Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A journey home

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


  1. I didn't see it as smug - I saw it as confident. And inspiring. And the tone of happiness oozes out of your words. Here is my favorite sentence: "Nothing is less fun, ever, if you do it sober." I think that most everyone who is new at this has that same fear. That things won't be fun. That WE won't be fun. My only experiences so far have really been family related, and thankfully I HAVE felt like I was fun. Being in a situation like you were in - well - I'm not really ready yet - but I will remember the vivaciousness of your post when I get there and I will be "UN-FUCKING BELIEVABLY" FUN. ;)

  2. i don't get any smugness here, just pride in a job well done. some days suck, but most days are WAAAY better than when we were drinking. i sometimes say to myself (or out loud): "I am a genius" ... of course it's self-satisfying and ridiculous. but it's also true. well, *some* days it's true. and we celebrate our successes OUT LOUD so that we can remember them better next time we need to dig a bit...

  3. No smugness Mrs. D...just you and your feelings and they are amazing! I know that exact feeling and nothing compares to it...EVER.

    As I always say, my worst day sober is still much better than my best day drunk.

  4. Yep. This is what life can be. If I want to get morose about it, I can regret that it took me so long to realize it. But the other side is that I'm still relatively young, and look at all the joy and peace and love I've had in only one year. If every year is as full of life as this one has been, I will consider myself a lucky, lucky man.

  5. I don't think you could sound smug if you tried. I can't tell you how many favorite earrings I lost that way. Isn't it funny how we didn't realize what was causing all that pain back then? Or maybe we kind of knew, but didn't think taking it away would make anything better. Great hopeful post here, another fun read.

  6. "doesn't actually give you anything you don't have already in front of you." This made my blood run cold with realization. You are SO RIGHT.

  7. a life without alcohol is totally possible :) i like that phrase. not only possible, but it's better. i can't believe it's better. who knew? and yet here we are. sober and happy about it (most days!).

  8. This lovely post reminded me that when we sober up we stop doing the things that hammer our self-esteem and gradually that healthy balanced outlook comes back, along with the confidence and savvy to work on issues and further build self-worth.

  9. This post is so ace. Same conditions as last year, yet you have a completely different perspective and life now.
    Being free of the cycle of horror created by booze is UN-FUCKING-BELIEVABLE.
    Lovely to read.
    Imogen xo

  10. That's fantastic Mrs D, thanks for sharing it.

  11. "Same blueprint, same holiday. Same friends, same holiday park. Different me."

    Loved this whole post Mrs D!!

  12. i'm so happy for you! Wow, what a great post. It even made me guy cry a little!

  13. "Same blueprint, same holiday. Same friends, same holiday park. Different me." - this gave me chills thinking, hmmm, that could me. Different. Better.

  14. I have never written to a blog, but yours I relate to more than I would care to have ever admitted previously. I too drinking since I was 15 now 46 always telling myself it made me happy, or a coping mechanism when I was sad, angry,lonely or to outdrink the army boys. I tried recently to give up when I spiralled out of control, drinking so much I collapsed.I told my husband, my friends that's it. He provided no encouragement instead the 2nd I got uptight handed me a beer?I've asked for his help, but he's probably now in the same category as me.An alcoholic. I will start again today! I hope it gets easier.The longest I have gone is 7 days.

  15. Rah!!!! Rah! So happy for you.