Monday, May 1, 2017

The Gift of Desperation...

It's 3am on Tuesday the 6th of September 2011. I am sitting on the toilet in the depths of despair. I am suffering the physical ill-effects of drinking copious amounts of wine the night before, and I am suffering the emotional ill-effects of living for years with a heavy and progressive drinking problem.

At this very moment, with my pants down and tears rolling down my cheeks, I make a decision that will dramatically alter the course of my life. I decide to quit drinking alcohol forever.

That utterly wretched moment - me on the toilet with my self-esteem and self-worth severely diminished - delivered me a powerful point with which to make a change.  A rock on which to build a new foundation.

They call this the gift of desperation. From my worst moment something beautiful grew.

Would I have ever made the dramatic decision to not touch alcohol ever again if I hadn't reached that low point? Maybe if we lived in a different world. A world where it's not such a big deal to never touch alcohol. A world where LOADS of people live sober. Wouldn't that be lovely....!

But sadly this is not the case. In my current environment it is dramatic (to say the least) to choose a lifestyle so at odds with the norm. To choose to always be in the minority at parties and events. To choose to say 'not for me thanks' every time booze is on offer. To choose to never touch alcohol ever despite knowing there is going to be so much emotional pain and hurt coming along that will be hell to deal with.

Making the big dramatic choice to live sober was made simpler for me because of the miserable, low place my drinking took me to. Because of my desperation. This is the gift of desperation.

I call to mind often the feeling I had toward the end of my drinking days - and particularly that last day/night - and it helps remind me why I quit. I will never let myself forget.

As unlikely as it sounds I am profoundly grateful for that awful 3am moment back in 2011 - my shittiest, lowest, most miserable point. Because it truly was a gift, one that I will always be thankful for.

Love, Mrs D xxx


  1. I'm finally just plain sick and tired of being sick, tired, sad, lost... another reminder. It's time! Thx ����

  2. Aren't we lucky to have reached the gift of desperation and decided to live instead of die because of it. For some of us the point came when we had lost so much more but at least it was 'got'.

  3. I love this post!!
    It was so true for me.
    Ugh, and I shutter at those days now.

  4. Lovely post,you're a good writer.
    I'm loving my alcohol free life,it's precious.
    Have a wonderful week Mrs D.

  5. Thanks so much Mrs D - almost 6 months and the despair and desperation are the midst of my days over the past month or two.
    Dealing with the real you after all these years can be a savage affront!
    thanks for the post :)

  6. Ok, just so you know....on my reader feed just the first snippet of this post came up. At first glance I thought you had relapsed and were suffering the devastation of that.....I was quickly on my way over to comfort and soothe....I am in Alanon after all LOL....then I read the date. I am so happy that you have found this new life of sobriety and so grateful that you share your journey with all of us.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing your story through your blog and book. I have been tearing through both, and it has given me so much courage. I am a wife and mother with a poorly "controlled" drinking problem, and it took years for me to realize that I wasn't gaining anything from alcohol. Reading your story has helped tremendously. It has particularly helped me with not minimizing the issues alcohol caused me, because our stories are similar. You have encouraged me to document my own story so I can work out my feelings and have something to refer back to in those moments when I question whether I really need to abstain from alcohol!

  8. I am crying now reading this. I wanna stop NOW . I been drinking everyday this year smh my last 1 was this morning. Im scared to get old cus I think i will have problems due to drinking smh im only 26 but i drink like an old man. My daughter even know what beer and alcohol is and shes only 3. Before reading I just prayed to God crying to help me. I need help. I dont wanna ruin the good relationship im in or have my child embarrassed to be her mother. Im so naive I'll pick her up from school drunk knowing i reek but still do it smh i can imagine what they say about me. I just wanna slowing down. Stop! I cant even walk past a deli without feeling the urge. I just wanna be normal and live a healthy life

  9. Great to hear you on Newstalk ZB today.l have not had a drink for 4 months now and thinking don't fall back into that dark spot. Thank you I am determined to stay drink free for life now.