Alcohol dependence gets in the way of me being a good mother, a good wife, and a good bipolar symptom-manager.
To paraphrase Frida Kahlo: “l tried to drown my isolation in alcohol but it learned to swim”…
If you follow me, you are fully aware that I have been struggling these last few years in Macau, China. I gather, feeling alone, disconnected from my husband as a young mother & far away from home, took it’s toll & I turned inward; avoided the hard work and instead reached for a drink!
Hell, who am I kidding? For as long as I can remember, I have always reached for a drink… even as of late, with this awareness I am still reaching for a drink!?
But in August, I took the steps to lead a healthier life. I went on a ten day Do-It-Yourself Detox @ the Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali. My very nebulous depression had gotten he better of ME and I had not been sleeping enough. Two small glasses of wine would me up in the middle of the night!?
Needless to say, it was a phenomenal experience. Just what the doctor ordered! What amazed ME was that although I have made excuses for the last many years to pour myself a glass of wine rather than roll out my yoga mat… the lessons surrounding the cleanse/ purification came easily to ME.
Mind you I started Yoga in 1998 and became a Yoga Teacher a year ago… so my mind/body/soul has memory. That said, all of our minds/bodies/souls have memory! The Creator of all things is within our reach. Personally, I liken to believe that we are all spiritual beings inhabiting these shells that we call human bodies.
But I digress! It’s only been a few short months that I have been drinking less but I have always known that giving up alcohol is in the best interest of my mental health. For all of these years I thought that I had a handle on being a good person, this thing called yoga, etc. but I now realize that a freedom from my addiction may open ME up to a marvelous truth about myself.
The truth is, I am brave! I am brave but still afraid, very afraid! And therefor I can’t bring myself to do it?!
A part of me wants to quit but I just can’t find the needs to quit! I am not okay with admitting that I am an alcoholic and do not recognize that therefor because I am one, that I just should not drink. To begin with, I don’t think my friends and family will be okay with that!? I think that I’d alienate the only ones that I’d have left. I’d bet money that they probably don’t want to get into the details of why I drink; most of them just want to “bond” over a bottle of wine…
However vulnerable it makes me feel to admit that I am unaware if I am high functioning alcoholic by birth or if I made myself one nursing my depression in Macau these last many years, but it’s time to accept that it doesn’t matter! And yet, with that admittance I just can’t quit! Although, I no longer want to invite alcohol into my life – it’s such a deep rooted habit, that I don’t know how to stop! I want more for myself, more for my family… more from life but I don’t know how to get it!!
With heightened sensitivity and great awareness I turn to you here: I am lost!
When you can’t go out dancing with the girls drinking until dawn in strappy heels and flirt with random boys, what’s left? When you can’t wipe the sweat off your brow with a cold brew on a hot summer day over a barbecue grill discussing the trials and tribulations of marriage, what’s left? When you can’t drink a fine wine with that pan-seared rib eye with Bearnaise in a fancy (adult only) restaurant, what’s left?
Do you see my dilemma? Can you see why I haven’t done it already??
Sadly, support groups haven’t ever really worked for ME. I have resisted praying for my sobriety, morning and night, and referring to alcohol as poison. I am afraid that my only alternative is this, AA, and yet I resist it because I have not hit rock bottom… I repeat, I am a high functioning alcoholic… there are many of us out here! Can’t I just continue as is?
In AA your stories do and don’t matter. What I mean is, there it’s easy to understand, have compassion and they forgive. There people listen; for an hour they care! But the worst part is that they are not around when you are alone in your weakest hour to stop you from making that choice.
When I deliberately drink less, I am a better mother/wife because I am more present. Surely I am a better Bipolar because I am well rested and less depressed. What I don’t know, what I want to ask Frida Kahlo is: do ever die? As God as my witness, I want them to die! But I just cannot get rid of them.
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