Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I could be a statistic.

Before I get into a heavy post that is a preview of tomorrow's post- I have a Lenny update. First and foremost- THANK YOU to everyone who has sent us well wishes here, on Facebook, in my email and through texts. Thank you to all of you who shared our plight on your own blogs or on your Facebook pages. Thank you to the people who bought stuff out of my Etsy shop to support his vet bills and/or to not make Christmas suck for my kids. I have been blown away but all of you, it was a humbling experience to say the least. I am continually amazed at the relationships I have made with each of you and I wish I could personally hug you all because it meant a lot. The update is basically it may be diet related. He needs to be in the hospital until Thursday but his catheter comes out tomorrow. He hasn't eaten anything and only has taken in a little water- but he's peeing through the catheter ok. They are doing more blood work tomorrow but as of right now, it looks like it may be the shitty food Matt bought him. BUT it could become something that comes back because APPARENTLY, once male cats gets this they are more prone to it coming back. But we might know more tomorrow after blood work to make sure he doesn't have a fucked up kidney or something. So stay tuned.

**
OK. So this is a heavy topic for me. It's one that I only recently talked to my own mother about because a book I read basically scared the shit out of me. It brought up a lot of things I wasn't ready to deal with. But at the age of 28-- I need to. Because I could be a statistic.

I? Am an addict. I am not currently addicted to anything...but I could be. I could fall of a sober wagon any day. My biological father is an alcoholic and is addicted to pain medication. I have an uncle on my mother's side who was a drug addict and died alone as a drug addict. I am genetically predisposed to it. And while normally that doesn't mean anything to people, it means something to me.

I have mentioned before on my blog that I don't drink. I don't frown upon those that do and I'm capable of being around people who are drinking. I know I can't drink. I have only gotten drunk a handful of times in my life, mostly as a teenager who was at a sleepover. The only one I can really remember in detail is the one that convinced me I had a problem. I was a teenager and I was as a sleepover. My friend and I snuck out to a party with older kids. We were thrilled to be invited and thought we were so cool. I drank. And drank. I don't remember the particulars but I remember carrying a bottle of Jack Daniels with me and I called him my boyfriend. I remember waking up, in a house that I didn't know, without my friend, wearing a shirt that wasn't mine. I was terrified and ended up walking back. It was during my walk that I realized two things- first, I couldn't control spinning out of control. I wouldn't even see it coming. And second, I knew I couldn't drink ever again.

It's not that I even like liquor. I don't, actually. It's the feeling I get as soon as I take a sip. I can feel it course through my veins, my entire mentality changes and I can feel like a complete transformation is happening. And I can't get myself to stop. I have to drink until I pass out. Because I'm older I can look back and see how dangerous it was- quite frankly, I could have died. And I never told my parents. I never told most of my closest friends because I was scared. I was embarrassed. I was ashamed that I could turn into my father.

Fast forward to today. I suffer from chronic migraines. I don't take daily medication to prevent them because not only can I not afford it, but because they are addictive. And they can cause schizophrenia. Awesome. But what I do have is a pill called Maxalt, that relieves the migraine pain. I can finally afford them with our new insurance so when I picked up my last prescription I have over 50 of them. In my house. I can take them anytime.

And I want to.

I have to talk myself out of taking them every.single.day. It's a battle. They are in a drawer near my bed and I know they are in there. I know exactly how many I have left. I know the feeling I get within minutes of taking it. It basically feels like I'm heavy. So heavy, every limb in my body weighs 50 pounds. I'm heavy but I'm light as a feather and feel like I'm floating. The pain goes away so fast and I feel like I'm floating. It makes me drowsy so within an hour of taking it, I'm fast asleep. I can't function when I take one.... yet I want that floating feeling. I can feel the drug dissolve in my stomach and flow through my veins. Logically- I know I have to watch it because I could so easily become a statistic.

And it scares the shit out of me.

I never wanted to be that person. I thank God every day that I recognize that this could very well happen to me. I think about the people who become addicted to something. I think about the lives it ruins and the despair of slowly dying. I think about the feeling of control you think you have but you don't. It's like having voices on my shoulder. One is telling me it's ok to take them- take as many as you want- you'll be fine, you'll know when to stop. And the other is telling me that I can't do that, I couldn't stop, I wouldn't see myself spin out of control.

And I'm grateful.

I'm grateful to have a family that I can talk to when I need it. I'm grateful to have enough education to know I am not in charge of an addiction. I am grateful to know that I've made the right choices and that I recognized the potential for something worse. I'm grateful that I'm able to look past myself and see my kids. I see them and I realize that I have to do better for them. I have to show them that you can break a cycle. That it doesn't have to be the way nature wants it to be. That you can live above the excuses that are automatically in place.

But god damn, it's hard. I've talked to Matt about it and he's supportive. He doesn't drink anymore. I don't mind if he does, really- I don't. Every once in awhile I might get a margarita. Or a fruity mixed drink. But I'm with people who know my story- they know to watch me, to talk me out of ordering a second.

It's also lonely. I don't get invited to a lot of stuff because it's mostly held at bars and because I don't drink... people assume I wouldn't want to go. It sucks, but it's the way it is and I knew that when I made my decision. I would rather be lonely than a drunk.

And honestly? Acknowledging this stuff? Makes me feel better. It makes me feel accountable. It's like it's real and it's no longer an elephant in the room. Do family and friends need to worry? No. I know what could happen and I'm actively fighting against that. I don't need to be in a dark place to recognize I don't want to be there. I see my father, I hear the stories and it scares the hell out of me. I'm sad for him because he doesn't recognize he has a problem. He's lost his family, his kids, and his whole life... yet it isn't enough. At least now I know it'll never be enough and it really never had anything to do with me. It never had anything to do with my mom. With anybody but himself. And once I came to that conclusion I've been at peace with the abandonment. Sure- things could have been different... but they weren't. These are the cards I'm dealt- and I need to play them.

21 comments:

prettylittlereckless said...

(((hugs))) I'm sure this took a lot for you to write about this. Thanks for sharing. :)

Krysten @ After 'I Do' said...

Emailing you.

That's all.

Anonymous said...

Wow. You are preaching to the choir sista. I so completely get it. But you know, Sara, you will be okay. And you're doing the right thing by recognising that you could have an issue if you do take them for kicks. That's a huge step forward:) Be strong! You can do it! Tell the pills to kiss your ass! Or would that be weird? Because that is the only suggestion I have:) Dina Kucera

Helena said...

I am so glad that you are in tune with your body, and aware of what could happen. If it wasnt for your self control, who knows where you would be right now? And damn, I'm proud of teenaged-you. What girl that young thinks things through enough to say "I'm done with this" and then stick to it? Not many, I bet. Especially not on their own, without leaning on their friends and family. I'm glad you have people you can lean on now, and that you were open enough to share this with us.

Josie said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I realized just over a year ago, after doing something stupid, that I could become a statistic as well. Thank God that soon after that 'something stupid' I got knocked up. I'm not as strong as you. I couldn't stop for me so I stopped for my daughter. Way to be Sara.

Lost said...

1. So glad Lenny is going OK :)

2. You are wise beyond your years. And stronger than most. Addiction won't beat you because you won't let it. Respect!

Odie Langley said...

I'm proud of you girl because it is a bold thing to open yourself up to the world about a problem. You are taking the right steps and seem to be in control. Just know we are always here when you need us to listen.
Odie

thotlady said...

I believe that my husband was pushed in my direction so that I would have someone in my life that kept me in balance with alcohol.

He is always there to keep me grounded. If I didn't have him, I am not sure where I would be right now.

You are wise.

Chicken said...

Glad Lenny is doing better! I got my goodies in the mail and OMG your cards are amazing. I'm going to whore out your Etsy shop on my blog.

Enough of that...

I'm so glad that you realize that addiction COULD be a problem for you. But it sounds like you are one of the rare and wonderful people that realize this about yourself and you have the power and strength to stand against it. This is the hardest part for most addicts. The loss of self control, the feeling that they can't survive without the addiction. You are amazing, and don't ever question that!

Nicki said...

Powerful post. What a shitty hand to be dealt with--it speaks worlds for your strength that you can face it head-on and admit you could have a problem. Thank you for sharing.

SpiritPhoenix said...

So glad to hear that your furry munchkin is okay. Let's hope it's just an easy fix of changing food.

Kudos to you for recognizing your potential pitfall. It's a strong person that can admit their weaknesses. Especially such a major one. But I'm sure you'll keep the demons at bay. You're one strong kick ass chica!

asj said...

I'm with you - addiction runs in my family and though I (currently) do choose to drink - I frequently stop and choose not to for weeks/months, etc at a time - just to prove to myself that I can. I definitely had a problem at one point and knowing that it really does have so much to do with genetics freaks me out... but in other news, glad to hear things with Lenny could be looking up - I'm thinking of you!

Canadianbloggergirl said...

Thanks for sharing your story today! it must have been difficult. The fact that you know and are able to confront it head on is why I know you'll be absolutely fine!

CBG
canadianbloggergirl.blogspot.com

ps. Glad ur kitty is doing well!

Aimee said...

Wow... Thank you soo much for writing this. I know it must be super hard to write about.

I admire your strength, will power, and self awareness. You know that you could have a problem if you did some of these addictive behaviors and you dont do them. You may have to work hard but you do it! that is such a win! You are a strong woman so congrats.

My dad has an addictive personbality. He never got addicted to mind altering substancesonce he had us kid (as a high schooler and young adult he was a pot dealer and was a pothead but stopped once he met my mother). But my dad did put my family in $10K in debt because of a gambling addiction. I have alcoholics in my blood line as well.

I am aware that I have an addictive personality. I have become addicted to various things. I have been lucky in that I havent had a problem with alcohol, drugs, or gambling. I do get addicted to things. I have my "flavors of the month" that I joke about though it is scary because that means I get addicted to things and I dont have control over it.

So thank you for pulling attention to this matter. Once again I admire your strength, honesty, and willpower.

P.S. Im still keeping lenny in my thoughts :)

Anonymous said...

One thing... In recovery we talk about removing the obsession. That is used in a mental, spiritual way. But, if you're like me, you also need to actually physically REMOVE the obsession. Having a bottle of pills in the next room would be more than I could handle. Can a friend or family member hold on to the pills until you actually need them for your migrane? I think your life would be easier if they weren't in the next room calling you. I can not have pills in the other room. I will take them. No question. Bless you everyday. PS... I love the addition of music to the page! Music makes everything better:) Dina Kucera

The Mrs. said...

Sara,

I'm a newer follower...and I think you're hilarious (this post, not so much...).

I had to comment, because I can relate to this SO much. I'm an addict (booze, speed, downers, men--all of it. inactive addict, but addict nonetheless)and I get hellacious migraines. So I know the struggle there, too. I want to say that I've really managed my migraines with diet. IDK if you drink soda or not, but maybe try to cut back there? It's really helped me--and easy -10lbs.

Anyways, thanks for sharing your story. I love that you acknowledge how easy it would be to lose control. Your strength is amazing.

-Alisha

PS: Lenny in my thoughts.

http://mylifeasawomanmommyandwife.blogspot.com/

____j said...

This is such a deep post. I'm glad you're able to talk about it and feel better about it. I feel the same way. My dad is an alcoholic and so was his mother. I never, ever want to be ANYTHING like him. Just always keep your head up, and if you ever need anyone to talk to, you know how to reach me.

Amber said...

I could have written this same post, I have the same demons in my genetics, and the same "spidey sense" to see into the future and know I am not safe from it either.

And that is why I don't drink or do drugs anymore. (That and I hate the taste of 99.9% of all alcohol out there).

Good to see I am not the only one with a good head about them around these parts my dear. Haha.

Kristin said...

You are so incredibly brave to share this lady!

ellie vs. Eleanore said...

Sara,

Thanks so much for writing about a topic many consider taboo. Most of my family are alcoholics. Though my parents have been sober for 20 years, they have a new addiction: religion. It's a socially acceptable form of addiction but I've found it can be almost as painful to deal with their rightious wrath than their alcohol abuse.

Growing up, my aunts and uncles were addicts along with my parents...who can blame them? It's what they knew. Now that most of them have sobered up they are all shocked and disappointed that their children, (my cousins and my brother) all all addicts of one sort or another. Mostly booze but we all know there's a lot to get addicted to.

Thanks for sharing your story. I have a similar situation in that I knew in college I was on the road to a probelm and that if I didn't stop drinking, I would be just the same as all those who came before me. I try to explain this to others but you know, if you don't know, you can't know. I love my husband dearly but he grew up with the Cleavers and addiction? Is not something he's familiar with.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Another David said...

My great grandfather was an alcoholic. For all of the wonderful traits that I'm sure he had, he carried a lot of guilt for not being able to get his family out of Nazi Poland, and it kind of turned him into a huge asshole. So my grandfather tried to go to college by his father stood in the way - literally. He would find out when my grandfather had tests and would purposefully go on binges the night before so my grandfather would be forced to run his bakery for the day and miss his test.

My grandfather went senile before I was old enough to have a useful conversation with him, but the effects of my great grandfather's alcoholism last to this day. One of them is sitting on my bookshelf at home. See, back in the day (the 40s, 50s, and 60s) a bottle of nice liquor was a pretty common gift for all occasions (Read: Madmen is period accurate). My grandfather never ever touched the stuff, so he boxed them up and put them in the basement, intending to use them at my mother's and aunt's respective weddings - basically, regifting in the form of an open bar (I tell you, he was fucking brilliant!). Long story short, the weddings happened but the open bars didn't kill off all the booze. Fast forward like 55 years. These liquor bottles are sitting in boxes in my aunt's and mother's respective basements. I happened across a couple boxes of them, asked my mom about them, she told me the story I just told you and said I could have a bottle if I liked.

And that's the story of how I wound up with a bottle of 8-year 1956 Schenley OFC on my bookshelf, draped in a solid copper pocket watch. The day I open it, which I anticipate will be my wedding, the first toast will be to my grandfather.