Though I've tried, I've fallen
I have sunk so low
I messed up
Better I should know...
- Fallen Lyrics, Sarah McLachlan
If I were reading a blog written by an alcoholic, I would probably be most interested in how rock Bottom looked. Of course, there are the stereotypical rock bottoms.... divorced, homeless, jailed, unemployed...that immediately come to mind. In reality, everyone's rock bottom looks different and are dependent on what consequences have been experienced. For me, it was the point that I was no longer a functioning member of society. I was absent in my own life and unavailable to those who needed and loved me most.
I will now describe the insanity of my addiction at the time I entered detox. I am going to follow a Q&A format to keep on track. Keep in mind, this is just the tip of a very deep iceberg.
Q: How often did you drink each day?
A: At the time I entered detox, I would experience significant withdrawal
symptoms within hours of my last drink. Therefore, I drank every morning, day and night.
Q: What did you drink?
A: My preference was straight vodka. However, I would drink any alcoholic beverage. At my bottom, I was "going easy" by drinking only wine. This was a myth and the amount of wine a drank within a 24 hour period is insane.
Q: How did you hide your alcohol?
A: At first, I hid bottles in my car, between mattresses, drawers, closets...basically anywhere. As my disease progressed, I didn't attempt to hide my alcohol. Empty wines boxes were visible on, in, under and beside my bed. The empty containers caused constant shame, but I just didn't care.
Q: What happened when you did not drink?
A: I would start withdrawing within 2 hours of my last alcoholic drink. Mild withdrawal (to me) caused sweating, nausea, hand tremors, insomnia, diarrhea, inability to concentrate, high pulse and blood pressure. My withdrawal would progress to body tremors, difficulty with balance, severe gastrointestinal upset, insomnia, auditory hallucinations and inability to concentrate.
Q: What is an example of the disease's insanity?
A: I would drink until my body began to reject the alcohol. My body would "tell me" additional alcohol was physically dangerous and caused projective vomiting when I took a drink. It was insane that I continued to drink.
Q: What did you look like to your loved ones, friends and family?
A: My face was constantly red and puffy. I sweat all the time, regardless of temperature. My lips and skin were always dry and chapped due to continual dehydration. My hair was often matted and tangled from lying in the bed. My hair was also dull and brittle. I did not care about my personal appearance and often too sick to tend to my own personal hygiene.
This blog post describes how my physical rock bottom looked. Alcoholism does not stop with physical consequences and wreaks havoc on emotional and spiritual health, self worth and relations. Unfortunately, there is are many different rock bottoms in addiction. In sobriety, it is important to remember how my rock bottom looked and felt. This blog will often visit my different rock bottoms.