Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Well I Went to the Doctor. I said, "I'm feeling kinda rough." "Let me break it to you, son...your shit's fucked up."

Valentine's Day 2011 was the last one Chris and I spent together. It was when things were getting pretty difficult between us and we were anything but happy. He was already dating multiple other women, and hurting me, and I found one last reminder of that day on my computer. I looked fabulous that night, in a black cocktail dress and heels and if you look at Chris, well, he's nothing special to look at--we went to Kiki's Bistro in downtown Chicago, and I remember the conversation feeling forced and uncomfortable.

Don't get me wrong--the restaurant was charming. A fancy and expensive but not necessarily pretentious French bistro. How a bistro can't be pretentious, I'm not sure, but he thought I'd feel comfortable there. As if "fancy" and "Annie" didn't go together very well. I don't know if it was a gesture of kindness that he took me somewhere he thought I'd feel comfortable or if he was just embarrassed to be with me in a fancy restaurant and thought I had no manners (hey, I know which fork is which, ya'll). No, I don't even remember what I had to eat that night. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was the least obnoxious dish on the menu. Something in which I knew vaguely what the French ingredients were.

I remember him being hesitant having the doorman at the apartment building taking another picture of us that I planned to put, gasp, on Facebook. I didn't tag him in the photograph, per his perpetual request. God, were we unhappy.

Did I know it would be our last Valentine's Day together? Of course I did. So there was sadness but some relief mixed in with that as well. I was, in a way, happy that the madness was soon going to stop. We'd part forever around 2 months later. The effects would last far longer, however.

Today also marks my grandparents, Charles and Delia Edwards', wedding anniversary, this day in 1935. They married on the q-t because my Gram was pregnant with my Aunt at the time, so there is literally no record of their wedding other than perhaps a license or something in their memorabilia. In any event, theirs was a love story that knew no bounds. This year, they'd have been together 77 years. She died in 2007, he died in 2001. They had my aunt and my mom, and I always admired their unity and togetherness. I can only wish to find that someday in my life, though I sort of doubt it at this point. Anyway, this photo below was taken of them at their 60th wedding anniversary party in 1995, when I was engaged to Craig.

Speaking of anniversaries, well, folks, we have a new one to "celebrate." The 4-year sobriety anniversary is not to be anymore. The new sobriety date is February 13, 2012. Clean slate. New beginning.

All thanks to me taking some NyQuil nighttime cough/cold medication when I had pneumonia and continuing to take it after I was better. NyQuil is comprised of 10% alcohol per bottle. That's what? The equivalent of being 20 proof. Not horrible, not a Jack Daniels. But it counts just as well.

I'd consumed approximately half a bottle of the NyQuil Sunday night and mixed it with all my nighttime medications and crapped the bed again. I don't know if the two situations were related, since I was on neither NyQuil or Norco when I had the first accident 2 or 3 weeks ago. But I've had chronic diarrhea for months on end now, that's part of why I was in the hospital in the first place. My system's just a mess.

Luke woke up to go to the bathroom at 3:3o am and smelled something horrible, and came to find it was Mom. He woke up my mom, who was once again horrified at what she found, and I was so out of it blottoed I didn't know what the hell was going on. I don't really remember what I was talking about, and I remember her asking me all of what I took. I told her about the NyQuil, and she eventually found all the bottles (I think there were 3) that I had stashed in the house--2 in my backpack and one in my medicine bag. Luke was already aware of it. He was wondering why I was still taking cough medicine when I was cured of the pneumonia. He took a video one of the nights I was drunk and showed it to me the other day. I was incomprehensible, talking about wild things that made no sense, and he had it all on tape. He asked me in the video if I was drunk, and I denied it. He will show no one this video, it's not going on YouTube, but it showed me at my most pathetic. It was like watching Anna Nicole Smith without breast implants and a semblance of intelligence that was masked by being simply totally fucking out of it and rambling on. It was grossly embarrassing to watch.

So why WAS I taking the NyQuil? Because I have had a record amount of shit piled on top of me in a very short period of time, and I clung to the one coping mechanism that I thought would work--to numb myself with drugs or alcohol. The only problem with that, though, is that it only makes matters markedly worse. I lost my job. I had to drop out of school because of my poor health. I was facing diagnoses of potentially very serious diseases. I need a hysterectomy. I was told I couldn't even drive because of the seizure I had, so I lost my independence. I was still trying to get over what that asshole pictured above did to my psyche (Chris, not my grandpa). I was disappointed, reeling, heartbroken. About lots of things. My best male friend was using again too, not that that gave me any excuse to join him in clinking bottles together.

Ma cleaned up my room and put clean sheets on my bed, not going back to bed after 4am when she was awakened, and commanded I go back to bed, when I wanted to go outside for a cigarette. She told me if I didn't go back to bed, she'd call 911 on me. Because being threatened is exactly what an addict needs at a crucial moment. I'd just fucking admitted what I was doing, I wanted the merry-go-round of THAT problem to stop, so I was honest, and was getting my ass kicked in the process.

Granted, my mother watched my father DIE from alcoholism and was afraid of watching the same thing happen to me. She's projecting my father's death onto me and is totally afraid I'm going to die. She's trying to be as supportive as she can, but she's internalizing a lot of my pain into her own heart, from which she needs to learn to detach. Trust has been broken. The padlock is back on the liquor downstairs. I am once again being treated like a child, which I honestly don't deserve. I'm a grown up who makes grown up mistakes and needs to learn from them. I don't need inpatient rehab this time around for I am not physically addicted to alcohol. I didn't go through withdrawal or DT's or anything due to the short period of time I was using the NyQuil.

I am going back to AA several times a week, reading the Big Book, reading the 24-hour a day book, and I'm hooked up with a tough-ass sponsor who'll pick me up in 15 minutes to go to a meeting. I have supportive friends (many of whom are in recovery themselves) and a supportive family (when they're not chastising me). My mom needs to start going to Al-Anon, whether she likes it or not. I'm doing my part and she needs to do her part. We still need to find a counselor for Luke and he's old enough now to attend Al-a-Teen for support about his crazy mother.

I don't know how I'll have the heart or the guts to tell my Tatus what I've been up to recently, I dunno...he's no dummy and can probably guess what's going on already. Perhaps I'll just direct him to this blog and look at him like the wounded little soldier that I am when we see one another again. If he's half the man of character I believe him to be, he'll understand and won't judge me. I left him a text this morning to have a good Valentine's Day with his missus and to do something romantic and my usual "love ya." He called me while I was at AA and wished me a Happy Valentine's Day, hoped I'd had a good day, and that he was going home to have a nice dinner (I assume with the missus) and that he was going to have a glass of red wine, all of which was about the last thing I needed to hear 2 days after I finished a relapse. I have nothing against the dinner with the missus, but the red wine? Wow, am I hyper-sensitive to such things at the present moment. When we go out for dinner (AND MY TATTOO, TATUS!) next week, we'll have a week of sobriety to celebrate instead of 4 years. And I have a nefarious plot in the works to convince him to go tattooing with me. But I'm certainly not sharing that on my blog.

I need a smoke now and I'll write more after my meeting. Hang on....

The AA meeting was such a relief. I was the first to comment and told my story about the NyQuil, which was received as a sign of bravery, not condemnation. It was just a women's meeting, which was nice. My sponsor gave me some homework to do, which I have to complete by next week. This Tuesday night meeting should become our regular gig (though next week's up in the air depending on when my Tatus can get together). My sponsor, who is a friend from church, has known me for some time and is a big fan of my band. She said that God is putting me through all this unbearable bullshit because I'm going through a GROWTH SPURT. I think that's very true. It'll all make me a better psychologist, a more competent and compassionate counselor, and that my life will only get richer having gone through this experience.

It was reinforced that I'm not a failure, that I am strong and capable and will get through this, stronger than ever. There were other women in that room tonight who have relapsed; my best male friend has relapsed, my high school best friend has relapsed, it's not unheard of. I just wish it hadn't been NOW, just a week before celebrating 4 years of consecutive sobriety. But it happened. And it's over. And I will heal. It's getting harder to convince the people who love me that I'm not planning on dying any time soon (I gained 5 lbs for crying out loud!) and that God has special plans in store for me. He doesn't need me up there yet and has a wonderful guardian angel in my Dad watching over me who's still proud even though I took a detour on the ever-bumpy road known as staying clean and sober.

This ends Valentine's Day, thank God. The only Valentine I got was from Luke--a Transformers one that he refused to hand out at school that he folded and taped with stickers and was impossible to open and instead of having a gushy "I love you, Mom" written in it, it simply said "Hi." That was enough for me, however, because I already know and am keenly aware of how much my son loves me. That is clear and evident and wonderful. He told his father about the diarrhea and the NyQuil and I emailed Craig this afternoon to clarify some things about the whole situation, but I am waiting to hear back from him. Of course.

I'm glad the day is done. I'm glad I stayed sober today. I'm glad I went back to a meeting. A great meeting. I'm glad my friends are so supportive. I bought a hat that's a giant octopus that's pink and has long tentacles hanging all around it. It is knit like all my other funky hats and will go nice with my dorky hat collection. So all in all, not a bad day. A quiet, contemplative day. A Valentine's Day where I'm grateful for love, and grateful Chris is long gone.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You look so small and overpowered by Chris' presence. Both of your smiles look forced and fake. I can see you were unhappy. I'm glad you're away from him. I'd never seen what he looked like before and he's not what I pictured at all. He doesn't look very friendly.

Separately,you've come so far and you're such an amazing woman, don't feel like you've failed because of the Nyquil. Addiction is such a powerful thing. You were at your wit's end with everything you've been through the last few months. Don't beat yourself up about it.