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I can't stop. Part Three.

The moment I knew I was in hot water, so to speak, was when the day came to meet Becky with the kids, and I woke up drinking. I know what many people would think: Why in the World you would wake up drinking knowing you have to pick up your kids. How stupid can you get? Honestly, really ignorant. Unless you have experienced the hold of addiction on your life it is really hard to empathize with such stupidity. Believe me, I get it. Had I not had a firsthand encounter with the beast, I would not understand why someone would continue to use substances that was destroying them.

If alcohol was in my presence I had to drink it. Now, you may did not "have" to drink it. "You are a grown woman and can make your own choice." All very true. But, you see, addiction does not work like that. If you honestly believe the addicts in society willfully want to inject a needle or become a slave to alcohol, then you are the ignorant one. The best way to describe it is like you are possessed by a substance and you will burn your own life down trying to obtain it. It is all work from the enemy. The tactic the devil has (and yes, he is real, and no one can convince me otherwise) is to trick you into destroying yourself. And how does he do that? Sin. Simply put, sin is anything that separates us from God. If you are not a religious person then hearing the word may make you cringe. "Christians throw sin in your face." Some may, that is not my prerogative. We all fall short and that is why I need Jesus. In the bible, sins are behaviors that God willfully is warning us will cause us harm. Why do we need to try our best to avoid sin? Because it destroys our peace and relationship with our Lord.

I used to get annoyed by it. Back when I was casually drinking and living my life the way I wanted, I did not see the harm in promiscuous behaviors. Now that I am older and have experienced the pain from the consequences of sinful acts- I grasp the meaning in a more in-depth nature. I have felt more condemnation from people in this World than God. Even when I mess up now, I feel loved by Jesus, and I know the conviction is correction for my greater good. God does not want his children to suffer and will send signs and intervene as he sees fit to thwart our course if it will cause us harm. And at times, he will allow it for our own pruning and sanctification. Spiritual maturity is having an awareness and discernment for your unique path and trusting the process which strengthens your faith.

Back to "my crazy", I called Eric at work to let him know I could not drive. He was going to have to pick them up. He stopped by the house extremely annoyed that I had been drinking. I was drunk, but not overly drunk where I was in coherent. I told him I was going. Afterall, I did not want to raise any red flags. If I did not show up to pick the kids up Becky would automatically know something was not right. That just would have been way out of my character especially with the kids being gone for a few days. I was and still am a very hands-on parent. I always wanted to be with my kids. I sobered up on the drive as Eric told me, "Hope, you better get your shit together. If my mom finds out, you have been drinking it will be bad." I did not say much. I knew he was right. I was thinking, " You are the asshole who brought it into our home after I just got home from rehab. It is your fault I relapsed, dumbass."

(Eric never understood how his behavior affected me.)

We both played our part very well. "Look, we are happy and have our crap together." All lies. I was happy to have my babies in my arms. Hugging them gave me relief from all my anxiety and pain. I felt truly loved when holding them. Their love pushed me through some very dark days ahead. Eric and I agreed no more drinking once we had the kids back home. They had witnessed too much chaos because of our drinking. We were going to change. You can want to change all you want. I want a million dollars, right? But, wanting something and actually putting it to action are two totally different paths.

I do not remember how the next drink started. All I know is when it did, I could not stop until it was Bentley's birthday. It is March, Eric has called all the family to tell them I had relapsed. In my drunk stupor, I would call my mama and try to tell her the manipulation I was under and how Eric was using too. I never made any sense when I was drunk. My emotions were heightened, and Eric made everyone believe I was going crazy. Looking back, I was. I was actually telling the truth but in a hostile manner. Eric and I would fight, and he would call my parents for "help" because I would not stop drinking. There are a lot of days that are a burr. If I could get the kid to preschool I would. If not, they would stay home with me and if I was sober, I would take them to the gym with me. If I was not, we just hang out at the house for Eric to get home enraged. Who can blame him.

I was a binge drinker. So, I would excessively drink, feel like the worst mother on the planet, stop until the obsession took over and I had to drink again. For Bentley's birthday I was able to pull myself together and remain sober for the day and the party the following weekend. Afterall, I had to make it perfect and overcompensate for the guilt of my past drinking. My slip-up was over, and I was able to stay sober at least a week, maybe two, and for this recovering alcoholic, it felt like a lifetime. She had the most amazing princess tea party at our home! I was proud of myself. The strength to carry on when I was in deep emotional pain is acknowledgeable. Only God can do that. I was able to fake it a lot. It is incredible what the mind and body can overcome when your spirit is crushed. I wanted everything perfect for my sweet angel girl. She was (is) my princess and deserved nothing but the best and I was going to make sure I provided no matter how I felt and demons I was facing. To get me through the party, I had taken a handful of my clonazepam, to settle my anxiety and "deal" with family. Back then, I did not think I was high, and honestly, thought it was not unnormal to overtake a few pills to subside my antsy thoughts. My mama knew. She did not say it to me, but she knew. She mentioned it to Charlene (Mimi), and she approached me. I remember feeling so offended and angry at my mama. "How dare her think I am high. I am not drinking."

I commend any mother/father out there faking it to you make it while trying your best to keep it together for your kids. Life is hard, and sometimes, in the midst of trials, waking up and showering may be a chore. Whatever you do, do not give up.

After that, I assumed the slip-up was over. "I am going to be okay and get back on track." Even if I never had taken another sip of alcohol, the psychological damage was done. One minute Eric was walking in the door bringing me gifts, and the next, he was yelling in my face nasty names. (I yelled in his face too). I was mentally beat down and was losing weight rapidly. I looked terrible, although some people may have thought I was really "healthy". That could have not been further from the truth. I was skinny, too skinny for the healthy version of myself.

One day, I started drinking after I dropped the kids off at pre-school. I was a few minutes late picking them up, intoxicated, wreaking of alcohol. I was coherent, not completely out-of-it. One of my most dangerous downfalls is that I wanted to function intoxicated while still doing my daily routine and activities...with my children. That was Eric's biggest concern, rightfully so. He knew I did not know when to stop drinking after one or two and wanted to continue living my life (driving) with our children. It was reckless and dangerous. Not to defend my behavior, but in my mind, I was okay and not really intoxicated. It is the denial of the disease and the lies you believe. Not only that, but I always made it "okay", because I had been drinking and driving for years. Eric and I always drank and drove. I should have learned from his breathalyzer in his vehicle when we were dating. Eric was smarter with his alcohol intake. If that is Sucha thang! He knew when to take the shots in the car, closer to home, and he knew when to stop. I did not have the awareness he had. I was balls to the walls!

He called me completely furious with threats and said that the preschool called him and said I was intoxicated. Well, if that does not make you want to drink more than I do not know what will! Anyone is their "right" mind would have probably brewed some coffee to sober up and eat a sandwich. Nope, not I. I was angry. "How dare the school call. I turned up the bottle. F*ck him." I had so much hostility toward Eric that I made everything his fault because he initially brought the vodka in the house. It was not right, but it was easier for me to blame him than face my own issues. Yes, he was a part of my issue(s), but with a lot of therapy and smart counselors around me I may have been projecting and deflecting my own internal battles onto him. He did not make me drink! And from that moment when the "sh*t hit the fan".

Also, what made me breakdown is that he would be drunk calling our family telling them I was drunk and out of control! He would find my vodka, drink it and vice versa. It was a hectic time emotionally to say the least. The vodka gave him the liquid courage to call and let them know our happy family was not so happy. By this point, rage and hate flowed through my veins and what little reserve I had was gone. I let everyone know, "I do not give a f*uck. If I want to drink in my own home, I will." Family told Eric, "Take her keys away so she can't drive and go buy alcohol and cut off her debit card."

I let him know really quick who owns that vehicle (It was in my name) and try to take my keys and I will report that you stole it.

Another evening, we had both been drinking, and I will never forget him looking over at me in the kitchen and saying, "You need to leave. I do not want you here. I pay for this house. You are going to have to find somewhere else to go." This time around, I did not care how he threatened me, I was fighting back. (The kids were in bed)

Me: You make me sick; you are a f*cking idiot. Where am I supposed to go? What are you going to tell them? My wife is drunk. Arrest her. You are f*cking screwed up in the head. I should have never married you. I want out of this s*hit show.

Eric: You are f*cking disturbance. WHO DO YOU THINK THEY WILL BELIEVE? Me or your drunk a**. You have been drinking and driving with the kids. You do not deserve to be their mother."

Me: Are you f*cking kidding me right now? Do it, please motherf*cker!!! I wish you f*cking would. F*cking coward."

(Keep in mind, on this particular night, this behavior was literally out of nowhere. I was not acting "crazy". I was just drunk, and he wanted me gone. It was a power struggle. Eric liked to feel in control and was determined to paint his narrative of who I was and the type of unfit mother I had become. It was turning into a game for him. He was determined to beat me at all costs).

Afterall, I was just a "Spoiled brat. Who thinks she can do whatever she wants." I give it to him, his intentness to prove my smart mouth wrong may have been my psychological breaking point; but it shoved me into my healing journey.

He called the police. They came and I have no clue what he told them. After he hung up the phone with the police, I told him, " F*CK YOU. I am not entertaining your stupidity. You can figure this one out." I went to bed, snuggled up to my babies thinking he had lost his mind. I think we both had.

And guess what? When we woke up sober...we never spoke of it...until...the next time...

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