The last two years of my drinking I worried about it a lot. I tried every technique under the sun to control my intake. I had extended dry periods, tried limiting the number of drinks per sitting, tried slowing myself down, had set days off during the week. None of it worked. Time and again I let myself down. As soon as the wine hit my throat, I was a goner. All my best intentions would go out the window, and I’d soon be back to my usual ways; guzzling fast, not stopping until it was all gone, binging, binging, binging.
I can’t count the number of times I woke at 3am with a dry throat, pounding headache, full bladder, sick guts and a deep overwhelming guilt.
I got books out of the library on how to drink moderately. I took questionnaires online to determine if I had a problem. I even rang a helpline. I worked really hard to try and solve my problem.
No one around me knew the angst I was experiencing. I was a classic high-functioning boozer, outwardly running a very successful life. I looked after my husband, our three sons, and our house. I worked part-time and was writing a Masters Thesis – all without a misstep. I was running myself ragged trying to do it all, and everything was fine except most nights I filled myself up with far too much wine. My friends and family knew that I was fond of wine, but not the full extent of my drinking or the battle I was fighting to control it.
In truth, nothing was fine at all.
My final night of drinking – Monday the 5th of September, 2011 – I skulled most of a bottle of wine while my husband was out, and then hid the remainder as he arrived home. In my drunken state, I felt ashamed that I’d not managed to have the alcohol free night we’d agreed to. I knelt down on the kitchen floor and shoved the bottle in the back of the cupboard.
That was my personal rock bottom. The night my addiction brought deceit into my marriage. Hiding wine was a new low. Despite all my best efforts I had sunk to this point – literally on my knees hiding a bottle.
The next morning, once again hungover as hell and wracked with guilt, I knew that something had to change. I knew that I was fighting a war that I was never going to win so long as alcohol was in the mix. I knew that I had to remove the alcohol to win the war. I knew that I had to stop drinking.
And so I did. My sobriety date is September 6th, 2011.
Perhaps because I’d been on such a private mission to moderate my drinking I embarked on my sobriety mission alone as well. It didn’t even cross my mind to seek out a support group. I just dug deep and set about fixing myself. I knew my brain needed serious work but I was determined that I could do it myself.
I had no concept of how vitally important community was to anyone getting sober. Lucky for me I didn’t go it alone for long. I’ll never know if I could have done it by myself.
Two days after I stopped drinking, I started writing a blog. I thought would be a private online diary, hidden away in a corner of the Internet. But in just a few short weeks, the posts I was writing to myself on Mrs D Is Going Without started being read by others and I started receiving comments – wise, kind, supportive, helpful comments. Suddenly I wasn’t alone. It was completely unexpected and utterly amazing.
Today I am placed firmly in the midst of a wonderful community of sober bloggers and blog-readers. We are brave sober warriors united through the Internet. We may not be face-to-face, but we hold each other up like pillars of concrete.
Online recovery rocks.
Mrs. D is a 41 year-old-woman nurturing a wonderful husband, three wonderful sons and a wonderfully unhealthy relationship with alcohol. She lives in New Zealand with her husband and three sons. Keep an eye out for her memoir coming out in July that tells the full story of how she got sober with the help of her blog!!
Visit her blog: Mrs D Is Going Without
Follow her on Twitter: @MrsDalcoholfree