Hey everyone as you can tell I am having a good day today. I absolutely know in my heart I have made the right decision. The anxiety has gone, that sick feeling I have in my tummy and the tense feeling I have in my shoulders has gone. I told my little boy today that he didn't have to worry about mummy drinking any more and just seeing the look on his face was enough for me. I say I didn't have a wobble moment but I did, a few months ago. A very bad drunk moment that I am quite ashamed of my brother came up for a bit after having some problems at home with my parents. Anyway this is no excuse but by the time the evening came both Rebecca, myself and my brother spent the evening in the hot tub with quite a few drinks (not wine surprisingly but Gin & Tonic). We had the music on and was generally enjoying the evening. I had started to relax as I always feel very tense when I see my brother for a number of reasons, generally tense because he talks about my parents and also it kind of shakes the family equilibrium a bit. Anyway, I digress,this particular night I was very tense by the evening hence the drinks and the hot tub and the music, all made a bit easier by the fact that hubby was working late. Anyway to cut a long story short I got very drunk all of a sudden (the hot tub does do that to you) In fact very embarrassingly I was so bad that I think I passed out, this has never happened to me before as I don't like getting drunk and hardly ever do. I was shocking. Was sick a few times and am so ashamed of myself at the age of 46 for my son to see me in that state. I mean at 18 yes at my age.... no. Wine for me is a sedative it helps me relax, it enables me to chill out and watch the telly, or not get stressed by what is going on around me, so for me to get drunk there are generally extenuating circumstances as thankfully, normally, I do have an off switch. This time however the off switch was broken and mummy got very drunk which resulted in my little boy getting very very upset and daddy having to drag me out of the hot tub to sleep on the sofa and sleep it off, which, I did rapidly and then spent the next few days apologising to my poor son and telling him it would never happen again and vowing not to drink again. However this lasted approximately two days, before i talked myself into not ever drinking again in the hot tub. And, I stuck to it. However I now have to live the knowledge that I have probably scarred my little boy for life. He will never forget it and is constantly anxious when he sees mummy drinking wine. If I go out, he asks what time I will be back and he waits up for me.
So today, when I told him that I had given up and I was giving up for good his little face was all the accountability I will need. And, yes I do need accountability.
When you give up drinking its a wierd thing. You do lose friends, it natural. People react strangely even some of my close friends . You don't get invited out socially as much as you are labelled as "the boring one " and yes, if you don't drink it really does make people question their own drinking. I have a friend who quite truthfully told me this and I admire her for it. She told me quite frankly that she wasn't going to read my website or any of my blogs because she didn't want it to question her drinking and that, is absolutely fine. I admire her frankness and her honesty.
I really believe that there are hundreds of women out there that are like me, that are wine drinkers, that can't wait till wine O'Clock comes around so they can just have those couple of glasses to wind down the day. And, still, there is not a lot of help in the UK for this. There is tones in America but not Wales.
I am very early on in my sobriety journey but I am not ashamed of it. This morning I woke up and I am okay with people knowing. It will keep me accountable. If I lose friends because of it then that's, okay as well. What I do know is that familiar feeling of happiness, of calm and of taking my time to do things is back. I had a year under my belt and I now have 9 days and I have no intention of slipping back like I did.
For me alcohol is an addictive drug but god forbid if you get addicted to it. I really admire those people that can just "drink on the weekends" I can't do that. Would I call myself an alcoholic? No. Would I call myself a dependent drinker.. Yes absolutely. but whether I am an alcoholic or a dependent drinker it doesn't really matter, I know I have to stay away from the stuff for my own health and sanity and that of my children and I actually believe that I am in a much stronger position than I was before because I know what giving up for a year did for me......... and I wanted that feeling back.
What is hardest I found especially the first time, is trying to justify it to my friends and family. If you don't have an addictive personality then you don't and will never understand. Even my own husband, bless him, doesn't understand. He tries but for the life of him he keeps saying to me "I don't know why you can't have a glass of wine when we go out ??!" and, I have sat and said that I can, no problem, but if I do, yes I will stop after just one or maybe two but then the next day, by about 2pm I will be thinking of that glass of wine I can have from 6pm (because that is wine O'Clock for me) and then the cycle will continue every night.
What is so bad about that ? you ask? Well, there is nothing bad about that, except, over the period of (not so long at all ) those two glasses a night will creep up to 3 glasses, or perhaps almost the whole bottle (although I always left a little in the bottom ) and a bottle on the weekend. Then, before you know it you are having about 5 bottles a week. The anxiety in the morning is back. The intensity that I have naturally anyway is increased ten fold, the restlessness, the guilty feeling, the trips down to the kitchen at 3:00am to get a glass of squash. The manic running and cleaning of the house, ironing, cooking food and working and showing the whole world that I am a dependable ,caring, working ,functioning adult, wife and mum and a good friend, while still drinking up to a bottle of wine a night !
Nah stuff that. I don't want it. The calm feeling I am feeling now and felt yesterday, the lack of guilt, you can't put money on that and that is what I want. Don't get me wrong, there is absolutely no way I am out of the woods yet at all by a long shot. I know, my first bad day, or good day and the wine witch will raise her ugly head, but I am going to do everything I can to ensure she doesn't win.
This time, I have gone about it, much like before but better, I am re reading the quit lit, I am using instragram this time as there are lots of sober women out there. I am considering joining a support group based in the Uk for women like me. I am actually considering setting one up myself to help women like me as I am convinced that I am not the only one. There are lots of groups and and apps etc for the US but not the UK.
I am even considering doing some "life coaching" as I feel I would be good at it. I feel I do have a good influence on people and I can encourage people and if I can help women like me break the cycle then surely that's a good thing although maybe I need to get some more time under my belt first. I am considering a dedicated facebook page for this with a private group and also taking some life coaching courses just to get some accredication but maybe am getting a bit ahead of myself. Today is a good day. Lets see what tomorrow brings.
This time though I am giving up for me not because I am scared I will turn into my mum but because I am scared it will ruin me. It's my problem, not my mum's and my battle and I owe it to my son.