• 2 cups apple cider (or apple juice or 2 packs of instant cider + 16 oz. of water) • cup of fresh cranberries • 2-3 cinnamon sticks • 1 tsp. of nutmeg • 1 tsp. of cloves (whole or ground) • 1 small orange, sliced • fresh pine twigs
combine all in small pot on stove, bring to a boil over medium heat. let simmer on low all day long and enjoy.
Being tossed between waves of desperation and normalcy, I reached for it. Feeling no other hand there to help guide me out of the darkness, I reached for it. Unsettling realty set it and unable to solely cope, I reached for it. Teetering between feeling it all and hoping to be numb, I reached for it. It gave me mild comfort but then great shame. It made me fun but then ill. This superhuman I could be, accomplishing more and more with no great fall.
I craved it, wished it was 5 o’clock every where. A drink or three made all my responsibilities seem easy. It made me feel like I wasn’t a complete failure to my family. Like I wasn’t completely ruining another life. My odds of inheriting alcoholic genes are high and yet I didn’t notice what was happening. I was too busy managing a baby who never slept, a toddler who always fought, a husband that felt always gone, plus a job, a house, it all. I never noticed when it took over, when the weekends seemed too short, when I needed it to get an hour or two of solid shut-eye.
One whole year, it slowly but fiercely crept into my weekend ritual. No one from a far seemed to notice but it bore a crack in our foundation that widened over time. It caused fights, real anger, more shame, constant attempts to fix what was broken. But I was what was broken. I didn’t know how to pause taking care of everyone around me to take care of myself.
So when did the craving stop? When did the light come back on? I honestly can’t give you a date but I do remember all the sudden feeling repulsed at the site of a bottle. I do know it was around the time that the baby slept. And when I wasn’t so on my own. When I spoke my truth of constantly feeling like I was drowning in mile long to-do lists. When I said all of this was too much to ask of anyone. What I found was support not blame. Help not absence. Those are things I did not find starring into another empty bottle.
It’s been years since I found my freedom from it. Never do I plan to venture down that dark path as it came at a price that I’m unwilling to pay again. Both my family and myself mean entirely too much to ever risk again.