Thursday, 3 November 2016

Why I Need Total Sobriety

As I indicated in yesterday's post, my life has dramatically improved coinciding with my drastic reduction in my alcohol consumption.  No more sleepless nights, heart palpitations, better skin and less guilt and remorse.

I felt that the 'monkey' was finally off my back.  My pattern was a glass of wine or a beer on tap about once a week randomly timed... often not on a Friday night but whenever I felt I really wanted one.  Sounds reasonable, doesn't it?

Last Saturday we had people from my French hubby's past for dinner.  They did not speak English and were now business associates as well.  A little stress was felt by me as these women are chic, have big jobs and know each other quite well.  My French is rusty to say the least.  Within the first hour of their visit, I drank two hefty martinis made with vodka and vermouth and a splash of olive juice.  I did not feel drunk at this point or any point in the evening (that should have been my first clue).  I proceeded to cook, serve and partake of a delicious roast beef dinner.  I had two glasses of red wine.  A good time was had by all.  No repercussions or so it seemed.

Fast forward to Hallowe'en Monday.  I am invited to my son's place where all the little ones were dressed in their costumes.  All five of my grandkids, my kids and their partners and a couple of my son's friend's young families were in the house along with my alcoholic ex... (TRIGGER!!)

The kids were excitingly getting their costumes on and running around as tykes do.  I was offered a glass of wine and contrary to what my heart and head were urging me to do, accepted.  My ex arrived with a 2 litre bottle of red which he cracked open and proceeded to empty.  Most of the others weren't drinking for various reasons.  My daughter and DIL are both pregnant, my eldest son and SIL don't drink much at all and my youngest son who likes his booze a little too much was painfully abstaining in support of his pregnant wife and because it was appropriate behaviour on Hallowe'en night.

The reason I am quitting (again) is not because I drank that evening.  It's because I actually HID my glass of wine behind a table lamp and only took sips when I thought no one was looking.  For the record, I had two small glasses.  I was so uncomfortable with my choice to drink in front of my family (some of whom were struggling with their own propensity to over-indulge) that, rather than honour my own values, I made the decision somewhere within myself to drink secretly.

My plan worked.  No one noticed I was drinking except the DIL who had offered the wine and was, herself secretly drinking in the kitchen.

What kind of an example was I to her and everyone else in that room; my grandkids included.  They may not have noticed it then but, eventually, if I continue with this line of behaviour, they will.

That, my friends, hammers home the truth that moderation does not work.

Day 2


  1. "Normal" drinkers think that we quit because we drink too much. But although we are usually drinking far too much - it's not the quantity that is important. It's HOW and WHY we drink. I quit because I was drinking alone, in secret, and to numb out stress. I totally get where you are. I was in the same place, no more lessons to learn, no more rationalizing to be done. Just. Stop. Hugs xxx.