When i quit drinking, i had a heart flutter thing that started to act up. It’s been irritating me off and on now for the past 16 months, getting more frequent over time and gigantically more irritating. I finally went to the cardiologist again last week for a new checkup, new assessment, and new plan. I now have new medication, feel remarkably better, the doctor expects that because i’m young that this will resolve itself, and i should be running again in a couple of weeks. End of medical part of the story.
On arrival, the cardiologist asks me some routine intake questions, how long i’ve been married, kids, how long have i been in this country, smoking and drinking history.
i quit drinking entirely about 16 months ago.
His eyebrows go up. Well … How much were you drinking?
3-4 glasses of wine per night. Every night.
He says: Only wine? No [hard] alcohol?
Then he shrugs combined with raised eyebrows. He goes on to the next question. He either thinks i’m lying about how much (he thinks most people lie by half). or (more likely) he thought i was being unnecessarily weird.
After the examination, my husband is called into the room for the diagnosis and treatment plan explanation. Mr. Belle is markedly pale and freaked by this whole medical adventure with me. At dinner later, Mr. Belle says: you should ask him if the heart thing would resolve itself if you started drinking again, like maybe that magical one glass a day that’s recommended.
I say: I’m not drinking again. even if the foreign, eyebrow-raising cardiologist tells me to.[Note1: saying the word “cardiologist” makes everybody freak out. i assure you that i’m fine. it’s an irritating and not dangerious condition, that can either be fixed with medicine or with time or with a nice zap to the chest to reset the electricity. apparently one chamber of my heart beats more quickly than the others. my heart is excited 🙂 it’s full to overflowing] [Note 2: oh and if one person tells me to take it easy i’ll pounce!]
This story is to point out the completely lackadaisical attitude he had. i didn’t expect him to say “good for you” for quitting booze, but neither did i expect him to say “no [hard] alcohol?” like really, how could wine be a problem. i’m sure he’s a great doctor. so far i’m super pleased with him. but holy the medical profession needs a wake-up call. and soon.
Here’s the email that Erin-Kay sent me to celebrate her 100 days:
Erin-Kay: “I am sober again 🙂 Tomorrow is day 100!!! I’m profoundly grateful for you, Belle, for helping to keep me accountable on a daily basis. It has helped so much. The BFB has been an amazing support system also. You’ve been essential to my recovery because nobody knows about my struggles with alcohol and recovery besides my husband, you, and my fellow sober journeyers in the BFB. It’s kept me in touch with others who are struggling and reminds me when I get too confident in my sobriety that in a weak moment I can find my way down the rabbit hole again and I don’t want to go there. I know what is waiting for me down that road and it is pain, struggle and shame. I spent too much time there already.
Although it has not been an easy road, these past 100 days I feel like I have reconnected with something deep within myself that was there all along and waiting for me to ‘wake up’ and notice. I have a long way to go but I’m so proud to reach this milestone. I was blessed that this time around I was able to surrender to the realization that I cannot drink and was so tired of the bitter daily struggles with alcohol that I have not craved drinking and I shudder to myself when I think about drinking again. I feel free and in control of my life now. I know that I need continued support and will continue to stay close to the BFB and I commit myself to the 180 day challenge.” (She’s now on day 102)
Julz (day 52): I know everyone who has had a problem with drinking and then stops says this but it does get so so much easier, to be honest these days the thought rarely come into my head, but although so many people said this would happen its really something you have to figure and find out for yourself. I feel so much better in myself, I have way way more patience with my children, I am staying calmer and listening to them rather than yelling and dismissing because I am tired and hungover, I am watching my children flourish before my eyes into confident young girls who now want to talk to me, aren’t scared of getting yelled at and are growing in confidence day by day, all because I have the time for them instead of the drink. Yes I still have my mad mummy moments of tearing my hair out, but these are normal mummy moments not hungover ones.” (She’s now on Day 89!)
Team 100 update:
328 members. Welcome to James (6), Jilly Bean (16), TipTree (48), Kelly (4), Kevin (6), SignGurl (6), CAM (6), SF (3), Quinn (42), and Challenges (6). Happy days to Erin (201), Elle (180), Leah (180), Ingrid (141), Sarita (141), C How (140), KC (140), Stacey (130), MaryPatricia (120), Catkin (110), ErinS (70), Jackie (61), Fiona (61), Lila (61), Whineless (51), Debbie (51), Deidre (41), RF (40), Canadian Girl (30), Kirst (20), Rx (20), Claire (10), Kristi (10), CarrieAnn (10), Carrie Kaffer (10). If i’ve missed you, it might be because i haven’t heard from you in awhile, or because i have the wrong date for you. send me an email 🙂