Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I Became Everything I Hated: My Story of Addiction

When we are young and fresh out of high school we have ideas, great plans of marvelous futures. My plans were to travel the world via the United States Marine Corps. and write novellas and shorts stories along the way. In my head I would be this chic literally in the enlisted ranks. I would travel with my composition book and fountain pen in hand. This unfortunately did not come to pass. I was enlisted in the military with less than a year of active duty service. My composition and book were always at hand but, no great world travels were made. My voyage took me from Southern California to the Carolina's.
When I reached my schooling in November of 1994 I was looking to start a new life, be a new person and leave my past behind. In all honesty, I thought my enlistment made me much more than the life I was escaping and avoiding. Avoiding falling into the traps of my family and the culture that surrounded them. I do love them, I just did not want to end up drug addicted, single with kids and have abusive relationships. In my mind, I was above that and beyond what had become a sad existence in my mind.
I left behind all my hippie and stoner friends in small towns that bordered each other. I left behind everything I had grown to know, love, hate and cherish all at the same time. The Anita of those places was an abused, raped, molested, controlled and not allowed to truly be who she was. This was my time to become the me hidden deep within and no longer be afraid. What I came to find out is that I would be raped twice more, I found the love who would stand be my, that my way of coping came in bottles and just giving in to men. Ashamed, I grew to drink more heavily, alone or sometimes with a friend.

When I was discharged I could not cope. Every bit of the life I had yearned for was ripped out from under me because of bad knees and flat feet. The physical and emotional pain was more than my heart could bear. As soon as I came I looked to escape my mother house. In the mean time and old flame came back into my life and his mental disorders weighed heavy on me. The up and down behavior coupled with my own self pity drew me into the bottle deeper. The the denial of medical care from the VA had me spinning out of control. The pain of walking to and from work almost daily left me few choices, and the one I chose came in a white powder. Nobody close to me knew because, I was so secretive and ashamed I was becoming what I had tried to escape.
One weekend when my roomates were off somewhere I looked in my mirror and thought to myself, I don't want me and nobody else ever will...if I do not change. I was only 19. I showered and changed my clothes. What were my choices, admitting to my family that I had become what they once were, suicide or just going at it alone, like I seemed to do everything else? Suicide was the most comforting thought to me. My roommates were genuinely nice guys, most whom I attended high school with so why put them through the joy of finding me hanging from our stairs. Ashamed, stubborn and broke...I lay naked in my room under a sheet that my skin nearly matched. I let my body sweat and tremble for a few days. I finally got up and showered up clean found a AA meeting in the paper, went a couple times and just decided it wasn't for me. NA same thing. In my mind I did not identify with "those people"....even though at heart I knew I was one.
I beat myself up for year, why the hell would I start any of this knowing what I knew. Addiction is hereditary and I come from the finest of them all. Lucky for me, they had all cleaned up and found Jesus.

A year later I found myself in a physically and mentally abusive relationship, we both were quite nasty to each other. I found myself drinking again and when I felt myself slipping...I would put down the bottle and swore it off forever.
Then I went to North Carolina to be with Jimmy. Occasionally I drank and stopped when we got married. That was not the kind of marriage I wanted, and that was not the mom I wanted to be for Stephanie. So from 1999 til 2010 I only had one or two drinks. In my mind the sufferings of my childhood would play like a slide show and this is what I wanted to avoid for my kids, meanwhile I was married to a daily drinking alcoholic.
There was temptation with drugs, they were all around our complex and readily available had I asked the right person. In 2010 I had had enough of the neglect of being married to an alcoholic and the shame I harbored from it. Talking to an old friend about all the things I had endured and thought I had overcome helped my hand reach for something I thought more classy, wine. I was assured that it was okay and that my husband would partake in a glass or two with me. My mind played the scenario in which I'd be drunk enough to upset my husband and maybe he'd stay sober so the kids would be cared for. This is far from what happened. As it turns out he only wanted me to pass out drunk with him, that never happened.
I saw myself slipping into the green bottle of red wine in an way unbecoming to a lady. I saw the tears of my oldest son when he was upset when he saw me drinking. I had again become everything I hate. The tears brought memories of my childhood....I had become to my kids what my mother was to me.


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