Am I Sober? Am I Clean? Or Neither?

Three weeks ago today I had my last drink.

It’s been awful. I feel like shit. I’m tired all the time. I’m shaky, I’m sore. I’m having trouble remembering conversations and situations. I’m nauseous all the time. I haven’t gotten my period in over 6 weeks. Have I broken my body? Have I fried that many of my brain cells?

I remembered a few things today. As far as the shakiness, the forgetfulness, the fatigue….I’ve been extremely anemic my entire life but way more since my gastric bypass. I was hospitalized in January from pneumonia and while I was there I needes 2 blood transfusions and 5 iron infusions. Over 7 days.

Actually took a pregnancy test yesterday because I realized how late I was. I’m *never* late. I can basically tell you what hour that bitch is coming. It was a day worth of stress and although I’m thankful I saw the “not pregnant” flashing….in a tiny way I was hoping it was positive. Not cause I want a baby. But because then I’d would have NO CHOICE but to not drink for the next 9 months.

I was anxious all last night. I’m sure it was because of that little roller coaster. Then I start wondering why don’t I have my period. Did I do that much damage to my body? Or almost worse….am I starting menopause??!! Fuck, that’s more than enough to make me start craving a drink… or ten.

Anyway I started thinking that I need a different way to cope with my stress and addiction tendencies. I wish I could have my middle brother’s brain and will power. While this sibling (hand raised as high as it gets) has her stomach stapled, he is the most dedicated, determined and in the best shape of anyone I know. Why can’t I just decide to be addicted to the gym and eating healthy?

Back on Keto tomorrow, of course.

Ok now here’s the big question. I know I’m done drinking. Can I smoke weed? Can I try to get my medical card? Or will that make me not sober anymore…

Is there a way to be sober from alcohol and not clean from marijuana? What if it’s the medicinal form? I can die from the booze. It was hurting my organs. The things I need to LIVE. If I’m being safe and legal with pot, am I still sober? Or does that take my sobriety away? I don’t know how this works. I mean if I’m on antidepressants and Xanax…am I clean? As long as I’m being safe, with my husband at home with me, I’m not driving….is this wrong? I’m not gonna die from taking the edge off with a few puffs from a vaporizer here and there. I could die from my liver and pancreas shutting down.

Tonight I am drinking plain-ass lemonade out of a wine glass. It’s not doing the trick but it’s helping. I felt kinda stupid but TH said his grandmother carried around a fake cigarette for 10 years after quitting smoking. So from me to you, as I take fake-ass sips of fake-ass vodka lemonade,

Clink. Cheers.

“I think I might fall off the wagon tonight.”

Talking to one of my friends earlier. She actually battles the same demons that I do. In fact, she’s about the ONLY person in the world that I’m 100% honest with about this. We’ve tried to quit before…together. We’ve bitched and moaned about this…together. We’ve even fought over this….together.

We’ve cried over it…together.

We were texting earlier today and I think I just said fuck it. I’m going to drink tonight. “I think I’m gonna fall off the wagon tonight and hurt my ass on the way down.”

It was weird. The same person that always was like, “Girl, I get it, me too..” told me No. she told me not to. She actually told me, “Call me or text me. Go to your blog. Just don’t drink.”

Not quite sure why this was so monumental. But when your drinking buddy; your ride or die friend that you know will never judge you….the one that battles this along side you, says “No.” it kinda hits you.

It hit me.

And thanks to her, even though she probably didn’t even know what she was doing….I’m not drinking tonight.

There’s a song out by Pink called “Happy”. The entire song screams at me. There’s one part specifically.

Seen every therapist, but I’m a cynical bitch
Don’t like to talk about my feelings
I take another sip, I swear it’s my last fix
‘Cause it’s easier than healing

I gotta figure out a way to heal, though. I’m trying. I guess I’m inching my way to getting better.

A month ago I would have said fuck it, I’ll start over on Monday. With my diet, with quitting drinking…with all of it.

Tonight, on a Friday night…..I don’t have to start over on Monday, because I am still going.

My First Sober Holiday

Figures the first holiday I can’t drink on was a day honoring no other than….myself. Totally joking. I don’t deserve a day, let alone a holiday for myself.

We moved last November. Not by choice, yet again, but I’ll get more into that later. We love this new place. My parents haven’t been able to see it since we moved but they said they could come see it this weekend after our Mother’s Day Brunch so TH and I spent the entire weekend cleaning and getting ready to show off our new place.

It’s clean. It smells good. I can look around and think, damn, I really love it here! Before I head to bed on Saturday night, I jokingly ask the three men in the house “so, what did you guys get me for Mother’s Day?”

The kids went silent. Didn’t look up from their phones. T.H. thinks he’s making a joke and says to me, “you’re not my Mother.”

Maybe I’m being over-emotional. Maybe I’m PMS’ing. But this hurt. Hurt baaad. I guess it could have been kinda funny if there was an actual plan behind the joke. Maybe there was a romantic card stashed somewhere saying how much he loved me. Maybe there was a gift somewhere that I didn’t need but would have been a fun surprise. Maybe there was breakfast in bed. Maybe all of them could tell me how much they love me.

But I knew that wasn’t the case. So I didn’t find the “joke” funny. It pissed me off. I fall asleep with my cheeks crusty from the dried tears on my cheeks.

I woke up on Sunday and T.H. was feeling bad. I could tell. I think I may have overreacted. I’m mean, that’s not like me, right? LOL.

Sunday morning was fun. Mother’s Day morning I have my alarm set to make sure I can get the house clean enough to show it off for the first time. Looked pretty good, besides the 6 loads of unfolded laundry jammed in my master bath. I finally jump in the shower to get ready (after sweating my ass off after scrubbing the bathrooms and vacuuming the entire house; Happy Mother’s Day to me) to see my parents and brother and sister in law that I haven’t seen since Christmas. Well, of course I left all my hair supplies at the salon. Fuck it. Hair is going in a wet bun. God, what I would not give for a mimosa.

The food at this brunch was amazing! So much food. There was eggs, pancakes, bacon, hash browns, prime rib at the carving station, an entire ROOM for desserts and sweets. You know what got me though? The 20-something young blonde girl at the table behind us. She had 2 mimosas and then a glass of wine. I would have pushed my husband to the floor and put my kids against the wall if I was allowed to take a few sips of that wine. It was very loud in there on Sunday morning. So many families. So many laughs. Hugs, laughter, joy for so many people. Wanna know what I heard? The clinking of the bottle hitting that girl’s champagne flute from 25 feet away. I felt a little stab in my side with each clink. An even deeper stab when I heard “Cheers!”

It’s ok though. The parents come over after, see the new home I’ve made for myself. They like it. As I do too. Love it here. Is it awful to wonder how I’ll mess this up, too?

I guess the hardest part of the day was when I had to run to the store and get a few things for dinner and the kids’ lunches for Monday. As I’m leaving, and I should’ve been ready for this….T.H. says “would it be awful if I asked you to grab me a few drinks?”

It’s not awful. This is MY problem. No one else’s. Not his. He shouldn’t be punished because I’m a drunk. It did hurt though. He had no idea how much those “clink’s” killed me all day. Or how I actually cried in the shower that morning because I was mourning the mimosa’s I wasn’t allowed to have at brunch. How I looked at every single family member wishing I had that kind of self control. It was like watching a movie. I literally looked at each person sitting at that table wondering two things. One, how can you just do that and be ok? How do you not have that magnet…that thing that overpowers you and takes up 110% of your mind? And two, are you also sitting there judging me?…..because I would be.

At the end of the day, these are all my own demons. My husband and kids got up in the morning and helped me with whatever I asked them to. We went to an awesome brunch with my parents, brothers and my own family. Then we came home and watched a movie and had root beer floats and popcorn with my boys.

Who could possibly complain over that?

Day 11

I’m reading back on my first three posts. Dude, I’m all over the place. I wish I knew how to answer all of your questions. Thank you so much for all of your messages, and I WILL reply to every single one of them by this weekend. I cannot thank you all for the support and positive feedback. It’s weird putting myself out there like this. But it’s actually making me excited about something, which is rare. So thank you.

I will eventually get into more of my demise…haha. I’m kidding. It’s not that dramatic. But in the mean time I’m going to share with you something I’m actually really terrified about right now.

Future events.

I’m scared as all hell. I’m actually terrified. Memorial Day is coming up. For the last few years we partied at our friends’ house. This year, my friend’s one daughter is graduating Junior High, and her other daughter has a birthday coming up this week. I consider these two girls my “pretend daughters”. It’s gonna be a party. I don’t exactly know why this is going to be so hard. Well, yeah that’s a lie. The last few years whenever there is a social event….whether it be someone’s birthday, or…shit, I’m trying to think of all the events. Birthdays. Holidays. All holidays. Even the fake ones. Oh it’s Casmir Pulaski Day? Let’s celebrate! Eventually this turned into, oh, it’s Tuesday? Let’s celebrate.

I’m not really sure how to be sober at events. I did it once before. I was sober for a year and I went to AA every week. Almost a year. I think it was 11 months and about 5 days. That year mark scared the shit out of me. I didn’t deserve that coin. I did not deserve that praise. So I drank again.

T.H. (that’s what I’m going to call my husband in this blog. *The Husband*) and I are trying to figure out a mini vaca for the family this summer. I should be so excited and thrilled, right? A nice family vacation to the Dells or something. The last 38 hours have consisted of my brain trying to figure out how I will able to have fun without drinking on vacation. A mini family trip to a water slide park. What the hell is wrong with me? Normal people don’t worry about that. I should be more worried that the days of my boys wanting to spend time with me are rare. I should be sad that their beautiful little faces that are coming down those water slides with pure joy and happiness are soon going to turn into teenage angst. Instead, I’m upset that I cant drink on vacation. How disgusting is that?

I’m honestly scared. I know I’ll be ok. But I guess I’m sad too. Why can’t I just be normal? Why can’t I just have a few drinks and that’s all? Why couldn’t I have a piece or two of pizza and not eat the entire fucking thing….

Things are going to have to get better. They have to. Once you hit rock bottom, the only other option is up.

I’m going up.

How did I get here?

I ask myself this question multiple times every day. Most alcoholics have had some sort of life altering trauma, especially when they were younger, that changed them. Abuse, awful childhood, a rape, a death of a loved one. That’s not my case.

I had a fantastic childhood, in a wonderful home, with perfect parents. I wanted that life when I grew up. I wanted that marriage. I wanted that house. I wanted that family.

I also never had a sip of alcohol until I was almost 21. Why? Get this. I was afraid of becoming an alcoholic.

We lived in the same house for 20-something years. It was home. I had the best boyfriend. I loved him so much. I wanted that life with him. But I never quite knew if we were on the same page. We dated for years and years. One day, he asked me to marry him. All my dreams were finally coming true. I was on Cloud 9. We coincidentally were leaving for a vacation to Mexico the next week. We celebrated our engagement and talked about all of our plans. Everything was perfect. My life, perfect.

We came home on a Saturday. We both still lived at home with our parents. On Monday I’m getting ready to leave for work, to show off my nice tan that looked even better with my sparkling engagement ring, and the doorbell rings. It was a process server. We were being foreclosed. My family packed up 20 years of our life in about 4 days. Most people would say “it’s just a house,” but no. It was my home. The only home I ever knew. In a matter of a little over a week, I went from being the happiest I had ever been to the darkest days I had ever seen.

My fiancé and I started to build our own home. This made things a little easier on me, knowing I had somewhere that could be home again, and MY home! It was very hard to not be excited around the rest of my family. I didn’t want to see like I was rubbing it in. My parents weren’t getting along. My oldest brother started getting into trouble. My middle brother was leaving for college. My youngest brother, my best friend, somehow seemed to be fine with it all.

I guess looking back, this was probably when I should have seen some signs. My in-laws owned a bar that we basically spent every weekend at. I remember being very devastated still about the loss of our family home, and stressed out with upcoming wedding plans. I binged on vodka lemonades every weekend, throwing up almost every time. Throwing up or passing out. I was numbing myself. I was self medicating.

Anyway, we get married, we have our home. We had two babies. Two beautiful baby boys a year apart. I didn’t drink often back then. Hell, I was either pregnant or breastfeeding for three years straight. Our friends all had babies around the same time too. It was wonderful. We all lived happily ever after, right?

As the boys got a little older we became really great friends with our neighbors. Saturday night bonfires in the driveway became a weekly event. We all had the baby monitors plugged in as we sat around laughing and drinking, sharing stories about which kid said the F-word that day or who punched Johnny at school. Usually the wives would head in to go to bed first. Maybe around 11:00. Then a few couples would call it a night. I always ended up being the last one to go in. I wish I could say it was because I loved the company I was with. Honestly though, at 2:00am, I’m only still there to keep drinking. I’m almost always the last one to go in. The weird thing is, I still didn’t see a problem with my drinking at that point.

As I said before, I had two babies basically within a year. I never lost that baby weight. In fact, it was the opposite. I gained. I gained and I gained. I gained until I weighed 250 lbs. I don’t know exactly what did it. Eating, drinking, not taking care of myself whatsoever but I could not stop. So I did something so drastic, which I truly wish I could take back. I had my fucking stomach stapled. I had RNY gastric bypass surgery. I lost 130 pounds in ten months. I was skinny and I loved it. Some people have these surgeries and are fine. I, on the other hand, had every possible complication there was. I was hospitalized several times in the two years after my surgery. Several ER visits, a few surgeries, and lots of prescriptions. My food was taken away. But that high from the meds was able to fill that void that food no longer could. And you know what?

I learned really quick that booze does the same thing. Sadly, this was just the very beginning of my downfall.

Day 8

Sober for 8 days. Fuck this. I hate it.

Spent last week in the hospital. I had some weird stomach pains on Monday. Thought I ate something weird at the Japanese steak house we went to for my father-in-law’s birthday. Older son had a stomach ache and we both had shrimp so obviously that’s what it was.

Tuesday I wake up and the stomach ache is gone but I have some weird ass pain in my side and wrapping around my back. Probably gas.

I function through the day but by 9:00pm it’s getting bad. Like hard to take a breath-bad. I call the husband, who works midnights and an hour away at this point.

“Do you have to go to the hospital?” he asks, after telling me to calm down five times.

Cause that helps.

Yeah, I had to go. It WAS that bad. Even though having two children, I’ve never actually been in labor, but I think this has to be what it actually feels like. By the way, in case you’re wondering, son #1 was emergency cesarean section a month early. #2 was scheduled a year later. No one tells you that you shouldn’t get pregnant right after a c-section…or that you CAN get pregnant while breastfeeding, and that the mini-pill is only like 80% effective (not great odds for birth control). Regardless, the pains I was feeling were enough for me to head to the ER last Tuesday.

Who would’ve thought there would be a 5 hour wait on a Tuesday night? Not me. Didn’t start great. I walk in, no shower, no bra, and one of my clients is at the desk checking people in.

“Oh hey, Sandy”

“What are you doing here? You always have the weirdest stuff”

……..pretty sure that’s not in the bedside handbook

“Yeah I’m having some weird pain in my side”

“Ok come on back”

At this point I’m super embarrassed. I don’t want the same person that I formulate their hair color and hair appointments asking when my last period was and how many times I pooped today. But I know she has my best interest at heart. She tells me, after all this bullshit in the triage, “there’s like a 4 hour wait, but I’ll try to do what I can.”

After they take my blood-wait, TRY to take my blood (I now look like a junkie with track marks cause they blew all my veins) I head back to the waiting room.

I wish I had a Xanax. Or a sleeping pill. My feet are twitching. I cant get comfortable in these damn chairs. I think around 5am, right as I got comfortable, some jerk came and told me he was bringing me to a room. What a turd. I JUST fell asleep and was comfy.

Anyone that’s been in the ER knows the drill. “Take off everything but your underwear, opening in back.” And the there’s this thin ass sheet to put over you. They act like it’s this lovely warm comforter. After I unrobe while keeping my socks on like a badass, I put the super generous sheet on and throw my sweatshirt over it like an extra blanket. I doze off for maybe 45 min max.


“Come in?”

The Dr pronounces my name wrong. As they always do. They all do. I don’t even bother trying to correct him. I don’t care at this point.

“You’re showing all signs of pancreatitis. Your liver numbers are really bad. Do you drink?”


Shit, shit, shit.

And here we go.

Here we go…

My life is amazing.

It’s perfect, really. I’m about as close to the “white picket fence” dream as you can get…without the white picket fence. I grew up in an amazing home. My parents were the best. I have three brothers and we all love each other so much. No one in my family ever hangs up the phone without saying “I Love You”. I married my high school sweetheart. He is the most amazing man. We’ve been married 15 years and together over 20. We have two teenage boys that are thriving. We have a dog. The dog is an asshole, but still…we have the dog. We have a roof over our head. Food on the table. I am basically living “Happily Ever After”, right? From the outside looking in, I would think so too.

If you want to follow my journey on how I fucked it all up, how I fucked *everything* up, you’re in the right place.

I’m starting this blog because I need to throw myself into something other than a bottle of Smirnoff, which is what I would usually do.

Thank you for letting me share this journey with you.