Friday, June 15, 2012

Turning a corner

I took my boys in to their new school to visit their classrooms today which was great.  Everyone was totally welcoming and the Deputy Principal who was taking us in went to great lengths to introduce me to the teachers and some of the parents as well.  One mum in my 5-year-old's class said to me 'I must get your email address because we have a class list and sometimes us parents get together for drinks of an evening.'

So there it was right there .. my reality. I am a new person meeting new people in a new city and there's this fact about me which could be seen as semi-embarrassing or shameful.

But you know what.  I honestly just cannot be bothered worrying what anyone is going to think.  I just can't waste the energy.  It is a bummer.  It's a fact.  It's part of me.  I'm an alcoholic and I no longer drink alcohol because I was finding it too hard to control.

And you know what else, I just can't be bothered fudging it either.  If people want to think whatever then let them think whatever.  I will be open I think and go along to any social gathering like a normal person (of course I am a normal person but you know what I mean!) and when the actual drinks-being-poured-into-a-glass moment comes I'll say 'no wine for me thanks I don't drink alcohol'.  And at that point I'll let the other person decide if they want to show a reaction or ask a question and if they do I'll just be up front and say 'I used to be a very enthusiastic wine drinker but I was finding it harder and harder to control so I've cut it out altogether.'

That is an over-simplification of all the emotional and intellectual work that I have been doing over the past couple of years to building up to stopping and then stopping and re-learning how to live without alcohol. But it is the truth!  And if that breezy answer makes the whole process I've been through seem more easy than it has been then that can be my lie.  If I make it breezy it won't be a drama, for me or for them.

On another note, I think I've turned a corner in terms of how I'm feeling with the house-sale and relocation and stuff.  I have been indulging in two naughty behaviors over the past few weeks to help me deal with the stress and strong emotions - shopping and being piggy.  But just in the last couple of days I've felt myself getting stronger again and pulling back from both (refrained from scoffing the last of my 2-year-old's chocolate chip muffin today and decided against buying a crafty rug online for the new family room).  I still feel sad and a bit flat... but I'm definitely starting to relax, and am sleeping through the night again for the first time in weeks.  Next step - find a gym to join and get exercising again!

Love, Mrs D xxx


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  2. Nice to hear from you Mrs D. Pleased the move is now settling down. I am starting to understand the issues of telling other people - and I am only 3 weeks non- drinking. But like you one has to start understanding boundaries and deciding what is your shit and what is other peoples'. I have been such a people pleaser all my life and have often drunk just to make others feel comfortable. This is the first time I am going against the grain - doing something that is for myself and that is not about fitting in. Who knows where this may lead and what an exciting journey it may lead me on? I know its early days but the biggest discovery for me is the lack of self loathing. Those morning after hangovers and the self loathing that went with them is over. So if its a choice between self loathing and other peoples' judgement, I know what I want to choose.

  3. YaY You Mrs D! If the only emotional crutches you've used in all this turmoil are a couple of extra muffins and dresses, then good for you!
    So pleased you're beginning to relax and enjoy your new place.
    I think, like you say, just go along to these gatherings and keep it simple (even though we know it isn't) . . . there might even be plenty of non-alcohol wines there, for those who are driving, slimming . . . pregnant. Recovering?
    They'll be blessed to have you as a friend x

  4. Good for you.........turning that corner rather nicely too! Yippee!
    Hopefully there will be a number of other "non drinkers" at these gatherings for you to socialise with too! You are awesome and doing a great job! :)

  5. I love your answer. I find myself so proud of my "non-drunking" status that I want to stop strangers on the street and tell them that I don't drink anymore, I have to remind myself that others still have misunderstandings and prejudices about my status. Poor unenlightened souls.

  6. So glad you are settling in and turning a corner. Hey, the "going out for drinks" thing freaked me out the first time I was invited out with a big group of moms. That first night, I drank diet coke in a glass and NO ONE made one comment or asked one question. There were about 15 of us, the conversation was lively, some of the moms even talked about "needing wine" or "getting drunk," and nobody changed their behavior on the account of me. No one seemed to notice, no one excluded me. It was a big, fat non-issue. I also noticed a few other moms who were not drinking an alcoholic beverage and a few who had the same stupid bottle of beer in front of them the whole time. No one cares. No one notices. No one gives a shit. I've been out with them since then and still, no questions, no comments.

    This is a good situation for you because no one knows your past and so they won't "miss" the old you. You get to start fresh!


  7. so glad you're feeling better. And yes, my answer for quite awhile has been, "I was drinking too much, so I quit." The funny thing is how often people tell me, "Me too!" and then order a drink explaining how much they have cut-down. haha...i think the word "quit" has a different meaning for some people.

    A really liberating thing for me to realize was how little other people care about whether or not I'm drinking--in fact when I broke the news to some old high school friends (we're all getting together next month) they their only reaction was happiness to have a designated driver for the weekend-haha!

  8. I'm glad things are settling down for you and starting to feel more normal. I persoanlly don't think "I don't drink" requires any more of an explanation than that. For me if I said I was having trouble controlling it, that would give someone else the okay to think less of me. Eff that!

  9. I agree Angela. Isn't it funny how if you say you have given up smoking everyone thinks you're great and supports you. Give up drinking and all the drinkers think YOU are the one with the problem. Funny old world.

  10. Love the hope and peace in this post. I've wondered how I'll explain my decision not to have that glass of wine in circles where drinking is the norm and no one knows my past, and so I might feel shame. I like your approach...sounds very reasonable and healthy to me. That's how I would sum up this sound like you're in a good, healthy place.

  11. Gosh... you are managing so well and are so aware, you really are a true inspiration!

    I'm glad to "hear" that you are starting to relax, take care dear D!

  12. Glad to hear the move has gone as well as these things can Mrs D.

    I have been on holiday, on a tour with a group of strangers. I ordered water or some sort of fruit juice on the drinking occasions. No-one ever commented.

    One of the events was a champagne breakfast. I gave my glass and refills to my husband. The people near me at the table saw this and just thought it was amusing.

    One woman mentioned she didn't drink alcohol at some point and I said 'me neither' and that was the end of the conversation about it. I didn't ask her why not as I didn't want to have the conversation.

    As others above have said, no-one notices and if they do they don't care.

  13. Hi Mrs. D
    Congrats on your successful sober move! I am potentially going to have to do the same with my family. It is overwhelming but I am starting to think it might be a great opportunity for me to start over without alcohol and without my core drinking group of fiends. I know I could go without providing the move went well for the kids. However,
    The first tear my 13 year old son shed and I start feeling guilty, will be my green light signal to go for that drink. Do you have any suggestions? Also, I noticed you had posted your email address have you taken this down are you not accepting emails? If you are still accepting emails can you repost your address? I would love to talk with you further,

    1. A few sad tears are nothing compared with all the deep hidden shit our kids would have if their mothers continue to be boozers - trust me! The move was bloody hard but the kids are fine now and the fact that I've stayed strong and sober throughout must have helped that. My email is