For May the guest blog is from Julie, completely inspirational, and with the numbers mounting of women liberated from habitual alcohol misuse, in a new, modern way, I am quite sure that the attitude of damned if you do and damned if you don’t will be a distant ridiculous pastime that led so many of us to misuse alcohol.
Thank you Julie.
As a teenager and during my 20’s I never really drank, if my husband and I went out I generally drove. We always went on camping holidays and this is when I started to enjoy a can of beer then onto wine. A bottle of Lambrini would last a week. When I started to drink at home I have no idea, it would be just weekends then it developed into a glass of wine after work, which would then lead onto a bottle. We had two boys who both joined the army at 16, the boys were my life and it left such a void when they left and also my mum died the year before our eldest left for the army. We all still remained very close but it was so different to running around like a headless chicken from one activity to another after school. I loved being a mum and feeling needed.
When did I realize I had a problem!! When I would wake in the morning with that awful feeling of “Oh no what have I done/said this time”? I should have been banned from facebook, I have no idea how people did not delete me. The camping trips with friends and family, when I eventually picked up the courage to get up, the silence! I was very opinionated when I was drinking and boy was I right, (I was not alone, some of the circle of our camping group also enjoy a drop to much but that is their choice). My poor husband he never said anything but I could see the look in his eyes when I opened the wine. I tried a few times giving it up going 3 months on three separate occasions then thinking I have got a hold of this I can start to drink again only at weekends, and when we go out I will have a couple of glasses of wine while I am getting ready and not drink when we get to the venue. You’ve got it! I would get to the venue and when asked what I would like to drink I would have wine and the whole thing would start again. It even got to the stage that I would fill up the empty wine bottle and put it back in the fridge so when my husband got up in the morning he would think I had not drank it all, little did he know the other bottle was at the bottom of the recycling bin and that was water in the bottle in the fridge. I coped with the dreaded head in the morning and managed to hold down my job that I love hoping that nobody would smell the alcohol on my breath. I am sure if I had been stopped in the morning I would have lost my license (which I possible deserved). I still exercised which I am sure helped clear my head.
I reached breaking point Christmas 2013, I will not bore you with the finer details but to say I had to consider whether I would put up with my husband if the shoe was on the other foot and I would not. I was a horrible person when I had the evil potion inside me, I was opinionated, always right and said things that should be left unsaid. I was sick of the fight should I shouldn’t I? I would be driving home from work, this could be a good day or a bad day and the argument would start in my head. You deserve a bottle of wine you’ve and a bad/good day you need to celebrate/commiserate. When I had drank it all I would be searching for more after my husband had long gone to bed. I managed to give it up after Christmas 13 for six weeks but then we had people come to stay with us and they talked me into starting again, boy what a mistake because it all started again on the same hamster wheel of the arguments in my head then the dreaded mornings.
I did some research in March 2014 and found Sarah, it was like a light had been switched on I had found some others like myself and there was hope. I met Sarah in Harrogate and made a plan of the way forward. I am pleased to say I am now 14 months wine witch free and never felt so great. I celebrated my 50th before Christmas and life as never been better. I am as happy and contented as I was in my 20s (if not better) I know where I am going and really looking forward to the future without the fight of should I or shouldn’t I? I still holiday with the same family/friends and they still enjoy their tipple but I now get up in the morning with a clear head and most of all conscience, as I do not need to worry about what I have said and done because I now know. I look back and wonder how my husband put up with me because I really was not a very nice person.
I hope if one person who reads this blog finds the strength to give up I have done some good and they too can look forward to a clearer future.