I used to hide vodka bottles in my underwear drawer. Not the small little airplane bottles, but half gallon bottles. I didn’t want to hear it from my husband about my drinking. He hated drinking before he even met me. I was drinking a lot when we met, but after we got married, I had to slow it down. Or, at least make him think I did. That’s when I got “creative”.
There were a lot of cubbies in our first home where I could hide wine. Wine in boxes was easier to hide and didn’t require a cork screw. I could have a bottle of wine in the fridge that my husband knew about, and then the one in the cupboard that he didn’t.
I would put mini bottles of Jägermeister in my purse on holidays when we went to my in-laws house. I could openly drink alcohol with the rest of the family, but I didn’t want to look like I was drinking more than anyone else. The “shots” from my purse were just perfect to take the edge off.
As time went by, I began drinking more and more. Eventually I was drinking every night. Being overweight, I could consume more than a lot of people. I would be pretty well pickled and no one really knew. I jokingly used to say I was a “professional”. That was the case until I quit 116 days ago. And while I don’t remember my pattern of drinking back when my son was still a baby**, I remember my drinking after he turned a year old. I have images in my head of sneaking in my bedroom to fill my tumbler with wine that was hiding under the bathroom sink and my 1 year old son crawling into the room & watching. Shame sits right next to that memory.
There is a lot of shame that comes with being a drunkard. If I numbed out, I didn’t have to feel that shame. Last thing I wanted to do was think about those things and feel those feelings, so I would fill up the wine glass again and again.
Before I quit drinking, I got divorced. I often wonder if my drinking caused the problems that lead to our divorce. Shame. I wonder about the friendships I damaged when I was drunk. Shame. I think about the times I was so impatient with my son when I was trying to get to my wine. Shame. Shame. Shame. Shame. Shame. Shame.
Drinking alcohol brings shame. Eating crap when you don’t need to brings shame. Drinking and eating can mask the feelings we don’t want to deal with but nothing gets better. And when the booze wears off and the food is gone, the feelings are still there. Along with those feelings comes the shame.
I don’t want to feel that shame anymore. I am putting it all out there. As one of the wonderful women in my sober women’s group said, “Fuck shame”. I am moving on from alcohol, moving on from emotional eating, and moving on from shame.
(**Disclaimer: I did not touch a single molecule of alcohol when I found out I was pregnant with my son. Even a boozer like me can stop for something that important.)