Bottom’s Up

It’s Tuesday, and the house is quiet and empty for the first time since last Thursday. Finally. All the kids are off at daycare for at least a few hours and I have some time to catch up on everything and attempt to get some real work done, which I keep avoiding. But first I need to catch my breath, reflect, and write for a few minutes before resuming my daily domestic duties and my daunting job assignment…

My toddlers love to crawl around the house on their hands and feet with their little bottoms sticking straight up in the air, pretending their puppies and barking. It’s so darn cute. They’re so cute and playful, and so simply entertained. Why can’t life still be that easy and pleasurable as adults?

The scars I have from life’s battles and the constant stress I’m under to “be all and do all” have driven me into such a state of anxiety that my version of ‘bottom’s up’ has progressed from enjoying a glass of wine or two with good food and good company to sucking a bottle of wine on my own before bedtime. For some reason, I have the notion that this is what relieves my stress and makes me feel better. Until, of course, I wake up the next morning with more pain and regret than I started with before my first sip the night before. There is a parallel in the gradual progression of how much I’m drinking and how badly I feel about myself. A positive correlation, if you will, yet with extremely negative consequences.

My ‘recovery friend’ (who I haven’t exactly admitted the extent of my problem to, though I’m sure she suspects there’s more to what I asked her) was explaining to me that alcoholism is a progressive disease.   When I Googled it later, I came across an article that began with the following introduction:

“Alcoholism is a disease of the body, thinking, emotions and spirit. Progressive damage to these four aspects interact in various ways such that a person is increasingly compelled to drink. Also, once drinking starts they cannot ‘always’ guarantee when they will stop or how much they will drink.”

I continued to read the rest of the article and, to put it lightly, it scared the pants off my … eghm… bottom!

And speaking of bottoms, I’m not sure if I’ve hit rock bottom but I do know that if I haven’t yet, I sure as hell don’t want to. I’ve heard heartbreaking stories about my brother’s darkest moments during his battle with the disease (that he ultimately lost). It was disturbing and devastating for so many.

The reasons to quit and the reasons worth living and living well far outweigh the ‘excuses’ I keep making for having my first sip each day. I want my beautiful babies to grow up in a warm, happy, and healthy environment where they can keep sticking their sweet little bottoms up in the air and wagging them like excited little puppies. I don’t want their childhood memories to include ‘mommy with a glass of wine in her hand every night’ the way I sometimes remember my mother (and always remember my sister with a drink in her thermos). There’s only going to be one kind of bottoms up in the house, and it’s not going to be my wine glass’ anymore!!!