My Story

Why I decided enough is enough

The Beginning

It's funny how it starts. When I think back to how I got to this stage  I just cant remember.   I know in my 20's I barely drank.   I have a distinct memory of drinking that really cheap wine, Liebfraumilch or something like that with diet lemonade.  The bottle  couldn't have cost me more than about £3.00 and would generally last me the whole week. Sometimes, I would drink Lambrini with my neighbour when the kids were in bed but that was about it.    I remember going through a divorce  in my 20’s and then again in my 30’s (the second one was the most awful) and somewhere in between my first divorce and my second divorce my liking for a large glass of dry white wine commenced.   And from then on it blossomed.  All the way through my brief time of being a single mum, while working  I distinctly remember  spending my evenings in a far too hot bubble bath and a few glasses of wine only to fall into bed and wake up the next morning with a raging headache ready to run the rat race which was to get the children to school and off to work before I would do repeat the whole thing again. 

I remember meeting my third (and hopefully last husband Neil) out in Cardiff after a Rugby Match back in 2008 I think where Wales won the six nations.  I had gone out to Cardiff accidentally I might add as my one arm was in plaster after having Carpal Tunnel release surgery.  I had a rugby top on, a pair of jeans and my crazy friend Carol had taken a wrong turn on the roundabout and our trip out to Cowbridge quickly turned into a trip to Cardiff.   Neil, my now husband was in the bar and I surreptitiously ignored him for most of the night and let him to talk to my friend only to decide he was okay when he offered to buy me a drink.  Think that was the first time a man had properly offered to buy me a drink in an effort to chat me up and I was flattered.    

So basically  what I think I am trying to get across is that I was probably addicted back then right at the grand old age of 33.      

Three children later, a move to Usk (which was a hell of a shock from Cardiff) a change of career, and I think I actually couldn’t get through an evening without at least two glasses of wine.   In fact, If I ever did go without I was so proud of myself the next morning that I would actually give myself permission  to drink more the following night to make up for the night before.   And so my saga began. 

I think it was around March of last year that I happened to come across the One Year No Beer facebook site and after reading a bit about it decided to challenge myself. What in the world made me do this was anyone’s guess and to say that my family and friend were pleased is a bit of an exaggeration.      I had already failed  Dry January  specatularly as had only managed one day and so Neil looked at me as if I was stark raving mad .  “What on earth do you want to do that for???” he would ask “Anyone would think you have a problem?!”   or “Well I don’t see why you can’t go out and have a drink when you come out with me?”   A very good friend of mine was so horrified and so negative about it that it actually made me want to cry.   However picking up my big girl pants I decided to prove them wrong and believe it or not I did.     I admit I read some of the quit  lit and I also had a very good friend who was entirely supportive and I actually got to 128 days!  Yes me!!! 128 beautiful days ……. And then… it went wrong as yes, I thought I was cured.   “ I can moderate now I told everyone”. I will just drink two or three times a week,….. only on weekends…… never before 6pm……..  only just two glasses…. And before I knew it, I am actually quite ashamed at how quick I slipped back into my old habits.       Within a month I was probably drinking about a bottle of wine a night (give or take the odd glass). 

I would wake up at about 1pm in the morning absolutely parched and have to go downstairs to get some juice or some squash.  I would then feel so guilty  I would actually want to cry.  I would torture myself, tell myself enough was enough and this was ridiculous and I had to have a break.     I would get up in the morning, vow that I had to change  and be a better mum etc etc, having 7 kids in the morning with a banging head is no joke….. however by 3pm the Wine Witch would be in my head.  (I have named mine Winnie) So Winnie the witch would be there  and talking to me ……… “just one glass tonight and you will be fine?? You just need to moderate!” Don’t go so mad”.  And so it would begin all over again.  Granted there would be some evenings where I would just have half a glass or a mouthful and then tip the glass back in the bottle.   Neil has seen me do that so many times….  I would think to myself  .. ‘See, you haven’t got a problem,   you never need to finish the bottle, you didn’t even  finish the glass, and very smugly  you would put the bottle back in the fridge for another night.    

Back January this year I decided  this had to end.  I think I started on January 4th after bumping into a friend at soft play after swimming lessons.  Now this friend is what I call, a big wine drinker.    She would drink during the day no problem and most nights (as far as I knew) however when I bumped into her she told me she was on day 4 of dry January. This in itself was amazing and I remember thinking well, if she can do it then so can I.  And that I did.  Well at least until 28th January… till the cat was murdered after drinking antifreeze… that’s another story and then I slipped.  3 bottles of wine later and a re-set with One Year No Beer and I started again and,     here I am …. Day 19 and feeling good .  Well I am at the moment.  I have created this website and will work on it religiously in the hope that if it helps just one more person apart from me then that’s something I have done that’s good.     

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