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Time for a change

I was sure that it was one specific day and one pretty upsetting trip to a specialist that changed my mindset to live a better life, however looking back on it now it was a series of events leading up to that day. I cannot recount all of them but some of the most monumental ones were during the time my Dad was in and out of hospital starting October 2018.

Dad had been in hospital for a few weeks and was given the all clear to come home. He had been home for a few days, all was well at his end so I thought. I was however still going through my mental hell and adding Dads issues just made it worse. So I did what I always did back then during a stressful moment, I went to the liquor shop and bought a bottle of Vodka (yes, I needed something stronger then wine), after nearly most of the bottle being empty I decided it was time for a sleep, sleep always made things better and what better way to get some sleep then to mix my medication with the alcohol. Just as I had taken the medication I get a message from Mum saying Dad is finding it difficult to breath and she had to take him to the hospital,I had no idea what to do. I was still intoxicated, taken my tablets and definitely wasn't in a position to do anything, I felt hopeless as I couldn't be there for Mum when she needed me, that was my first moment of "I need to stop". The next was while I was sitting by my Dads bed side watching him with tubes coming out of his back, screaming in pain, the doctors telling us he may or may not make it. All his organs were failing, so many speculations going on around me, but the one that affected me most was the reason for him being in this situation was because of the abuse to his body through alcohol and smoking in his younger days. All I could think in that moment was "I cannot put my children and husband through this". I still didn't stop though, I however felt I needed the drinking more then ever at this point.

I can remember , very clearly the day my day drinking stopped, it was another episode while Dad was in hospital, I thought everything was ok (once again!) and I can let go, just be on my own without worrying about every one else around me, how wrong I was. My mum rang me frantically saying dad was in so much pain and she needed my help, I had already finished a bottle of red, I off course could not drive and I was not in the right state of mind to think to call an Uber so the first thing I did was call my cousin. I had seen him recently so he was top of mind, he put all his stuff aside and came to pick me up, that was my last day of day drinking, not because I had to be alert for emergencies such as this, no it was because I had to rely on some one else, I lived 10 minutes from the hospital and my poor cousin had to drive 30 minutes to come get me to take me to the hospital. I was riddled with so much guilt, embarrassment and regret that I didn't want to put myself in that position again, so it was my pride and ego that stepped up in this situation.

Day drinking stopped, but the night drinking continued, my internal demons increased , trying to deal with Dad’s, Mum’s and my emotions was all too much. Trying to be strong for them both and be the support they need while falling apart inside was not easy.

Potentially due to the exorbitant amount of alcohol in my system, my pain increased and began to experience types of pain I never experienced previously, so with the advise of my husband I decided to go to the hospital. Once again I was told I was a "unique" case and just pumped me with pain medication and advised me to see a neurologist. Due to my previous experiences with neurologists I was hesitant to see another one, however because of everything going on with Dad I decided to begin once again, the search to finding a medical intervention for my pain.

It didn't work out the way I expected, the neurologist dismissed me as soon as I answered his question of "do you drink and how much"?. The judgement on his face when I responded honestly was clear, he didn't bother to look at my scans, didn't even bother to discuss a pain management plan with me. His assumptions of my pain being all in my head was the straw that broke the camels back, I finally gave up on a medical intervention. I threw all my toys out of the cot and had a tantrum or two. I was determined to prove this person wrong, wanted to prove that I can stop drinking and the pain was not due to the alcohol or something that was make belief. Yes the alcohol did not help but the pain was real!

A journey that began due to my own stubbornness and pride became life changing for me in more way then one.

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