Thursday, March 29, 2012


What did I say about not getting to smug?  Yesterday Mr D bought wine home from work, first time for a while as he's had a heavy cold and hasn't been drinking much.  These bottles will last him at least a week it must be said.  But anyhow there they were clinking in the bag as he put them on the bench.

He poured a glass of Chardonnay and (this is going to sound cheesy) it was a sunny evening and the sun was shining through and across the kitchen bench and his glass was lit up all golden and inviting.  It was definitely the romantic picture of alcohol.  End of the day, happy mood, sun shining, nice rewarding wine.

I pushed through and worked my brain to remind myself this romantic picture of booze is not my reality of alcohol any more and never would be again. Also reminding myself that I could still have that same picture, (end of the day, happy mood, sun shining, nice rewarding drink) and the fact of it being alcoholic or not didn't detract from the scene.  I even stuck my nose in the glass to see what my reaction would be and the smell took me back to an unhappy place.  Oh my god I am so pleased to be past being constantly obsessed with wine, how much to get, drinking drinking drinking, the guilt, the obsession again.

But I did have an 'emotional tummy' (not sure how else to explain that) and that emotional tummy stayed with me right up until I got into bed to finish my book.

This is the book 'Unhooked: How to quit anything' by Dr Frederick Woolverton and Susan Shapiro which I've been really really enjoying.  He's quite a full on addiction therapist who doesn't believe in pussy-footing around people who are seriously hooked on a substance.  He's really blunt and gets really stuck in with practical and direct instructions for people who need help re-learning how to live without their crutch of choice.  He's got these really meaty case-studies (he says they're stories of past patients but I'm sure they're made up) to help illustrate the point he's making in each chapter.  Great reading for someone like me who is addicted to stories of recovery.

Anyhow one of his big recommendations to patients wanting to quit an addiction is to start writing every day.  Write your feelings, your food and drug intake, your plans, dreams, hopes, frustrations, favorite songs.  He says write write write, be honest and write.  Well yay! That's what I've been doing with this blog so chalk up one to me.

But then .. and this got me mad .. he says that quitting an addiction cold turkey by yourself is the most likely way to fail.  Gggggrrrrr, what??!!  What you say??!!  No way.  I felt a bit slapped by that, because that's what I'm doing.  I'm doing it alone with only the support of friends and family and this blog (and my lovely lovely blogging friends!), so am I doomed to fail??

NO!  No I'm not!!  I'll show him.  I'll show you all.  I am not touching alcohol ever again my whole life.  What do I have to fear except myself?  I trust myself.  I know I will stick by my resolution.

Ok a bit further along he says "It is my belief that you cannot successfully treat an addiction without confronting the deep, emotional issues that are giving rise to the substance abuse in the first place.  If you do not dig deeply enough into the roots of the behavior, you will either start using again, or you will switch vices sometimes without even realizing it."

Hhmm.  Ok.  Well, the truth is .... I'm not entirely sure why I drank so much wine.  Except to say I liked the way it made me feel, and the way it dulled emotions, and it was a habit that just went too far.  Is there more to uncover here?  Dunno.

Love, Mrs D xxx


  1. Great post Mrs. D! Blogging is a fantastic form of journaling and reading blogs and getting feedback/discussion on our posts is a good way to stay plugged in. Huge part of my recovery!


  2. I certainly have discovered there is more driving the need for relief and escape. As I venture deeper in, I crave less intensely. Safe venturing to you!

  3. Me, too. Me,too. Again. I think perhaps we are forging new roads in recovery by being some of the first to use the internet as our support group. My Co-writer told me to start writing a blog about my recovery way before I had actually started my recovery. I ignored him for years, I actually have a blog entitled, A Year Of Living Soberly" that I registered over 5 years ago. I never wrote a thing in it,I still haven't completed a year of living soberly. There have been times when I've been writing about things that I thought I was "over" that I have been overwhelmed with sadness and anger, maybe those are my "reasons I drink" but then again I started drinking way before those things happened and I always drank heavily.
    Oh well, I may never figure it out but I've figured out why I've stopped drinking and that is what is important.
    But sometimes I still get an emotional tummy ache too.

  4. Wow you sre strong . . . If I had a partner who was sat in the kitchen of an evening (kids in bed) smoking a "rewarding" bag of heroin . . . I'm not sure how well I would do. But I suppose that's the diference with alcohol being legal it's impossible to avoid it.
    I know you will stick with it too. 100%. These folk who write books aint always right. Good on you!

  5. I've read this in a lot of places, too. If you aren't working a program, you're not sober, you're just dry. I understand the value of a community that keeps you in check. I do envy people who genuinely share what programs like AA have done for them, I'm just not willing to go there. I think if you are not drinking...especially when hubby brings wine into the house, then you are being successful. If you are living your life the way you want to and you are happy/satisfied within--day in and day out, this is what matters. If you find yourself not fulfilled, then consider other options. Only you know what's best for you. You don't have the fog of active drinking in the way of making a decision. Keep up the good work.

  6. Well, you're not doing it alone in that the fellow bloggers online are real living people. We're rooting for you and here if you need extra support.

    If you found yourself sitting down every week with just-sober women or talking on the phone daily with women who had just got sober, you'd have even more reasons not to be seduced by the old allure of wine in a shaft of sunlight. In part because you'd be listening to many newly sober women failing and not staying sober, which is distressing and perplexing, but gives one an added reason to stay sober oneself.

    It took me a while before I began to understand in hindsight what I had been trying to escape, what made it hard for me to live with myself sober. He's right, but each one of us has to work that out for ourselves.

  7. I'm not sure about deep-seated issues underlying my addiction. My mom always told me that we had a family history of alcoholism, and I wonder if that's more to blame. That's not to say that I don't have issues NOW. Spending all of my 20s and half my 30s drinking so much has to have had an effect on my development and maturity, and I definitely have to focus on that stuff, but I feel like that was -caused by- the addiction, not the other way around. I mean, I got drunk for the first time at 14 after stealing booze from my dad's liquor cabinet: what deep seated issues did I have back then?

    And hooray for keeping strong! There was another box of wine in the fridge that my partner had from his birthday, which was over a week ago(!) (I mean, how can someone keep wine undrunk for over a week??). I barely even noticed until last night, but luckily he went over to a friend's house and brought it with him. Psychologically I'm fine, but there's physiological responses to having it there that I can't always figure out.

  8. YES! :-D Show him, us and the world - you CAN bloody DO IT!

    Stay strong mrs D, you will do amazingly well - I believe in you *hugs*

  9. thenoiseandhaste here: What a fantastic post! I do think there are are countless ways to get and stay sober. But as much as I don't want to admit it, I do agree with him that community is a big part of it.

    Which really sucks for me because I'm uncomfortable around people (which is only ego in reverse, i am told.) This is not to say that people *must* join AA or Harm's Reduction or any of those other groups if they want to stay sober. But talking face to face with SOMEONE who gets it has been the key for me. I don't know what I'd do without Carrots. (and i don't know how i'd have found Carrots if I hadn't gone to AA -- but that's just my solution.)

    As for confronting the deep, emotional issues, Carrots agrees with your guy on that score. Its a real pain in the ass, sometimes. And it's a long, life-long, process--which is frustrating when you're trying to change. It's hard being patient with yourself.

    After quitting the booze, I definitely substituted television. And here lately, I've been thinking a lot about whether or not I "use" food too. Its hard to be honest with myself about alcohol and stay ignorant about all these other vices. As each vice is tampered with, it fights back and reasserts itself and makes me feel uncertain and lousy and crazy. And maybe, I guess, the only way to move through those feelings WILL be to confront the deep emotional issues. But, it's not easy. Again, Carrots has been my only saving grace in this regard.

  10. So here's the thing Mrs. D - and I am going to be brutally honest here...but only as it applies to me - I thought the same exact thing you did.

    I became addicted (and still am) to recovery books because AA is still so much a "man's" world and I needed to hear about people like me. Women who were high functioning members of society who no one would ever know had a problem. Women who were able to get and stay sober and how they did it and how they felt and how they still feel. And it worked...for awhile.

    I got and stayed sober for two years. But then I started feeling like there had to be something more. There was something down deep that was unresolved and I had no way of resolving it. That's when I started going to AA.

    I'm still not convinced that AA is the answer but I AM convinced that community is. Here's the thing though - that community (in my opinion) can be the blogging world, or recovery books, or a therapist with group work or many, many things.

    My totally unsolicited advice to you would be to just keep going and just know you have to stay sober TODAY. Then see how you feel tomorrow and address that then.

    You remind me so much of me that I know you are going to be fine. Your honesty is going to pull you through whatever life brings your way.

    I will say that you need to have a chat with Mr. D. It's just not right that he brought that wine home and poured it and drank it in front of you AND left it in the fridge. Can't he drink something you didn't like so well?

    Love and hugs,

  11. My husband continued his non-alcoholic drinking after I stopped. Just as he carried on smoking after I stopped. So there is always wine in the house and I have continued buying it for him.

    I have a friend who is a social drinker and a few times she has waxed lyrical about her wine when we are out together. I find that quite hard. She knows I have stopped and why but doesn't 'get' it. I don't mind her having a glass or two, it's just listening to how nice it is that is hard.

    I get pangs quite a lot just as you described but thankfully they do not trigger the obsession/compulsion now. When they start getting bad I know I have to get to more meetings, do more AA....

    I feel that I can't expect the normal world to organise itself around me. But I confess I do feel some resentment sometimes that I have to exercise this constant vigilance. But so do people with other illnesses, diabetics for example.

    AA teaches that alcoholism is both a physical allergy and a mental, emotional and spiritual illness, and these aspects have to be tackled in recovery. Otherwise not only is there a high risk of relapse but also while we may not be drinking we can be in a state called a 'dry drunk'.

    With hindsight I spent a lot of my life in a 'dry drunk' including as a child, with no inkling I was ill.

    Likewise a child bought up in a family with a history of alcoholism is likely to be affected by the disease, whether or not they become alcoholic, and the Al-Anon programme and literature deals in depth with these things.

    But everyone has to find their own way out, and for some it may well be that putting down the drink is all that is needed.

  12. You're not alone, Mrs D... You've got us! Keep strong, you know you can do it :DDD

  13. Let me jump into this debate...discussion. I was sober for 13 years without community support and it worked fine -- until it didn't. There is a book called "There's More to Quitting Drinking Than Quitting Drinking" and I agree with that sentiment. The drinking is a symptom of an underlying issue, or in my case, issues. Nine months later with a sponsor and a community dedicated to sobriety, much, much more has been revealed. And I expect more will continue to be revealed. So, this journey has been different and I am changing from the inside out. Thirteen years of sobriety was exactly that -- sobriety. There is more to be discovered if you care to venture out there. Just a thought.

  14. You CAN do this! Think of this online world as a team and we are all in this together. Atleast, that helps me...and also trusting in myself, as you said, and writing down why I am doing this. I have gone to meetings, enjoy them and it definitely adds more support week to week. I've heard that if you attend AA regularly it becomes your second family....but, just wanted to let you know you are not alone. congrats on coming so far!

  15. You are amazing and like everyone else, I am in awe of your strength to be around wine and remain loyal to what's right for you! I agree also, though, with many of the comments about the community with others. Blogging is great but oh my there are WONDERFUL things to hear in meetings! After my first two years of sobriety, which was fueled mainly by recovery literature, it became super clear I needed something more. I am not as consistent as I perhaps should be, but I do love the addition of meetings inot my recovery life. Why not try it for a while? You can always stop going if you find it tedious! Much love, Lulu

  16. Everyone is different and you are proving that not everyone has to go into rehab and AA mtgs. We all chose to put the glass to our mouths and now we choose not to. Pretty powerful and even if you do rehab and AA, you still are doing it alone. Its still up to you to decide to drink or not. I love that I have my 'online AA' right here!!! We can do this! We are doing it!!! Yay us! And beyond that I have thought often of why I drank...stress relief from my hectic life and swirling thoughts. It was an escape but now I choose to just keep my life in order because when drinking things were more chaotic.