Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Making the decision

My sister told me on the phone last night that I was good at making decisions. She was referring to my method of Christmas shopping (fast, no list) compared to hers (lots of forethought and list making). 'I don't find it too much of a stress' I said and she replied 'that's because you're a good decision maker' .. or words to that effect.

I don't know if I am a 'good' decision maker (how do you judge that?) but I'm certainly not afraid to make decisions. In fact I LOVE making decisions.. especially big ones. I think it's always given me a sense of power over my own life and the world in general. I am here! Watch me make my own decisions!

It's such a part of my character that my mum mentioned it in her speech at our wedding. Her exact words (just checked it on the DVD) were "she arrived in the world ready to party, ready to make choices, ready to make decisions".

Ready to party. Well yeah.. we know all about that. Me always chasing the fun! (glug glug glug). Me always looking for things to be upbeat! (glug, glug, glug). Me the good-fun-time-girl! (glug, glug, glug). Me the avoider of uncomfortable and tough emotions (glug, glug, glug).

But then me the party girl starts morphing into me the alcoholic who has no control over her drinking, so suddenly me the decision maker needs to take charge. And make the RIGHT decision, FIRMLY.

I think back to that moment in my kitchen the morning after my last binge. That morning when I was so hungover and so guilty for hiding how much I'd been drinking from Mr D. I was so deeply miserable and felt so stuck and alone in my crazy boozy nightmare, so very desperate for things to change.

It was my personal rock bottom, that morning. And standing there in my dressing gown I made a decision. A firm decision to remove alcohol completely from my life forever. I never did one day at a time. I did "I am now a non-drinker".

And by the way it's not like the decision was made on the spur of the moment - I'd done my research. I'd boozed like a demon for 20 years and spent the last good three or four of those trying desperately to moderate my intake. I knew I was an enthusiastic boozer. I also knew that I could not control the amount I drank.

It was the biggest, scariest decision I have ever made in my life. But while on the one hand it felt utterly  monumental and far-fetched, on the other hand it felt exciting and daring. I think from that day (820 days ago) till now I've had this stubborn drive to prove to myself and the world that when I make a decision I stick to it. And I will.

Because really, if you think about it, within all of the swirling complexities that impact on our lives, some things can come down to one simple choice. "I'm taking the alcohol away."

That much we can control.

Love, Mrs D xxx


  1. Powerful post Mrs D. Quitting drinking forever was the toughest thing I've ever done in my life. But I am so grateful I made that simple but life-saving decision. I can't think of a single thing that would make me want to drink again... not even the line up of Christmas parties on the calendar. I'm actually really looking forward to being the clear-headed happy one who goes home at a decent hour, doesn't disgrace herself, and wakes up the next morning looking and feeling fantastic!! XX

    1. Driving home from parties and sleeping like a baby and waking up early, refreshed and ready to start the day IS THE BEST THING EVER!

      That, I'm proud to say, I'm addicted to.


  2. I couldn't make the decision for "the rest of my life" - that was a step too far for me. Actually at the time I went to rehab I still thought I could learn to drink normally AGAIN... only problem was as I worked on my stuff there I realised I'd never drunk normally anyway! I don't do normal drinking. Today I'm more confident that I will never drink again than that I will drink again but say my wife was to say "You can only stay with me if you promise solemnly to never drink again" I'd have to say that I can't make that promise I'm not 100% sure on that. The deal I have, and have always had since coming back from rehab, is that if I do pick up a drink again I go straight away. That actually is a driver to help me stay on the straight and narrow as I know in the early days when drink was still very appealing I'd think "So do I go home and clear out then go drinking or go drinking and then clear out" That was enough of a thought for me then go "Hang on this is nonsense - you don't want to start drinking again" and some form of wobbly balance was restored.

  3. I swear that we're sisters sometimes...I am the exact same way. I make decisions fast and I stick with them. No matter how it turns out, it was the right decision for me at the time.

    AND I quit the same way (although in the back of my mind I did think that day...). One morning (after a lot of shit) I decided it was over. And it was.

    Thank GOD!


  4. I, too, have always been quite decisive (ie stubborn!) but somehow the alcohol thing has been tricky. It's like I want to hold onto that escape hatch in case things get too bad. This is a great post and food for lots of thought :)

  5. Yes, once I filled my toolbox with necessary pieces of "help," I stated - "no more alcohol in my life." That decision took all of the stress away. Great post Mrs. D!

  6. I know what you mean by 'excited' about your decision. I felt quite 'smug' with myself when I realised that I have the right to say no to alcohol! Thank you for posting :)

  7. Oh so true Mrs D. Another resolute decision maker here - as a friend of mine said to me a few days ago 'when you set your mind to do something, watch out'. It helps as it removes any indecision or excuses to backtrack ;)

  8. This is exactly what people mean when they say that addicts need to want to get better. You make a decision to get better and you stick with it. You've done a great job of sticking with it, Mrs. D!

  9. Well done Mrs D. You are an inspiration to the world.