The kombucha experience was another "Aha!" moment about being honest with myself. What it looks and feels like and how I haven't been as good with with being honest with myself as I once thought I was.
I think back to how I have down played the frequency of how much I drank with both doctors and therapists, because I was so in denial about how the drinking could be a problem. But I knew it was a problem. Did I know? It's hard for me to separate out knowing that there would be disapproval and knowing drinking was causing harm and knowing it could be causing and complicating my issues.
In the past when I looked up "moderate" drinking I have been so dismissive of the amounts, thinking it was so so so unrealistic that any one really drinks that way. I would compare it to the unrealistic small portion sizes on food labels. I assumed doctors would hold that unrealistic moderate drinking standard so I dismissed that I could have an open conversation about drinking. The labels and those who believed the labels were extremists to me. I told myself that against realistic expectations I wouldn't be exposed to having a problem.
Interestingly, one time I was more honest about the amounts I was drinking. The therapist asked me if I was concerned with my drinking and I said no. And she said ok, and we moved on. The window of truth closed so quickly. I continued "to believe" that drinking wasn't causing or adding to any of my problems.
On and off for the last 10 years I have gone to therapy. I like talking to a professional, getting some skills to think through my life. I really needed it to process the sudden death of my mom a couple of years ago. Again, we never talked about how much I was drinking. I didn't think it was a contributing factor to how I was sitting with my grief, the emotions tied up in my relationship with both my mom, dad and brother. I did benefit from these sessions but so much more could have come out of them if my drinking and the drinking of my family was in the mix of our sessions. I feel like writing to her now and saying that I was holding back on my truths. But what would that do?
I just made an appointment with a therapist here. One to specifically to talk about growing up in an alcoholic family and my new sobriety. (Look at me using the word sobriety a little more comfortably!!). Putting alcohol front and center with a professional who is trained to help people like me. I am not alone. Look me go!
I used to drink with the best of them, but I don't anymore. My life is so much better for it.
-Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp