Damien’s Note: Ericka started following this blog on it’s Facebook page a while ago and recently reached out with a series of articles written from her personal experience. Here is the first in the series. I can certainly relate to parts of her story and I suspect some of my readers will as well. The post was written on August 5, 2015 and this is the first time Ericka has used her full name in conjunction with her struggles with alcohol and she said, “It feels raw, but amazing!”
It was another lonely night in an otherwise full house. My husband and the step kids were downstairs watching a movie. The Sunday night family dinner was over, the leftovers and dishes were put away and my wine cup was washed and put away. I had a few drinks while preparing and cleaning up after dinner hoping no one noticed my slurred words or loud voice at the dinner table. All I could do was think about being upstairs, alone, and open that extra bottle I had hidden in my dresser drawer. This had become my life, my routine, my only existence at that time.
So there I sat, once again, alone in my bedroom. At this time, the husband and I were already sleeping in separate bedrooms for over a year so it was easy to be alone and even easier to hide and drink my wine. Although his bedroom was a mere two feet away, it felt like miles.
Morning came along with the hangover, the shakes, and the regret. Did I go downstairs last night and do or say anything, like I know I had before? But more importantly, on that very morning I would wonder did I have any more to drink? I stared blankly at the empty bottle and red wine stained cup on the nightstand wanting to pick up the cup and drink the few sips that were left at the bottom. All I could think of at that very moment was please let there be another bottle in my drawer.
This is the morning I remember clearly. This is when the craving, the obsession, and I would find out later, the powerlessness began. It fell over me like a large wet blanket and the need for a drink became so strong and so powerful, If there wasn’t another bottle hidden, then I knew I would have to go buy one. This was one of many moments to come. I knew this was a problem.
It hit me so hard and very fast that I really didn’t feel it’s full effect at the time. But as I got dressed that morning, slowly and methodically, I cried quietly and waited for my husband to leave for work. By 8:00am I was in my car driving to the grocery store. My intent was to buy one bottle of wine to get me through the morning and maybe over my shakes. Take the edge off, as they say.
I browsed the wine section and before I knew it I was in the checkout line with a full basket of wine, including a small box of cabernet sauvignon to drink in the car and for on the way home. I had to shake the shakes because they were pretty intense at that time. I sat in the car, drank, and felt nothing. I felt numb.
I remember thinking to myself, who am I? What am I doing? This isn’t me. Or was it? I was aware of what I was doing, but now realize it was just one of the many times I would experience what I called an “out of body” experience. At least in my now alcoholic mind. There were more to come.
Ericka’s Bio: Ericka Brandt Delagarza is a professional, creative, and witty writer who has been published on many blogs and websites. Her most recent accomplishment was as a co-contributor for the cookbook, “What’s Left to Eat” which debuted as a number one international best seller on Amazon.com. As an amazing home cook, foodie, writer, and former resident of Europe, and Puerto Rico, as well the East Coast, Ericka writes just about anything these days. With food and travel as her passion, she has found writing about her struggle with alcohol and staying sober over the last five years the most difficult, yet very therapeutic experience to date.