Two years ago we went on a holiday over a long weekend, driving for 4 hours to meet a bunch of old friends for a long weekend. These are other couples we've known since we've all started having kids. Lovely people. It was 3 days of drinking and eating and chatting and catching up and playing games with the kids and just hanging out in a big holiday park together.
It wasn't a great time for me. I don't know what exactly was going on back home at that time - usual busy life nothing special. Certainly a lot of drinking, this was me heading into my last year of heavy drinking when my intake was really starting to escalate and it was getting harder and harder to control the amount of wine I poured down my throat.
Photos from the weekend show a puffy, unhealthy me wearing clothes that were badly chosen and ill-fitting.
The first night I tried to create some kind of crazy boozy party buzz which really just means I was getting hammered and willing others along with me and my enthusiastic attitude to wine. There were a few that hit it along with me but all in all the night was a mostly gentle one and I vividly recall at the end feeling a bit flat that it was over and I had to head for bed.
I don't know what I was wanting? I had the people, the environment, the holiday but I couldn't settle into that. I had to chase that boozy high that doesn't actually give you anything you don't have already in front of you.
On the last night I just went for it without caring that no-one else was. Hell for leather drinking. Pestering others to get wine out of their units after ours had gone. Talking total rubbish. Slurring. Noticeably dysfunctional. Wrong. Stumbling into our unit at midnight completely and utterly written off. Crouching over the toilet vomiting vomiting vomiting. Lost a dearly beloved earring that holiday and I'm sure it went down the toilet along with the contents of my stomach.
The next day I put on the facade of being ok, packed up our unit and got the kids into the car. Waved goodbye to our lovely friends and drove for four hours back home. It was an awful journey home. I cried all the way. I felt unhealthy. I felt dysfunctional. I felt sad. I felt lost and I had this nagging gritty burning feeling that things just weren't right here and something had to change.
Just under a year later after growing that nagging, gritty burning feeling into a staunch determination and making a huge decision I drank my last drink and became sober.
And now, this weekend just gone. Same blueprint, same holiday. Same friends, same holiday park. Different me.
Photos just downloaded onto our computer show a more slender me. A more alert me. A happier me. But the photos don't do it justice.
The feeling that I had as I drove the car home yesterday, remembering that same journey home two years ago, and feeling as I do now, was UN-FUCKING-BELIEVABLE. If I could take that feeling, bottle it and sell it online I'd be a very rich woman. I felt happy. Healthy. In control. Strong. A better friend. A better wife. A better mother. I felt calm and I felt settled.
Mostly I just feel so very thankful that I have been able to discover that a life without alcohol is totally possible. Nothing is less fun, ever, if you do it sober.
Sorry about the smug tones in this post but I just had to share.
Love, Mrs D xxx