10.22.2008

The one about drinking

I haven't posted about this yet because, I guess I just did not feel ready. After two and a half years I finally drank. Yes you read right I finally did it. It was my husbands 30th birthday and I had some drinks. I can't even begin to tell you how long I thought about it in the weeks leading up to his birthday. Everyday I found myself wondering what I should do. I wasn't being forced to drink, no one brought it up, but in my mind, it was an issue. Somehow I just didn't feel like I could celebrate his birthday with this huge giant massive party and then not drink. I had a sitter lined up for my kids, we were home and safe with no driving, why could I not have a drink?

I was most worried that I would hate myself the next day, and I did, but only because I had a raging hang over. I felt nothing about the alcohol itself. I was not angry, I didn't feel like I had quit or given up or given in, I felt like I had made a well thought out decision and I did it in a mature way.

Since then (August 30th) I have drank two more times. Once, at dinner with my parents and Rob, while we had a baby sitter (the night my little cousin ran away) I had a single glass of wine, and once two weeks ago when Ginger came over I had a glass of wine and 4 oz of amaretto while we played games.

So. Three drinks in 2.5 months is not bad. However I can't help but feeling like a raging alcoholic. I notice that I find myself thinking about it more too. Like last night, I was in the kitchen cooking up this big beef tenderloin and making these awesome potatoes (I will link em tonight) and I thought, well this is a totally normal time to have a drink. It is winter, I'm cooking whats wrong with a little spiked hot apple cider? I talked to a friend about it and she said it was funny I said that because her dad always tells her, that those times, in the kitchen cooking those "meals of love" type meals, is one of the hardest times for him too. So. I decided not to drink. Instead I ate my weight in left over boiled potatoes as I finished cooking. I figured I needed to put something in my mouth to preoccupy it from liquor. My husband of course had other ideas of what I coulda put in my mouth, something about having his own beef tenderloin if I wanted it.

My birthday is coming up in 7 days and again this year I have tickets to the Fantasies in Chocolate. This year, I want to drink though. The last two years I have passed up the chocolate martinis and chocolate shots and free champagne and this year, I wonder if, on my birthday a few drinks would be okay.

What I am now wondering though is, am I simply looking for excuses to drink? Or is it perfectly normal to want to have a drink on your birthday? Is having a glass of wine one night a month with family okay, or is it just looking to drink?

I want to be strong enough to become a social drinker again. I want to stop having that over my head. The constant stigma of being "that girl who doesn't drink." I want to stop being uncomfortable in situations where everyone else drinks but me. Last night, we happened to have some half and half in the fridge so my husband made a White Russian. I found myself hating him. I was angry that he could just sit down and have a drink and have it be nothing but a drink. I'm sure that it wasn't him I should have been mad at, it is my own fault I can't drink but still, I was mad.

Of course the biggest reason I don't drink is because of Codi. What kind of mom would I be if I sat around drinking all the time when I had a baby to feed? While I'm sure one or two drinks a month is acceptable I find myself wondering, IS IT REALLY ACCEPTABLE? Or am I just telling myself it is. And what happens when one or two drinks a month turns to one or two a week?

Also. One of the hardest parts about all of this is the looks you get when you drink. Some people tend to over emphasize the IT'S OKAY TO HAVE A DRINK SHANNON, and other people look at my like OMG THE ALCOHOLIC IS AT IT AGAIN.

I don't know why I want to drink on my birthday, I just do. I keep thinking, It's my party I'll drink if I want to. I guess this year I don't want to sit around and watch everyone else having fun while I'm sitting over there obviously not in on the joke and going to be 3 hours earlier because I don't have the alcohol fueling me.

So what do YOU think? Is it possible to become a normal drinker again? Am I pushing it by wanting to have some chocolate martinis? Will I be a horrible mother if I have some drinks on my birthday? Guide me oh wise Internet.

12 comments:

Mrs. F said...

This is such a tough question, but I will tell you that I in no way, shape, or form consider myself an alcoholic, but I am planning on being inebriated on my 30th birthday next month.

Yeah, NEXT MONTH.

I am planning on being drunk a month from now.

I have plans to be drunk.

I kinda think it is normal to think like that, but then, I have never walked a mile in your shoes.

This is going to sound soooo lame, but I think you should do what you think is best for yourself. If you feel like having some chocolate martini's is going to start you heading down the wrong path, then by all means, bypass those drinks. If however, you feel that you can control yourself and have the occasional drink, then I say GO FOR IT!!!!

Ashley said...

I have to say that I feel like I can't really give the best advice because I don't really know your personal background but I have been reading you for awhile now. I would have to say that if you've had a drinking problem or been treated for alcoholism then definitely NO.
Alcoholics in my opinion should never drink because it always starts back up as the person telling themselves that they can be a social drinker when in fact it is not in your chemical makeup to have just one that one time.

If you aren't an alcoholic then I don't see any reason having children should make a difference if you've planned ahead of time for then to be cared for.

I wish you the best for your upcoming birthday:)

Jiff said...

Wow. I, too, have no truly helpful advice. I think the only people who can really give you meaningful, helpful advice are former alcoholics. I have heard that once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic...but I'm not sure how true that is. I think that the difference between you back then and you now...is that you're being more responsible and mature about it. You are a mother now and a wife, and you make sure they are taken care of before you drink. I think special occasions are fine as long as you drink for the taste and enjoyment...but set a limit for yourself. Don't set out to get drunk. Because really, do you enjoy it so much that it's worth the awful hangover the next day, with two little boys a grown little boy (aka hubby) to take care of? I commend you, Shannon, for at least thinking about it before taking the drink...and being responsible with your kids. That totally sets you apart from most people with drinking problems. I imagine this is something that you'll always have issues with, as we all have issues with SOMEthing. But one more thing: drinking does not equal FUN. I was always the non-drinker at many gatherings and I think the people who attach labels to you are the ones with a problem, not you. I could go on with stuff to say about this, but I just want you to know that we don't think you're irresponsible and boring and blah blah blah... because you're being a mature, intelligent, adult in all this.

Email me if you need/want to. I love you!!

Multi-Tasking Mama said...

You probably want a chocolate martini because they are DELICIOUS. Seriously, I want to make out with the creator.

A glass of wine now and again, a drink from time to time, a couple nights a year drunk, those DO NOT make you a bad mom. In no way!

Girlfriend, you set a weight loss goal and met it. You stopped drinking when you knew you had to. You have will power, WAY more than most people.

Trust in that, trust in yourself and enjoy life.

Lainey-Paney said...

Um, I don't think it makes someone a horrible mom for having a drink or drinks on her birthday.
But, is it the right decision for YOU to drink? I can't answer that for you.

Lainey-Paney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lainey-Paney said...

On another note: just got caught up....um, the time out situation at school & going potty.
I can't believe the following didn't just spew out of your mouth, "Bitch, you must have lost yo' fuckin' mind."

...I don't know what I'm going to do when Gage goes to school. OH.MY.Goodness.
Keep us posted on this situation. You know---in case I need to buy a plane ticket to be a part of the Punch-Out Posse. (Hey Teach! Bloggin' B*tches will F*ck you up!)

saly said...

I'm emailing you about this.

Rachel said...

Well I am not the person to ask since I have been sober for 8 years and for me, it is not worth it. I feel that I may be able to drink but the 'may" is not worth risking my life or my hubby or my kid. But that is me. If you are asking these kinds of questions-then it sounds like there is a part of you concerned. But only you can guide yourself because only you knows what is in your heart. Good luck!

Jessica said...

My brother is a recovering alcoholic and he's told me that if he has one drink it spirals. He finds reasons to drink, excuses to go out with the guys for a good time.

My great-grandfather was also an alcoholic and even after 40 years completely sober, he still went weekly to AA meetings; even on vacation. Alcohol had that much of a hold on him even after all that time.

From what I've heard, it's best if once recovering never touch a drink again. I doubt everyone has to stick by that rule, but the alcoholics that I've met/know/heard of have said that they could never even be social drinkers because the compulsion to drink more was always an issue.

I don't know if you were ever involved with AA, or with any type of support group that's similar, but perhaps there is someone you are comfortable with who has been in that place where you are coming from who you can talk to?

My thought, completely honestly, is that you shouldn't have a drink for your birthday, or at all. And I'm sure chocolate martini's are absolutely to die for, but the way you've written about it makes me think that it could potentially lead you down a road you sincerely don't want to travel again.

Patty said...

You'll receive no judgement from me on taking a drink on your birthday or not.

I am not in your shoes, but as your friend I can say be honest with yourself...if it's just a birthday drink and it will end there then fine. If you can handle the social drink on special occassions...more power to you!

But if you feel like you are looking for excuses to drink then you know its going somewhere else. Not where you want to go and not where your family needs you to go.

Mandy said...

You need to make the decisions that you feel are the best for you. Only you know what's best, and if you are thinking about the potential outcomes of a few drinks this strongly then maybe it isn't worth it.

I've grown up with alcoholism my entire life. My family member hasn't drank in 23 years now, and is terrified to even take cough syrup above a certain % of alcohol or with any alcohol in it because they don't know where or what that trigger will be for them that throws them back into the spiral.

I'm not trying to say don't do it, it's just a pretty touchy situation, and a path I've been down and watched the effects of.

I have two children and drink on occasion at social gatherings, I don't think that makes a person a bad parent, it's just a matter of how the alcohol affects you/your parenting style etc. If you believe that you can have drinks and be totally cool with it, you probably can.

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