Monday, 24 November 2014

Day 51 - Snapshots

I wonder how much of our lives we actually share with other people. I wonder if the snapshot they see of us is anything like the way we see ourselves. I also wonder, like yesterday when I spent the day with two of my favourite people, if I see what they think I see.

Nonsensical - probably but I'll explain. I see a happy couple very much in love, great friends, confidants and a pair who live life to the max.  We usually get together and have boozy weekends. How we laugh. These two don't have a drinking problem like I did. They just have fun.  They don't worry. They don't booze.

My friend is currently making a cartwheeling round Scotland calender for her mothers next birthday. My friends passion for life is infectious, but even on this one I had to say, erm, what? What are you doing you insane girl?

'Well you see, she can't cartwheel anymore and she doesn't get about much, so I thought what a great idea'.

Great idea indeed. The abundance with which some folks live their lives is mind blowing and infectious. We meet up for lunch, we walk (we cartwheel (?)) and we chat and chat and chat. The kind of 'how are you's' that are really asking rather than 'air kissing'.  We exchange news good and bad. We swap photos. Its six months since we've sat in the flesh together.  They invited me for a weekend to stay, a wee while back. In my new sober life, I declined nicely, I didn't think I could stay and be sober.

We walk more, 6 miles in total. The light is going we retreat for a cuppa and cake before we part.

We talk merrily for hours laughing like beasts. I don't share my sober stuff. No one really knows I drank, well that's my opinion anyway although we've spent some seriously boozy weekends together. But, this lass knows that I'm easily pulled out of a hedge when falling into it drunk, she recused me one xmas on the way home from the works party. We've been firm friends ever since. Although to be fair we bonded way before the hedge incident.

The chat turns to Xmas plans as it inevitably does at this time of year. We're all at home, we make plans for a walk between the holidays.

'Now you mind out for hedges this Xmas' she says grinning 'You know how they like to attack you!!'. 

The perfect opportunity presents itself in safe surroundings, to mumble.

'Ha bloody ha, well, dearie I've not had any wine for weeks and weeks and weeks, I'll have you know'.

It turns out, you know what, neither had they. SHOCKER.

'HA! US TOO! We didn't want you to think we'd got boring. Why do you think I'm so skinny, we gave up 6 months ago! Drinking far too much, got far too boozy for far too long, got a bit worried. Life's too short to feel rotten and guess what, I've lost my wine belly!'. she retorts.

Not the cartwheeling it seems, this svelte new figure. Although we both agree cartwheeling with a hangover, isn't fun.

This pair could never be boring. Not in a million years. Sober or otherwise. But I'd never had them down as boozers.

That was a shock. Age, me dear gives those of us with a taste for wine to develop nasty headaches and hangovers. It puts the beef on us too. We worry about our health. All good reasons to give up we agree.

We carry on drinking tea. Like always. Laughing. Sober. I'm relieved in an odd way, and they say come and stay for supper next week. Stay over, we'll walk the next day.

You know what I think I will.

As we part, she laughs and says, 'Erm we'd brought this for you' - hand offers a bottle of red with a bow on it. 'Don't supposed you want it either?' - NO THANKS!

We laugh and she says she'll pop it into her neighbours, as they don't want it in their house either. Changed days.

So my small sober stuff is out there, in a small way. In real life, opportunities to share, or not share, present themselves. Making one step towards my first 100 days a bit easier.

Of course they don't know the extent of my drinking, I had no clue about theirs really. How could we, we don't have X-ray vision. We usually wore our wine-goggles.

They're doing it together. That made me think. My husband know's I've given up for a bit but not the extent of my own story. How can I ever say, you know these 12 years you've known me. Well I've been utterly minced for most of the nights. Like rat-arsed. Yes really. Did he know, I don't think so. 

Only last night when I said, no wine this weekend, he told me, I don't think you have to stop forever you know, a glass of wine to relax is OK you know but if you're feeling better for it then great. Its not like your wine is like my crisps (they sing to him from the cupboards, sound familiar?). I say nothing, or make a joke about sometimes the wine sings but its a lousy tune.

Goes off to ponder that one. Can you really recover in private, knowing that you might take a drink and launch yourself down a rollercoaster of despair. If your loved one doesn't know to say 'Please don't' or in Bea's case today 'NO!' how can they properly support you? When you feel weak.  

So it got me thinking again and again. Can you truly celebrate sobriety privately from those closest to you?

I don't know. Not long term I guess, in the short term, you just do what you can to get by each day. That's all I have.

All I know is that the lies and the hiding what I was drinking, for now, is behind me. Oh the lies. EPIC lies. But they're not in my life any more.

Sober for now and still bending the truth about that one to most folks, including my husband, is probably where I am about that. It maybe aint right, but that's the snapshot, for now.

Small steps forward, that's all I can do. And, open up about it all when I feel safe enough to. One day people, one day.


  1. opening up when you feel safe sounds like a good plan to me. I was like a creaking cupboard with my husband. craaaaak.....craaaaaaaak....teeny bit at a time......still some skeletons in there. not sure they ALL need to come out. but as much as they need to see to understand we have a problem, so they can help us, maybe?

    haven't cartwheeled myself since I tried after child no 2 (postapartum delusions of fitness) and pulled an Achilles tendon. but did a handstand a couple of months ago in a field. felt bloody marvellous (though probably looked like a heifer with St Vitus Dance). handstands when no-one is watching is the way forward! loved the to-do list you linked to on your last post, btw :) xx

    1. Hey that made laugh, I'm sure you don't look like a heifer. Slowly slowly eh.

      The last post more of a revelation than a list! xx

  2. Your story about talking to your friend and oops, you're both sober these days but haven't told each other yet--how lovely!

    It sounds like you're doing great. For me I did tell my partner pretty early on what I was up to with this, and he's been able to be a huge help to me, but I was slow with the specific details even with him, and I've been careful who I tell when. I think it's a balance between getting support and feeling exposed, and we all negotiate that differently. I think your small steps seem just grand! xo

    1. I think you're right thirstystill thanks for posting.

      I think some days are good others are wracked with remorse and guilt.

      I worry I've damaged the kids.

      Sober chums, who knew! x I guess the time was right this weekend.

  3. great Post. it's amazing what shows up when we 'show up'. who would have thought. sound like great friends!
    enlist hubby's support as soon as you can, he is one of your biggest allies. but when you are ready of course.
    hugs from nz

    1. Happy Day 100! Honestly two of the nicest girls Ive ever met.

      Hubby's home tonight, can't wait to see him! x Be nice to talk to him again properly not over skype.

  4. I will say the same as to bea"
    Your hubby could be your closest ally. Honesty with him will be relieving.

    What I found was that as the year has gone by I have been more and more honest with hubby. From the start I said I thought I needed a long break, that my mind was consumed with quitting drinking., that I couldn't stop once I started.

    As we have been more and more honest I tell him abou the compulsion to drink and sometimes drinking in secret. He knew some. He just never felt able to say anything as he was drinki pretty hard himself.
    He does not understand my compulsive behaviour, but he knows a lot more as we go to AA together and are both sober.

    I love having him to sit with and joke about not being hungover.

    Friends are allies in this. I expect your friends were drinking a. Good deal more than you think. Regardless, it was enough to scare them into sobriety. They sound like perfect people to visit!

    Start with a small step with your husband. Honesty opens so many other doors!


    1. Sounds like a lovely pair you two are Anne. I've managed to be more open with him whilst he's been away. oddly the distance makes some things easier. And closeness is always the goal.

      My husband had addictive issues in the past, so i know when I open up he'll understand.

      Thanks for posting you brighten up every day. x

  5. Your friends sound delightfully awesome. And sober too...perfect. Deciding what and who and when to tell is a big issue. But we'll work it out, hey? And in the meantime, cartwheeling is the way forward. Also headstands and leapfrog :) And yes, small steps will get us there, my friend! Bea xxx

    1. Bea - it is isn't it. Cartwheeling, whilst rusty i'm glad to say I can hold my own. Splashing in puddles or in the sea also very high on my daily list of to do's! Small steps is the way forward indeed!

  6. Daisy,
    So love the cartwheels, never could manage a proper one, even sober! When and how much to tell are questions only you can answer, what does your heart tell you to do? I told my husband that I no longer wanted to drink about seven days in, he has been lovely, kind, and supportive. I did let him know slowly how much of an issue this is for me and now he fully gets it. I was ridiculously awesome at hiding my drinking, should have had an academy award for sure. I can't begin to tell you how wonderful it feels to be completely honest with my husband, it has made me feel free and lighter, not quite doing cartwheels yet but who knows?

    1. QD - hello my friend. My heart is telling me I know that unless I open up properly I'll always have an excuse to drink, as he's unaware of the real issue for me. The complusion, Wolfie. So I think at the back of my mind, its my get out of jail free card. Which of course its not its actually probably the worse card to hold, drink yourself silly card.

      One day, I'll be brave enough. I know I can't moderate. What's the atlernative dying? I don't want that either. Absitnence it is then.

      I'm glad you're close and you feel lighter and freer.

      Hugs and lots of them.


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