I went to a party last Saturday evening. ‘So what’! you are possibly thinking. The thing is that when I came out of rehab parties would fill me with terror – my mind full of apprehension. I was scared! Scared that those voices in my head would start up again, “go on just one”, “one won’t hurt” etc., when I knew that actually the first sip is the dangerous one. Terrified to go back to the hell hole I had worked so hard to get out of, plunging not only myself but my family back into that serpents pit.
When I was drinking I thought about drinking a lot: When can I have drink? What should I drink? How much is too much? What did I drink last night? What did I say last night? Why do I feel so bad this morning?
As my drinking really escalated out of control I would drink before I went to a party, often paralytic before I arrived. Initially, I was the fun girl that made people laugh. Gradually over time I became a liability and an embarrassment; falling over, speaking rudely to family and friends, causing arguments, and injuries to myself. The evening, that should have been enjoyable, would end in black out followed by the 3 S’s – sickness, shits, and sorrow. Or sometimes worse – visits to a & e.
As with most people the escalation was very gradual spanning years and months, alcohol is very patient. I was in complete denial that drinking was responsible for my Jekyll and Hyde personality. I convinced myself that my Hyde was the combination of working full time and family life telling myself I ‘deserved a drink’ and ‘that all my friends did so why shouldn’t I’? My moods increasingly unpredictable.
So the fact that I now go to parties without apprehension is wonderful; knowing that I’ll go home to bed with a clear mind and conscience and not waking up with the 3 S’s!
Let’s normalise NOT drinking!
Booze for Chocolate – the desire for all things sweet! This was me back in 2014 when I began my sober journey. I went from rarely eating desserts and chocolate to not being able to stop! I am known as the fruit and nut queen – bloody adore it! I have also developed a love of cream, but as I was recently told “you won’t get lean on cream”!
Today in my diary it states that its ‘Belly Button Day’! I have a diary that on various days has random hilarious things; e.g. ‘Celebrate a banana day, Ridiculously long scarf day’ and one of my favourites ‘wink suggestively at people day’!!. These amuse my childlike sense of humour. Anyhow back to Belly Button Day….this started me thinking about my belly button, and the stomach that surrounds it!
My stomach has been through hell over the years, and that’s without taking pregnancy into account. Shivers run down my spine at the memories of my belly hurting from endless bouts of retching (apologies for my bluntness); these days it only aches from laughter or fitness sessions. Poor Stomach has been the victim of the drunken jelly belly years which were replaced by weight gain from sugar cravings. However, I was happy to have sugar cravings over alcohol cravings.
To put your minds at ease, assuming they are uneasy, I am enjoying the pleasures (an pain) of being a member of a fit camp, which has enabled me to reclaim my stomach and now have a clear view of my belly button. My sugar cravings have lessened, (now a cheat day treat), as I was assured they would. I have new found energy, self confidence and I am enjoying the process of clean living and being fit and healthy. #reallife #lovelife
About the Book 2007: At the end of a momentous day, Charlie, Stella and John cross paths under the arches of Paddington Station. As Charlie locks eyes with Stella across the platform, a brief, powerful spark of recognition flashes between them. But they are strangers … aren’t they? Plunging back thirty years we watch as, […]
via Book Review: Entanglement by Katy Mahood — What Cathy Read Next…
Waking up this morning to hear the sad news of the death of Stephen Hawking CBE it led me to think about our minds, how we take our intelligence very much for granted, and how easily our minds can be altered and destroyed by alcohol (and other abusive ‘substances’).
Stephen Hawking once said, ‘It would not be much of universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.’ This is so true, heartbreakingly though if you are in the strangling grip of addiction those you love and cherish the most fade into insignificance, your mind distorted and full of thoughts of where and when you can have your next drink, prioritising the whole of your day.
It is a gradual process; like a thief in the night it slowly and patiently crept up on me and eventually began to take over my whole day. I began to think about drinking at lot and decided that as long as I didn’t start drinking before a certain time of night I was still in control of my consumption. However, alcohol is clever and before I knew it I was making excuses to drink earlier, convincing the children not to go to their clubs, pretending I felt unwell so couldn’t go to places and using people to take on my parental duties so that I could drink. Everything I became went against EVERYTHING I believed in and someone who I despised. When I didn’t drink I felt miserable and when I did drink I felt more miserable. Feelings of inadequacy, paranoia, guilt and insecurity, all exacerbated and fuelled by drink.
My universe is my home, filled with those I most cherish and love….. (I need to include my WhatsApp group, even though we don’t live under the same roof they mean the world to me).
I used alcohol to mask my depression and self-medicate; I drank to deal with feelings of stress and anxiety. Alcohol had the ability, in the very short term, to numb these feelings. Looking back I realise that it was that moment when I took that sip of wine, when feeling stressed and thinking to myself “that’s better” which was the beginning of the end – here was where I started the slide down that slippery slope, insanely believing alcohol was the solution. That moment when having arrived home from work, grumpy children who all needed to be fed and transported to various different places almost every single evening of the week to their ‘after school activities’.
All I’d think about was when could I have a drink, I wanted was total oblivion from the feeling that I had lost control of my life and was drowning! I turned into a brilliant actress portraying life as wonderful, and playing the part of super mum; while in secret behind closed doors I was become super drunk mum. TOTAL AND UTTER MADNESS!
Morning! One of my greatest joys is waking up without a hangover. Back in my drinking days my mornings inevitably became ones of waking up feeling physically and mentally crap and exhausted. Why had I got drunk again? What had I done the night before (blackouts)? Then the usual ritual would begin……. dry retching, and endless bouts on the toilet. I’d be exhausted from waking at 3am and not being able to get back to sleep, full of feelings of panic, anxiety and paranoia, feelings that sat like a cloud over me all day, every day, until that first drink. That insane merry-go-round (although not so bloody merry; more miserable-go-round!). I’d make myself a promise never to drink again but that ‘wine witch’ would start nagging “go on it’ll make you feel better”, “hair of the dog”, “you need it to get”, “you deserve it” and on and on and on. And the fairground ride would once again see me sat precariously on it.
I’ve never blogged before, but have decided to after recently following blogs about people who have quit the ‘booze’ and are now living a sober life. Today, being Mothering Sunday, seemed to me to be a good day start start! The photo I’ve used is from Mothering Sunday 2014 before I entered sobriety. I cannot believe how my life, and those that I love, has changed since then. I went into rehab on 16th August 2014, and can say with hand on heart I am eternally thankful to everyone who has helped me. I have made some wonderful friends along the way. We have shared my remorse and tears, (boy did I cry – in fact everyday for 28 days!!), and still continue with our friendships.
It has been tough, bloody tough at times! Days when the “day at a time” has needed to be broken down into minutes. But ‘SO WHAT’, the important thing is that it is achievable!