I hadn’t even looked to see how many days I’ve been on my sobriety journey thus far in the past few weeks. I haven’t come here to write. I haven’t gone to my social network community at Boom to check in. I haven’t read any sobriety articles or blogs, or watched any podcasts. I haven’t prayed or written in my gratitude journal. Quite frankly, I’ve been hanging by a thread with this whole pregnancy, thus far. Tiredness and nausea is an understatement, especially when you never learned how to take naps, since your Kindergarten days, that is. It’s all I can do to just get out of bed in the morning, get my daughter off to daycare and then spend the day working, picking her back up, making dinner, doing some chores, bedtime routines, a little more work or watching a TV show and then finally, sleep. It’s a lucky occurrence for me if I actually can sleep as this often evades me these days. Frequent nightly trips to the bathroom are becoming a thing and my crazy anxious mind usually decides to ramp up even more than it used to. Can we say someone needs to learn how to EXERSCISE??? I know this would probably nip a lot of the anxiety and insomnia stuff in the bud.
Well it was a welcome and very nice surprise to find myself past the two month mark here on day 65 and thankfully, I can make it through some days without the thought of a drink or a cigarette, particularly those days I’m not sure whether I might have to hug a toilet or not. Somehow, just envisioning myself chugging a drink or inhaling smoke from a cig is enough to send my stomach in knots, more so than it already is from growing a placenta and little human.
One particular time that I was feeling pretty repulsed by alcohol recently, a humorous side note though that happened a few days ago. My husband had brought a jug of grape juice home (I assumed from the grocery store). I put it in the fridge and poured some mixed with water for my daughter a little later on that evening. She didn’t drink much of it, which seemed strange.
The next morning, I packed her off to daycare with her lunch and another cup of grape juice mixed with water. When I arrived back home, I felt a craving for something sweet and thought that grape juice would do the trick. Upon taking a big sip, I was stunned to recognize the taste of wine, cheap red wine, hitting my lips. I did a double take and took another tiny sip to make sure my mind was telling me the right thing. I struggled to understand why it would be wine and figured it must not be wine, it’s probably just gone off.
I thought I’d be sick. No, I know the taste of wine and this was definitely wine! Since this was a day my stomach was not feeling too hot, I can tell you my immediate reaction was repulsion, thankfully. Then horror that I had sent this with my daughter for a drink. I wrote her teachers to tell them it had gone off and throw it out. Called my husband and asked where in the heck had this come from? He told me his mom had tasted it also thinking it was grape juice, didn’t think she liked the taste of this particular grape juice and thought we might want it and had sent it home with him. She had no clue it was wine, she just thought she didn’t like that particular grape juice LOL. Anyway, come to find out my father-in-law had been splitting up a large jug of wine and put some into an empty grape juice container, put it in their fridge and failed to tell his wife. I immediately dumped that jug down the sink.
Anyhow, I determined I would not count this as a reason to send myself back to start over at day one, since I truly had no clue that this was wine and that it was by a total accident that I ingested some. But the cravings are still there a lot of times when I’m feeling okay, sans pregnancy symptom-wise. There’s usually no super specific rhyme or reason for the cravings other than just feeling anxious or stressed and wanting to calm my nerves and that goes for cigarettes too.
Funny though how sometimes the trigger comes from someone you love drinking, even though negative things are playing out because of that drinking and you know deep in your heart is part of the reason you want to get away from it forever. My most recent experience with this involved my husband going out to drink a few drinks at the local bar with some friends and coming home later than he said he would. I was massively wishing I could be out drinking with him, jealous and feeling left out. Wondering if this was really going to be my life that I’d never have any of the old times again. I began romanticizing my past with alcohol, romanticizing the vision of who I am when I’m drunk.
I knew the best thing for me to do would be to unwind with a bath and just go get in the bed and maybe read some scripture; try to get these thoughts out of my mind. When he stumbled in around 10 I was just about to finish the bath and I knew he had drank more than he intended. I could tell he was in the cups quite a bit. He proceeds to tell me that he brought some guy home. A stranger. Someone who needed his help, who he found laying in a bush drunk by the parking lot of the bar. He pleads with me that he kind of knows the guy, he knows where he works has seen him around. I’m like, yeah but this guy is still a stranger, you don’t really know him. I am not cool with this guy being in our house at all. He tells me he’s going to let him stay the night because he was in no condition to drive and seemed unstable mentally and he wanted to do the right thing by offering to give him a place to crash. I begged him to take him home, that I was not comfortable. He goes back and forth several times that he will take him, then no, he won’t.
I threaten to get our daughter up (it’s 11 by this point) and go the two hours to my mom’s. He retorts that I’m using our daughter as a pawn against him. I explain that I’m not he’s just putting me between a rock and a hard place because I don’t feel safe about this situation and I am not going to leave my daughter in a house with two drunks. He tells me I’m over reacting and being dramatic, but I know that’s just the alcohol talking and he’s being a jerk right now for not respecting how he made me feel to bring some drunk, unstable stranger to sleep in our house and I told him I didn’t appreciate that he didn’t even bother to call and ask me how I felt about it before he just comes in with him. I also tell him if he doesn’t even really know this person let alone the fact that the guy is really drunk and out of his head, he really can’t predict what he might be capable of, especially if he were to wake up out of his drunk blacked out stupor and find himself in a strange place.
My mother instinct radar was blaring wildly and I determined that instead of dragging our daughter two hours away, I’d call his father to help. I was scared of making that choice because I didn’t want my husband to be upset with me for bringing his family into this dynamic, I didn’t want him to be embarrassed or ashamed having to explain things to his father, but I felt backed into a corner and he was playing mind games with me at this point, regardless of the fact that I was crying and clearly upset. I knew he wouldn’t disrespect his father though and would back down if he came over, which he did. Within the next 15 minutes he was there. He reasoned with my husband that they would help get the guy in my father-in-law’s vehicle and he would give him a ride home and my husband did not argue. I was so, so grateful and relieved once they had him out.
Needless to say, my husband and I had a lot to hash out the next day, specifically his probably needing to think about cutting back or not going to the bar. I understood his heart was in the right place, but he was also making a decision while drunk and he just couldn’t realize in the moment that it was a bad decision and putting me in a certain position too. He realizes there’s been a cycle of bad decisions on his part because of his alcohol intake during my journey into sobriety and he also realizes that I don’t have a lot of patience for that, living these fragile days of sobriety that I’ve been living, the same way I might have had if I was making those bad decisions with him. I did tell him how differently the night probably would have gone if I had been drinking too and I probably would have not made a deal out of that guy being brought here. Shoot, I may have even welcomed it.
I told him I felt like a stick in the mud to some degree that I didn’t just go with the flow on it; but I had to follow my instincts in the moment and I think I did the right thing and I’m grateful I was sober to make what I think was the right call. Besides, comparing what I would have done if I were drunk too, to what I did in my right, clear-thinking sober state of mind probably shouldn’t have any kind of standing or reason to guilt myself anyway.