Monday, August 9, 2010

Forgive Unto Thyself

I was lying in bed last night basically feeling like a pile of crap. You see, I had just humiliated myself in front of my brother and his family. They had come to our house for a visit and for some unknown reason I decided to hurl myself off the wagon and under its wheels during their visit. This was after weeks of sobriety. It started out with the usual culprits, a couple of Jack Daniels (Damn that sumbitch) and diet Pepsi’s the first night, by day three I had a broken toe from trying to pirouette across our stream to save a drowning flip-flop and by day four I was flopped out on the bed trying to breathe. I did redeem myself in the following days, I’m good at redemption, but I’m sure their vacation at Aunt Kary May’s will go down in the annals of vacation, filed somewhere between Montezuma’s revenge and Dengue fever for fun value.

It’s been over a week now and I’m still haranguing myself and I’m black and blue all over although it’s not visible to the human eye (except for the aforementioned toe). I finally quit yelling at myself and said, “Okay God, I’ll shut up and listen now.”

Yes, I talk to God. And he talks back. Swear to God! I don’t want to get too heavy on the “God” thing right now but he insists on being a co-author. I don’t really care if you believe or not or what you believe in. He doesn’t either. That’s not what this blog is about. I just have to make me shut up long enough to listen.

“Forgive unto yourself as you forgive unto others.” (See, I know that’s God because I don’t use the word “unto” a whole lot)

“Dude, (I’ve had my 6 yr. old grandson for two weeks) that’s not how it goes,” I replied.

“Who says?” says God. “The point is, if your brother had done the same thing, would you forgive him?”

“My brother doesn’t drink.”

“You get my point!”

(I think he was gritting his teeth)

“You promised you’d start the blog”

“I want to wait until I have a success story,” I whined. See God and I had been talking about me doing this blog for years but I kept putting it off. I had kept a journal of my many attempts at prolonged sobriety but I kept waiting for those milestones. I thought l’d wait until I was sober for a year to start a blog so I could be an example for others. Hasn’t happened yet. 100 days? Hasn’t happened yet. 28 days? Nope.

I haven’t even been sober one day if you prescribe to the popular theory that an alcoholic has to quit drinking completely in order to gain sobriety. But never mind that, that’s not what this blog is about either apparently according to my co-author.

“There are plenty of success stories out there for people to read,” God said. (That made me feel a lot better.) I need someone to write about what it’s like to want it so bad but still fail…

“You can count on me for that,” I said drolly.

“…so they won’t feel alone.” God finished.

“You know, this could make a great book like Eat, Pray, Love except we could name it Drink, Detox, Live”

“No, book deals, Kary”

“…or movie,”

“No, movie deals, Kary”

“It wouldn’t have to be Julia Roberts that played me. It could be a lesser actress. Someone like Lindsay Lohan.”

“Lindsay’s just a kid. She doesn’t have your baggage.”

“So you’re saying there could be a movie?”

So here’s the blog per request of God. No success story, no advice, just my experience.

What’s its purpose? I’m not really sure. I guess one purpose is for me to succeed in reaching my idea of acceptable sobriety. As I’ve said I’ve tried journaling in the past, it hasn’t worked. I guess I, oops I mean “we” (should I capitalize “we” if God is included?) thought if I put this out there for public consumption it might give me more impetus and if I hear from others more support to help me reach my goal and maybe it will help others along the way. If I want support from outsiders why don’t I try AA or rehab? I have my reasons that I am not ready for those options yet, although a month ago there was a day that if I could have found someone to take care of my dog I think I would have checked myself in. They are both lifesaving options but I’m not ready for them yet.

There are several purposes this blog is not the purpose of. It is not here to judge, preach, criticize, or promote one form of recovery over another. I would love to hear from others going through what I am but please don’t shove your form of salvation down my throat. Believe me, if I haven’t tried it, I’ve at least considered it. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear about “your” experience with it.

What is “acceptable sobriety” for me? I’m trying to figure that out, too. I guess I’m following a form of moderation right now, allowing myself to have 2 glasses of red wine a day. I know, I know the American Heart Association says only 1 glass for women. I’ve tried total abstinence and I’m very familiar with the first week, somewhat familiar with the second week but after that it’s back under the old wagon wheels for me so I’m giving this a try. Oh, and yeah, I’ve tried this before, too. The only difference this time is that I have you, my loyal readers along with me. That is if I get any readers. I guess I may have to do it for any future loyal readers I may have.

At times it may seem that I am taking all this too lightly, believe me I’ve had too many nights lying in bed with my heart pounding so loudly that I couldn’t sleep, praying that it would stop and praying that it wouldn’t stop, swearing I would never put myself through this again to take it lightly. It’s just that self-deprecation is a lot easier to read than self-pity. Oh yeah, no book deals.

I can only make two promises: I won’t lie and I won’t give up.


  1. I just started reading your blog....I read the latest entry, and went directly to your first, I look forward to reading about your learning experiences, thanks for taking the time to write them down.

  2. Love your writing KM! Very funny and very personal and very down to earth. I found your blog through MM. A nice gal by the name of Heather P. recommended you. I am a fan already.

  3. Thank you for this blog, like the person before I too read your latest and went straight to your first. Can't wait to read on :) xx

  4. Thank you for reading. Ol' Kary May sounds pretty plucky, I think she was putting up a good front because all I remember about that time is feeling so damn tired and discouraged. But I'm proud of her and this blog, it took me where I needed to go. I guess I should have listened to my co-writer sooner.

  5. I am searching for answers to my too much wine consumption. I found you today and I am starting from your (You and your co-author) beginning as I need to start there myself.

  6. Welcome, LR!! I hope reading my blog makes you feel as though you're not alone in this battle. At the beginning of my blog I was actually trying to learn to moderate, but after a year decided to quit drinking all together. I am still a member of Moderation Management though. For me, answering the question of whether I could control my drinking was integral to finding happiness and peace in the decision to quit drinking. I'm not sure if you are trying to moderate or quit drinking all together, but you might want to check out the MM website. Let me know if I can help.

  7. I joined MM a few months ago and am mainly an observer of listserv who logs in abstar as well. I read a recent email Kara who enjoyed your blog so I came out here... this seems wonderfully random ... one comment from your comment to Kara that "I need to get back to writing them more often. Wasn't sure anyone was reading them." I wonder if "people reading them" is the only reason to write them :) Thank you for this contribution to the world...whether it is from you or your co-author, you accepted the challenge.

    I will come out here from time, however I may rarely comment...

    If you haven't ever read Anne Lamott, I recommend her as your writing style reminds me of her. My favorite is "Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith".

  8. Now,that is about the best comment I have ever received, I love me some Anne Lamott. And, since I'm a believer in signs and I have had two today that point me back to being more faithful to this blog, I guess I better take note. Thank you.