A strange behavior of alcohol addiction is hiding booze.
I never hid bottles in the toilets and in every nook and cranny in my house, but there was no question I was on my way.
While in the throes of my early addiction, I started hiding my wine and vodka in the garage. I did not consciously do this, I just started doing it.
The bizarre thing, it wasn’t actually hidden. My boxed chardonnay wine and Lemon Deep Eddy Vodka were clearly out for anyone to see, stored on a shelf close to the door of the kitchen. In my sick mind, if I hid it entirely, that would be really hiding it; hiding it in plain sight was acceptable.
For a year before I quit drinking, I had my own bar in the garage. This is not normal behavior.
I believed I was somehow shielding my kids from seeing me drink every night. I thought I could sneak more re-fills if it were stored in the garage. I could go out to get something in the car or take out the trash or shut the garage door. My glass would always be full. I felt a sense of safety having it out there, like it was protected. I was less anxious because I could store multiple boxes and bottles and I would feel less dirty, less shameful, because garages are meant for storage, right?
That was my distorted thought process.
It is clear to me, now that I am sober, that I started garage-stashing booze because subconsciously I knew that I was drinking too much. I was embarrassed of how much I drank. It was a way that I could control the amount of booze I had on hand. I started hiding it because I wanted to protect the people whom I loved from finding out that Mama had a problem with alcohol. I did not want them to worry about me. I didn’t want to scare them.
That kind of strange behavior is part of the sickness of alcohol addiction. This is a red flag, a great big red flag. I began doing things I would never do in my right mind, and this was a big one.
This is how it starts—little strange behaviors that grow into big strange behaviors. I am not ashamed anymore. This experience does not define who I am. I feel as though I have a responsibility now to talk about it—the fact that no one talks about it is killing people. Silence is deadly.