Thursday, December 8, 2011

I am an I?

Hi, my name is Mrs D and I am a ... *coughs*.. um .. hi.  I'm Mrs D and... um ... huh.. *clears throat*.. sorry, lets try that again.  Hi.  I'm Mrs D.  And I. Am. A ... ... ... dysfunctional drinker.

I've never called myself an alcoholic.  Am I one?  I like to call myself a dysfunctional drinker.  A boozer.  A enthusiastic wine-drinker.  But alcoholic, no.  Semantics?  Probably.  But still.  I don't want to call myself an alcoholic.  For one thing I think it provides too blunt a label, or at least one that I'm not comfortable with.  But also .. well .. I dunno .. I'm embarrassed to say that I am one.  It conjours up images of derelict losers and I'm not one of "them".  You know the type.  Those winos in the gutter. Those smelly ladies with filthy clothes and unkempt hair I see in my supermarket with trollys filled with big casks of wine.

I mean, I never drank cask wine! Admittedly my bottles were only worth about $10 but, you know, there was glass involved.  No cardboard round here.  And I wasn't a stumbling drunk out on the streets creating a scene.  Ok so there was that one time I sort of stumbled in front of my inlaws while holding my 6 year old and sort of dropped him a bit .. but I don't think they all knew how much wine I'd poured into myself that evening.  Oh and there's those favourite earrings that I lost during almighty binges (still think they might have gone down the drain, there was vomiting involved).  So that's all pretty sloppy behaviour.  Me as a derelict loser, yeah.

Trying to read Allen Carr's 'The Easy Way to Stop Drinking', finding it rather intense but will persevere in the interests of keeping my brain alert to the perils of alcohol (my sly wine-drinking fox is still lurking in the back recesses of my brain I'm sure of it). Anyway he says the definition of an alcoholic is someone who has lost control over their intake.

Well I had definately lost control over my intake.  I think I lost it back in the late 80's actually.  But sorry Allen I'm not ready to own that label yet.

Love, Mrs D xxx


  1. Allen Carr's 'Easy Way to Stop Smoking' helped me give up a heavy smoking habit. The alcohol version didn't really do it for me. I know he was a smoker, but I'm not sure he was an alcoholic. My experience is that the smoking addiction is quite different from alcoholism.

    I believe smoking is just a physical addiction. Alcoholism is a disease of the body, mind and spirit of which the actual drinking is just one part.

    For me only the experience of other alcoholics made any impression. I could relate to them. People who aren't really alcoholics just don't know what is is like and their advice, although well meaning is useless to someone like me.

    Until I really admitted to myself that I was/am an alcoholic I couldn't give up. And if I had managed to give up without that admission I could have remained in denial, secretly convincing myself that I wasn't really. Just had to cut down a bit....etc, etc. Really just setting myself up for a relapse.

    Great writing Mrs D, I do so identify with so much that you write.

  2. Allen Carr's drinking thing is about being dehydrated, from the way I read it. He says alcohol makes you dehydrated, which makes you thirsty, which makes you drink more...
    Anyway, I think it was a tv show but my wife and I used to joke about the "shame cycle" and how we were being dragged into it.
    Be an alcoholic, that's just what we are, it's a badge of honour to say you do things 'thoroughly and to exhaustion' in a way.
    It's sort of revolting to accept you have a label that you have always reviled, but we are much more than just one label, I have about six - depending on who you ask...

  3. Hi sis, I love reading your blog and think alcoholic or not, I'll be looking forward to drinking ginger beer with you all summer (ok, me due to being pregnant but still good to have a fellow teetotaller). I too can't wait to snuggle into bed with a good book and wake up with no hangover.
    Very proud of you Mrs D. xxx

  4. I quite smoking because of vanity. I didn't want to look wrinkly when I was older. So shame, vanity, use whatever works to motivate you. Best wishes.

  5. Labels only hold the weight you allow them to. In the beginning I couldn't handle the alcoholic label but once I was defeated I could. Simply because I began to see how it fit. For me the label means alot less than the need for the spiritual and mental growth I've gotten.

    Don't label yourself if you don't want to but don't allow the lack of a label to grey that line in the sand you've drawn.

  6. You said it so more eloquently than I...Thanks.