Family and Genetics and Addiction

Whether a person decides to use alcohol or drugs is a choice, influenced by their environment–peers, family, and availability.  But, once a person uses alcohol or drugs, the risk of developing alcoholism or drug dependence is largely influenced by genetics.  Alcoholism and drug dependence are not moral issues, are not a matter of choice or a lack of willpower.  Plain and simple, some people’s bodies respond to the effects of alcohol and drugs differently.

Family History and Genetics

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Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone from America or anyone else celebrating this holiday. I hope you all stay strong and sober. I know holidays are supposed to be hard and set off many relapse triggers. Pack your sobriety tools if you are going somewhere. Maybe it is a good time to tell family and friends that you quit drinking. Be grateful for how far you have come!

Last year, I was sober for Thanksgiving. I did not give up drinking entirely yet. I was on a “no alcohol” break that started in October and was going until New Year’s Eve. I did not make the goal and got drunk December 29. I look back at how weak I was then and compare it to how strong I feel now.

I spent last year with a friend’s family. They all kept pressuring me to drink. They kept saying the wine was very good and expensive. The champagne was leftover from their wedding. They criticized me for taking a drinking break during the holidays. I remember being irritated by their persuasions.

Now, I think of all the times I tried coercing friends to drink or drink more. I would beg people to keep drinking and nag them when they reached their limit. I am so sorry for all those times. But remembering helps keep me grateful for what I now have.

I cheated on the holiday temptations by avoiding them. I slept all day and then worked the holiday night. Made it easy to keep sober.

I see a lot of people posting on FB that they are thankful for friends and family and many other things. I am thankful for those but mostly thankful for my sobriety. And I hope I can say the same next year. And the next year. Everyday that I go to sleep sober again is like another thanksgiving celebration for me.

Accidents still happen

I knew that my life would not be perfect in soberland. But I really did not expect to still have driving issues once I did not worry about drinking and driving anymore. Two months ago I had the unfortunate deer walk in front of my car. This past Friday, I rear-ended a car. This accident was totally my fault. I was paying too much attention to the highway sign and glancing at my GPS to see if that was my exit and I did not notice the lane of traffic stopping in front of me. I tried to break but I smashed my bumper and radiator again. The new headlamp is hanging off along with half of the front. I was an emotional mess. The other car had a small dent and, thankfully, the driver seemed okay. She got to drive away after the police came. I had to have my car towed.

The next morning, my back started to hurt. I was not sure if it was menstrual cramps or from the impact. I took some Aleve and melatonin and slept. Sunday morning, I could tell it was not menstrual cramps. I decided to go get checked by a doctor. But I had a thought that “normal” people must not experience: I was worried about getting prescribed anything that would cause an addiction.

He said he thinks it is muscle spasms. No bone damage on x-ray. He prescribed some stronger anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxers. I am so glad nothing with opioids. After finding out about my ex getting addicted to heroin, I am terrified of them. Heating pads and relaxation are in store the next few days. Maybe I can finally catch up on my blog and adding my mistakes.

It did feel very good when asked about my alcohol intake to honestly say “none!”rather than lying “oh maybe 5 or 6 beers on a weekend.”

The accident could have been worse. My insurance is gonna jump up after this I guess. Especially after two accidents in two months. But I am alive. And I am happy to be alive. Oh and I got the doctor to write me a prescription for another month of Prozac. I am too scared to go off that right now so close to my one year sober anniversary. It will give me time to find a therapist in this area.

10 months. Accidents still happen but I am happy to still be sober.

Hurts to Watch Some Friends Drink

I am on a road trip with a moving truck and a friend. He has two DUIs but does not think he has a drinking problem. He said he doesn’t know how to have fun unless he drinks or smokes pot. He doesn’t think he can be horny without alcohol. He was drunk before the roadtrip started at noon. But I need him to help me move my furniture and direct me in the truck.

I had him watch the movie Smashed with me. I was hoping to use it to maybe make him think about his drinking. Instead, he is pointing out his female friends that are like the main character, Kate. I guess he wouldn’t see himself in the character unless it was a male.

In one scene, after getting sober, Kate asks her husband not to drink one weekend. My friend commented negatively “so now she is starting on him.” I said I now would prefer to be in a relationship with someone who didn’t drink. His response: “So you can both be boring?”

I said no, I am not boring. Then I just went quiet to watch the movie. But hours later, I am still upset by that comment. He would not be on this “roadtrip” if I was not paying for it. I only invited him for the man power. (He came in handy with a tire blew out.) But he would have his own money for traveling if his 2nd DUI did not get him fired. He refuses to admit all the problems alcohol and drugs have created in his life. But I am boring because I do not want to risk those problems anymore. I would rather be seen as boring than in jail or dead.

I can not force this guy to get sober. But I will start refusing to go to bars with him. We went to one the other night to spend time together but he seemed to be more interested in being a social butterfly. And we could barely hear each other talk. My throat hurt after being there an hour from speaking loud. I kept think that this place was no fun. And if you have to get intoxicated to have fun, I think that says more about the surroundings than me.

He is not completely unsupportive. He came with me to a meeting once to collect a token. But he still doesn’t think I need to abstain forever. He keeps thinking I just need to take a break and then I will return to the “fun” party girl I used to be. But all my mistakes and regrets make me realize it was not all fun. And too many scary times towards the end.

…..The roadtrip has now ended and he flew back home. I think we argued about 50% of the trip. I also realized being around him is depressing. On our last fight, I told him he makes me want to increase my Prozac dose. He told me I am too sensitive. I told him that is a side effect from several suicide attempts.

He cracks jokes a lot and make demeaning comments towards me. I asked what he thought of one of my friends and he said he thinks she is too big. She is an American size 6! I got defensive and said if he thinks she is big, than I must be huge. He said “no, you are fine” but than continues to badmouth “fatties” and anyone who isn’t bone-thin. I finally spent most of the time just going quiet because I knew arguing was not gonna have a winner. But he would keep talking. And talking. It was like he liked hearing his opinion out loud. There were so many times on the 4 days trip I had to yell “JUST STOP TALKING PLEASE!” Sometimes I had to repeat that.

One of our debates was that repeated DUI offenders should not have severe punishments unless they kill or injure someone. This started due to a story of a guy in Texas getting 20 years in prison for his 3rd DUI. Maybe 20 years is too much when the guy should went to rehab. But I think just taking away his driver license is not going to solve this guy’s problem. He obviously HAS a problem if he did not learn lesson after 2 DUIs. And my friend still drives illegally after his 2 DUIs. He is more worried about getting a 3rd DUI that giving up drinking. I just wish society realized that advertising and hiding behind “freedom of speech” helps contribute to all the negative effects alcohol has on our world.

I told him that our friendship is like an abusive relationship. Instead of punching me, he hits me with insults. Then he says “sorry, I was only kidding” much like a man might say after smacking me. Then he might start to try to fix the injuries with “but I think you are great person”and try to polish it all with compliments. But the sting from the insults is still there. Then he calls me “too sensitive” and blames me for not being able to take his insults. He says he insults himself too so therefore it is okay insult everyone else. I told him he needs to get his insecurities inspected.

It is depressing to think of letting this friendship go after 14 years. But it is more depressing to think of letting this guy continue to put me down and bring me down. No matter how much he is “joking.” I am not taking my sobriety as a joke.

silence

 

 

I can still cry on Prozac

One reason I hated Prozac when I was on it 13 years ago is because it numbed me so much, I couldn’t cry. I remember a coworker died and I did not feel sad. Now I think it is because I just did not like her. But today I can not stop crying. I found out my last boyfriend, who I am still in love with, has started a heroin addiction.

I feel helpless. I feel guilty. I feel useless. I want to do something. I wish I knew what I could do. Or that there was something I could do. I know it is not my fault and most likely I would not have been able to prevent this. But I still feel if he and I stayed together, he would not have picked up the needle. If I did not get so drunk and jealous last time we were together, maybe we would have kept talking. I am physically and now emotional distant from him. I can not help but worry now. His new girlfriend is the reason he started using. I hate this woman now and that has nothing to do with jealousy.

I did leave a card telling my feelings for him and how I want him to get cleaned. I want him to get help. I gave it to a mutual friend to pass on. I doubt he will call me. But I needed to get the message to him.

I am glad I am on Prozac now. Not sure what this news would do to me. I might have spiraled down into deep depression. I am also glad to be sober to deal with these feelings.
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Mistake 251- When I first met my friend that introduced me to this last boyfriend, we were drunk at a club. We danced and made out. I drove him home with me. I drove drunk 20 miles while he kissed and played with me. He said he was impressed I kept the car from swerving. I am impressed we survived the drive. He laughs about it now but I think about it and it makes me grateful to be sober.

Eye Spy Me

I was looking in the mirror earlier and admiring my eyes. The more I looked at them, the more I felt blessed to have pretty, green eyes. Wrinkles and all, I love my eyes.

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Okay I do not love my dark circles. Can’t be perfect.

I am happy I am finally finding things about myself to like.  Things to appreciate. I spent so much of my life with bloodshot eyes from hangovers. Tired eyes from partying. Wet eyes from crying.

I chatted with an ex last night. It made me think of all the relationships I ruined with my drinking and low self-esteem. When they say you need to love yourself before another can love you, it is very true. I told her it is a shame because at my age, it seems harder to find someone not damaged. I know I come with enough baggage I could fill a train car. A few train cars. I am finally learning to love myself but it feels most people worth loving are taken by now. My ex told me she is planning to propose to her girlfriend.

Mistake 250- I went to a party and got super drunk off beer and shots of Jaeger.  I passed out as soon as I got home. I did not take my contacts out. When I tried to take them out the next day, I scratched my cornea. It was extremely painful. I had to go to the emergency room. They put morphine drops in my eye to stop the pain. Then they prescribed antibiotics and an eye patch until the scratch healed. I still went out with the patch on and got drunk again.