Finally, we're getting rain! It started this afternoon, a slow drizzle...nice for being indoors & contemplative.
I had a busy morning. The group therapy was great today, a good mixture of people. One of the individuals said they were inspired by me and my participation! That was nice to hear, since I am always active in the group, speaking about my problems, solutions, how I'm coping. Otherwise, why bother if you're going to sit there with a sullen look? A few of the people are there by court order (having gotten into trouble with their drug of choice), and they usually start out being quietly obstinate. Some eventually start to participate but others never do. Sad.
I had errands in town, then dropped by the library to return some books, checked out a couple more.
Once home, I took the dogs on a walk before the rain. Then I had housework as well as sorting through the pet stuff to put into the new pantry. That took awhile, but I eliminated a bunch of boxes, etc that were taking too much space.
Okay, now back to my journey. I wanted to clarify that I never drank till after my husband died. Our county was dry until about a year ago. Occasionally, we'd drive to the closest liquor store, and my husband would buy some lite beer. It would last a long time at the house because we only drank it infrequently...maybe with some popcorn and a movie.
One trait I miss about my husband is his optimistic nature. If the "glass half full/empty" applied to him, the glass would always be half full and it'd be half empty for me. How he kept such a positive attitude in the face of all the terrible things he witnessed as a law enforcement officer, I'll never know.
After he died, I remember a phone call with my mother-in-law. I told her I'd sure miss my husband's positive contrast to my negativity. She agreed with me about him, and I told her I just didn't know what would happen to me.
After he died, when I first began to drink, it was seldom...sometimes at night watching a movie I'd have a weak mixed drink. Over a period of six years, the drinking steadily increased -- but I never drove drunk (or even when I'd had a drink) and never had a drink before noon. The worst periods began last January, and it was downhill all the way after that. Truthfully I hated the drinking by then, but couldn't stop. I tried several times, but just couldn't do it alone.
If anyone with a drinking or drug problem is reading this, I hope they will reach out for help instead of thinking they can do it alone. Some rare people can stop cold turkey, get through the detox (I did that but it didn't last)...alone. There is no shame in asking/needing help; the only shame is in NOT asking if you need the outside help/intervention.
In my case, I voluntarily signed myself into a secure, lock-down facility. I did it because I reached a point where I couldn't trust myself, and truly didn't know what I'd do next. I wanted to be taken care of, watched so I wouldn't harm myself. I had just experienced a near-suicide, barely escaping death. And I did it myself, mainly because I wanted to stop drinking but just couldn't. When the doors closed behind me at that facility, I had no idea what to expect...but it turned out to be the best decision I ever made in my life. It was what I needed at that time.
And with that, here's a couple of entries from my hand-written journal leading up to that time:
Well, I am going to try moderate/controlled drinking. I got one bottle of vodka, and will try to have only 3 drinks per night.
Last night went well and I guess I'll see how and/or if I can do this.
Because of age ... there just seems to be no motivation for not drinking in moderation. I never want to let it get to the point it did before (ER trip due to being so highly intoxicated family feared for my life)...but there are times when I feel a drink saves me from something worse--suicide.
So, that's it in a nutshell.
So far, so good with the moderate drinking. I even found an internet counseling group with this approach.
As I stated before, if I was young, had my entire life ahead, I'd choose sobriety. Heck, I was sober till in my mid-50s. And even then, I always managed moderation for years. The only serious problem I had was for a period of 3 months.
Probably that was due to turning 60...and the frequent stress because of problems I was going through.
In the next entry I have some questions from the moderation group to answer.
That's it for today.