It’s been almost four weeks since my last drink. It’s also been four weeks since I last saw my boyfriend. That’s right, my last drink and my “break-up” happened on the same day.
While my “rock bottom” consisted of the 3 months leading up to that moment, my decision to quit drinking was so spontaneous it caught even me by surprise. I knew I wanted to “try” sobriety soon, but I certainly never could have imagined it would happen like this. And based on my boyfriend’s reaction, it was clearly a shock to him too.
Accidental Rock Bottom
It was a Friday night, and Bobby and I had plans to go out with friends after work. He was supposed to be home by 8, but because of his unpredictable schedule (doctor at a hospital) cases kept getting pushed back, which pushed back our date night even further.
In traditional fashion, I started drinking around 5pm. Usually this would have been a non-issue, but somehow I accidentally got wasted by the time he texted me to say he was finishing up in surgery. (Oh, and I had also done coke that I discovered a couple hours earlier in a random jewelry box, much to my delight.)
Needless to say, it was a party of one at my house! While my boyfriend was LITERALLY saving lives, I was busy ruining my own with a bottle of champagne and half an eight ball of cocaine. Typical Friday evening at Adeline’s!
I know this story makes me sound like a complete piece of shit, a fact not lost on me even in my inebriated state. Once I realized that I was trashed, I immediately felt a wave of guilt wash over me. While the original plan was to just Uber over to his place and pretend to be normal, I knew for a fact I couldn’t keep this level of fucked up-ness a secret.
I suddenly felt drained and defeated, and tears began streaming down my face. I was pissed at myself for ruining what was supposed to be a great night, and I hated myself even more for letting Bobby down and disrespecting his plans.
This was one of those rare instances of extreme clarity where you suddenly see things for what they are, and in this moment I couldn’t deny that I was completely fucking up every aspect of my life.
Since he was still in his last surgery when my “breakdown” occurred, I sent him about 12 texts in a row admitting to what I had done. I apologized about a million times in these texts, and promised I would be a better girlfriend and that I would use this moment as motivation to try sobriety out and attempt to fix my life.
Obviously, Bobby handled this surprise poorly, and rightfully so. He was disappointed that I had ruined our night out, but instead of yelling at me he just kept trying to snap me out of it by downplaying my problem.
I knew he would react this way, and usually I would love this type of positive encouragement to feed my denial, but for some reason I knew in my gut that I had no other choice but to quit drinking – at least for a long time.
I knew I was a mess and I didn’t want to give him the chance to convince me otherwise. I told him to go out and have fun without me and that I needed to be by myself.
In a weird way, I don’t even think I was that fucked up when this all occurred. I honestly believe that I had just pushed myself to my emotional, mental, and physical limits that day and was finally seeing my life for what it was.
Looking at My Relationship With Sober Eyes
The crazy thing is, we never really did break up. I told him I needed time alone to get my life under control, and he was upset but let me be for an entire week – by far the longest we’ve ever gone without speaking. I know he was just waiting for me to realize I “made a mistake” quitting drinking, but that day never came.
There were a few things I initially thought would worry me about sobriety and my relationship. Above all, I was terrified that being with him would drive me to drink. Not only is he a big drinker himself, but he takes great pleasure in the entire process of drinking. Up until now, I had always happily benefited from his wine snob ways – it was a huge part of our relationship that makes me so sad and nostalgic to think about now.
But now that I have been away from alcohol for a few weeks, the temptation is surprisingly manageable. So why am I so terrified to see him again?
The other fear I had when I quit drinking was that it would “change me” somehow, but I’m starting to realize that I’m actually becoming more myself and more likable. What has changed, however, is the way I view things – particularly my relationship.
This past year has been one of the best years of my life thanks to my boyfriend. I’ve never felt so adored, understood, or loved by a partner. We lived a booze-fueled life of spontaneous adventure, luxury and indulgence, and while I loved being spoiled like a princess, it was the way he showered me with affection and adoration that made my heart sing.
But deep down, I always knew that this relationship was doomed. Behind the carefree exterior was a much darker reality. The abusive behaviors and communication issues really screwed us up. (Also, he doesn’t want kids and maybe I do, but that’s another issue entirely.)
Confronting the Truth
My tolerance for bullshit is practically zero without alcohol. And I am so terrified that with sober eyes I will see Bobby for who he is.
I’d be lying if I said it didn’t suck being alone right now. I know in my heart I need to do this for me, but I also understand that this relationship isn’t going to work for me anymore unless something happens on Bobby’s end that makes him deeply want to make changes too.
My heart hurts so much thinking about him. I skated by so many days avoiding these feelings with coke my first few days not drinking, but I am facing the hard stuff now and trying to keep it real with myself on all fronts.
I just keep reminding myself of the facts.
- He has addictive and enabling tendencies
- He hasn’t expressed a need to change
- He’s hardly been supportive.
- I entered this relationship as a person who drank and partied, I should not and do not expect him to change his ways or stick by my side after changing a huge part of me – even though I know it’s for the better.
- I am killing myself with him, this lifestyle CANNOT continue
- I put myself in a lot of really dangerous and risky situations with him, especially when coke gets involved
- I allowed abusive behavior because alcohol helped me forgive and forget.
Gratitude Through the Sadness
I need to be grateful for what he brought to my life instead, and realize he was put in my path for a reason, even if it hurts right now.
I love that I can be completely myself with him. I tell Bobby everything, knowing no story will be too shocking, nor will I be judged for the “richness” of my past. Bobby helped me see myself exactly as I am, allowing me to participate fully in a relationship without hiding my dark side or changing my past and future to fit the mold of the “perfect” girlfriend I thought he wanted me to be.
He opened my heart again, and allowed me to fully love myself for who I am, flaws and all.
He showed me I was worthy of being loved, exactly as I am in this exact moment. I never felt like I fully deserved love until I was “fixed.” In a weird way, realizing that I deserve to be loved and loving myself as I am now has been a driving force towards my decision to try sobriety.
I owe it to myself to give this experiment an honest effort. I have so much love to give, and I have a lot to offer, not only personally, but professionally and on a more meaningful level as well. I will not be able to make progress on any of these fronts if I keep drinking.
So while I mourn the loss of the life I had before I abruptly changed it 28 days ago, I need to remind myself that I am on a path towards better things. I can’t move forward if I keep looking back.