Time to be Honest

Today, March 7th 2020 should have been Tony’s and my 4-year Sobriversary. I should be writing about how glorious life still is on the other side of alcohol. But I’m not because we’re not still on the other side of alcohol. We’re back in the thick of it again. And, it bloody sucks.

At the end of last summer, on a whim while making late-night music with my family, I had a sip of my sister’s wine. And then someone appeared with a glass for me, and then someone else kept it full all night long.

I went home and told Tony. I was honest, because that’s what you do when you’ve committed to sobriety and you fuck up. You get real. You admit your mistakes. And you move forward.

Except we didn’t move forward. We moved backwards.

My mistake was all the permission he needed. Tony started coming home with a bottle of wine now and then to go with our grilled steaks. It tasted terrible to me. Then he started coming home with two bottles of wine twice a week. I could get through the terrible tasting first glass, and suddenly I wanted another glass and another. That was always my drinking problem. I didn’t drink often, but when I did, I didn’t know how to stop. Then he found those fruity new hard seltzer drinks that every brand is hawking. Those started coming home every night. I watched in horror as it got worse and worse.

I tried to pretend everything would be alright; he assured me it would. I didn’t drink often, but just as before, once I started I didn’t want to stop. And now with no tolerance, three drinks of anything left me with a wicked hangover. The novelty quickly wore off. Not to mention I was wracked with guilt every time I drank.

I didn’t want to be that person. I didn’t want to go back to the hell we had created before.

I started reading and researching and came across a medication called naltrexone. It’s an opiod blocker that helps take away the buzz and the desire for more to keep the buzz going. That’s basically all an alcoholic is chasing when it comes down to it. There’s a lot more science to it than that, obviously, but you get the gist. I messaged my doctor telling the truth and she prescribed it no questions asked.

And it worked.

It made me awfully sleepy for the first hour after taking it, but it made alcohol taste even worse and it truly killed my desire for anything more than the first couple of sips.

But then I got inconsistent. And it worked less well. I spoke with another woman online who had had great success with it; her alcohol cravings were nearing “extinction” as she put it. She told me I have to be consistent. I have to take the medication every single time I drink. In a nutshell, I had to be honest.

I convinced Tony to try it with me once. He hated the sleepy, loopy feeling it gave him and said he’d never take it again.

He’s been consistent.

Now, he’s drinking almost daily.  I did drink all the fruity drinks recently when we were on a tropical vacation, and I’ll join him for a drink once or twice a month at home. But I have no desire to be a drinker anymore. Tony, unfortunately, can’t stop and doesn’t seem to want to. He stays out after work every night and comes home to us later and later all buzzed up. At first, he’s annoying to me and goofy with the kids. But when the alcohol starts wearing off, he’s impatient and mean. He mocks me. He yells at Iris. He dropped Julian.

This is the man I love. And I’m willing to fight for him. I’m willing to stand beside him to help him see what this drug is doing to him and to us. But right now, I don’t know how. I’m so angry that he would even consider risking all we’ve built ifor the sake of a false buzz.

I know it’s chemical. I know it’s addiction. A disease. Etc.

I know.

What I don’t know right now is how to love him through this. I’m so very afraid. It got really, REALLY bad between us before we got sober last time. There were bruises. There was blood. I can’t go back to that. I won’t. And, I will never let my kids be around that.

I will leave him before anything happens like that ever again.

But I don’t want to have to.

I want to raise my kids with their sober father who is sweet and funny and quiet without the booze propping him up. I want to love this man until I have to cut his steak for him, until I have to drive the car because he can’t see or hear anymore. I don’t want a poisonous liquid to ruin us and our peaceful grow-old-together future.

I want to celebrate more Sobriversary’s. I want to reach big anniversaries of all sorts.

And I want to always be honest. Because that’s the only thing that’s going to save us now.

And we’re in dire need of saving.


Author: Angle Full of Grace

A writer, woods-wanderer, and internal peace seeker who raises two free-range children in the wilderness, I escaped the wasteland of corporate America a few years back never to return. I write about love, family, mental health, addiction, parenthood and personal growth all through lens of place and connection to the land. Most entries are my weekly column for our local small-town newspaper, and there's an occasional feature story thrown in the mix as well.

14 thoughts on “Time to be Honest”

  1. Oh Kellie. It’s a dark place and some of us have different addictions but can relate to this feeling. You are not alone. And you have the strength and resilience to make it through this. Much love to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Quote from C.S. Lewis: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending!” Saw this today and thought of you. Feeling your pain and knowing you will find your way through this.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Kellie, I am sending you big love.

    I have tremendous respect for your courage and vulnerability.

    Have you read Gabor Maté’s books on addiction?

    Full of compassion and insight.

    Wishing both you and Tony, everything you need x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I was wondering about that. When we stopped at Jerry’s the day after the Snowmobile Rally to fill up the snowmobiles with gas, he was sitting at the bar. Having read your previous articles about the struggles you both have faced with alcohol, my immediate thought was that it was not a good sign. I have lost one relative and two co-workers to alcohol abuse. I also have a brother who distanced himself from family due to drinking. Therefore, I certainly can understand what you are dealing with. Hopefully you both can lick the addiction and go on to raise your beautiful daughter together.


  5. You have made some very big steps to improve your life. One is not keeping this a secret – that means you are on the right road. The health of your children and yourself is and should be number one. I know you know this but the only person that can help Tony is Tony. Take care smart lady!


  6. Just read this latest post of yours. Thank you again, for your honesty, openness and vulnerability. I’m currently inquiring about my own capacity for vulnerability, especially as I’m generally a rather private person, so your example is very helpful.
    In my own way, not specifically with alcohol but another issue, I’ve been at that point in my marriage, several times in fact, where it felt like everything was on the line and the whole thing could just collapse at any moment. It’s that almost excruciating sense of being between a rock and a hard place where you feel like you have to give up one essential thing for the sake of another, and having to reach down to the core of you to determine what that is, not knowing if you truly have the strength to choose and actually go through with it, and also feeling as if you lose either way. ACIM comes to mind where it speaks of the belief in sacrifice and the sense of giving up something very precious for the sake of truth. In my experience it was profound and life changing where I reached that point of surrender, willing to give it all up, that sense of finality that was strangely serene because I wasn’t making anyone wrong but just connected to my integrity and love & compassion at the same time and from that point knew what to do. Each time I was surprised at how things unfolded afterwards and had that strong inner confirmation that I chose correctly, because I chose truth. Of course everyone’s path is so unique and only we can know what’s appropriate in our own situation and what we’re able to do at that time. It’s good to be very compassionate and gentle with ourselves. Blessings to you and your family and I hope you keep writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you from the depths of my heart, Julie. If I knew you in real life, I’d hug you long and soft. Thank you for seeing me. Thank you for sharing you. You inspire me to consider my ACIM practice again, as it has fallen by the wayside. That undertaking feels overwhelming at the moment, however. As if adding yet anything task to my precarious load might break me instead of make me more malleable as it’s sure to do.


      1. Oh yeah, the Course is pretty heady. I definitely have to be in the right space to read it and then I get drowsy after a page or two. 🙂 Not likely to be my go-to if I’m feeling overwhelmed. I’m a big believer in reaching for any kind of relief when I’m not feeling good, pampering myself in whatever way I can, and deliberately and incrementally moving toward a better feeling state. That feels like love to me, which I’ve figured out along the way that I deserve too. (Who knew? Lol!) My daily habit is to drop the problem and let the Universe figure it out. It always does, I just get in the space where I can receive the solution (be inspired that is). Ok, last book recommendation and I promise I’ll stop. 🤓 Kamal Ravikant’s Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It. Very engaging and helpful and an easy read. A big virtual hug to you. 🙂 Julie

        Liked by 1 person

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