient, right?”
“I’m done with you!” … “I don’t care if your homeless, I want you out of here!” This is what was drilled into my head over the course of the remainder of the time I was still residing in his apartment. August 2015, was when I came to terms after suicide attempts, that I had no choice but to face being homeless after going into the hospital for severe depression, bipolar 2, PTSD, OCD, and alcohol abuse.
Since those dark days, I have done nothing but educate myself on mental illnesses. This is when I learned he was a narcissist. He too was an alcoholic, but would never admit this to a soul.
I’m exactly 2 & 1/2 years sober this month. I am so proud of myself because there have been many of compromising times that I could have easily taken a drink due to massive stress, especially when I was living in a transitional house for the homeless. But… I held strong and steadfast in my recovery, and continue to advocate for people with mental illnesses/disorders.
I know this post was a bit lengthy, but after seeing today’s Daily Post Prompt, this was the first thing that popped into my mind. LOL! Sorry about that! 🙂
If you or a loved one has a drinking problem, please seek help before this story happens to you. You don’t want to have lived in my shoes, ever.
[Pictures #1 & 4 by Unsplash.com – Adam Birkett & Milada Vigerova]
[Pictures #2, 3 & 4 by Pinterest]