I was one of those heavy drinkers where from the outside I didn’t appear to be suffering. My story doesn’t contain wild drunken exploits or shock-horror tales of crazy debauchery. The police never got involved, I didn’t fall over in public or wake up in jail cells or hospital beds. I didn’t crash cars, break glass, black out, wet my pants, or get into fights. The most I ever offered in terms of outward drinking drama was a few instances of vomiting, some embarrassing slurring and a bit of inappropriate loudness.
I think most of my friends and family would admit that the biggest drama they experienced from me was when I announced I had a drinking problem and was giving up. And even to this day I’m sure there are a few people around me who are a little bemused that I’ve stopped drinking. I can’t blame them for that—I was the classic high-functioning boozer. Fine on the outside, but in reality not fine at all. In reality drinking far too much wine all the time.
I was deeply addicted to wine. I drank it steadily and heavily and it accompanied my every move. Most ordinary days involved a few wines after 5 p.m.; in stressful times I could double that. Special occasions involved bubbly wine, sad times involved fortified wine. My life was wine, wine, wine all the time.
But in the last few years of my drinking it became very difficult for me to control my intake. If there was alcohol in the house I would drink it. I would sit on the sofa and drink wine until it was all gone. Time and again I would wake up at 3 a.m. with a bursting bladder, pounding head, sick guts, and a deep awful guilt. I was miserable and I felt very alone. My drinking was largely private (my husband was a shift worker and often went to bed hours before me), and therefore my guilt and misery were also private. I was locked in a secret, miserable drinking hell. Then, on September 6, 2011, I hit my personal rock bottom and made the huge decision to change.
Three days later I started (what I thought would be) a private online diary using a Blogger template. I wanted to write regular letters to myself to try and keep myself honest and off the booze for good. I had no idea what the blog was to become—an invaluable tool not just for myself but for countless others. My blog, Mrs D Is Going Without, has landed me in the middle of an amazing online community of warm, wise, kind, and supportive people. The sober-sphere is an incredibly powerful and special place, and I don’t know if I would have stayed sober without it. You can read my entire journey here.
Today I am nearly 1,000 days sober, and I am very happy about that.