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Why Do I Drink When I Don't Want to Drink.

by Kathie
(Glendale, AZ)

I grew up the oldest of 17 children in a 3 bedroom, 1 bath house with two alcoholic parents. Violence was constant and frightening. A peculiar mental twist let me believe that I could cope with life better if I drank too. And so I did.

I wanted to drink just enough to take the edge off, to relax, to be free of fear, shame and guilt. On rare occasion I could actually do this. Most of the time I slipped over the line and became drunk and obnoxious, hurting both myself, my husband and my children. By the age of 23 I had already suffered the loss of my closest brother, shot to death by police as he attempted to flee to avoid a DUI. What did I do? I drank.

By age 26 I knew the jig was up and the party definitely over. I joined AA. I stayed sober 3 years and 4 months. I went back to meetings and stayed sober 10 years and 1 week. I drank. I drank for a year. I hid from everyone and continued to drink and go to AA meetings. I loathed my drinking and myself. I often contemplated suicide.

I got sober again, this time staying sober for 13 years and 7 months. I drank again and could not stop for the next two years. I was a closet drinker hiding from everyone. I continued to go to AA. (My husband is a sober alcoholic who hasn't drank in 28 years.) I risked my health, my marriage, my sanity. I couldn't stop. I was diagnosed bipolar and put on medication.

I stayed sober 3 years and 11 months and 3 weeks. I drank again. I purposely drove my car into a concrete wall hoping I would die. Instead I was arrested for extreme DUI and sentenced to 45 days in jail. I had a breathalyser on my car for the next 18 months. I stayed sober for 2 years and 3 months, attending AA, Relapse Prevention Groups, Counselling and taking my medication religiously. Then I drank.

That was 3 weeks ago and I have drank everyday since. I want to die. Five more siblings have died of this disease, three from suicide, 1 accidental overdose and 1 fried in the August heat in an alley in Mesa, Arizona, next to an empty vodka bottle. Is there no hope for me? Answer

Hi Kathie

I think you're looking at this all wrong. There is plenty hope for you - look at all the time you've managed to stay sober. So you've actually done incredibly well - but life is full ups and downs, challenges, setbacks ... so it's a matter of trying to brush yourself off and start over again.

See this as another of life's challenges you need to overcome. I count around 30 years of sobriety in total that you've managed - that's an incredible achievement - so it shows you can do it, now it's just a matter of trying to put it all together in one uninterrupted spell.

It seems like there is something that triggers a relapse ... think back ... have you identified what that could be? If you can identify the trigger, it may help avoid further relapse in future.

So get back to AA asap. Be honest, open up, tell them how you really feel. And work those steps. It's in really working those steps and providing our lives with a solid spiritual foundation (whatever our beliefs), that we are able to leave a life of addiction behind us for good.

Don't forget to give back either, because in giving back and helping others, whether in recovery or another setting, I think our lives take on a whole new meaning and purpose, which I think helps tremendously in maintaining a life of sobriety.

So don't beat yourself up over this. This setback is simply part of your journey to becoming the person you can be. Remember its in adversity that diamonds are shaped, and ultimately you'll be a better person for having been through this.

Good Luck and God Bless

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There has to be hope
by: Anonymous

The fact that you are asking the question tells me that there is hope and that you too must know that there is or you would not be asking the question.

Don't give up! It is our arguing with what is, life should be this or should have been that which drives the drinking.

12 steps all the way. Surrender to what is and all that ever will be. Find out by asking yourself what would it mean to me or what would it look like if I just surrendered to all the pain and suffering I have experienced over my life time.

I was so grateful, it brought me to this moment.

I believe in you! You can do it!

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