Day 161–A Bit Mixed Up

Lila and I had a very enjoyable weekend.  On Friday we went to see the movie, Box Trolls, which was a very entertaining and refreshing movie.  It was refreshing in the sense that it wasn’t some highly marketed, merchandise driven Disney/Pixar fiasco.  It was a well done film set in the Victorian era that was done using Claymation.  The dialogue was witty, the characters unique—and the plot had a meaningful message, which was driven home through an intellectually stimulating story.  Lila loved it, and so did I.   If you have children—or even if you don’t—it’s worth the matinee price.

On Saturday Lila had a soccer game—then we went to a family festival that was organized through my work.  In the evening we went to a friends’ house for pizza, soda and laughs.

On Sunday—Lila did her homework, and I watched my Philadelphia Eagles lose to the San Francisco 49ers—it was a sad affair, one which can only be cured by a next Sunday victory.  Lastly, Lila came to see me play soccer—our team lost once again, dropping to 2-2 on the season…but it was a lot of fun.

I think for the first time since becoming sober 161 days ago—this was the first weekend I didn’t, I repeat, didn’t, think about drinking a beer.  It hit me this morning in a surge of excitement—“I was finally able to make it through a weekend without once thinking of taking a drink.”  It may seem silly or insignificant to some—but for me, someone who drank pretty much every weekend since being a teenager, it was another step forward in completely removing alcohol from my life.

As you may know—alcohol has negative consequences both physically and psychologically—and on the psychological side, it is safe to say that our addiction can also be defined as an obsession.  I guess there really isn’t a big difference between the two— they go hand in hand.  So, due to my addiction I would obsess over getting alcohol every day—and made sure, on the weekends, that once the clock struck noon (noon was what I decided was an acceptable time to start drinking)—there was plenty of cold beer in the fridge.  On weekdays, during the peak of my alcoholism—I decided I would start working from home more, and the acceptable time to start drinking became 3:00pm.

I was a pretty shady dude in the sense that, when I was in a relationship, I would finish a six pack before my ex would leave work—then ask her to “pick up wine or beer” on the way home so I could continue drinking.  Since she didn’t know I was already half drunk—I pretended like the alcohol she brought home was the first drink I had that day.  This was common-place—and it makes me a bit disgusted to know I was that deceptive to someone I lived with, and slept next to.

As I reflect on the height of my alcoholism—I still have a hard time fathoming, or accepting I really was, for a while, the person I became.  My daughter rarely ever saw me without a drink in my hand.  I would prepare her lunch, dinner, watch movies, play games, read her books, etc.—all with a bottle or glass of alcohol in my hand.  My ex never gave me a kiss, especially during the last 1.5 years of our relationship, without also tasting alcohol.  I hid bottles of wine around the house—and felt anxious when I didn’t think there was enough alcohol in the house to get me through the evening.  I worried, I snapped, I cried, I got angry—I fell down psychologically, but wasn’t trying to get up.  I hit bottom and kept drinking and drinking and drinking until I lost complete control.  I didn’t know who I was anymore—the Leif that most people knew was lost…hidden in the shadows just waiting to come out.  The shadows were dark, cold and filled with depression, guilt and shame.  A place I never want to visit again.

On day 161 I feel just a little bit afraid.  I can never go back to drinking again–it was a big piece of my life I had to let go of forever.  And, during my days of drinking, I lost someone very special to me—sadly, drinking reminds me of her.  I am afraid that if I fully let alcohol go from a psychological stand-point—I have to let her go too.  I suppose both are already gone—and I have to accept that as a truth.

I’m not sure if any of this makes sense—but it is how I feel today, day 161.

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