By Tanya Hazelwood
I have a friend in Baltimore that is a lot like me, we even share the same birthday (of course I am several years her senior). The way we met in Maryland was a chat room and then the party scene. The times we hung out, we were drinking and drinking A LOT. I haven’t actually seen her face in many years but have stayed in contact via the internet, mostly Facebook, these days.
Several months after I announced my sobriety she contacted me privately and started asking questions. She was beginning to think she too had a drinking problem. I gave her the most honest answers I possibly could. It took her a while but she admitted, like I did, that she had a problem and got sober. I couldn’t tell you how happy it made me. I wanted the best for her and I knew exactly where she was in this battle. The difference between she and I was I had tons of support and lived in a small town with not a lot to do. Baltimore is a great city for someone that likes to drink. There are so many options. She also lives with her sister that doesn’t have a problem with alcohol and doesn’t understand what it’s like for those of us who do. She wasn’t very supportive; she drank in front of Lindsey and was always dragging her out to social events that included booze. Lindsey stood strong for 60 days. Her biggest hurdle was that she felt alone, no social life. She had no friends that were sober. So real support system other than me and I am 300 miles away. She told me on several occasions that she went out on dates with guys and they actually told her they couldn’t handle dating someone that didn’t drink, too much of a downer for them. This really frustrated her and I could tell. I tried and tried to give her advice and build back up the excitement of being sober. Then the other day I got the disappointing message from her I had been dreading. “I’ve been drinking again” she said. My heart absolutely sank. Then as if it were coming straight from my own mouth she proceeded to tell me that her sister had taken her out and she thought she could have just one drink, then one turned into four and then bottles of wine. She is so upset with herself. I told her not to beat herself up and every day was another chance to start over. I also suggested that she not hang out with her sister anymore because she wasn’t supportive.
This whole thing really hit home for me. It’s no secret that I am my own worst enemy and lately I myself have really been struggling. I keep hearing that voice saying I could have just one and be fine. I’ve been to the point of tears over this. I constantly think of ways I could go sneak some drinks. I am honestly scared to death of myself. I thought after six months it would be so much easier, but it’s not. It gets harder and harder every day. Every single day I feel myself letting my guard down a little more. Being cooped up in the house, with it being dark early and not much to do but think, was always my favorite time to drink. I see so many things I miss about drinking, reminded every day. The only thing I believe is keeping me sober at this point is I am more scared of disappointing all of you that read my weekly thoughts. I know without a doubt I am just like Lindsey. There is NO “just one drink” for me. I can’t stop and then what? What would happen then? I am not sure I want to find out. I want this feeling just to go away. Please, just pray for me, pray for Lindsey, pray for every person that struggles every day with an addiction.