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Thank you so much for all your kind responses.  It means a lot and makes me feel accepted here, and as a person.  Some people can be funny about alcoholics . . .  a little judgmental.  I do understand that its difficult for some people to understand that I did not make myself an alcoholic by deliberately drinking too much.  I drank too much from the word go, and I have very little control over the amount I drink.  Of course there have been times, with a massive force of will, where I have been able to control it . . . . but those times were painful and few and far between.  Basically  I am totally and utterly powerless over alcohol.  I always have been . . . .  and I ALWAYS will be.  There will never be a time that I can drink in moderation however much I wish that I could.  Its just not possible.

Well,  heres the second installment of my journey in recovery.  I hope it will be useful to someone.  

March 2008

Over the last few days Ive started drinking in the morning . . .its now too painful for me to wait until the afternoon.  The previous evening Id been to a bar and Id promised myself that I wouldnt get drunk, just like so many times before.  I ended up drinking so much beer that I felt sick.  Instead of going home, I started drinking vodka.  I was loud and embarrassing, and then I started to get aggressive.  I began picking on a 17 year old girl who told me that she never lied.  I couldnt accept it as a fact and I became aggressive, patronizing and offensive . . . though I certainly didnt see it like that at the time.  

Finally I decided to go home and get away from this bunch of losers.  I told someone I needed to get home because Id drunk too much.  He looked me dead in the eyes and said "You always drink too much."  I cant remember my exact reply to this, but I know that I became very defensive and aggressive.  What I do remember is that he just sat there quietly holding my gaze.  He looked sad, but he didnt retaliate.  I couldnt bear it a second longer, and I stormed out of the bar and lurched home full of resentment and anger towards both him and the girl.  I was ranting and raving out loud. I was full of hatred for them and everybody else.  I felt superior to all of them.  I felt  deeply misunderstood and full of self pity.  Suddenly I had an awakening of sorts and became aware of what I was saying.  As I became aware of my words and my behavior, one thing jumped right out at me. . . I was the one with the problem.  It shocked me to the core and I cried and cried like it was the end of the world.  I went home and drank some more.

When I awoke in the morning I was full of self loathing and self pity.  I quickly went and got myself a big beaker of wine, and I sat and cried as I drank it.  It was then that I knew I must try and stop drinking.  It was definitely causing me problems, and I just couldnt live with myself like this any longer.  I was desperate and desolate and I didnt have the courage to kill myself, so I knew my only option was to stop drinking.  I appeared to be completely incapable of moderating my drinking, so I must stop entirely.  It didn´t occur to me for one moment that I would be unable to do so.

Around 5pm that day I began to feel very anxious, and I started to experience a feeling thats exactly the same as nicotine withdrawal.  My body started screaming out for something and I couldnt  work out what it might be. Im really confused by this craving.  Eventually I realize that it must have something to do with not drinking. Im shocked.  The thought starts to creep into my mind that this is not a normal reaction.  I spend the rest of the evening in a state of high anxiety.  I have alcohol in the house but I stay away from it . . .Im determined not to drink.  I go to bed earlier than Ive done in months and I actually manage to get some sleep despite feeling anxious and frightened.  

Day 2. I walk to the local shop and stock up on plenty of soft drinks.  I avoid speaking to anyone.  I feel paranoid and withdrawn.  When early evening comes around I once again start to experience bad cravings.  I pace around a lot and my anxiety is going off the scale . . . but I dont drink.  I go to bed early.  Im very restless and barely sleep at all. I have crazy racing thoughts . . . more than usual.  Im scared.  I give up trying to sleep, and I play games on the computer until Im too tired to keep my eyes open.

Day 3. I awake after a few hours feeling exhausted, anxious and full of fear.  I keep busy throughout the day because I feel so restless.  I dont achieve much because I jump from one task to the next without completing the first one.  When the cravings kick in, I start to cry.  Eventually I decide to have one beer.  If I can have just one beer I cant possibly be alcoholic . . . can I?  I have one beer, and for the first time in my life I sip it really slowly and make it last for a long time.  The cravings and anxiety are definitely lessened, but they are still there bubbling away just under the surface, and soon after finishing the beer they come rushing back in again.  I go to bed early and lie there anxious and afraid.    

Day 4. I wake up anxious and it just gets worse throughout the day.  I cant sit still.  I pace a lot.  When the cravings kick in around 5pm I dont have the strength to deal with them.  I try the one beer idea again, but this time Im unable to sip it slowly and make it last.  The restlessness, anxiety and cravings fade slightly, but I need more relief.  I decide to have another beer.  If I can get through the night on just 2 beers I will know for sure that Im not alcoholic.  I dont know anything about alcoholism, but Im sure that an alcoholic drinks more than 2 beers a night.  The second beer makes a marked difference.  I feel such a great sense of ease and comfort.  All the bad feelings disappear . . . temporarily, but as soon as the drink is finished they start to crowd in on me again.  I dont know what to do.  Eventually Im able to settle at my computer and play some games, it seems to distract me and soothe me a little bit, but Im still an anxious crazy mess.  Somehow I get through the rest of the evening without any more alcohol, but I know something is definitely wrong with me and I dont know what to do.  I fall into bed exhausted and confused.  

Day 5. Its a bad day.  I feel restless, irritable, discontent, and very, very anxious.  I sit at the computer again and play some games.  Suddenly, my hands start to shake uncontrollably.  Im horrified.  I know nothing about alcoholism, but I know enough to realize that this is a withdrawal symptom from alcohol.  My mind wants to tell me that it must be something else, and nothing to do with alcohol, but deep down I know that I can no longer deny whats happening to me.  The feelings and symptoms Im experiencing are from alcohol withdrawal . . . and ONLY alcoholics experience these things, but I still try desperately to ignore this thought, because its unacceptable to me.   As I sit there I remember that I have half a bottle of Baileys somewhere.  I tell myself that it would be ok to have some of it in my coffee.  I somehow manage to convince myself that its not really alcohol, so it won´t count!  I give up putting it in my coffee after only one cup and I drink the rest of it with some ice.  It soothes me for a while and the shaking stops, but once the bottle is empty its not long before the anxiety is fully present again.

I cant cope with this a moment longer, and so I go downstairs and get a large plastic beaker, 2 litres of wine and a bottle of lemonade.  Its about 2pm when I pour out my first half pint of wine and lemonade.  As I sit at the computer drinking and crying, I search online to find alcoholic questionnaires.  This is one of them:

Are You Alcoholic?  

Ask yourself the following questions and answer them as honestly as you can.

1.Do you lose time from work due to drinking?  

2.Is drinking making your home life unhappy?  

3.Do you drink because you are shy with other people?

4.Is drinking affecting your reputation?  

5.Have you ever felt remorse after drinking?  

6.Have you gotten into financial difficulties as a result of drinking?  

7.Do you turn to lower companions and an inferior environment when drinking?  

8.Does your drinking make you careless of your family’s welfare?  

9.Has your ambition decreased since drinking?  

10.Do you crave a drink at a definite time daily?  

11.Do you want a drink the next morning?  

12.Does drinking cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?  

13.Has your efficiency decreased since drinking?  

14.Is drinking jeopardizing your job or business?  

15.Do you drink to escape from worries or trouble?  

16.Do you drink alone?  

17.Have you ever had a complete loss of memory as a result of drinking?  

18.Has your physician ever treated you for drinking?  

19.Do you drink to build up your self-confidence?  

20.Have you ever been to a hospital or institution on account of drinking?  

The above Test Questions are used by Johns Hopkins University Hospital, Baltimore, Md., in deciding whether or not a patient is alcoholic. They believe:  

If you have answered YES to any one of the questions, there is a definite warning that you may be alcoholic.  

If you have answered YES to any two, the chances are that you are an alcoholic.  

If you have answered YES to three or more, you are definitely an alcoholic.  

My TRUE score is 18. . . .  but when I first did this questionnaire I could only admit to 10.  I was trying VERY hard to see the real truth, but I could NOT see it.  But 10 is very high . . .3 or more and Im DEFINITELY an alcoholic.  Even I can see that 10 is way more than 3.  

Im devastated and terrified.  Its the end of my world. Im an alcoholic.  Part of my mind still wants to deny it, but that small sane voice inside me will not allow me to be in denial about it any longer.  I push myself to do more questionnaires, and then I find the Alcoholics Anonymous website and read some stories on there written by alcoholics.  When I compare their stories to mine, there are some differences.  Im tempted to look at those differences and use them to convince myself that Im not really like them, but that small sane voice inside me tells me to look at the similarities and not the differences.  The similarities far outweigh the differences.

My name is Rachel . . . and Im an alcoholic.

Here is my full slideshow panel for my most popular products in my Sober Princess Zazzle store. And my newest products in my Molly Sky Designs store. Im gonna take the opportunity to do a bit of shameless advertising whilst Im here !!

View more [Link Removed] from Zazzle. The "Remember the good old days" & "Pretty as a princess" cards are not as cute as they look on the outside! Shop for a [Link Removed] at Zazzle.

Rg1065733560, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Apr 19, 2010
    • No judgment here estatic unfortunately I wasn’t always this way. I thought that if you have will power you can do anything.

      Alcoholism is a decease and I wish more people understood that and treated it as such. I lost my aunt at an early age of 55. She really wanted to stop but kept falling off the wagon, and because I was young and ignorant instead of helping her I only got angry at her.  

      Wishing you many happy years of sober life.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Rachel Gordon wrote Apr 19, 2010
    • Thank you Yana. So sorry to hear about your Aunt.  The unfortunate facts are that 9 out of 10 alcoholics (even those who seek sobriety) die of this disease.  The odds are stacked against me, but Im determined to keep my sobriety my number one priority each and every day . . .  and to remember that will power is COMPLETELY USELESS against alcoholism.  The key is to actually surrender and give up my will to a power greater than myself . . . . a very difficult concept for most people to get their heads around . . . I was an outspoken atheist my whole life so initially I thought “you have GOT to be kidding!”  However, when I finally hit bottom (the time Im writing about here was not me hitting bottom).  When I finally got to that place of incomprehensible demoralization . . . . well, I finally learnt what true surrender was all about . . .  and I found my Higher Power . . . . a power that is something I never believed existed . . .  a power that removed my desire to drink OVERNIGHT . . . . a desire that has not returned in almost 2 years.  I have had lots of miracles in sobriety, but that one is always the most miraculous to me.  It is a beautiful gift that I pray I will always treasure and never take for granted.

      Just to add something else.  People do get angry at alcoholics when we are active in our addiction, but nobody ever got as angry with me as I got with myself.  I do not like to assume how anyone else feels, but if I know anything at all about this disease I would suggest that your Aunt was very angry and frustrated with herself.  There is a measure of success in what she did, she actually had some periods of sobriety.  The large majority of us never even attempt to get sober, no judgment, just the truth, and that is mostly because we dont even realise what is wrong with us.  Its glaringly obvious to everyone around us . . .  but the disease keeps us deep in denial.  Oh and there is another reason for not getting sober . . . to an active alcoholic, a life without alcohol does not appear to be one worth living.  I absolutely felt that way my whole life.  Today a sober life is the only life worth living for me.  Its never boring, and I really thought it would be!

      Ok, I have rambled on too much!  Im just so glad to be able to share my story and talk as honestly as I can about this cruel disease - especially if it helps someone else.

      If anyone reading this thinks that they too might be alcoholic they are more than welcome to contact me in COMPLETE CONFIDENCE.  Even though I choose to be open about my own alcoholism I would never “out” anyone!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Hbrose wrote Apr 19, 2010
    • Good you‘re sharing your story. You never know who it may help. Glad to know you are a recovering alcoholic and have worked hard to stay sober. Keep moving forward on this awesome path you have chosen, never look back.

      happy



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lazylola wrote Apr 19, 2010
    • heart Thank you for sharing your story, I wish you continued sobriety.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Veggie wrote Apr 20, 2010
    • Keep coming back! estatic

      I love the 3A’s:

      ~  Awareness
      ~ Acceptance
      ~  Action

      Through all your experiences and obvious humility you’ve shown & shared here, you have the greatest opportunity to help others move from a painful to pleasureful & productive life.

      There’s no better reward than passing on what you have learned about yourself and help others to have the same in theirs... if they want it.

      You‘re an inspiration and I hope you accept my friend invite from one recovering alcoholic to another.

      8 1/2 years and now, today actually, celebrating 6 years again.

      It’s a real pleasure meeting you, Rachel!

      Jean



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Dana Cappelletti wrote Apr 20, 2010
    • Rachel- you have a bright future in front of you.  Keep up the hard work!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Apr 20, 2010
    • I had a PA for 11 years who was a AA member or as she put it a black belt AA member she is sober now for twenty years.

      She told me of how she had a rota of shops she visited to buy drink so the sales assistants didn't think she had a problem. She was also married to an alcoholic and when she got sober (there was domestic violence involved) she divorced him.

      I know from her point of view it's very hard as drink is so now in our culture with you almost being penalised when you go out if you don't have an alcoholic beverage .......

      Good for you honey. I wish you well



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Karyn Olson wrote Apr 20, 2010
    • Thanks for sharing your story...just remember to keep it real and take it one day at a time...you are doing an awesome job!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tina Sickinger wrote Apr 20, 2010
    • Your story rings true for me too. I am sober 18 years now and never look back. You can do it too. We all have that inner strength, sometimes we just have to dig really deep to find it. Coming from a long line of alcohol abusers, it wasn’t easy to say the least, but if I can do it, I know you can do it!!!estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Max0125 wrote Apr 20, 2010
    • Thanks for sharing your story. I really believe that you will help other people suffering from this disease. You are stonger than you think and can beat this. Keep coming back for support and I wish you the best!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Ladyb001 wrote Apr 21, 2010
    • Hi Rachel, thanks for sharing your story.  Life can be difficult at many stages so always reach out for support and friendship.  While there are those who are quick to judge (usually the ones closest to us), seek out friends who support you.  We women together can  give each other the strength, hope and love we each need to make it thru the ups and downs of life.
      Hugs
      Beth



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Ladybug10 wrote Apr 22, 2010
    • loved your store rachel and will go back to shop...stay strong!you are truly worth it!!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Rachel Gordon wrote Apr 22, 2010
    • Hey, Thanks Ladybug!!  And thank you to all of your for your wonderful comments and support heart



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