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

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.

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.
image

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.

Happy Sober Halloween!

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I love the creativity and elaborate costumes people create. Maybe I also loved the chance to become someone else. Someone not the everyday me. Sort of like the reason I used to drink.

I am excited for my first sober Halloween. I am going as Gizmo from the Gremlins. I am going to a parade and party where I don’t know anyone. Normally, this would have made me nervous and I would get drunk to loosen up and fit in. But I like that I get to introduce myself as a sober person. These people do not know the drunk, party girl I used to be. For this Halloween, I get to be a new me for new friends.

Previous Halloweens, I would put a lot of work into a costume. Then I would get trashed and not remember how the night ended. Tonight I will get to fully enjoy the holiday. I look forward to seeing the talented creations tonight.

image

I will post some mistakes from past Halloweens later. Need to start getting my costume ready!

Mistake 246-
Mistake 247-
Mistake 248-
Mistake 249-

Jealousy

Sorry I haven’t posted anything lately. I got back from my trip to Belize and I have been busy. I have been working a lot, reading for my class, and my mom came to visit. But the good thing is that I haven’t had time to really think about drinking. I had a friend text me today to ask how sobriety is going and I told him I don’t even crave alcohol anymore. I took my mom to a show and bought her a beer and really did not feel jealous that I could not have one. I did not desire it at all.

And I haven’t posted because I feel I am struggling to think of more mistakes to write about that I am ready to share or that I have not already posted. Every once in awhile, I will be reminded of a night or event that triggers a mistake I forgotten.

Mistake 241- This night is a bit of a blur. I had a pool party during the day. About 6 guys I know came and two girls. The one girl was visiting from another country. I remember being nervous about the party and whether people were having fun and the food and what they thought of me. I remembering trying so hard to be liked. I was in my 30s but was like a teenager having a party to impress the cool kids.

I remember being super jealous of the foreign girl. She was in the pool in her bikini, flirting and wresting with all the guys. I think there were only 3 guys in the pool. But they kept grabbing her, dunking her, and picking her up. I thought I would be too heavy for them to try to pick up. I didn’t even want to put on my bikini cause I felt super fat around this tiny girl. So I just drank a lot and stayed out of the pool. I had a crush on one of the guys and it seemed he flirted with her the most.

We all had plans to go into the city for dinner with some other friends. It was going to be at least 20 people meeting at the restaurant. I allowed everyone to use my room and bathroom to change. We all made our way to the city. I was drunk by this point. I got more drunk at dinner. After dinner, we were going to a party in another friend’s apartment. Like I said it was a blur, but I think I gave the foreign girl wrong directions. I think I had her and one of the guys get in a taxi and I said we’d meet them there and I got into another taxi with some other guys. I never saw her at the party. I never talked to her again but I just remember having such hatred and jealousy for her cause she was skinny and the guys all were giving her the attention I wanted. It was MY PARTY!

jealousy-is-just-a-lack-of-self-confidence

Mistake 242- I got very drunk at that party. It was a crowded apartment. I remember having some beer, either a 6-pack but more than likely a 12-pack, and I held onto it cause I was worried it would be stolen if left in the fridge. I woke up the next day sitting in a recliner chair. I was curled up with my legs hanging over the arm on one side. I was confused as to where I was and then it slowly hit me. I went to the bathroom and realized I was wearing a pair of thongs that were not mine under my skirt. I asked the hostess of the party and she said she gave them to me cause I lost mine. I later found my thongs in my purse. I have no idea how they got there or how I “lost” them. The other hostess of that party never really liked me after that night.

First Sober Trip to Mexico

9am and I am on a plane waiting to fly to Mexico. I am not nervous: neither nervous about flying nor desire to drink. I feel all my “alcohol education” I have been teaching myself the past 8 months has helped. (I will reach my 8 month milestone while on this trip!)

I mentioned the time only because I got upgraded to business class and everyone around me is ordering orange juice and vodka. A screwdriver at 9am. I would have picked Bloody Mary if I was still drinking. But I am happy with my coffee. (Okay,  not really cause it tastes burnt.)

I have a few days of diving and reading planned. It is rainy season so not expecting too much sun. Excited that I won’t be wasting money and calories on margaritas. I am more worried about my willpower with chips and salsa. Trying to limit my complex carbs for the next month to see if it helps me drop a few pounds.

image

Found my section on drink menu

Mistake 227- I spent New Year’s Eve in Cancun once with a boyfriend. We took a bottle of champagne to the beach for midnight after pre-drinking all night. I think we had “two-for-one” deals that night. After finishing off the bottle and feeling very drunk, we had sex on the beach. That would not be a big deal except I swear I caught flashes from a camera. I was too drunk to care. So might be photos out there somewhere of me and my boyfriend doing the nasty on a beach in Mexico.

Mistake 228- Last time I was in Mexico, I spent an afternoon getting drunk on the beach of Tulum alone. I then drank a few drinks after the sun went down. I started to walk back to my hotel. A truck pulled up as I was walking and the stranger offered me a ride. I got in. The man was an American living there. He said he watched me sitting on the beach that day He asked if I wanted to go on an adventure. I asked what did he mean. He said “you know what I mean.” My response was a loud, drunk laugh and I said no thanks. He dropped me off at my hotel and it wasn’t until I told some friends that I really realized the risky situation I put myself in.

Mistake 229- I kept drinking once I got back to my hotel. I overslept the next morning and almost missed my bus to the airport. I was hungover on my flight home.

Mistake 230- My first time to Mexico was when I was 18. I was new to drinking but already experiencing blackouts. (Wrote about a few mistakes already from my younger years.) I went to Tijuana and got very drunk with some friends. We never got passed the first bar because I was doing so many shots of tequila, I could barely walk. My friends had to almost drag me to the bus back to San Diego. I remember kissing one of my friends that night who had a girlfriend. I almost got in trouble for underage drinking when I got back to my school.

Mistake 231- I took another trip to Tijuana a few weeks later. Again, got super drunk but at least we made it to the main street of bars. I was so drunk I either dropped my wallet or was pickpocketed. I had no ID to return across the border. (This was before they required passports.) I started crying. Thankfully I was with a friend who had two ID’s: her drivers license and military ID. Since the photo on the military ID was black and white, she crossed the border with her drivers license and I flashed her military ID while hanging onto a male friend. Thankfully, I did not get busted for impersonating a military person.

Mistake 232- I took a trip further south from Tijuana with a guy I was “dating” (it was only sexual), our friend and his girlfriend. We all got a room to share. We spent the afternoon drinking so much that we all needed to nap before sunset. My guy and I were so drunk that we started to have sex as soon as we got in the bed. We did not seem to notice our friends were in the room. I do not talk to either of the guys anymore but I am still friends with the girl. She said it was the most awkward moment of her life.

Reel Recovery Film Festival

If you are near one of the cities hosting this festival,  try to check out a few of the films.  I will be in one of the cities during the dates and hope to find time to see a couple. I will give my review of whatever I get to see.

The cities are New York City,  Los Angeles,  Las Vegas,  Vancouver, Delray Beach, Houston, San Francisco,  and Sacramento.

Reel Recovery Film Festival

Writers In Treatmentis proud to present The REEL Recovery Film Festival. This multi-day event is  a celebration of film, the arts, writing and creativity. We showcase filmmakers who make honest films about addiction, alcoholism, behavioral disorders, treatment and recovery. Slated for screening is an eclectic lineup of contemporary and classic films, documentaries and shorts from American and international, first-time filmmakers and industry veterans.

Mistake 226- I lived near a movie theater once. It was across the street from the parking garage of my apartment building. I was home drinking some beer alone and decided to check out a movie. I took a small backpack with me. I shoved 6 beers in the bag. I put a t-shirt in there to keep the bottles from clanking. I sat at the top and back of the theater. I finished all those beers and passed out. Missed half the film. 

Myself Without Alcohol

I want to know myself without alcohol.

Ann Dowsett

I began listening to the book Drinking: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol. It has a lot of good information. I am beginning to hate alcohol. Why did I put that crap in my body? Expect more posts about things I learn from the book.

I am thinking of taking a nutrition class next semester. Maybe that will solidify in my brain of how much alcohol destroys my body.
image

Mistake 225- I ran into a friend recently for a brief moment. We chatted a little bit. Then as I went to hug him goodbye, he kissed me on my lips. Nothing serious. But planted his lips on my lips for a few seconds. I thought “why did he do that?”

Then I remembered when I ran into him at a club several years ago. I was trashed. We made out. I don’t know how long it lasted. My friend pulled me away and told me about it the next day. I guess he now things I am just a kisser. I feel I need to reinvent myself to a lot of people. I am discovering who I am without alcohol.

Recidivism

I have begun another online college class. I am taking this class for credits towards my degree, in case I do decide to become an addiction counselor, and for personal learning experience. The class is Substance Abuse Prevention. I am way past the “prevention” part in my own life but maybe I can learn about something to prevent me from relapsing. And hopefully, get an A and bring up my GPA.

I will share in my blog some things I learn to try to help anyone reading that is struggling with alcoholism. (Not sure why else you would read my blog if you weren’t?)

Tonight as I was working on an assignment, I learned a new word. Recidivism. According to wikipedia, it “is the act of a person repeating an undesirable behavior after he/she has either experienced negative consequences of that behavior, or has been treated or trained to extinguish that behavior.” Sounds like a perfect word for so many of my mistakes. It is a synonym for relapse. Even though the word is mostly used with crimes and the prison system, it makes me think of all my one night stands, driving drunk, and losing things.

Mistake 213- I was out having a few drinks with a friend. She was actually my friend’s girlfriend. I knew him longer and better but she called me up and asked me to meet her at a bar down the street. She began to complain about her relationship with him. She told me she could not remember the last time they had sex.

I felt guilty. I knew that I woke up in his bed 2 weeks prior. I was not sure if I had sex with him that night, but we were both nude in the morning. I sat there listening to her complain and pretended to be a caring friend. Today, I do not remember what I said to her. Last time I talked to him, he was ordered to drug and alcohol rehab by his boss. I guess he and I had a lot more in common than he and she. I hope she found someone that did not have a substance abuse problem.

I miss happiness

It seems it has been a long time since I felt truly happy. Maybe I can go back through my blogs and figure out a day. But it seems my heart has been so heavy for the past month. I miss being happy. I really thought quitting alcohol was gonna alleviate my depression. I realize more and more that I drank to self-medicate my depression.

My car issue is almost hurting my brain. My car can not be fixed until next week due to delayed approval from insurance and then difficulty getting parts shipped out to nowhere. (If you are gonna hit a deer, try to do it near a big city or someplace less remote than the wastelands of Nevada.) I am figuring things out but I just resent this extra work and thinking.

I went to an AA meeting today. It helped me as far as reminding me “we” are everywhere. I can handle my problem without alcohol.

I am tired of being depressed. I am tired of trying to be strong. I am tired of trying to be brave. I am gonna see about going on medication when I get home.

image