Saturday, 25 January 2014

A new day

A brand new day is dawning.  It is Saturday morning and I have woken to the wonderful and comforting sound of our cockerel (happy memories of my childhood) with a totally clear head, and my youngest son snuggled up next to me.

The feeling I have this morning is a world away from how I felt this time last week when I was so full of self-loathing I wanted to run away.

Last night, instead of sinking a bottle of wine, I sat next to the fire with my husband and my tea in my fancy new mug, and I read my new photography book.  And I got really excited about my fabulous camera again, which I have neglected for the last two years.

This morning, while the rest of my family still sleep, I am making plans for the day, without having to race to the bathroom and pop some painkillers and drink two pints of water first.

I am really looking forward to a delicious breakfast of coffee and croissants with jam, which is always our weekend treat.  Lots of painting, walking, baking, photography and getting thrashed at Monopoly is on the cards today.

We always do fun wholesome things as a family but there have been times when I haven't been totally present, due to groggy, foggy hangover.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Some ugly reminders of my drunken past

I have listed below some ugly reminders of my drunken past (spanning over twenty years) to help me stay on track:
  • Secretly drinking from friends' glasses while they were out of the room
  • Dinner party with parents from my children's new school
  • Hangovers from hell
  • My dad's fireworks party
  • Looking bloated, red and puffy with blood shot eyes
  • Throwing up and clogging up the sink
  • Driving home
  • Wine- stained lips and tongue 
  • Banging headaches
  • Upsetting my children
  • Feeling remorseful, paranoid, guilty and full of self-loathing
  • Wondering what I said or did
  • Eating junk food
  • Wetting the bed
  • Making a complete tit of myself
  • Not remembering anything
  • Keeping bad company
  • Drinking all my father-in-law's Tia Maria
  • Chain smoking
  • Lying 
  • Losing my self-respect
  • Popping too many painkillers
  • Almost killing myself on a wine glass
  • Being boring and terrible company
  • Getting in a car with a total stranger
  • Drinking a bottle of wine before going to a party
  • Being horrible to my husband
  • Feeling like I've let everyone down
I can't quite believe this list (which could probably go on and on).  I have been in denial for so long, always labelling myself as a harmless 'social drinker'.

An excuse for every night of the week

On Wednesdays I would buy a bottle of wine to keep me company while my husband went out running.  On Thursdays we would always have a takeaway, and eating delicious Thai food without a delicious bottle of wine felt wrong.  On Fridays I naturally had to have wine as a reward for getting to the end of the week.  And so it went on.

So today is Thai takeaway Thursday.  I have been trying to think about what can replace my usual  bottle of red, and have decided that good old fashioned water will suffice.  In fact water tastes rather nice when drinking it with a clear head - I have noticed this over the last few days.

I have just bought myself my own special (rather expensive) mug.  I have been enjoying many a hot drink out of it - it's the simple things.

I have to keep reminding myself that wine is my enemy, and makes me feel horrendous.  I just wish I didn't like the damn taste of it so much.  Having said that, I also love the taste of Jelly Babies and Fruit Pastilles, so have stocked up, making sure I keep my sweet stash well hidden from my kids.

It is really nice not feeling hungover today, particularly as I have a poorly child to look after and a million emails to reply to.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Breaking the cycle

I am on day three of not drinking.

Normally on a Wednesday my husband is out with his running group and so I treat myself to a bottle of wine for company.  I always tell myself I will drink just one large glass and save the rest.  That, of course, never happens.

And the following morning I wake up feeling groggy, foggy and dehydrated and I am pretty useless for the rest of the day.  I eat way too many crisps and junk food, and then feel so crap about myself I drink more wine that evening.  And so the cycle continues.

As I drove home from my son's karate lesson this evening the thought of stopping off at Tesco did cross my mind, but only very fleetingly.

Tonight I have had some toast and jam, a cup of hot chocolate and am now in bed with a hot water bottle and deciding what to watch on Netflix.  No desire for wine I am pleased to report.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

This is where it begins...

I am 41 years old, I have three beautiful children, a wonderful husband, a great job, but a totally destructive relationship with alcohol. 

The first time I got drunk was when I discovered my mum's homemade plum wine hidden under the stairs when I was about thirteen.  It was the school holidays and she was at work, and by the time she got home I was a quarter of a demijohn down and completely wasted.

My first experience with alcohol kind of set a precedent and I continued to get very drunk throughout my life.   I am most definitely a binge drinker, and although I can quite easily go without, when I do open a bottle of wine, it all has to go.  And often I will move on to whatever else is in the house: cheap rum (bought for the Christmas pudding), lager, whisky - all drinks that I can't stand when I'm sober, but drinks that I need when I'm drunk.

And after I have been on a bender (normally in my own house), I wake up feeling remorseful, guilty, paranoid, embarrassed, and full of self-loathing and hate.  I beat myself up for days afterwards wondering what I said or did and I completely lose all self respect.  Not to mention the banging headache, the sickness, the tiredness and the depression.

As a mother I feel guilty that I am doing this to myself - that I'm not being the best mother that I can possibly be.  My behaviour is selfish and irresponsible.  I should be looking after myself, not destroying myself.

A particular low point was when I got trashed during Sunday lunch at a friends house.  My children were there, and witnessed me slurring, slumping, staggering and then passing out.  I felt truly awful.  It's times like this that make me wonder who on earth I am and what the hell is wrong with me as a human being.

Disturbing incidents like this have made me want to give up on many occasions, but after a gruelling day I will then tell myself that I deserve a glass of wine, that it is my saviour and my comfort, and it tastes nice, and that I don't have a problem - and alcohol (in moderation) is the perfect tonic for the busy hardworking mum after all.  BOLLOCKS!

Things have come to a head.  My last hangover lasted for four days - it was more the mental and emotional effects rather than the physical that lasted this long.  I wanted to crawl under a stone and hibernate.  I hated myself.  I felt I didn't deserve my beautiful family.  I felt awful.  And all because I got wrecked with a friend of mine, smoked too many fags (something I only do when I am pissed), talked crap, and didn't have a particularly good night anyway.  Seriously, why put myself through all this - for what?

Yesterday, Monday 20th January, was the day I decided that enough was enough and that I was going to try my absolute hardest to give up alcohol for good.

This is my journey.... wish me luck!