4/27/10

The T word

I had to take deep breaths and put my head down, waiting for it to pass. I could feel it coming, the panic. The need.

I thought about how I need to be stronger to handle this.
I can't do this, I thought. Who am I doing this for? I think I'd be drinking if I wasn't worried about what people think. Ugh that's awful, I thought of me. You're so selfish, I said to me. You would drink even though you have these two boys who are being so good to you and this husband who patiently understands you. Really? Who are you doing this for if not for them and you and God? And you're not. You're doing this because you said you would and you don't even want this.

In that moment I hated me. And I put my head down and I was gasping for air and I just kept saying right out loud
help me help me help me while pulling up to a liquor store kept popping into my head and so I would squeeze my eyes closed to try to make it go away.

Help me, please come help me, I said.

And then I thought about the rats. How someone told me about a study where the rats were given vodka in their water and they wouldn't touch it, they would rather die of thirst than drink it. And then how they were injected with this long 'T' word I can't remember, a thing that alcoholics have in their brains, and when that 'T' words was in their systems, they were given straight vodka in one bottle and plain water in another and then they drank the vodka until they died. Something outside of them made them alcoholics and then suddenly they wanted to drink and they could not stop.

Somehow this was a comfort to me. Not that the rats would drink themselves to death, that's sad, but the harsh reality of what I'm fighting hit me and I realized I'm not as weak as I feel. I'm doing the very best that I can. I'm a rat trying not to choose the wrong bottle even though everything in me is pulled to what I don't want to be.

This isn't a sob story, this is me telling you that there is no other explanation for my sobriety than a power greater than myself. And that's why today is a new and better day. I am here and I'm sober. I'm not drinking myself to death or to the loss of my loved ones and feelings. I'm sober today and I'm grateful. I really wish the 'T' word was not a part of my life. I would much rather be allergic to cheese than wine. But I'm not. This is my reality and somehow, some way, going through this and telling its story will help someone.

If you are that someone, I want you to know that you are worth every moment with my head down with deep breaths. You are.

Peace.

52 clicked right here to comment:

Heidi Ashworth said...

You ARE strong! Incredibly strong--and what a blessing that you have so many out there who are aware of your struggles and can help keep you on track. I don't think it's selfish but if it is, I'm all for it b/c it is going to help keep you strong.

This post makes me think of what my Big Guy said the other day, his chin wobbling with unshed tears: I wish that I could go to heaven and get a new body that didn't have all of these problems and come back to earth for just ONE minute so that I could know what it felt like to be normal. But he is the way he is for a reason and so are you.

Hang in there! You are an inspiration to many! Love you!

Wendi@Every Day Miracles said...

wow lady. I have chills...

Sheryl said...

remember when i said that i was jealous??

well, i am not saying "no" any more to the temptation. and i am pissed! there, i said it.

love you girly and so very proud.

Sarah@EmergingMummy said...

It takes gut to be this honest. And I love you for it. God is at work here. He is faithful to complete it. Prayers, prayers and grace, dear girl.

Kori said...

Well you know I am over here doing the Tupac Chest thump of solidarity. Be comforted, too-in time? It sucks a lot less.

Heather of the EO said...

Sheryl.

And isn't something that I'M jealous of you? That you are drinking? Wow. This is such a messed up and insane thing to deal with and I'm so sorry. It feels so much like a lose-lose so much of the time. I love you drinking or not, friend. The story will unfold despite us. It will.
*picture Heather screaming her head off here because she is*

TKW said...

This was brave. I'm so very proud of you. (sniffle)

Lee Vandeman said...

Heather.

You are one strong rat my friend.

xoxo
Lee

Lee Vandeman said...

And your new profile pic is just stunning and beautiful and peaceful and does NOT look like a rat at all.

~j. said...

I'm not as weak as I feel

Yes.

Corinne said...

It comforts me to no end to know that it's not my fault I'm this way. It's ok, and as long as we're working on it that's all we can do.
YOU do help with these posts. In part thanks to you I'm at 90 days today :) (not toot my own horn on your blog, but you need to know because you were so instrumental in working on the T word, and not succumbing to it)
Love you, lady!

maggie, dammit said...

Damn.

I've never heard of that T word rat study but it's a gift to me. You are a gift to me. Today, and every day.

You are also brave when I am not. Thank you for continuing to gently place words like these on the page. It's incredibly important. Vital, actually.

b. said...

My friend, ~j. shared this...that's why I'm here.

I'm a fellow rat, asker...nay, beggar of assistance from my higher power, and woman of strength.

You can do this. And so can I.

Alyson (New England Living) said...

LOVE this post, Heather! We all have our weaknesses and it's so refreshing that you have written about your struggle because we all understand.

Amber said...

Heather, I read these posts and am reminded of the many things that I am struggling with. I know you may be tired of being called "strong" so I won't use that word. I will use "real" instead. Thank you for being real and sharing this journey with all of us.

Heather of the EO said...

Thank you. All of you. You have no idea what you mean.

My heart is very swelly because of you. It's good.

Lisa Page Rosenberg said...

Thank you for this.

I believe my own experience with the T word dumped me out from a hopeless place to a hopeful one and I'm better for having been there.

You are a good one, you are.

Nili said...

I've been keeping you in my thoughts and prayers Heather....you can do this...because The One who is greater than anything (inside or outside of us) resides in you and around you.
Love and hugs

Sara Sophia said...

You are strong.
So. very. strong.
And even when your physical self might betray you---Heather, you have the heart of a warrior.

I hope these words bear you up when you feel alone. I hope you know there are people out there who feel cosmically drawn to you---destined to love you and be your friend.
Whatever that's worth..
He doesn't want you to be alone.

Whatever you need.
Whenever.

We're here.
Thanks for letting us love you.

Sara Sophia

The mad woman behind the blog said...

I love your honesty and your bravery. Thank you again for the inspiration. I am grateful for your every post.
Thank you.

Nicki said...

You are brave - brave to not drink, brave to let us all in to see what is going on. You will continue to be brave as it is part of you!!

Becky said...

YOU are not a rat. You are amazing and strong and powerful and helpful... oh and human. and an alcoholic. and real.

and I love you. and am so proud to call you a friend.

kirsten said...

what astounds me, and inspires me, is that you know. You know how strong you are, you know how weak you are, and you know that any given moment we are somewhere *between* strong and weak.

It may be the hardest, but the most empowering thing of getting sober: you now are SO MUCH CLOSER to the knowledge of strength and weakness. I'm sure this is painful.

You're doing it, friend. You're living it: not easy, but YOU ARE DOING IT. If that's all that keeps you from pulling over at the liquor store, that's enough.

Denise said...

Powerful. Heroic. Real. I am in awe of you--and your amazing talent and gifts. Sharing your hurdles, your humaness, you. Thank you.

Mommypotamus said...

Wow. My heart felt heavy as I read this. You really expressed it realistically. I respect what you're doing. Thanks for sharing with us.

LutherLiz said...

The nice thing is that the Tword doesn't define all of you. Good luck and fight the good fight!

L.T. Elliot said...

I have my own T word but it doesn't start with T. I'm trying so hard not to drink myself to death because I don't want to--for me, for them, because I just don't want to. I'm trying to understand that my T word is similar to your T word and I wonder if they put it in rats, would the rats still die or would they be better than I am being? I don't know but I'm trying not to drink myself to death.


I love you, Heather. I just do.

DeNae said...

This is so inspiring, Heather. Inspiring because it's motivational and real. I also have my own "thing", and there have been so many times when I've had the internal tantrum that always starts with the words "IT'S JUST NOT FAIR!!" Knowing that there may well be some kind of chemical reason for my difficulties has the paradoxical effect of both helping me relax and often leading me to near-despair.

There's no magic bullet. You just breathe and pray and survive, moment to moment. That's all any of us can hope for, no matter how beautiful the promised rewards might be.

mandiegirl said...

I think we're all worth it. :)

And, cheese is good. Just sayin.

I guess the cheese(the food, all of it) is my battle. We all have one, several. We're just not all open and honest heather. You are victorious.

blueviolet said...

I am sure that you are touching more people than you can imagine by your courage and honesty as you fight through every day!

Kelly @ Love Well said...

I know I've said this before, but I am so proud of you, Heather. Your honesty and determination and humility are beautiful.

H-Mama said...

I love that you are real... and dare I say... transparent. You are helping more than you realize, Heather. Many who may not have the courage {yet} to be as transparent and brave as you are. {{{{hugs}}}} You are a strong, beautiful wife, mother... woman. Hear you roarrr! ;)

Billy Coffey said...

I think it stinks to say That's Enough when we really want to say Just One More. And I think it's really hard to live inside out when it's so much better to lurk in the shadows.

So I guess that means the best people among us, the brave and the good ones, are the ones who stink from the inside out. That's you. And now that I read that back to myself, it sounds really kinda bad. But I promise it's really very good.

Charlotte said...

Thank you for being willing to share and reminding me that I am not always as weak as I feel sometimes, either. (Although that is always easier to remember when I'm not feeling it).

Pamela said...

i'm not as weak as i feel

fabulous line.

Mackenzie said...

You explain this disease of alcoholism so well. I've felt so alone with my disease at many times, but your writings bring comfort to me and validate my very similar life experiences. I think a non-alcoholic could get a good picture of what it's like to have this disease by reading your blog. I've always wanted my family and friends to understand what it's like, but I can't say it as clearly as you. Now I have a direction to point them in:)

Deb said...

Hella Yeah.

Rach@In His Hands said...

Thankfully Jesus is bigger than the T-word....and even though this journey is SO SO SO hard, I know he's got your back. Love you, friend.

Kristen @ Motherese said...

Your strength and honesty are a beacon. Please know that you are an inspiration to all of us - whatever our challenge. You are demonstrating the power we all have to evaluate ourselves and to say NO. And then to say YES to all of the good stuff that we can fit in its place.

~beautyandjoy~ said...

A. I love your description of why you blog: wrogging, indeed. Perfect.

B. Your comments blew my mind - that is really amazing! What a coincidence considering I almost didn't include Parched as what I was reading for a variety of reasons.

C. I am blown away by your writing.

D. I cannot wait until I can back-read your blog.

E. How did it take me this long to find you?

F. I had to organize my comment because I am so blown away.

Thank you. The end. For now. :)

Debbie said...

That is a great story and I can certainly see how that would give you strength.

hezro said...

Wow, that post gave me goose bumps. Pretty amazing stuff right there. Thanks for putting it all out there for the rest of us to learn from and be inspired by you. Keep at it! (Eff the T-word!)

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

I think your journey is an amazing one...you are so going to make it my friend. No doubt, even when there is some...you will make it.

Lisa said...

God lays you on my heart at the most random times and whenever he does, I stop and pray.

You are beautiful.

My Bottle's Up! said...

i am at a loss for words, though i have read this post over 5 times now.

you are so powerful and graceful and forgiving of yourself.

it's truly amazing to read this journey you are on, and i know i am not the only one who is grateful for your words... for you.

i'm sorry my comment isn't better, and my words are fumbling, but more than anything, i just wanted you to know that i'm reading.

Tooj said...

I need to find ways to be as honest as you are. Other things, like drinking, are pretty measurable in how detrimental they can be. We've got those around us who are affected, your body, relationships....but is your honesty measurable? I hope so, because it's a very instrumental part in the POSITIVE spin on all this. Some of us can't get that positive spin because honesty with our faults is so hard to come by.

It sounds like your story has been inspirational to many, and a source of "oneness" for others. Keep at it, Heather, you have a reason for all that you do.

Christine said...

Brave post, by a brave woman. By virtue of writing these words I think you've overcome another hurdle. Hugs and strength to you.

swonderful said...

Mmkay friend. I typed out a long comment last night and either fell asleep or just lost the window or something (I was exhausted, it could have been anything?) because it never submitted. It said something along the lines of: your ability to put yourself out there and say what needs to be said is inspiring to me, and I think you must have really cool parents or something because you turned out with all the right kind of confidence mixed with the right kind of humility and I am learning from you. Except I think it sounded better and all flowery and meaningful last night. Though I did somehow fall asleep instead of submitting it, so it may have sounded less flowery and meaningful than I am remembering. Either way, I like the cut of your jib. You make me smile.

Tiaras said...

I just went back and read all the posts related to this topic . . . wow HEather! I ADORE you for admitting all this - for the world. You are amazing and brave and beautiful! I don't drink, ever. Not because I shouldn't or I can't any longer. Because I choose to not drink. I grew up with a mother who drank - sucked arse. Continue on this RIGHT path!! It will all be more than worth it!

Kelly said...

I agree with everyone -- beautiful, and brave and powerful. Also, the "you" you're writing for? It's yourself. I want to read your words back to you until they sink through the skin and are carried into your brain, where they will do battle with the T word. YOU are valuable and worthy and amazing. YOU are strong and scared and able. That's why we love you.

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

You are amazing. Simply amazing.

Em said...

Your posts about recovery are inspiring. I'm happy to have found your blog and this community of bloggers who share a common bond with me.

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