what a crock of shit

from my inbox

Gina (day 5):

“This morning I kept thinking *I’m a highly functional drinker*. What a crock of shit.  Yes I was able to cook, help kids with homework, get them to school on time, and get to work on time and do my job. In fact, do my job so well I recently got a decent raise.  But I wasn’t functional, I was at best operating at 55-60%. My brain was always preoccupied with how much I drink.  I felt hungover a lot of the time, I had a headache, gut rot, bad taste in my mouth, constant IBS, my kids were so used to seeing me with a glass of wine in my hand, it was the norm not the special occasion exception. So yeah, if that’s considering highly functional I am so glad I decided to get off the train before it crashed.”


<begin rant>

It doesn’t matter how much you drink. It’s how it makes you feel. It doesn’t matter if we thought we were ‘functional’. It’s how much better we do without it. Go Go Keep Going. You’re doing fine. And ignore everyone who doesn’t think so 🙂

</end rant>


I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • The myth of the high functioning alcoholic is a crock of shit. Sure it is a glamorous idea. High achievers who are drunks & druggies like…oh, let’s see…Amy Winehouse, Robin Williams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Whitney Houston, Margeaux Hemingway, Kurt Cobain, Truman Capote, Elvis Presley…all high functioning that’s for sure. Millionaire level functioning as a matter of fact, if that is how the crowd is going to judge functionality.

  • I am sober 3 years if you don’t count the two experiments I did as I neared the one year marks before. One was the two beer experiment about two years ago, and the second was the bottle of wine experiment last year. (I DO count the them, so I am once again nearing my sober choo-choo to the one year mark.) I never drank after the experiments, but I had to begin again.

    Do non-alcoholics do experiments like these? Probably not. Hmm, maybe I am an alcoholic after all.

    But my wolfsie talks to me like this: “Hey, you’ve been sober almost a year now. And school is just about out. Why don’t we go camping? You bring a bottle of wine and we will prove once and for all that you are not an alcoholic. Then when you get back home, you can let the few people who know, that you were wrong. They never really believed you anyway, remember? They’d never seen you be a problem drinking. Everyone drinks a bit too much occasionally. For gosh sakes, you’ve never had a DUI, never wrecked, never been in jail, never hurt anyone. You were a good mom, and you are a great grandma! For crying out loud, you were teacher of the year. You win awards, you get grants. Have a drink. You deserve it.

    As I near the one year mark, wolfsie is louder and louder and I find myself listening for way too long.

    Please, could you help me tell this beast to shut the fuck up? I need encouragement. I’ve never made it more than a week or two past the one year.

    • feeling weird around soberversaries is really common. you might want to find the ‘post goal let-down’ podcast in the archives. 🙂 you want to set yourself up with a new goal just before this goal ends. huglets.

    • Oh man- part of your current anxiety is the incredible stress that comes at the end of the school year. Maybe you could strike a make short term deal with yourself. Like, how about you won’t experiment with that bottle of wine for the next 30 days and then you will reanalyze the situation.

  • I was listening to The Bubble Hour a few days ago and there were some REALLY good thoughts on this. Ellie was saying that most addict/alcoholics actually OVERDO it when it comes to housework and career achievements, because they’re trying to make up for all the chaos and lack of control in the addiction portion of their lives. They figure that if they’re always perfect on the outside, nobody will see the turmoil going on on the inside. I thought – “That’s definitely me. Yep” At least it WAS. Now I care much less the outside appearance, and much more about my own wellbeing. Totally worth it!

  • Day 32 here and the longer I stay sober the more I realize that I was not living, just getting on with life! I wasn’t parenting, just shooing my kids off to bed so that I could start my drinking, towards the end I would drink a WHOLE bottle of wine on my way home (40 minute drive) just so that I can deal with my demanding kids! My job was not being done at 100% because I was always hung over, severely depressed, anxious, suicidal… the list goes on and on.

    Just soo glad I don’t have to do that anymore!

  • I am on day one. I have tried so many times in the past and never made it past day 3 or 4. I hate myself for ever allowing it to get this far. I was always a friday night drinker but for the past 8 years 2-3 times a week. I drink to get drunk! I hate it. I wish I could turn it off. I am tired of being tired.

    • Day one for me too. So tired of it all. I’m happy for about the first 15 minutes of drinking, the rest of the night I’m just a miserable drunk. I don’t like who I am anymore. Looking forward to this change and feeling positive! Good luck to you!

    • Ty cj. Day 1 today for me again for the umpteenth time. I awake hungover. Ok. This is it. I’m done with drinking. Then end of day. Oh I’m feeling good. Had good day. Ahhhh. Wine will taste soooo good. Yup. Drunk again.
      Guess my wolfie tricks me with pseudo happiness. Looking for help. Need to stop

  • This is totally me. Ugh! I always felt like I was functioning, but I realize I wasn’t. I’m on day 2….

      • Hi Anonymous
        I am on day 2- my reason for stopping is after getting FAR too drunk again I’ve done something I really shouldn’t have!/ wouldn’t have , had I not been in the Arrogant drunken place that 3 bottles takes me to!!
        I’ve scared myself as there could be bad repercussions!
        I’ve been wanting to stop for well over 3 years but I’m hoping this is now ‘My Time’
        You can do this!!
        We can do this!!
        Good Luck

  • God, I hear you and I agree. Who wants to JUST be functional anyway?? I want to be creative and diligent and resilient and give my all. Not just function. And the amount I was drinking wasn’t letting me do that, even if most of the people in my life didn’t see it. Yes. Go Go Keep Going.

  • This really resonated with me! I am on Day 23 today and a friend recently asked me why I wasn’t drinking. Of all the answers whirring around in my newly sober brain, the one that stood out was, “It stopped being fun. I didn’t feel good anymore – just hungover, exhausted and lost.”

    My life with sobriety sometimes still feels like a labyrinth. Some days I am still lost, and merely wandering with outstretched arms, waiting to touch something familiar. The difference is, I feel capable of navigating it and confident that I’ll come out okay.