bipolar momI haven’t written this week because I have been consumed by grief doing everything in my power trying to keep my mind busy. It hasn’t worked as well as I had hoped but it has given me time to come to terms with the reality that I set my own pain and selfishness aside to give my oldest son what he desires most – a relationship with his biological father.

I would have done anything to keep him here with me. I cried and I hurt. He is now 3.5 hours away from me, he left Sunday. It’s not the same around here, it is so quiet and calm. I miss him so much.

I picked up the phone a couple nights ago to call him home for dinner, and when it hit me he wasn’t just down the street I realized that I was going to be okay. He’s not gone forever, I just won’t get to see him very often.

I am okay.

Saturday we had a big cookout with my Mom (visiting from Germany) and my brother (visiting from Maryland), and several other family members. I began to unravel so fast I could feel my heart racing and my head pounding. My chest hurt and I was overwhelmed with so many people in my house. I did the ultimate no no, I started drinking. Crap.

When you mix mental illness and alcohol nothing good can possibly come about. My family tried to stop me but I got a bit pissy and aggressive, and they left me alone. I was drowning my issues in a glass of vodka and red bull. Crap.

I got drunk!

I do not drink much other than an occasional glass of wine with dinner or a beer at a football game, sometimes maybe a margarita with a friend. I used to use wine to self medicate – daily. I never suffered any kind of “withdrawal” or anything like that, but I would have 1-2 glasses of wine (sometimes a bottle) daily to cope with my problems. Last year when I began to cope with the real issue, bipolar, I stopped drinking. It wasn’t hard because I was dealing with the real problem at hand, but I know better than to pick up a drink when I am overwhelmed with emotions I cannot cope with.

I know better! What was I thinking?

I don’t have a clue what I was thinking other than I had one day left before my son was moving 3.5 hours away, my mom was going back to Germany, my brother back to Maryland, and life would just continue as usual. I was a mess.

While drinking (a lot, vodka – so bad) I confronted my mother about her crap, and basically laid it all out there. Finally I let loose and just broke down. I let out my grief and my pain and I talked to my mother. It’s been a long time since I did that, but it felt really good. I told her how I felt about her, about my son leaving, about everything.

I couldn’t stop the tears. Then like a little girl, I curled up in my mothers arms and just cried. She comforted me (as a mother should) and helped me through the hardest time of my life. She fed me a lot of water, some ibuprofen, told me to NEVER drink like that again (reminding me how much my coping skills sucked that day) and sent me to bed.

I woke the next morning and felt okay. I was ashamed of how drunk I had been, and the consequences of the drinking alone reminded me of the fact that I can not – ever again – drink my problems away.

I was having pretty serious tremors, some which made my entire body shake. It was terrible. I did not have a hangover, but the remorse I felt was worse than any hangover ever could have been. The regret killed me. I could not believe I had been so weak, I know I am stronger than that.

I’m disgusted with my actions, and still trying to sort through the reasons why I turned to vodka, so that I will never do it again, ever.


Photo by Carsten Lorentzen, available under a Creative Commons attribution license.