On Drinking and Guilt

I had a drink the other night, like I have so many times before. But this time it was to help me sleep — it wasn’t unprompted. Which is worse?

I had two drinks the other night, like I have so many times before. But this time it was for a reason; it was to help with my anxiety — it wasn’t just a nightcap. Is one better?

I had three drinks the other day, because I just wanted to. There was no reason, no purpose. Is that okay?

I have a drink in my hand currently. I can’t seem to sleep without it. I should be asleep already. This isn’t good.

via Simone Berna / Flickr (CC BY 2.0) (Cropped & text replaced)

via Simone Berna / Flickr (CC BY 2.0) (Cropped & text replaced)

*  *  *  *  *

I have a tendency to over-exaggerate, especially for the sake of writing, so don’t get your hopes up that I’m falling back into the rabbit hole and will have juicy fuck-up stories to tell. (And please, please don’t tell me to not drink. That never works. It’s like telling someone who’s depressed to be happy — it just doesn’t work that way.)

Anyway, I occasionally indulge in a beer here and there. Usually around nighttime, usually just one or two, and usually not for any amount of consecutive days in a row. So this time is obviously different.

But still, I could feel it after that first night. The guilt. Why was I feeling guilty for doing something so normal? Had the AA / NA clan finally gotten in my head and tricked me into berating myself? It couldn’t be.

No, that’s not it. I still feel the same way about them as I did before.

And yet, I find myself hiding my Smirnoff from my dad, who doesn’t exactly like that I drink but has never had a problem with me having a few beers from time to time, either. (So drinking in my home isn’t prohibited, as the photo above suggests, but still frowned upon.)

I find myself asking Why and becoming worried over nothing. Nothing? Something?

Sadly, this chart doesn’t explain whether or not I have a drinking problem if I just like to have a beer sometimes. Then again, it does say that pretty much anyone in the world who drinks has a problem.

*  *  *  *  *

I find myself avoiding Jack’s comments about day drinking. And ignoring my own mind that this is not okay. And, of course, I haven’t relapsed because I’ve been doing this, sporadically, for years.

But I’ve never had this feeling.

This feeling that something is wrong. That I’m doing something wrong. The impending doom of ruining everyone’s lives — everyone close to me, like has happened before — is taking over me.

My son doesn’t deserve this. But what doesn’t he deserve? For his mother to have a drink or two, or three, on random days? I’m not getting drunk, so there are no worries there. I don’t drive, so that’s not an issue.

He does call my Smirnoff “Momma’s apple juice,” and that made the guilt hit me harder.

But really, there’s nothing to worry about.

I should mention that I’m writing this at 3am, and I only had one drink today.

via Dan Ox / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0) Cropped)

via Dan Ox / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) (Cropped)


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12 thoughts on “On Drinking and Guilt

  1. I am a recovering addict myself I have been clean and sober for 9+ years I got sober at the age of 20 it was a very hard thing to do and I miss drinking whine and Champaign but a day at a time and that first day happened because I was fully ready. If a person is not ready more has the desire it just won’t work. :-) and that is okay.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lots of hugs. I’ll (hope to god) have one year clean and sober on October 23rd. It took me so long to get this long of a stretch of sobriety. I relapsed so many times over the years. I’ll be honest, AA didn’t help me. Was in the program for 2 years, if anything it made things much worse. I beat on myself enough. I didn’t need AA to beat me down even more. It works for some, which is fabulous, but I’m not one of those lucky ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Congratulations! Even 10 1/2 months is an accomplishment!

      And yeah, AA and NA did not work for me at all, either. I’ve written a few posts about that. I seriously feel like they’re a cult and replace your addiction to drugs/alcohol with an addiction to AA/NA. I just wasn’t okay with that.

      Liked by 1 person

        • I went to NA because my main drug was heroin, and I’m on suboxone so, according to them, I wasn’t sober. And I just thought there are people there are FAR worse shit than suboxone, and you give them a pass because their meds are prescribed (even though they didn’t need them), but my prescription doesn’t count? I have my shit together and my life back ten times what those people have, and who are they to judge me?

          Liked by 1 person

          • I totally relate to your guilt and your cravings. In spite of that, or perhaps because of that, I am quoting drugs.com re Suboxone: “Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death can occur when alcohol is combined with Suboxone.” Alcohol + Suboxone (can) = no longer breathing. Please look into the interaction of alcohol and suboxone. I understand that it can kill you. I don’t want that to happen to you. I like you and your writing style too much. I used to take alcohol with narcotic sleep medication until I was informed that it could kill me by stopping my breathing. FYI.

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