I'm not what I appear to be. I appear to be a happy, settled, middle class suburban mother of three. Happily married, in good health with a people mover, life insurance, successful relationships, a moderate interest in politics and an addiction to Reality TV.
I appear to have totally nailed this thing called life. I have the house, the car, the husband, the kids. Hell we've even got a cat.
But I have a sneaky secret and I'm locked in a private hell because I'm the only one who thinks it's a problem.
Wednesday is shopping day and I always buy two bottles of wine. They're gone by Thursday and the husband is lucky if he gets 3 glasses.
I make my decision at 10am the next day that I'm going to drink again that night. Wine is always on my mind.
The man selling alcohol down the road knows my name and asks me how my studies are going - he knows about my life. I hate that.
I attend a function and get a little too loud, a little too opinionated. I'm nervous and look at myself in the bathroom mirror knowing I'm drinking to much to cope. I drive home. I hate myself for doing that.
I roll my body over a swiss ball at the gym and my sick guts churn and my head throbs. I look at the ladies around me and wonder if anyone else is secretly hungover. I feel so miserable.
I'm conscious at home every time I take a big gulp of wine. Standing at the kitchen bench. Sitting on the sofa. Over and over and over and over and over and over again I gulp wine. I seem unable to ignore what I am doing. Can't anyone else see?
There are two voices in my head. One is telling me boozing is fun and I deserve it and I'm totally fine. The other is telling me it's not fun, I don't deserve it and I'm not totally fine.
I try to talk to my immediate loved ones. I try and write down every time I take a drink. I try to moderate. I have dry spells. But slowly and surely my drinking is getting worse. Heavier. Sloppier. Less fun. More miserable.
My personal hell is at it's blackest at 3am. I come to consciousness in my bed, my mouth is dry, my head is sore and my bladder is full. I walk miserably down the hall to the loo. I feel guilty. I regret. I just feel so unhappy.
Then one day, September 6, 2011, I'm sitting in my car at the intersection opposite Pac n Save with the indicator on to turn right. And the thought comes to me. I could just do it and stop right now. I could just fucking take that leap and remove alcohol from my life. And I do.
Love, Mrs D xxx