Month 1 - Cravings

(Below are all the posts I wrote in my first month of sobriety. I've compiled them here into one page so that it's easy to see where I was at throughout this stage of my recovery. What you don't get to see by reading the posts this way is all the wonderful, supportive, warm and wise comments that came from the online community and that have been so crucial in my recovery. To share in that warmth and wisdom you need to read by going through my Blog Archive on the right. If you are reading this here and you are at the same stage of recovery yourself, please comment at the bottom to share your thoughts and experiences with others. Love, Mrs D xxx)
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8th September 2011 - My first ever post: "The Last Straw"
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On Monday straight after my husband, Mr D, took my two eldest sons off to their Scouts meeting, I jumped in the car with my toddler and drove down the road to the bottle shop.  Sad fact number 1 is that I said to Little Guy as I grabbed him "lets go prove how disfunctional I really am".  Sad fact number 2 is that in my haste to back out of the carport I ran over the new pram and smashed up one of the front tires.  It's now completely stuffed.  I hadn't even had a drink!!  Sad fact number 3 is that when I got to the bottle shop I grabbed two bottles of wine instead of just one.

Actually there are far more sad facts than that.  It's sad that I had only been back drinking for 5 days after 3 1/2 weeks off.  It's sad that Mr D and I had a brief discussion before Scouts and had said that this Monday would be an alcohol free day.  And it's sad that I couldn't manage that.

So home I come with the wine and promptly skull half of the bottle of white while I bath the Little Guy and tidy up the dinner mess.  Then I panic and feel bad so decide to HIDE THE REST of the white and pour myself and Mr D a glass of the red and leave the rest of the bottle sitting on the bench showing it's nearly full.

I had to use caps there because that right there was a turning point.  I had never hidden wine before.
Mr D came home and kind of laughed that I hadn't been able to go without and I laughed too (a ha ha!) and made a song and dance about how I'd gone slow - see look the bottle is nearly full! - and then Mr D had a couple of small glasses over the next hour and I finished off the rest of the red myself.  Sigh, another binge.

Of course I slept like crap and woke up feeling tired, hungover and really really guilt-ridden and disfunctional.  This was yet another binge for me, one binge at the end of a long line of binges.  My drinking history is long and probably typical.  What's perhaps not so typical is that lately, as my drinking has been escallating so too has my inability to accept it.

So Tuesday mid-morning I write myself a letter (I'll re-print it in a later blog).  Lunch-time Mr D comes home from his shift at work and we chat and inevitably talk turns to last night and I cry and confess to the hiding the wine and he admits he wondered and did actually check the recycling bin to see if there was another bottle as I had seemed more full of wine than I'd said.  (He wasn't going to tell me he'd checked the bin, that too is really scary right there).

And, long story short, I've reached a tipping point and from now have decided to remove alcohol from my life.

I'm scared, it's going to be hard.  Our family all drink.  Our friends all drink.  And I'm going to try and do this without any outside support.  Just this blog.  So stay posted and I'll let you know how I get on.

Love, Mrs D xxx
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9th September 2011 - "More Shockers"

Jeepers, reading that story in black and white does just the trick I hoped it would.  It sure does read 'dysfunctional'.  I think I might write out a couple of more sad, unhealthy, dysfunctional facts about my drinking to ram this mission home.  Because right now I'm thinking it's going to be a doddle to give up booze!  But it's only been a few days and the memory of recent binges looms large in my brain.  I'm sure as the weeks go by I'll be lulled into thinking I can start again, pressure will come on, and the pull, the incredible pull of the booze will call to me...

So...

It's not unheard of for me to dash out and grab more wine mid-evening because the bottle we've just drunk isn't enough (Mr D is always allowed two small glasses, if he's lucky)..

I always pour a glass almost to the rim and slurp the top down straight away...

My eyes flit around furtively when there's wine open ... to check - who is pouring it, how big are they going, is there much left? how much more can I get before the bottle ends?

I can't count the number of times I've dragged my sorry ass to the gym and lumbered around hungover wondering if any of the other women in the class drink heavily too..?

I've got good at remembering to always have a glass of water and panadol beside me at night..

Today is the opening of the Rugby World Cup and New Zealand is going nuts.. we are heading down to the waterfront with the kids to soak up some of the Opening Party atmosphere then home to watch the All Blacks play the opening game.  Usually I'd have a good bottle and a half of red wine to accompany that .. but not tonight....

Love, Mrs D xxx
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10th September 2011 - "Pissing in a bottle"

We were crammed on the train heading down to Auckland's waterfront to join in the Rugby World Cup opening party celebrations.  At the front of our carriage were a group of pimply youths - nice enough looking chaps except for the fact they were absolutely slaughtered.  Full of hormones, excitement and booze.  It was 3pm.  They were making loud jovial remarks, largely indistinguishable until a chant built up.."FILL THE BOTTLE!! FILL THE BOTTLE!! FILL THE BOTTLE!!"  I looked at Mr D, surely they couldn't be encouraging their mate to piss in a bottle?

They were and eventually he did, and held it proudly aloft.  A 1ltr coke bottle now filled with steaming yellow urine.  Charming.  My mind easily brought forward memories of being horribly drunk, an out of control feeling, needing to piss, needing to vomit, needing to lie down, needing to stop.  Down the other end of the carriage I felt great!  I was past that now!

A couple of hours later we were pushing the pram along the wharf, through the crowd past a row of newly built bars and restaurants.  The sun was streaming down and the crowd was happy and friendly.  Trendy parents with kids and mugs of beer sat on wooden benches with the sea lapping nearby.  Young professionals laughed together holding shiny glasses of chardonnay and fizz.  BAM there was a pain in my belly, a hurt, a pang.  Surely not, never again?  Really?  Never again would I have that fun feeling, that freedom, that abandon.  Chatty, hedonistic fun.

Took a bit of mental work at that point.  Remember Mrs D, remember.

It had stopped being fun.
It had stopped being fun.
It had stopped being fun.
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11 September 2011 - "Freaking out"

I've woken up with a sick, uneasy, nervy feeling in my stomach.  I was having dreams last night and I feel freaked out about what I'm doing.  Actually I'm not entirely sure why I feel nervous but I definately have a nervy tummy.  I'm not exactly relaxed you could say.

No, didn't have a drink last night!  It was Saturday night but was totally fine not to drink.  Just at home with Mr. D (who had a couple of beers).  Still feel like it's not going to be a problem to never drink again but I know it's such early days and I haven't had any real temptations.  No nights out.  No family around cracking open the wine.  No parties or events to attend.  A non-drinking life hasn't been experienced yet.  I haven't proved to myself yet that I can do this.  I'm so nervous that I won't be able to.  But bloody hell I really really really really want to be able to just never have another drink again, ever.

Maybe the problem is the books I picked up from the library yesterday.  I had gone on the Auckland City Libraries website earlier in the week and ordered some titles that I thought might be useful to keep my brain strong.  But all they seem to have done is tell me I can't do this.

Take Bert Pluymen for example.  In his book 'The Thinking Person's Guide to Sobriety' he tells me, "..knowledge and self-awareness alone are absolutely worthless in fighting addiction. A bodily addiction will kick your ass while you're sitting around musing and reasoning and making resolutions."  NO!  It won't, it won't, it won't.  Please don't let it....

And William Alexander in 'Still Waters. Sobriety, Atonement, and Unfolding Englightenment' tells me, "The life of addiction is one of perpetual longing.  That longing can continue for many years - for a lifetime - after the booze and the drugs are gone."  Really?  Really?

And then there's the mysterious John R (why the need to hide the surname?) who in 'Big Book Unplugged. A Young Person's Guide to Alcoholics Anonymous' says, "Willpower won't work.  Our resolve isn't strong enough.  Staying clean won't happen through some trick of the mind.  The addiction is too powerful , and we lose the power of choice."  Great.

Ok now I see why my guts are churning.  I'm being told left, right and centre that I can't do this.  Or at least that I can't do this alone.

But I'm not alone!! I have you, dear blog.  Dear Blog.  Dearest Darling Blog. You are going to help save me.  I will do it by writing you every morning.  Together we can kick my booze-habit's butt.  See you tomorrow.

Love, Mrs D xxx
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12 September 2011 - "A Small Test"

Ok so last night we took the kids out for an early meal at Mr D's colleague's house.  There were a few adults there, watching the rugby and then takeaways for dinner.  Nice low-key kiwi way of doing things.  Beer & wine on offer on arrival.  "No thanks" from me.  Easy.  Didn't feel a pull.  No internal conversation within myself trying to deny, push away, justify and then usually end with an acceptance "yeah a white would be great, thanks."

At dinner the nice wine glasses were out on the table and the red was opened.  My poison of choice.  But still - no pull! - and a "not for me thanks" tripped easily off my lips.

I think it was easy because I don't know these people very well.  No-one blinked at my refusal of alcohol.  I'm pleased to have had a dry evening there as I already have a bad booze memory with them.  The first time this colleague and I met, at a BBQ thrown by the boss of the company, I drank just a little too much, got a tad loose lipped.

Lets revisit a vew bad social booze memories so you, dear blog, will forever remind me of my need to stick to my resolve.

A rare night out for Mr D and I.  Started with a few drinks at home, then to a bar for cocktails and tapas.  Last stop a small gathering of friends at a bar where some DJ mates were spinning tunes.  Me, drunk at this stage.  Slurring just a little.  Talking to an old acquaintance and him making an excuse to get away from me.  I know this to be true.  Me slurring.  Him excusing himself badly, and moving to the other side of the room.  Embarrassment.

Dinner with a bunch of workmates at a restaurant near the office.  Hitting it hard at work first.  Then hitting it hard at the dinner table.  Wobbling to the loo.  Spinning out.  Making it into a taxi.  Concentrating very hard in the back seat.  Really horribly drunk.  Managing to get inside.  Puking in the loo.

A Saturday afternoon get-together with neighbourhood friends and kids.  3 families, 6 adults, 10 kids between us.  All of us boozing.  Like minded kiwis.  Speed drinking - girls, the wine! Fast, fast, fast.  Chatting, preparing food, eating, disco dancing with the kids!  Woo Hoo!!  9pm need to get the kids home, concentrating very hard now on getting things done.  Wobbling down the road with the pram, kids into bed.  Me into the loo, fingers down the throat to empty my stomach.

To be fair to me these extreme examples of public drunkenness have occurred over the past 3 years.  But I know well the feeling of waking up with a tender throat and remembering I've been pushing my fingers down there to try and empty my stomach of all the booze I've been pouring into it.

Please sobriety stay with me.

Love, Mrs D xxx
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13 September 2011 - "Tense"

I'm kind of snippy and tense, which is a real bummer.  I thought I'd be feeling happier! Lighter! Free!  I've got no hangovers, no guilt and I'm sleeping right through every night (as opposed to my alcohol insomnia).  So why am I so tense?  I was snippy to Mr D last night, and yelled at my Big Guy this morning because he was fighting with me over having to do his spelling practice.  Jeez I just wish I could lighten up.  I need to shrug my shoulders and try to smooth myself out.  I should be feeling great!

It's one week since my final binge, and I'm so aware that it's early early days yet.  But I haven't wanted a drink at all and don't feel nervous about any upcoming weekends or events.  I feel like I never want to pour myself another glass of wine and go back down that track.  But I'm nervous because I just know it can't be this easy.

Big deep breath in .. woosh, breath out. In, out.  In, out....

Love, Mrs D xxx
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14 September 2011 - "A peculiar amnesia"

I read somewhere how that is what an alcoholics brain has, a peculiar amnesia, and forgets all the bad reasons why not to drink and remembers only the fantasy reasons in order to drink again.  I can almost already feel that happening.  No!  I'm not going to let myself forget.  That fantasy has gone, gone, gone.  I just have to get used to living without alcohol.  Planning events sober.  I mean the evening is just going to pass and then it'll be the morning and will you have lost anything by not boozing the night before?  I really just think I have to not touch it again.

Had a great chat with my gorgeous sister last night.  Sort of told her my plan.  It's pretty scary because I don't want to set myself up for a fall, or to be judged if I fail.  But then again anything to help me succeed and if that's letting people know that I'm trying to live completely sober then that might help.
What's different about this abstenance is that I'm not counting the days like I used to, or thinking about what I'm going to drink on the night I start again.  I'm looking into an endless stretch of no alcohol.  My step-brother's wedding, my 40th celebrations, even Christmas and New Year's I'm thinking about being dry and it feels good...

I'm going to show everyone I can do this..

Love, Mrs D xxx
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15 September 2011 - "Squeeze"

I can feel a squeeze coming on my brain, just a slight tightening of my thoughts, and my strength and resolve to not drink alcohol any more.  I can feel the little voice inside flexing it's muscles again.  Really?  Never again?

Yes never again.  It stopped being fun. The fantasy idea of drinking - just the one or two! - doesn't exist for me any more.  Nothing will be lost, or less fun.  So much will be gained.  Think I have to work really really hard on this.  Exercise my brain like it is a muscle I lift weights for.

I wish I had some more books, or blogs or something I could follow that worked for me and how I am trying to do this.  But I know I am strong enough and I can do this.  I can do this.  I can do this.

Love, Mrs D xxx
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16 September 2011 - "Blog is working"

Ok my plan is working. I was feeling a bit more wobbly on my resolve and then after school yesterday went to visit the in laws and my wonderful mother in law said "I've got the wine chilling, would you like a glass?".   Lucky for me my sister-in-law said first "not for me thanks" so I followed swiftly with the same.  It wasn't too hard.  I mean it was 3.30pm for goodness sake.  I could detect a bit of surprise from my mother-in-law, she no doubt equates me with enthusiastic wine drinking!

I was thinking when driving the boys home an hour or so later that if I had had a wine, or two, I would be driving straight to a bottle shop on the way home to get more.  This action would be accompanied by an intense internal dialogue about whether I should or not.  Yes, no, yes, no, yes, no with always the YES! winning.  Then I would have drunk probably most of it while I got the kids fed and to bed (Mr D is away working for the night).

So I thought hard about how that would have felt, and then came back to this blog to read my reminders about my drinking behaviour and all the BORING INTENSE DETERMINED OBSESSED UNHEALTHY AND HEAVY HEAVY drinking I have done inside my house.  So don't want to go back there.  Feel light again and good about my decision.

Love, Mrs D xxx
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17 September 2011 - "Stats"

I think it's really funny that every time I come to this blog site (which is every day) I check my stats.  I had two hits in the first two days! Who were these people I wondered.  So exciting! Someone in South Africa read my heartfelt blog about attempting to give up alcohol!  And someone in Brazil! Then a few days later two more hits, I now had four! Four hits!  (One was from New Zealand, that was probably me checking myself out).

But then, four hits stayed.  Four hits.  Four hits.  Now those four hits are so long ago they've travelled off the graph and it now says "no stats please check back later".  HA!

So, enigmatic Mrs D.  This blog is just going to be exactly what you intended which is a diary to yourself that happens to be in cyberspace rather than in a notebook in the bedside drawer.

Had some tears yesterday afternoon with Mr D and confessed I felt 'raw'.  Tried to explain to him what I meant, that deciding to remove alcohol from my life has left me feeling rather stripped back.  That instead of spending so much time under the influence of alcohol I now have a brain that is always sober and that is confronting.  He understands and is so supportive.  He will be very proud and impressed when (not if) I pull this off.

Out for an early fish n chips dinner at some neighbourhood friends last night, Mr D had a few red wines, the other bloke is a teetotaler due to health issues so he and I had a couple of lime juices together.  His partner had one glass of wine, the demon is definitely not in her.

So here I am, Saturday morning no hangover! Only four hits ever on my blog!  It's all good...

Love, Mrs D xxx
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18 September 2011 - "Uptight"

Last night was a bit of a test.  The in-laws came over for an early pizza supper (home-made pizzas I might add, made by MOI!) .. they bought beer and wine.  Mr D and Mr D senior had a few beers, Mrs D senior had a couple of wines, Mr D also had a few wines after his beers (he seems to drink more when I'm not drinking.  I think he used to hold back so that someone was in control and also because I would get grumpy if he drank too much of the wine!).  Anyhow I just didn't drink and didn't say anything about it and no-one made any comments.  But there's no flies on Mrs D senior and I'm sure she would have noticed.  She probably thinks I'm pregnant.

At one point Mr D asked me quietly in the kitchen how I was and I said "Ok, but I feel quite uptight".  He gave me a big snuggle and some lovely kisses and I felt much better and lighter after that and was able to be in a better mood.

Later in bed (I love it when I get into bed now and have had no wine!) he told me that it wasn't even noticeable that I was feeling uptight.  I thought I was more snappy with the kids (well the Middle Dude did break Big Guy's new glasses, that pissed me off) but he said I was fine really.

I do feel more uptight on an evening like last night because..
1) I'm not relaxing with the alcohol in my system
2) I'm not part of the 'fun' group having a few drinks
3) I'm having to mentally process abstaining from something 'fun' so I'm concentrating on those serious thoughts = serious mood

Hopefully 2) and 3) won't apply for ever because I won't have to think about abstaining so much, I'll just automatically do it, and well as for 2) readers of this blog will know (ha ha! That's a joke!  I have no readers!!) it wasn't fun any more for me anyway.

Quick point here.  Mr and Mrs D senior got to about 3 units of alcohol and stopped.  They just stopped! They'd had enough at that point.  How very functional!  Had the fun lift and then stopped.  If only I could do that.  I would have been pouring wines number 5 & 6 as they were getting ready to leave round 7.30pm.  Probably had wines 7 & 8 before bed.

Anyway, back to my points.  Number 1).  Well my lovely Mr D had a good idea.  Why don't I have a Red Bull or some other horrible drink I would never normally touch, but one that would give me that energy lift at the start of a drinking session.  So I will try that next time I think.

And I need to think about how and when I am going to annouce to people what I am doing.  Why am I hesitating to do that?

Love, Mrs D xxx
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19 September 2011 - "Friend's reaction"

Was out shopping at the mall yesterday - child free! - and bumped into some mates.  We were chowing down in the food hall together having lunch and for some reason I told them I'd given up the booze.  Forever! I said.  They seemed a little bemused but interested and kind of didn't say much. They probably don't understand why, or know what to say.  I was kind of breezy about it.  Didn't really explain how dysfunctional my drinking is, although I'm sure I've tried to tell them before.

It's hard for people to really get it.  Even Mr D took years to understand me and my dysfunctional drinking and why it is so unhealthy and unsustainable, and it's been staring him in the face for years.  No one really knows except you, the drinker.

No-one else can hear your inner voice and feel your insane pull to drink.
No-one else knows your sneaky filling each glass to the rim and slurping the top down immediately.
No-one else knows your one or two drinks out will end in a trip to the store on the way home for another bottle to finish up because once you've started it's very very very very hard to stop.


Love, Mrs D xxx
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21 September 2011 - "Going Strong"

Still feeling good, strong, amazing about my decision to remove alcohol from my life.  Haven't had a single pull to drink.  Mr D is away for work and there's a full bottle of sav in the fridge and some red in the pantry and I didn't even think about it.

I feel like I've been working up to this point for a few years now.  Enough of the mindless pouring of booze down my throat.  Heading in a stupid and very very serious direction with my drinking.  Where did I think it was going to end up?  What sort of life path are you on if you are pouring so much wine down your throat?

I was a 2nd day drinker.  Have a binge, then have a hangover, so the second day is a light one, just 1-3 wines.  Then the next day, no big hangover so have a binge again!  How many hours have I spent thinking about booze, working to obtain it.  Drinking it - being impaired by it. And then recovering from it. How many many hours spent on that.

So now, I have a sober brain and a sober life facing me.  Life, here I am.  That's the raw feeling I suppose.  But what can I achieve now?  Great things!

Note to self: get new hobby.

Love, Mrs D xxx
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22 September 2011 - "Shitty"

I'm really tired and really shitty and really would love a drink.  There, I said it.

Little guy woke up at 5-o-fucking-clock and wouldn't go back to sleep so I've been up since then and I've just been shitty shitty shitty ever since.  He played with my wallet and now both my money card and my credit card are now completely missing which I discovered at the counter of Warehouse Stationery.

Yelled at the Big Fella for pestering me to help him with his stupid computer game (which in hindsight wasn't a criminal offence but boy did I yell).. my temper was quick to rise and BAM there it was.  YELLING YELLING YELLING.

I just feel really grumpy and tired and grumpy and tired just so tired.  The house feels really dusty and gross and .. I think I just need a nap actually.

Usually I'd drink a bottle (and a bit) of wine at the end of a day like this and then sleep like crap and then feel even tireder tomorrow.  So the wine doesn't make me rested.  Does the wine help relieve any stress?  No.  Is the wine fun and naughty and does it take me away from my hard boring life as a housewife and mother of three?  Yes!!  Yes yes yes it does.

Don't worry I'm not going to drink.  No way.  I just have to live this shitty grumpy tired day and go to sleep tonight and maybe tomorrow will be easier.

Ok, a plan.  40 mins of hard-out cleaning to make me feel better about the house and then I can sit down to relax until Little Guy wakes up from his nap.

Love, Mrs D xxx
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23 September 2011 - "Hello Russia!"

Wicked! Had a spike in stats yesterday because of 3 hits from Russia!  Helloooooooo out there.  Are you a housewife and mother harbouring a guilty drinking secret too?  Are you going to try and remove alcohol from your life?  Talk to me!

I dunno, I feel like my blog is so searingly honest and revealing and interesting and witty but .. actually .. it might be .. well .. boring.

I keep hitting "next blog" when I'm here and finding a whole series of blogs about HOCKEY!!  Or QUILTING!!!!!!  Or just another HAPPY FAMILY!!!  I don't play hockey and I don't quilt.  Actually I don't scrapbook, sew, knit or even arrange flowers (although I do sometimes buy a bunch and put them in a vase).

I cook (a lot), I potter around cleaning my house and looking after my three sons.  I read some novels, crime ones mostly but also autobiographies and just cracking good reads.  I watch a lot of television.  I go to the gym.  I am doing my MA thesis part time.  I try to be a good friend, neighbour, sister, daughter, mother and wife.  And up until about 2 months ago. I drank a lot of wine.  A lot.  A crap-load of wine.

So now I don't do that.  I blog instead but that doesn't fill in as much time as the wine did.  Some of my books are now about sobriety and "unfolding enlightenment" (blah) but otherwise my life is the same.

But now, without the wine, it feels quite boring.  You've got to cut me some slack about that.  I have had wine spicing things up regularly for 20 years.

Love, Mrs D xxx

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24 September 2011 - "Hot Topic"

Oh well it's the hot topic of conversation now.  My sobriety.  Man that sounds dramatic!  Told my other sister when we were talking on the phone about something unrelated and I started crying so in order to explain my raw emotions I had to tell her "sob sob the reason sniff that I'm crying is that actually sniff sniff I've decided to give up alcohol completely and it's just making sob me feel sniff sniff quite raw and emotional I guess".  Her first reaction was "really? why?" but followed pretty swiftly with "man you're awesome, you're so incredibly strong that is amazing" and then lots and lots of supportive talk.

So that was cool and then I told another friend when she tried to pour me a bubbles when I was collecting the Big Guy from a birthday party - she was a bit taken aback (I pointed to her glass and said "the thing is I don't just want one of those I want six").  After 10 minutes it was completely irrelevant that I had coke in my flute rather than champagne.  (I'm going to keep drinking my non-alcohol beverages out of wine glasses, I don't want to suffer stem withdrawals).

And then I told my sister-in-law today and she said "What, never again??!!", so I said "well that's the plan, I mean life is really long, but yeah, that's the plan.  Say hello to the new sober Mrs D" (at that last statement I held my arms outstretched, yeah never lose the drama moment I say).

By the way on the topic of it being a long life and never say never - although keep to the plan etc etc - just finished Steven Tyler's autobiography and he was sober for 12 years and then had a few almighty relapses and ended up back in rehab.

So yeah, long life.

Love, Mrs D xxx

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26th September 2011 - "More inspiration"

Making more announcements to friends and family which is strangely empowering and intimidating at the same time.  Basically what I'm doing is announcing to close people that I'm a problem drinker.  I mean normal drinkers don't give up alcohol do they..?  So that is refreshing in some ways, a relief to be brutally honest to everyone about my secret dysfunction but also really scary as I'm setting myself up to be watched now.  There has to be no failure!

I dunno, to be honest removing alcohol hasn't proved a problem yet although it is early days early days early days.

Anyhoo I'm reading Kelly Cutrone's "If you have to cry go outside" and while she's quite (understandably) full of herself she has a great chapter on finding inner strength and silencing negative thoughts.  She's got her own spirituality (and I know AA talks about recognising a higher power) and credits a lot of her self discovery and empowerment to finding and following this spirituality (some yogi called "Mother"??).

Personally I'm not reaching outside of myself yet for empowerment, am going to just find the power in me.  I do think I'm strong and if I can really prove it to myself by making this big scary change alone then there will be no doubt!

Some great quotes from Kelly Cutrone:

"The mind uses fear throughout our lives as one of many blunt objects with which to clock our soul over the head before gagging it, binding it with black electrical tape, and throwing it out of the driver's seat and into the trunk"

"So I started to play ball with my fears.  "Bring it!" I'd say when seized by that familiar pit in my stomach. .. I asked my fear exactly what it had to say to me.  .. I followed my fears to their worst possible conclusions, .. , and what I realised each time was that no matter what happened, I was going to be fine.  I remembered that family and tribe members are key, but also that ultimately I have everything I need to survive inside of me."

"I believe that the universe constantly rearranges itself to support your idea of reality.  If you're always thinking Life sucks, and I suck, you're definitely going to see a lot of dismal shit out there.  On the other hand, if your idea of reality is that you're a privileged, elegant human being and every day you think, I am a privileged, elegant human being I am a privileged, elegant human being then eventually you will become a privileged and elegant human being.  It may take five minutes or it may take five years, but that will become your experience of yourself."

Go Kelly!

Love, Mrs D xxx
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27 September 2011 - "Collapsing"

My body is collapsing that is.  It's so weird.  I used to pride myself on how physically strong I was and how I never got sick.  The odd tummy bug off the kids, occasionally some sinus issues but nothing really to write home about.  I've even joked to Mr D on occasion that it's my red wine diet that keeps me in such good health!

But now I've got a terrible head cold and my ears are completely blocked and .. this is worse .. much worse .. a pimple!  A PIMPLE FOR GODS SAKE!!!!!!!  I haven't had a pimple for at least 15 years and even before then they were few and far between. But now it's blinking at me from smack bang in the middle of my chin and I think .. hang on let me check .. yes, it's got a wee whitehead.  What???  How truly disgusting.  What on earth is going on?

On a more positive note I've decided that now that I'm not pouring close to $100 worth of wine down my throat each week, I'm going to spend more on other fun things that I usually never shop for.  Clothes for me for one thing, and kitchen gadgets.

A garlic crusher!  A good can opener!  A wooden salad bowl!  What treats. You go girl.

Love, Mrs D xxx
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28 September 2011 - "More reminders"


Yeah this sure is a head game, I have thoughts pop into my head constantly that say 'really? never another drink ever again?' and 'Christmas is going to be a real challenge, how boring it will be' and 'boring! boring!' and 'you're not that bad are you? lots of people drink!"..

So here, Mrs D, are some reminders to yourself (this talking to myself is getting weird.  If only I had some readers...)

* Going on holiday to a camping ground with a bunch of old mates and getting so hammered on the last night I was finishing everyone else's wine and ended up falling into our unit and puking in the toilet.  Classy.  Lost a favourite earring that night.  Felt very depressed for a week or two afterwards.

* Lost another earring another random week night binge at home, think vomiting might have been involved that night as well.  Where do these earrings go? Down the toilet?

* Going to a gig - Jarvis Cocker!! - with my sister and we both got plastered and I ended up standing on the floor, flat floor with carpet, and just suddenly falling backwards and spilling my drink.  Total loss of balance.  Nice (not).

* Going to a show (Grease the musical, opening night, free tickets).  Having 3 drinks before the show, needing to leave half way through the first half to pee, standing on the sidelines waiting till the intermission not wanting to piss off all the people I had to squeeze past to get back to my seat.  Straight to the bar to buy another drink to take in to the second half.  Having more drinks at the after party.  Was this seeing a show or just another opportunity to drink lots?  Why is alcohol always taking the front seat in the story of my life?

* Another free ticket, this time to the amazing Walking With Dinosaurs.  Free drinks at the pre-party, had at least 3. Took another in to the show (spilt red wine on the floor in front of some people when the Middle Dude bumped my arm).  Again the loo before half time and making sure I got another drink to have during the break and another to take in to the second half.  Again, booze booze booze.

I ate a lot yesterday.  Pigged out.  Then in the evening I was watching Oprah recorded from earlier in the day and she had a doctor talking about how emotionally disturbed people might control their emotions and one way was drugs and alcohol addiction, another was over eating. She said people eat a lot to 'squash down their emotions'.  So, have I been using alcohol to squash down emotions and yesterday did I overeat to squash down the emotions I'm feeling about my big life change?

Interesting.

Love, Mrs D xxx
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29 September 2011 - "Emotions"

Ok, so some more on this squashing down emotions thing.  My post yesterday has got me thinking.  Is a desire to squash down my emotions the reason why I've been drinking heavily since I was about 17?  I mean, my childhood was pretty awesome I think, close family and all.  My parents did divorce when I was 21 but I don't want to go on about it because how many millions of people are the product of divorce?  But is that the reason for my heavy drinking that's led me to this place?

Perhaps unsurprisingly I trained and moved into an industry that very interesting and stimulating, and known for being boozy.  High stress, regular deadlines, lots of social functions, drinking.  Lots of boozers at work.  So a fun decade in my 20s boozing in the office and with workmates (but with that home base gone).  Travelled and lived in London, same industry, lots of parties, boozing.

Then met the lovely Mr D, also a drinker but without the 'gene'. He can stop.  But we boozed together and travelled while drinking wine and developed a fun house with friends and food and wine.  Then the kids came along.  Big Fella!  Middle Dude and Little Guy! Managed to get through the pregnancies and breastfeeding with minimal wine drinking but once the kids stopped breastfeeding my 5-o'clock habit was getting fully entrenched.

My body clock is amazing - 5pm on the dot, or about 4.45 I'll look at the clock and think 'almost wine time!'.  Wrestle with myself about whether to get any during the day.  Pick up a bottle during the course of the day.  Pop the top at 5pm and it's gone by 7.

But lately 1 bottle just hasn't been enough. I needed one bottle and 2 glasses more just for myself to feel 'full'.  Binging.  And loyal readers of my blog (ha ha) will know the rest, the cycle I've been in.

So that's a potted history of my drinking history.  There's far more detail obviously.  Tomorrow's blog I'll write about how I have felt since day one of drinking and try to work out why I have always liked the feeling of being inebriated.

Love, Mrs D xxx
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1 October 2011 - "Aaahhhh, alcohol buzz"

I remember the first time I ever got drunk. It was at our family holiday home and I was probably 15 or 16 and it was down on the beach drinking Marque Vue.  Not sure how to spell that, we used to call it Marque Spew anyway, which is kind of ironic considering that night I did spew.  In the bath.  Marshmallows.  Must have eaten a whole packet and out they came.  Pink and white, almost whole, in the bath.  Oh charming.

There must be people in the world (with delicate constitutions?) who have an experience like that and decide never to overindulge on alcohol ever again.  Not me. That first experience didn't put me off, no sirree bob!  No delicate constitution here, I've got the stomach of an ox!  I've been pounding it and overindulging on the grog ever since. Well until about 2 months ago that is when I made this huge decision to live a sober life and be a *gasp* NON DRINKER!!!!!!!

Told my Dad this morning.  I've got the language down pat now, so can get my reasons across pretty quick.

"I've always had a taste for it but lately it's been running away on me"
and
"I've got such a dysfunctional, unhealthy relationship with alcohol"
and
"I'm not in the slightest bit interested in 1 or 2 glasses of wine, I want 4.  Or 6."

Dad was supportive, said he was proud of me.  Time is what I really need to show everyone how serious I am.   I'm sure there are some doubters.  They'll see.  I'll prove to them I mean it.

In one and a half weeks I turn 40.

Love, Mrs D xxx
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2 October 2011 - "A tricky night"


Was pretty bloody knackered yesterday after spending all of Friday night in A&E with the Little Guy who fell on the door frame and split his forehead open.  It happened at 6pm and usually - pre major life change to give up wine drinking - I would have had at least half a bottle in me by that point. But the new sober Mrs D was clear headed enough to dial 111 and get an ambulance who took us in to hospital to get patched up.

Mr D was out and had arrived back just before the ambulance arrived so he stayed behind with Middle Dude and Big Fella.

So last night - Saturday - Mr D was having a glass of wine (and bear in mind I was tired from a night of stress, had not slept well and had spent all day folding washing, making food and caring for the boys) when he decided to start telling me about how hard it was going to be for me not to have that 'release' at the end of each day by having a glass of wine.

'But I don't just have one or two glasses of wine!!' I reminded him with gritted teeth.  'I have a bottle and a half! That fantasy of just a couple to unwind doesn't exist for me any more!' I was getting a bit angry.  But hey, remember dear reader, that I was bloody knackered.

But then Mr D started getting defensive and started trying to reinforce his point.  Not on! I'm the bloody expert on this!  I got more grouchy and tried to remind him about my determined over-drinking.  The last thing I need is someone, especially my husband, to undermine my resolve and lead me down the path of romantic reminiscing about drinking.  Romance be damned, my drinking has been anything but romantic and my unwinding at the end of the day was more like a complete unravelling.

I don't miss going to the loo and looking at the back of the door thinking 'I'm pissed'.
I don't miss going to the loo 3 times overnight.
I don't miss being awake in the wee small hours feeling guilty about how much wine I sank the night before.
I don't miss cursing that we have no panadol in the house in the morning.
I don't miss yelling at the boys to stop yelling because my head is pounding.
I don't miss my guts churning and my head aching until mid afternoon.
I don't miss dragging my sorry ass through the day because of a hangover.
I don't miss the sly fox in my brain thinking about how much wine to get, how much wine is left...
I don't miss that sly wine-drinking boozy fox at all..

Anyway back to last night.  I decided to breath deeply and remember to ask myself 'what is actually wrong here' and realise nothing was other than Mr D being thoughtless.  So I calmed myself by whipping cream for pudding and putting clean sheets on the bed then ran myself a bubble bath and soaked while Mr D put the boys down.  I forgave him later when he bought me some white chocolate in bed and we watched England and Scotland play each other in the Rugby World Cup.

Life wasn't so bad after all.  And I was never seriously tempted to have a drink.

Love, Mrs D xxx

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4 October 2011 - "Like an evil eagle"


.. the thought came swooping in with sharp talons at the ready.  Imagine having a glass of red wine tonight.  It's the first time since almost 2 months ago when I stopped drinking (I'm conveniently ignoring the 5 days of heavy drinking in the middle that sparked the final brutal decision to stop altogether forever.)

Altogether.

Forever.

Stop.

Altogether.

Forever.

Last night was the first time that I'd actually had that thought accompanied by a little 'pull' to drink.  A familiar yearning.  Oh I had to squash that down!  And then since, some romantic thoughts of alcohol and a gut wrench that I'll never experience that again.  Really, never again?  It seems unreal in those moments.

I have to keep reminding myself what sloppy horrible hell the wine drinking had become for me and that the romantic ideal will never exist again.

This is going to be hard I can see that.  I haven't really been challenged properly yet.  And I've put myself completely on the line by telling family.

Please strength be with me always.

Love, Mrs D xxx
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5 October 2011 - "The country is awash"


If I had a drink for every time someone said to me how hard it would be to give up drinking in this country I'd be well on my way to getting legless.

It's true New Zealand is a booze culture, getting plastered is a national hobby.

Go to a 21st and everyone is getting hammered.  The birthday girl or boy will be doing a yard glass and vomiting in the back garden.  Everyone is laughing, parents are all packing it away too.

Go to a 30th, 40th, 50th or 60th and it's the same story.  Everyone is having a great time drinking lots and lots of alcohol.

Go to a wedding at midnight and everyone is smashed and cutting up the dance floor or huddling around outside smoking and drinking.

Go to a wake and everyone is drinking heavily to drown their sorrows.

Go into any town centre on a Friday night and you'll see young and old wobbling down the streets full to the brim with alcohol.  Our hospital A & Es have security guards posted outside to cope with all the drunk people after midnight on the weekends.

Heavy drinking is normal.  And I worry especially about the women.  There must be loads like me who harbour naughty dysfunctional drinking habits in their homes, now that they have had kids and have largely stepped out of the workforce.  Are there?

Just today in the paper there's an article about a woman caught driving who was three times over the legal breath-alcohol limit.  She had young children in the car.  It's just the latest case in a spate of women from that area being caught drunk at the wheel.

What's the drinking culture like in other countries?  I know France is held up as an example of a healthy drinking culture.  Wine on the table at dinner even when you're young but over-drinking frowned upon.

Here in New Zealand drinking heavily and handling it is a badge of honour.

Love, Mrs D xxx
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6 October 2011 - "Scared"


I just feel so scared that this is all too easy.  It's been approx 2 months now, I'm not really counting the days.

I had gone for a regular 'month off' in August - something I used to do to get my tolerance down and give my liver a break.  Well this break only lasted 3 1/2 weeks and five days of heavy drinking followed so the whole 'get my tolerance down' thing didn't work and .. hence the final decision to quit.  (If you want to read about my final binge I wrote it in my first blog post)..

So anyway .. since I've made that final brutal call I've felt really strong and clear headed and haven't had a single pull to drink.

Not a single pull to drink.

Now, don't you think that's weird?  I mean I've been pouring red wine down my throat like it's going out of fashion for years.  I've had an internal clock chiming a call to DRINK! at 5pm for ages.  I've got a brain that has spent hours and hours and hours affected by alcohol.  Drinking it, recovering from it, feeling guilty about it, obtaining it, looking forward to it, drinking it, and so on and so on.

So, why is my brain now just happily accepting my final decision to cut it out altogether?  I'm fearful it's tricking me, lulling me into a false sense of security.  I like to think I'm strong minded and clear headed and have never kidded myself about my dysfunctional unhealthy relationship with alcohol.  But to have this decision to live sober be so easy .. well, I'm scared.

Must remember, must remember, must remember.

But I'm sure there will be tests to come and I'm scared it will be really hard to resist.  Especially as I'm going it alone with only the support of my husband and family and blogs I've found online.  Plus this blog that I write regularly.  The words I put down here linger with me during the day, and I'm hoping upon hope they'll help me stick to my resolve.

Love, Mrs D xxx

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136 comments:

  1. This is what I want to do. You're much further along now, but I'm at day 1 - missed work. Did nothing all day till I found your blog.

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    1. I day 2....its been hell. Its been a day of clock watching with that constantly constant voice in my head. Withdrawn? maybe? Can anyone ...help me? Ideas Wot u did to get through first 5 days please please. ... withdrawl for achohol only how long for physical withdrawn? I have ill headaches. Will it end tomorrow? how do I get through my day? Desperate. 3-4 days i guess for physically withdrawll DESPERATE housewife, mother of three school children. Any words of advice. I starting to believe I am not on my own after these posts. Amazing. ...wot tips for me ANY HELP, TIPS, I desperate , kids, daily repetitive, thank less, constant, never never ending UNPAID unthanked home housewife ekkkkk. Hard work. Tough woman. One step at a time. BIG MOTIVATIONAL ....I finally feel no longer alone 40yr old.....here goes....cant say thosed truthful words.....hi my name is anonymous (a mother, a wife, intellegent kuds/career yet so so so stupid when I have a glass of wine in my hand. ..not 1...2....3....4.....5 I hate myself. Its time to change

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  2. Me too. I'm not even at day 1.Ive been writing like a blogger to myself in a private word doc diary as not sure how to start a blog preferably an anonymous blog where I can join this supportive community. I went two days without alcohol was so proud of myself I had a wine day 3 coz I was obviously not an alco!! Ha! I've not had an alcohol free day since. Sick of myself. Have to address this today. Where to start?

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  3. At 4 days today...the shame of embarrassing myself and my children hangs heavy. This is the first time in 20 years that I am giving up drinking for myself, I am tired of the drama. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I cant wait to start my own blog!!

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  4. I have really enjoyed reading this - I am 4 days in and do have that pull at around 6:30pm - it is like my body says wine time! Hubby is still drinking and would love it if I could just have a couple of glasses with him and be done. He opened a bottle on Monday (four days ago) has had four very small glasses since and it is still in the fridge. We both now I would have finished it off on Monday. I thought I would have more energy, but I am sure that will come. Thank you for your blog I am really looking to reading the rest of it.

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  5. Yes your are wright and thanks for post a good topic . your post is

    top most in realated post of Month 1 - Cravings

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  6. I could cry for having found you. I have been glued to your posts and up to sept 22 now. I see myself in everything you write and your writing is fantastic and entertaining and honest. I am only 2 days in. Not that I haven't tried before. I really really really want this too. Thank you for writing this.
    cheers.

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  7. Just reading sept 26 and I can relate to the higher power thing. I could never get my head around it. I accidentally came across a website called Smart Recovery (no this isn't advertising for them) and the way they think about recovery fits me, even if it has only been almost 3 days. :)

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  8. Tomorrow is my Day 1. Too late for today. Thank you so very very much for taking the time to write this blog.

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  9. Thank you for the blog, it is helping me so much to stay on this road to being sober, (Day 10)

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  10. Thank you so much! I was at Day 8 and then I had a two-day binge. I really want to get off this merri-go-round. Your blog is very helpful.

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  11. I'm about to go sober. Again! So glad to have found your site/blog. I'm going to follow your journey through sobriety on a daily basis along side my own and hopefully it will feel like I have a supportive friend along side me.. Fingers crossed!

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  12. OMG Mrs D I feel like I have written this myself - you're an inspiration and from you I am finding the strength to say NO!!

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    1. I was the same! theres a lot of out there by the looks of things.

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  13. Love, love, love your blog! You are a great writer, and have a hilarious wit! See? You ARE still one of the "fun crowd"! 30days and counting for me. I agree, it seems too easy so far, which makes me think my brain is trying to trick me...

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  14. I have just read the entire first month of your blog without stopping. Great writing and definitely NOT boring!! I can identify with your story so much and you have given me something to think about. Is sobriety really possible?? Yes, and hopefully it is possible for me too. Thanks Mrs D, keep up the good work! Helen in the UK xxx

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  15. 13 September 2011 - "Tense"

    I know that one. It is always a little weird when you expect one thing but get something different. You can't figure out if your nuts or just what is going on.

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  16. Im at day 3- loving this blog! I hope i can do it this time! Like you- ive had many ups and downs and confusion and romanticising of wine.

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  17. I am so enjoying your blog. Been off wine for three years but so recognize myself in your posts!

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  18. Hey there. I'm a fellow kiwi chick whose been reading your blog. Love it. So proud of your efforts! You're right about people wearing their heavy drinking as a badge og honor in this country. Sigh. I have gradually become overly focused on alcohol and I don't like it. I'm not a drunk hangover type of drinker but have been drinking more than I like. I'm taking a break - on day 16. Not actually missing it at all which is surprising! I just really want to change my view of drinking and not have ny life centre around it. I don't think I want to put any hard fast rules on myself though. Just want make a few changes. But I love your blog. Can relate to some of it and enjoy the way you write :)

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  19. Thank you for this. I'm in my first days and seeing that I'm not alone is so comforting.

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  20. I am so happy to find this blog... this is day 1 - I am completely exhausted from constantly debating whether I have a glass of wine because i'm happy/sad/celebrating/not celebrating.. wine wins every time & I've had enough. I am always the person go a glass too far. I'm less miserable now I've found this, looking forward to a good read.

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  21. Thank you so much for this! I have lurked here over and over again in these past 4 days.

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  22. you have inspired me so much.. I,m reading your blog and it,s my life exactly.. I,m day 3 sober , have fell off the wagon so many times but reading about your life has made me feel strong and able to cope with out wine.. it has controlled me for years and years.. thank you,will keep reading.

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  23. Thankyou for your beautiful heartfelt blog. It really made me smile when you wrote about having just 4 readers and to know now you have so many people reading it and you inspire so many people. I was instantly inspired. I'm on week 7 (the longest I had gone in my life since 15 was exactly 31 days and I realised I always knew there'd be a binge at the end). Much of what you've said and felt is so similar to me (and I'm not following the 12 steps, but doing it like you did). Reminding myself I can't go back. Trying to cope with the pain and emotions of life and ride them out. Feeling fear when I see a beachside bar and people drinking. It's so good to hear I'm not alone and I just really warmed to your humour and wisdom. Now I'm going to read more :)

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  24. I just watched 'Sunday' - you are awesome, inspring! Thank you (and Coran) for sharing your story so publicly. I can only imagine how many people you have now helped. wow!

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  25. Sifu Surfer,

    As I laid on my couch 3 weeks ago on a tuesday morning hangover I said to myself. I have to stop drinking. Do I have a problem I asked myself many times. Today I still struggle thinking about going out for a few beers, or cracking a wine. Sitting up at night trading financial markets with a glass of red which was opened at dinner time. 1 bottle, 2 bottles and even got up to 3 bottles of red wine on occasion.

    The weekends Friday , Saturday/night then Sunday lunch always with a beer or wine are when think mostly about it. About 15yrs this habit has grown and now is the time to get it under control. 3 weeks this tuesday 24th June no alcohol.

    . I get these cravings and the weird thing is I think i still get hangovers.

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  26. Mrs D...I have just watched your interview on 20/20 and could not believe that I'm not alone with this problem, I want to stop but all these questions go through my head to justify why I shouldn't give up drinking and yes I never last I keep giving in to the desire every time and end up hating myself the next morning because I failed once again but your story really inspired me, even as I sit here with my second bottle of the day lets hope tomorrow is the beginning to the end....

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    1. Hang in there. Understand.

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  27. So inspiring ...
    EVERYONE in NZ should read your blog and take it to heart - the police would have an easier job!
    I am inspired by your blog and I am making changes already - picked up the groceries this morning - no wine!

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  28. I so much want to do this but am scared I am going to fail again. I have tried so many times. Your interview on TV last night was inspirational.

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  29. OMG your awesome, your interview helped create a conversation at home last night, one which I have been trying to have for years, I have a alcohol problem ....... time to deal with it, thank you for being so brave

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  30. I was considering doing "dry july " after many years of binge drinking, with the only rest I had allowed my body being when I was pregnant and breastfeeding my children, I knew I needed to change. At the same time I was thinking about "dry july " and never having the faith in myself that I'd actually ever do it, I read about your upcoming interview on Sunday and thought I had to watch it. I have since begun reading your blogs and will buy your when it's out. Thank you Mrs d, I see this as a sign that I should not be afraid to begin.

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    1. Sorry that was meant to be buy your book!
      Loved the interview too. Inspiring! :)

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  31. Hi Mrs D. Thank you so much for your candid interview last night, I realized that I am not alone. Your positive blog, which I have just finished reading from the start, is inspiring and honest. I have often looked for help on line, and as you say its often very negative and seems that one cannot possibly do it on your own. My whole thought processes has changed, thank you again

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  32. Sitting here half hammered before lunchtime AGAIN. Saw your program last nite. Have to do something about this shit AGAIN. Gave up for 6 mths but crept back up to what Im at now. You are an inspiritation. Will keep checking in. Getting rid of this stuff the only way I know how but tomorrows another day. I NEED to do this and 24/06/14 is mine

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    1. I watched it last night (unfortunately, after finishing a bottle of red in 10 mins flat!!). I have been reading this blog for 2 hours this morning and was looking for someone who is starting their day 1 today, 24th June 2014. I am sooooo inspired by Mrs D and all the many comments I have been reading on here this morning. I am on board with you - today WE stop and today we start... being without!! All the best and yeah we NEED to do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TODAY

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    2. Me me me. Did u get through?

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  33. Wow, what a brave inspiring woman you are! There must be so many of us that can relate to your story as their own, know that they are not alone and now have the courage to face reality and a sober life. You are awesome and your family and friends must be so proud of you X

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  34. I'm not alone! I balled my eyes out watching you last night because EVERYTHING you said was like I was standing in a mirror talking to myself. Thank you and Mr.D for your courage. You have helped me make the final decision to say goodbye to wine for good.

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    1. I did the same thing.... sobbed and sobbed watching the show! I too have been battling the shall I, shant I thoughts for so many years now and really it has to come to an end! My body must be suffering and my mind is soooooooo tired! Day 2 for me.

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    2. Realising I am not alone has been a huge lift for me, and the push I need to carry it on. Thank you Mrs D

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  35. Inspirational and motivational. Thank you for sharing your story in such a straight up, real way (no sugar coating). It takes a lot of strength to make the decision you did and even more to share your journey with us all. Reading this has helped more than the help I received from outside services! Kia kaha, it's nice to know I'm not rowing this waka alone.

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  36. I just made it through day one baby steps, will be kinda odd going to bed tonight NOT drunk OMG I hope I can sleep, it`s been years since trying this so I will let you know how it all goes X

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    1. how did you sleep? I am on day 2 now. Last night I took ages too go to sleep but when I slept I slept right through! I used to wake you 3amish for a couple of hours every night!!!

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    2. Me too! The insomnia bugger around 2 am for a couple of hours is hideous isn't it and you wake up feeling shit. And you lie there beating yourself up for having yet again drunk a bottle of wine and making promises tomorrow will be different. Well I am breaking that cycle. I am day 10 and yes found the first couple of nights a bit hard to get to sleep but was all good after that and now sleeping like a baby and waking full of energy and guess what - waking feeling proud of myself!!!

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  37. So proud of you! Well done!

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  38. so glad I saw your interview. your blog is what I was looking for months ago when I had a sick day off work with a hangover.I didn't know where to find help. I rung the hospitals drug clinic there was no answer just leave a message and they would get back to me....I didn't and just cried. thank for being here. day 2

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  39. very brave and I'm so proud of you Mrs D, you are totally right when you say we have a drinking culture in NZ it's just crazy that intelligent human beings can let this thing take them to places they don't want to be in but desire to go anyway.

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  40. I stopped drinking bottles of wine and opted for the boxed rubbish because I don't panic so much about it running out, It's the alcohol I crave, the taste really is just secondary. I quit many times but it creeps back into my life. Just watched the show and read some of your blog and I've been inspired to try again.

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  41. Saw your appearance on the telly, what a brave thing to do. I read Rachel's Holiday about once a year and worry about how much I drink - it's time to face facts. Thanks for the blog. I will read each month in my "real time" for moral support! You are right about women drinking. Having a wine of an evening can be passed off as civilised but when my husband would be out or away I would get through 2 bottles and hide the proof. Using my kids as an excuse for my "hard day" fills me with disgust. They are hard work but a normal person should be able to get through the day then relax without a few glasses of wine shouldn't they? I have found myself taking swigs out of the duty free line up when the wine ran out, while my husband slept. Desperate. Now is the time to stop. I have a great example to check in with now. Thanks :)

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  42. You have a beautiful, witty, strong spirit. Simply gorgeous Mrs D.

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  43. Finding you is helping to find myself again

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  44. Wow. What an inspiration you are Mrs D. I related to everything you said. I found my drinking friends were not supportive, in fact they wouldn't hear of it when I said I had an issue with alcohol. I now know that by my admission they felt threatened, vulnerable as they too have a drink problem. So I have lost friends. But to wake up every morning feeling clear is fantastic, and liberating. No more unexplained bruises on my body (from falling all over the place in drunken stupours) no more waking in the morning in dread, shame and humiliation at the fool I made of myself the night before. No more apologies. No more thinking I was a party animal, but in fact people weren't laughing with me, they were laughing at me as i worked a room tottering around in an inebriated state thinking I was confident, and some sort of saviour. No more fooling myself that I had worked hard and that I deserved that drink. No more. But ahh yes that first sip, i can almost taste it...and it did taste good. The last one never did....but that first one does taste oh so good. Good on you Mrs D. I relate so much, and I will use your blog to help me and make me realise that that first slurp, that first glass doesn't taste that good at all. Thank you for this.

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  45. I couldn't agree more - some of my worst moments have been the next day after a public event or party, worrying about what I have said or done. At the time feeling extremely confident, attractive and of course fun! The humiliation of having to ask my husband if I was embarrassing or OK last night, cos I can't judge when I'm just the same as everyone else and when its being noticed and commented on. Ironically considering I have spent my whole life worrying about what other people think, and yet here I am having to worry about what people think!! Are they talking about me? Do I have a reputation as a drunked? Do I walk around all confident during the day (doing that less so these days as my self esteem plummets) when people are actually talking about me?

    I have been alcohol free 10 days and not even missing it! I am really enjoying sleeping well (after the initial few days of insomnia), I am loving not having a hangover and waking up full of energy, I am loving going to be at night and snuggling in on these chilly winter nights, dead stone sober and proud of myself, not full of disappointment yet again, I am loving being more tolerant and interested in the family and finally I am loving the overall energy I have that lasts all day - I can't put a price on this. I didn't realise how alcohol was affecting me. And just like Lotta I too am going to spend some money as a reward on myself. I am losing weight steadily and I am going to put that $100 a week in a jar and when I have lost 6 kgs I am going to buy myself some cool fashionable clothes to reward myself!!

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  46. My parents phoned me the other day asking if I'd seen your show. (I'm 41 by the way) They thought I should have a look. I watched and I cried. I CRIED! I never do that! I am a pillar of strength; Great at my high powered job (in the the same entertainment circles as yourself no less) a single Mum and fiercely independent. I cried because that was me at 16 right up until now. No one has ever questioned my 'bingeing' it was always just my 'personality' I'VE certainly had a problem with it, I had tried CADs in my 20's and even started AA in my late 30's, which is another heartbreaking story of its own. Facts; I've been drinking a bottle and 'a bit' each 2nd night, I'd black out and never remember going to bed (or putting my child to bed) I started vomiting and diarrhea six months ago and have only just gone to my doctor for tests. She asked me to give up wine for two weeks and I did, four weeks on... I'm not sick anymore. (fancy that)
    I lie about the drink continuously, I did dry July two years ago - binged half way through and gave up a week later. so proud of myself.
    Oh but that’s not the best part. I broke up my recent relationship because I couldn’t come home on my child free night and be myself and start drinking - I had to be sober to go out and socialise after 5pm - wasn’t going to happen was it.
    I’m still fighting a battle, it’s the NEVER part that gets me. However I’ve cut back to one bottle of wine a week (obviously in one go) on my mummy night off. My daughter doesn’t ask me if I’d like the bird wine to make me feel happy anymore or a glass of water wine to match mine…
    My parents have been my pillar of strength forever and I am so glad they pointed me to you. They knew more about me than I thought they did.
    I look forward to reading a hell of a lot more from somebody that knows more about me than most people I know.
    Thank you

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    1. You can do it. you are almost there, just one more step. You're parents are proud of you

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  47. Thank you so much for your brave and honest interview. I to have decided to follow your lead and change my secret double life forever. I help people by day and debrief and console myself with alcohol at night. No more. 10 days and counting ...your blog will be a huge help to me and I just love your raw honesty and humour. You are a special lady.

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  48. Sitting here with a glass of wine from a bottle I'd told myself I wouldn't open tonight, thought I'd cast my eye over your blog after turning the TV programme off - it was too near to home. I'm not addicted to alcohol cos I don't need a drink in the morning, but just fancy one at 4 in the afternoon. And a bottle a day isn't so much. I go to work everyday, have brought up two wonderful children. But panic at the thought of there not being wine in, think of any excuse to go to the supermarket if there isn't and while I'm there will pick up a bottle. Your blog is fantastic - should be compulsory reading to ...well everyone! I feel so inspired by this, I can have done the no drink for a few days but it's hard. Now I feel like going for the big No Alcohol. I too can do it. Thank you.

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    1. I wish alcohol wasn't sold in supermarkets. It normalises drinking too much. I doubt I would have got as hooked if I had to go to a liquor shop. I walk proudly past the aisles of wine now but it still concerns me. They promote the wine like a meal pairing but plenty of us kiwi ladies are obviously stugggling to stick to one glass with dinner.

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  49. Wow have read your blogs and the replies...ditto ditto....wonderful interview...Mirror moment for me...hiding the bottle, filling the 3rd bottle up to half way full with water and a little lime so hubby didnt know I drunk that much...hiding bottles at the bottom of the recycle bin...not remembering going to bed....not remembering conversations...all of the above fits. I tell myself I have cut down - was up to 3 bottles in a night, I go a day and only 1 day and think how wonderful and proud I am but then hit the supermarket on the way home. made a committment to be alcohol free during the week - doesnt happen. young children rely on me and still I cant see they are the most important people in my world. the bottle wins. I know I have to take that step just the forever scares me....

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  50. Well here we all are, our first Friday night. I for one am alcohol free, sitting here on a freezing rainy night, with a lovely special cheese platter and glass of sparking lemonade with a decorative slice of lemon and it's OK. In fact its not much different except I am more responsive to the family around me. I am still relaxing in front of the TV cuddled up with a blankey with my 3 kids and happy as Larry. Why did I always fold on a Friday (well if I ever made it to Friday alcohol free!)? That was just an automatic "right" to overdrink on a Friday - hell everyone does it! Well not anymore! I am about to go and have a lovely long soak in the bath (I find this quite relaxing at the moment) which also helps me have a great good nights sleep. Hope everyone out there is coping with their first Friday nights if you are first weekers!

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    1. Hi, thanks heaps!! Its good to know I am not alone. Its the end of week one for me and it feels good. have a great dry week end!

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    2. My first friday night and all ok, unbelievable but true. Thanks for giving me a new attitude about never again, I thought I wanted to just cut back, but Ifeel so much better that just 1 glass wouldnt be worth the risk. Only day 4, but never thought there would be a day 1

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  51. Sitting here after a couple of wines with a beer next to me and reading this blog because I need to give up forever and I honestly don't know how i'll do it. I'm signed up for DryJuly which seemed a good way to start.
    I went to my GP and told him how much I drink - hoping that he would scare me - he just said it's bad for my liver. I thought....."and"???? Anyway then I saw the wonderful Mrs D on TV and I read about DryJuly and now I think I get the connection............booze = poor liver function = more likely to get cancer!?
    I have 2 fantastic children (9 and 6) and I just want to live longer for them and for any grandchildren - that's it - that's my motivation. I know I had to come to this on my own - people without a problem just tell you "you can drink, just drink in moderation". I don't have a stop button - they don't get it.
    I have been drinking since I was 14 when we started sneaking booze from the drinks cupboard. I'm 44 now. I've puked my way around the world. I've been a dick.
    I've slept with men I didn't even find attractive, I've hurt myself in falls, I've spent too much money and recently started shop lifting when pissed.....so hilarious....not. WTF??
    Anyway peeps, wish me luck, I will find a way and I can do this : )

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    1. Gave up smoking 10 years ago and it was a mental battle. I think this is similar in a way. The longer you go without the less you crave and the more you appreciate the benefits of a sober life. Start the journey. I wish you success.

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    2. Thanks very much

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    3. My Dr pointed me towards the drug & alcohol addiction service - part of the health system. Self referred myself and they have been fantastic help. And now finding Mrs D too has helped me getting to nearly a month dry from 2-3 bottles a day. Keep looking for better help. It is out there. Am taking it a day at a time now

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  52. Got through Friday (that was day 4) and now Saturday feels totally manageable and as luck would have it July is just around the corner so its so easy to go with the "dry July" excuse for that month - just go get used to the idea of not drinking. I'm pleased to read that Mrs D also preferred to drink from a stemmed glass - that makes all the diff to me for some reason. Felt proud of myself last night - offered to take the kids and their friends out for an impromptu meal out, and drop everyone home afterwards. Me. The sober driver. Respect (for myself) at last. Thanks everyone. Loving this support group.

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    1. Couldn't agree more - Dry July is a fantastic idea and a perfect time to start without the social awkwardness. And Wow yes being able to sober drive your kids around - awesome - totally get where you are coming from. A new found respect - you nailed it on the head. That's what all this is really about. I no longer respect myself. Well that has changed! Isn't it lovely going to bed at the end of the day actually Proud of yourself!!! Keep it up - we're all in it together. We got past our first week (and more importantly weekend). Yahh. It wasn't that hard. Just different.

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  53. I have hidden empty wine bottles under mattresses, in sofas, fowerbeds, linen cupboards etc to conceal from my husband how much I drink. When I find them, months later, there is always that gut wrenching shame and self loathing. I check the redial on the phone in the morning after a binge to see who I called. Sometimes, after a heavy night out, I write myself a note to say I that I did not behave too badly. It never helps because in the morning I can never decipher the scrawl. But I still keep telling myself that drinking is a choice, not an addiction...

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    1. I see myself in you. we are in this together. Just day 4 and I wanting my wine. all of you help so much. hang in there with me

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  54. Day one, starting the journey to clear my head.

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  55. Well just finished 2 weeks alcohol free. Friday night was fine. Saturday night even better. Went out for dinner with some fun friends who I carefully selected as being light drinkers.

    I am now actually realising that there are heaps of them out there - you know the people who sit on one glass of wine over the whole night - WTF?? How do they do that? It used to annoy me because I looked like I was drinking too much and they were showing me up. Sometimes they would have 2, but that's even worse. Once I've had two my resolve is gone and I can't remember why I'm trying to moderate. So 2 for me - no siree!

    I didn't have any issue with sitting there with a tomato juice while they had a wine. It is fine. I think the challenge is more being around heavy drinking people who get pissed and you feel left out cos you don't get it (i.e what the hell is so funny??). So short analysis: its not being around people drinking alcohol that is the issue for me its being around drunk behaviour and not having that feeling of belonging to the "it" group. OMG I sound like my teenage daughters!!

    So I am determined not to isolate myself socially this time. I have been here before but became a very boring, lonely stay at home person who basically fell of the face of the planet. If this is going to work long term, I have to have a full, fun, social life. It just needs to be done differently.

    It doesn't mean you have to eliminate your heavy drinking friends. I am now meeting my heavier wine drinkers during the day for coffees or walks and meeting the light drinkers or even non drinkers (yes I know one or two!!) for evening meals or movies.

    The bonus is you feel great, you can drive, you have control of everything you say, and you save lots of money. The restaurant bill was much lighter than usual!

    On that note I have decided to spend the $100 that would normally be wasted going down my gullet and onto my waistline for luxury spending such as a meal out with hubby and friends, or movies, or breakfast out on the weekend, or some luxury items from the supermarket for a beautiful expensive home made meal or even a new item of clothing.

    Roll on week 3 - I am looking forward to it. Cravings appear to be gone, I know it can't be that simple. But I am prepared. Bring it on! It is fantastic having Mrs D in our lives. Great blog. So good knowing we are all out there doing it together!

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  56. Im reading al these onist and heart felt comments im 3 days sober today after 8 years of really binge drinking on and off thankyou mrs d for being so so onist and real. Just knowning im not alone and its not just my shame and my dirty little secret anymore thankyou :-) xxxx thankyou just wont to cry happy tears :-)

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  57. wow, had to record your interview on sunday night cause to drunk to be able to see it and knew id forget. scary, its all so familiar. i'm 10 years older than you , I applaud your bravery. Also feel like crap today cause polished off 2 bottle of vino last night, Wednesday for goodness sake. I'm supposed to be doing dry July. I wonder if I'm brave enough too, instead of empty promises to myself when I'm hungover.

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    1. I'm 10 years older than Mrs D also. It was like looking in the mirror for me - I can do 2 bottles midweek too. Rephrase that. I COULD do 2 bottles midweek. I put the booze down 10 days ago now. Mrs D has been my strength and the support is incredible. I feel so much better - there is a spring in my step. Just because you broke the dry July thing yesterday doesn't mean you can't start today. Be brave. We're all being brave and we'll help you too. Make yourself proud.

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  58. Well ive managed to stay sober for 6 days omg thats the clearest my head has been feel like wine every day just keep reminding myself how shity it really makes me feel my head has been ponding but at least im not hung over and wondering what did i do last night? ??? Thanks for all of this its made such a big diffrence in my life thankyou to everyone on this blog thankyou happy days after sososo much sadness and misery and hang overs :-):-):-) starting to live :-):-):-):-):-)

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    1. Go go go well done. If u flop tomorrow is another day and go go go again

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  59. It's one week today for me. I've not had a whole week off the wine for at least 8 years. I tried Dry July last year and lasted 3 days. I feel a lot stronger this time around after watching you on 20/20 and reading your blog. It stopped being fun a long time ago too. Looking forward to the new functional, but still fun and a bit naughty, sober
    me :)!!

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  60. Hi, I watched you on the Sunday programme. You are me. Alcohol is a huge, fun at times, part of my family. But, the fun for me is dwindling. A couple of unwinding drinks mid week are actually two or three big glasses. I binge just about every Friday night. I am hungover at my kids sports games more often than not.
    I am doing dry July. Finding it hard...yet easy. Next week will be a killer at the beach with my family, come five o clock and that taste for sav comes calling. I will be strong. I think I have to give up for good.

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  61. Wel ive have managed 13 days sober today :-)afte work today all i wonted was a bottle of wine just keep thinking of mrs d and all the othe people out there struggling with this instead of just thinking of my own self got through and jumped on this to read some more :-):-):-):-):-):-) to morrow its two weeks haha so happy and feeling so much bette not sick and feelinglike hell :-)

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  62. Oh my goodness mrs d your amazing. I read the article yesterday and that was day 1 for me. Watched you just now on Sunday. This is me and heading down that road bigtime. The last 2 weeks I've thought I can't carry on like this and all I think about is red or white tonight? The kids are suffering and that 4am wake up with the demons I'm sick of. But really no more wine??! Eeek!! All my friends and family are big drinkers too, how do I manage that but I have too for the same of my kids, marriage and me. Reading every word you have written. Thank you. Let's see how I go. So far I'm the only one that knows! Can I make it the ought today. I hope so......

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  63. Today is day three, and I'm so glad I'm not alone, hubby bought a bottle of wine last night, but I'm pleased to say its still in the fridge. I am going out for a coffee tonight (I don't normally go out at night) as you all know, because I'll be drinking instead. I don't have a clear head today, am hoping that tomorrow I will have more energy,

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  64. Thank you Mrs D - I have spent the day hungover after yet another binge, failed to make it to work (again) 47 years old and alcohol has been a huge part of my life since 16 - I am slowly killing myself, my marriage and my business and I know realise I am one of "those people" who can't just have one or two glasses - I measure my wine consumption by the bottle - well no more - day one for me - you and all the others on here are truly inspiring - thank you!

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  65. Crying reading all this after another night out where I have no memory of coming home. So many times I've said I'll never drink like that again - always I do. The idea of never drinking again terrifies me but so does the idea of what I might do (have already done?) while drunk. Well done on your transformation. I pray I'll have your strength one day.

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  66. Day 5 made it through Friday night YESSS! First sober Friday in probably 20+ years and I was around a lot of drinkers it wasn't too difficult just kept sneaking a look at your blog Mrs D it got me through so thank u so much!! I now have faith in myself that this monster can be slayed! Xx thank u all on here

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  67. I have been on a two week bender where I have made a complete and utter ass of myself. Today I made a list of all the horrific things I have done while drunk.... It's appalling. I need to quit and I so need help doing it. I'm so grateful to have found so much online and I don't feel alone anymore.

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  68. The last post here really speaks to me. I'm on day 10 (for the 1,345,325th time) and I'm right now feeling like it's easy. I still remember the last binge/hangover, but it's always easy until it's not. Then what? I've always eventually caved in the past for some reason or another. It's scary to be here. To be in the know that it's easy... today. Not knowing when the anvil will drop, but just knowing that it will.

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  69. I'm on Day 11 after over 40 years of serious drinking (I was always a slow learner) I feel a bit nervous as my mind is already playing tricks on me such as "you could have 1 drink for your birthday, Xmas whatever" I have to squash these thoughts one will never be enough. I'm inspired by Mrs D's blog and all the comments. Fingers crossed.

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  70. I am on day 4 - I listened to your podcast on the Bubble Hour and absolutely loved your energy and charisma.
    I am going to continue reading your blog-- need all the motivation I can get! Thanks for doing this!

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  71. Wow... You are all so inspiring. I am currently on day 4. I have spent the last 4 nights under canvas with my daughter so as to change my routine and try and make it easier. ... ha!! Not so easy came the night sweats and the vivid dreams Oh so scary and cold in a tent!!... But thank goodness for this blog. Drove home this evening as too cold camping and wanted some home comforts - only to be greeted as I walked through the front door by that old craving...The wine beckoned. ... But inspired by Mrs D .... Had a cup of tea instead. .. and will keep trying. ..

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  72. I don't drink wine from a nice glass anymore. I use a coffee cup to disguise it. Count to 8 and down it in one almighty gulp. Its one bottle per night. Like that in 2 hours max. Classy stuff. I've always loved my wine.. worked within the industry even. I have always struggled not to drink but could pass it off as being ok. I'll grow out of it. I turned 35 this year and have 2 gorgeous young kids. My partner doesn't drink. He is quiet and passive. He never confronts me about being drunk most nights. I know I cant sustain this habit. My health. My brain. How will this in turn affect my kids. No one has mentioned there kids on here. How is life at night for them if mummy is half cut? I'm sick of feeling down. Regretful, unhealthy and tired... day 3 x

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  73. Great reading, inspiring and can relate. Thanks and hope all is well x

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  74. So much of what you write about seems so familiar to me. I have not always been a drinker. I didn't start until I was in my late 20's and then it was not heavy drinking at all. I was a moderate drinker...I could have one or two on the weekends and not drink during the week, but that changed in my mid 30's when I broke up with my partner of 8 years. I spent 4 or 5 months drinking 3 or 4 gin and tonics every night. I was not hung over enough to miss work, but I certainly had many days where I felt bad in the morning. I moderated my drinking again after I met my current partner, and stayed that way until my mom got sick. My mom and I were never close. See, she was a closet drinker when I was growing up (I didn't know this until I was an adult) and she could be very mean. But when she got sick, I went to her side to be there. I don't know why I felt obligated, but I knew I couldn't live with myself. It was the most horrifying time of my life watching her deteriorate. The cancer was in her brain, spine and lungs...it was just an awful thing to witness. So to cope, I drank. I remember one night staying at her condo while she was in the hospital, I bought a bottle of white wine, and I drank the entire thing right from the bottle as I watched TV that night. It was a low point in my life, but it wasn't when I decided to quit.

    Three years have passed since she died, and my drinking had escalated. I was drinking every night, and it was never enough to just have one. I needed that buzz. Again, I wasn't hung over in the mornings on work days, but I did feel bad many mornings, and I've over done it a couple of times in the last year on weekends. I have been hung over 3 times in the last year. That's a lot, considering I've only ever been that sick from drinking maybe 2 other times in my life. It wasn't any great epiphany or drinking binge that made me decide to quit. I just came to a point on a random day that I had started down a very bad road, and if I didn't do something, I was no better than my drunk mom and absent drunk dad. I wanted to try. So I decided I would go 2 months. That's by far the longest stretch since I started drinking moderately in my late 20's. I thought when I started that maybe I would re-evaluate going moderate after 60 days. But as I counted the days, I realized I felt much better without that daily dose of liquid depressants. My moods were better, and I had all kinds of time in the evenings that I wasn't sitting and watching TV and drinking wine. I wondered if I was being dramatic, giving it up totally. I wondered what my drinking friends would think. I worried about situations where I'd be tempted. All the things that you write about in your blog about that voice in your head...so true. My voice lies to me and tells me I'll be boring and no-fun. But it's my journey, and you have given me so much strength by sharing your story. Because of your story and many others I've read, I have decided that this needs to be a permanent change for me. While my consumption level was not as much as yours, the problem underneath is the same. I have the capacity and propensity to be a massive drunk. Just like my parents. I don't want that for myself. I feel like I finally woke up, and to read this blog is so validating for me. I'm not crazy and this really is important. Thank you!

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  75. I love that someone who didn't "have any readers" is now listed as one of the BEST 15 Alcoholism Blogs on the internet. As for me, I am 4 days sober. This is my second go round with sobriety and this time I really want it to be for good. My husband and kids deserve a more present, less crazy mommy. Thank you for sharing your story and for being so transparent.

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  76. Love the layout! So easy to navigate :)

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  77. I LOVE your blog and I also heard you on the bubble hour. I'm a mom of two youngsters and have been desperately trying to moderate for a year....it's maddening. I've decided to quit altogether. I'm at 26 days so far. I'm doing well, drinking a whole pot of sleepytime tea everynight. I'm also scared, I do sometimes feel sad to say goodbye to wine. Your blog gives me strength and we have so much in common. Thanks for sharing your journey.

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  78. Thank you making a difference.xx

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  79. Wow this is great, I stumbled upon this as I am doing a networking guide for my course. I decided to do mine on addiction, because well...you know. This blog has really inspired me to get back on that old sober wagon. i few years ago I stopped drinking for a few months but compensated with copious amounts of weed! So it didn't really work in fact I think it may have made things worse. I had a stressfull job and was binging on 2 bottles of wine plus two to three times a week. I remember that aweful booze insomnia, feeling like shit, feeling guilty. I got an excellent AOD counsellor and she was wonderful so I did shake the booze for awhile but as i say hit the green instead. Well now I can happily say I no longer live my life obsessed with getting high, but I do binge drink, usually once a week and its not even fun. I get bored and frustrated, I recognise this now. This blog reminded me why I needed to stop in the first place. I am kind of excited. I really wish I had seen this blog back then, and I will definatedly be talking about blogging as an informal network in my assignment and am gonna kick it again. But am not gonna tell anyone cause some friends can be really unsupportive and laugh and don't believe that I can do it. But now I remember I can,

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  80. I've been worried about my drinking for 6 yrs now (been drinking since I was 18 and I'm now 44) been leaning on the hubby to help me and silently angry that he seemingly hasn't but then came his business trip to NZ and he came home with your book! OMG I read the entire thing in one day, I just couldn't put it down. Ironically I was too hung over to do anything else in hind sight. Your story up to your decision to remove alcohol could pretty much be mine as well. Almost every single thing! It was the first time I actually realized I'm not alone, I'm not crazy, No one can do this for me, I got myself into this and I CAN GET MYSELF OUT! I made a doctors appointment, started my own journal, found a fantastic on line sobriety group, set my quit date... got hammered on the eve of that day and here I am. Day 1. (not a hard day as I never drink on a hang over ... tomorrow well I'll worry about that tomorrow!) Thank you so much for your blog and book! I want my life back, I want to be sober and the only way out is ... through! So here I go. Thanks Mrs. D!

    Stacey.

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  81. So happy to have found this blog and this wonderful community. I have been trying to get sober off and on for long time, and it never sticks. I can totally relate to the five o'clock wine time. Mine always comes as I'm driving home from work, and it's been (near) impossible to avoid stopping at the grocery store for a bottle of wine (but the large one, so that I can share some with my husband and still have over a bottle for myself). I did avoid stopping today, though! I'm sick of the cycle. Waking up every day feeling awful and headachey and tired and bloated and swearing I won't drink again and then gradually changing my mind throughout the day until it is five-o'clock, and I can't WAIT to have that first slurp.

    Anyway, I'm trying this again, and I'm so glad that your writing exists and that there are all these commenters who get it too.

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  82. Day 2 for me. I have an amazing husband, amazing kids and a great job. I have everything I have ever wanted, but had continued to binge drink often. I am finally stepping off the crazy train for real, forever. Thanks so much for your blog and your choice to stop drinking.

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  83. Day 26 of Sober October and I have to decide whether to start drinking again or how to handle the anxiety of how to cope with 'I'll never drink alcohol again' which in my heart is the decision I know I must make. Feel shattered, really tired...disappointed as I thought I'd feel really energetic by now. Sleeping more soundly, feel very happy each morning that I am alert and hangover-free, but still shattered! Is this a common experience? Any tips for coping?

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  84. So glad i found you're blog. I'm a weekly binge drinker. I've tried to stop several times this year. This time i WILL do it. I'm at day one.

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  85. I might as well of written this, this has my name all over it, but I am on Day 5 but telling myself I will have a dry month and then see how it goes. I am aiming for a year. I have hidden bottles or put them in public rubbish bins. Im sure I have been over the limit in the mornings when I have taken my kids to pre school. I always say I can drink 2 bottles and not have a hangover, but that is nothing to be proud of. I feel good but unsure as to whether I want this for the rest of my life. What I would like is to be able to have a couple of wines with friends and then stop. We'll see

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  86. I was looking for a blog for encouragement because I just learned I'm 4 weeks pregnant 3 days ago and am now on Day 3. I drank wine every day, started that 1 whole bottle was something I was ashamed over in one day but slowly that number became 2 bottles and 1 was nothing. 2 glasses at lunch and 2 at dinner, what's the big deal? Well, the big deal was that I also hid boxes of wine in my gym bag and then dispose of them next day on my way to gym somewhere to hide it from my husband and neighbors. The big deal is I had to plan my evenings around it, knowing if an invitation started too late in evening then I couldn't commit because I may have over drank by then. I could go on and on but thank you everyone for this blog. Again, this began because of my pregnancy but I am inspired to stop for good now. Thanks again and maybe I can find that joyful feeling that Mrs. D had at her Christmas dinner without the vino :) true authentic joy.

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  87. Just read the first month of blog posts. It's me. I've got a box of red on the counter but tonight I've got sanpellagrino in my wine glass. Day 1. Still haven't decided if I'm doing it forever, but I'm doing it for now. Looking forward to catching up on your blog posts.
    Thanks for writing this. Heather in Canada.

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    1. Heather Kelly
      How is your journey? I am a fellow Canadian trying to quit as well. Looking to find a pen pal to walk this path today. Mrs. D -you writing is inspiring!

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    2. Heather Kelly
      How is your journey? I am a fellow Canadian trying to quit as well. Looking to find a pen pal to walk this path today. Mrs. D -you writing is inspiring!

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  88. I'm a wreck. I've been trying to quit drinking for the last 8 years. I just can't seem to do it. Got 14 months in 2012-2013 but that was then. I haven't gone a day without drinking for the last 5 months. I am desperate to stop. I'm gonna keep reading this blog and try again. Today is day 1 - could I really go one day without a drink, let alone the rest of my life? I really don't know.

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  89. Today is day 1 for me. I too am that person hiding bottles, waking up hungover, heading to gym and looking around for others like me. I am tired of the cycle. I am looking forward to the support of this wonderful community.

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  90. Hello there from Ottawa, Canada :)

    I just turned 40 yesterday and you are me to a tee. I believe I have been in denial, but have decided that I'm making a change and going to STOP. I had my last bang last night with my mom, and finished off a nice big bottle of cold white wine for my b-day. I'm not an all day drinker, but have a few to many on the week night and can't stop at 2. I too head to the store heading home because I want more, I've hid it from my partner, had too many embarrassing moments, I just don't enjoy it like I use to.

    Thank you so much for your honesty.

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  91. I can't tell you how much it helped me to read this. So many of the things you wrote were exactly what I've been feeling.
    It IS a fantasy that I can have a glass or two. Once that happens, it turns into 5 or 6. That's just the way it is for me.
    It just isn't fun anymore. The guilt and shame and anxiety and embarrassment are so much more powerful than the half hour buzz I would get.
    I used alcohol to temporarily turn my brain off. When I was drinking I didn't worry. That was one of the few times I didn't worry. But turning your brain off makes you tired and miss out on many good things in life. Have to find other ways to reduce my anxiety.
    Anyway, have known this has to change for quite a while. But today is day 1.

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  92. Day 5- managed to get through wine time on a Friday! Not easy... Feeling pleased with myself.

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  93. Hi, I'm on day 3 (again). Mrs. D. aren't you glad you are so far away from these early days? I hope you don't stop writing for a long while. I just finished your book and now here I am - not ready to go w/o you. I'm going for it this time! Thank you and I'll be back.

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  94. Day 11! OMG! I can't believe it. The headaches are subsiding.The cravings are still there but nothing I can't handle. Oh but I loved beer. A lot. Like all the time. I also have 3 sons and was home with them for years. They are all gown men now but those "tea time" habits stayed with me for 25-30 years. I can do this. My off switch is broken like yours. I can't stop at 2 or 3, not even 10 or 12. I'm going to keep reading your post and being inspired that I'm not alone. It's just colder where I am.

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  95. Hi! The reason why I am reading your book is because Bex Weller said she read your book when she was getting sober. I'm maybe half-way through and I cannot tell you how I can relate to you. I thank you for being open and honest and funny. I'm at the "pink cloud" part of your story. I had heard that phase before but I never really knew what it meant. It makes so much sense now. I am so hopeful about my "sober" future. Thanks for sharing your life. I think in some ways, we all share the same life. xoxo

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  96. Day 66. Just found your blog. Thank you. Thank you. You are amazing and brave. I don't think I could keep going without these blogs. I also read Belle and Amy of Soberbia. The 3 of you are my support. You have me laughing out loud, and cringing in recognition of my embarrassment at my binge-drinking. Like you, I could never have just one or two. Always went to bed with that final glass on my bedside table. We all need to support each other.

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  97. Hi Mrs D
    This subject has been weighing so heavily on my heart I now realise I have a problem. I cannot only have one glass of wine I land up drinking 2 bottles by myself. I found myself trying to drink really slowly to enjoy the buzz for as long as possible and then raided the cupboard for any alcohol I could find once my bottle was finished.
    I am tired of the guilty secret I am carrying. I have enjoyed reading and relating to your blog. I am giving this stuff up for good. Not only for me but my family. I feel embarrassed that I have let it get to this. My wonderful addiction to wine has helped me put on 26 kg. Today is day 1 for me and I am feeling positive that I can do this

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  98. Thankyou so much for this blog and every brave person on here. I to am a binge drinker and also every time I am stressed I hit the wine,I can have 3-4 bottles of the dam stuff,then I don't touch it for rest of week and that's because I feel disgusted with my self.had 6 bottles of wine from Thursday through Saturday and I have had enough of it. Today is the first day of my new life. I will keep reading all your stories to keep me going . Thankyou for reading and good luck to you all. Mrs d u are an inspiration xxxx

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  99. Hello Mrs. D, I have been reading and re-reading your blog and I am reading your book for the second time. So many similarities. Here I am….again…another Day One, more promises not to drink. Bloated, tired, just a pathetic mess. Right now I can honestly say I NEVER want to drink again. I really don’t. But tomorrow at 4:00pm the thought will pop into my head like is always does and I will have a choice to make. To drink or not to drink…so far I have chosen to drink.
    It’s the same story I have heard over and over again. I will only have one glass…ok maybe two, but that’s it. You know the drill. I fool myself into thinking that this time will be different. Sometimes I don’t even try to fool myself, I know full well what is going to happen and I drink anyway. WHY????? Am I too lazy? Do I just not try hard enough?
    It’s never one or two glasses. It’s one or two bottles…and then the preverbal 3:00am wake up call. Feeling awful, hating myself and spending the next 3 hours trying to figure out what I am going to do to stop. I can't do this anymore. This has to stop. But I am afraid to say “It stops today.” What if I fail again? On a positive note…I didn’t drink today. I guess it's a start.

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  100. Thank you so much for writing this blog. So many similarities. Wine is my drink of choice as well. One drink leads to 2 bottles...3am wake up calls feeling sick and miserable, wondering yet again..."Why and I doing this?" I can't moderate. I need to stop. Day Two.

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  101. I didn't even know what a blog was until this week. I went and bought a tablet so I didn't have to read on my phone. This is amazing.....I can't believe the similarities in the stories, including my own. I'm so pissed that this alcohol/poison is so socially acceptable. It a drug just like any other. I am going to be a non drinker if wIt kills me��

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  102. I am so glad I found your blog. I am 50 and have been battling the beast for years. This is it! I hope I can make it this time. I had over a year sober last time and sure enough I blew it. This time around, I have not drank as excessively as I have in the past but enough to get back in the gutter. Everything I cherished like peace of mind, no hangover, improved self esteem, ability to follow through with a plan, etc. down the drain. I am at my wits end, unhappy and afraid that I'm not going to make it. To top it off. Now, everytime I drink, be it one can or 6 of the high octane shit, I am having terrible night sweats, anxiety, feels like I'm having a heart attack etc. I have pulled it together enough to schedule an appointment with my physician and I hope I have not destroyed myself. this is only day 2. I have been able to string together a week a few times recently but that's it. I don't know why I can't handle it. If I could just make it through the first month, I think I might be ok. So frustrating.

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    1. If you are strong enough to do 1 day, you are strong enough to do everyday :) Your GP can help big time with the withdrawals and so can counselling. The AA meetings are still good at the beginning, particularly if you live in a large city. The meetings in Sydney, Australia are so great, it's becoming trendy to go to them; so many professionals, creatives and even celebrities, hysterical! See my reply to Leigh below also. You've already proven that you can do it - you did a year. I've seen tons of old timer AA's who got 5 years under their belt and relapsed. But they did it again, coz once it's not fun it's never going to be fun. People relapse in addiction, you don't need to beat yourself up about it. Think about what you have achieved and write it down in a list together with 10 great things about yourself even though I'm sure there are many more than that! You're still young! :)

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  103. Hey! So glad to have found this blog. I decided this morning that I will quit drinking for 30 days. I have been wanting to do this for a while but have always deluded myself into thinking I didn't have a problem. I'm sick of hating myself, waking up groggy and feeling like I'm just existing. I have a bit of anxiety at the moment as it is approaching wine o'clock but I know that it's always hard to start something new. Wish me luck!

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    1. Hi Leigh - I wish you luck! I'm only on Day 4 (many times of Day 4 but I don't beat myself up about it. It's when I beat myself up about it because of the guilt and shame that the sly alcohol fox wins and I drink again. My journey has had many false starts - I got to drinking 3-4 bottles of wine per night for 2 years. I couldn't stop because of the withdrawals and the fear of having seizure - a lawyer new did have a seizure and nearly died. In the end I saw my GP. I got sober for 5 months and then shit happened as it will and I relapsed. I was so heart broken by that because I remember when I first got sober a psychologist evaluated me and said it was very possible that I would relapse and I ignored that and was totally convinced it wouldn't happen. To anyone else reading this, no matter how many times you have fallen off the wagon just get up and get right back on there! Mrs D shows us that it can be done as do so many other bloggers and AA/SMART/HAMS members. It's not a picnic of course but it's achievable. My drinking never went back to where it was, thank the universe, it got to Mrs D's level and it may seem strange to you lot but that level put me in denial. But once you know that it's not fun anymore, and only the drinker knows that, it can never be fun again. I like to think of it as having been in a relationship with a terrorist and having a kind of Stockholm Syndrome :) Smiley icon but I seriously mean that. Mrs D, thank you again for your blog, I love seeing how many of us it is continuing help. THANK YOU!

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  104. I'm also about to start my journey into the unknown, if I don't I risk my finances and my relationship with my boyfriend whom I love dearly! any tips on the first week without alcohol would help greatly. thanks

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    1. First, I surrendered truly to the fact that alcohol was killing me - and I asked my version of god to hold me. I meditated, prayed, and did anything to stay away from alcohol. I am not in AA, and do not subscribe to a religion, but that surrender was the first step to not drinking alcohol for me. Also, I used xanax to help me deal with anxiety, and found a substitute for alcoholic drinks in the evening - kombucha. Both of these things are frowned upon by many in the purist sobriety world, but they made it possible for me to quit drinking alcohol and I really don't think that I would've stuck to it if I hadn't done that. Also, repeating over and over - I am done with that shit (because it is shit) helped me when thoughts would come in about drinking.

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  105. Hello and thank you for your blog! I am on day 11 sober. Unlike your experience of your first month, I have very strong urges to drink everyday around 3pm (when I used to start my wine-ing). Several months ago I condensed the screaming, foot stamping voice in my head demanding wine into a separate persona whom I named Hazel (my apologies to any real Hazel's out there). For the first week of my sobriety, Hazel was surprisingly quiet. But in the past 3-4 days, she has begun to yell and scream at me in the afternoons. In the past when I have tried to ignore her, her protests became louder and louder until I gave in and had a glass of wine just to make her shut up! And of course I couldn't stop at one. If I had one, I would finish the bottle. And, as many others have stated here, wake up at 1 - 2 am feeling terrible and berating myself as a loser and addict, only to repeat the whole process the next night. I feel so lost. Can I manage to moderate my drinking? Or is that just another of Hazel's ploys? Do I really need to give up alcohol forever? Really? I'm 58, I have a wonderful grandson with another on the way. I don't want to be the "drunk grandma". I don't want to wait until I get breast cancer or have a heart attack or a DUI before I wake up and give it up. Crap.

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  106. Hey Sister! I don't remember buying "Blackout" but it's on my Kindle so evidently I did - I am enjoying the irony

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  107. I'm so glad to find this blog! Its fun to read. I am only 2 days in. I already drink only about 3-4 times a month, but like you I cant control how much. Sometimes Ill get lucky and the first one will make me too tired to go on (how tired it makes me during and after now is a main reason to quit). Or there wont be more, or there will be a gap between and that craving of the first has time to wear off. But if something lucky like that doesn't happen, Ill have way more than I meant to. Havent driven lately or done anything awful, but I get anxiety attacks after. On Saturday it was hell... I was up all night panicking after having like 7 drinks. I couldnt sleep. It was crazy. So I know, like, I've known since probably 19, I'm not a normal drinker. I have been able to sort of easily "stop", and only drink every once and a while, and I thought thatd be okay. Most times it wouldnt be the worst, sometimes itd be even be fun and mellow, yay, but I never know when its going to go wrong. And when it goes wrong the exhaustion and anxiety after is too much for me to bear. Maybe I need to start a blog to remind me of that. For now Ill read yours!

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  108. Thank you, Mrs. D, for writing this. I have shared so much of your experiences, and it means so much to know that there are others out there that live in a world that you thought was your's alone.We are recovery sisters - and there are so many of us out there. You are in my heart!

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