Sunday, June 30, 2013

Every day it's 5 o'clock...

I think it was after I started having kids (8 1/2 years ago) that my drinking habit started becoming really entrenched. I mean I was already an enthusiastic boozer prior to that don't get me wrong.. but it was after kids that it my habit really started bedding in.

Pre-kids I can remember a time when I realised that I was buying a bottle of red wine every day on the way home from work .. so for a while I decided that  it would be more cost effective for me to buy boxes of 12 bottles at a time instead. That little routine didn't last for long because having a box of red wine in the hall cupboard was just an invitation for me to consume more, so I stopped with the boxes and kept myself to the habit of buying during the day what I was going to drink that night.

Then the kids came along and the habit became even more habitual and steady.. still within the realms of normality but once you take a good hard look pretty bloody steady and heavy and just lots and lots of wine. Right toward the end of my drinking I'd often run out of my daily allowance and head out to buy more.. at 7pm ..

The problem with being a boozy housewife is that every day it's 5 o'clock and when you're stuck at home with kids all day that 5pm point is the point at which you say 'it's my time now' or 'I'm still connected to the adult world' and glug glug glug. I'd often think of old workmates heading to the bar after work and imagine that me at home with my wines was just an extension of that.

One of the other issues with my drinking was that for any event to be considered 'fun' it had to be equated with alcohol. I gave alcohol all the power to make any night out cool. A wedding was just an excuse to get more hammered and that's why it was so special. A dinner party at home meant get the bubbles out and get lots of wine and get plastered. A disco party with the kids was just an excuse to drink more. A rare child-free night had to involve lots of booze.

I've written before about my child-free weekends spent blotto (here) and how tragic they were. Of course ditching the kids and heading to a hotel had to mean drinking more! than! usual!

But not now, obviously, not last night. Last night new sober me and Mr D had a night in a hotel - yes! Thanks to my lovely sister and brother-in-law who took our three boys for the night we have just returned from lushing out for 22 hours. Bathrobes, room service, a movie (Skyfall - not great but good enough), harbour view, books, lots of Words With Friends on the iPhone (my new obsession), lovely chats with my hubby, a magnificent sleep, and not a drop of alcohol. Not a single solitary drop. It wasn't needed, it wasn't wanted, it wouldn't have made anything better or more special and certainly not more restful. I know it's boring that I keep repeating how pleased I am to have removed booze and to have discovered how unnecessary it is to have a good time.. but it's true. So so so pleased and grateful.

And now to end here is a photo of my breakfast tray!!!!

A breakfast that I enjoyed hangover free. Bliss.

Love, Mrs D xxx


  1. Your date night sounds great! As does the fact you'll be able to be a sober parent for your kids. i try not to regret starting sobriety so late (my kids were 16 & 14 when i hit bottom) but the 'sober' part of my brain tells me sobriety wouldn't have stuck if i'd tried it a minute earlier...and as a sober parent i'm very present for my kids now.

  2. That sounds swooning, Mrs. D! I totally understand that buying in bulk idea...ha ha. But yes, if there was a case there, I would do my best to go through that case. I understand that completely. And wow, what a difference it makes now, eh? Free of booze and free of the shame and headaches and heartaches and all that stuff, and like Al said, being present for the children. Amazing.

    Thanks for the wonderful reminder :)


  3. 423 days sober for me and loving every minute of it

  4. My drinking increased after having kids as well...that seems to be a common theme for a lot of us. It's odd, because that is the opposite of what people expect. That mental escape is easy to fall in love with when your job is 24/7 though. Me not being able to get vodka by the gallon any more should have been a big wake up call...but noooo, just went to buying a small bottle so I could somewhat control myself.

  5. Hi, Mrs. D.

    Congratulations on being such an awesome blogger! I found your blog on a blogroll, can't remember where.

    Today is day 43 for me. I liked your writing so much that I decided to start from the beginning. I look forward to the day when I stop COUNTING how many days I haven't gulped 5-6 six glasses of wine in a three-hour period.

    I was a red wine drinker like you -- I consumed about a bottle of red wine (cheap $10 stuff) every night with dinner, then fell into (passed out really) a stupor by 7:30 where I would sprawl like a beached whale on the couch and wake up three or four hours later with dehydrated mouth, nasal congestion, pounding headache, feeling like crap. I would down two aspirin and then go back to bed. I carried on like this for about 10 years, with very few periods of abstinence -- two days here, a weekend there, but mostly I was pretty steady with popping the cork.

    I was so sick of drinking and found it nearly impossible to quit, so obsessed I was.

    Believe it or not, I can run a marathon, and for the last marathon, I decided to give up the red wine for two weeks before the race to see if it would help my performance. It didn't, but the main thing was that as soon as I got those two weeks, I said, "let's try a month," and so on. It's day 43 now. I want to give up this poison for good. I like the way NOT drinking makes me feel -- no guilt, no self-flagellation, no paranoia that people think I'm a "drinker." Who knew?
    Plus, I've lost about 6 pounds since I've stopped drinking.

    I have a couple of challenges coming up -- an out of town guest that I used to drink with. Ugh, not looking forward to that, as he will expect nights out on the town guzzling pitchers of margaritas until our eyes glaze over, slurring our words, and fall down.

    Anyway, I'm babbling. I'm finding strength, comfort, and some humor in your writing, and it's been a help the last few days where I have REALLY WANTED to have just "one" glass of red wine with my "preciously" cooked gourmet dinner. I know I'm romanticizing. I paid dearly for those perceived moments of wine bliss.

  6. HI Mrs D...I am wayyyyy behind. But you know I refuse to miss one word you write so I will chip away at your posts one by one! Life has been busy here and I am still wondering how I managed to get through my busy life when I was drinking! You hit the nail on the head here that so many special events always have an alcohol link. That has been the most challenging part for me to create my 'new normal' of finding the fun in these events without the alcohol. Its getting more normal to me that I am one YEAR and 17days sober! Woo hoo!