That's a statement isn't it.
It kinda blindsided me. I think I was compliant and let Wolfie whisper to me and let me think that somehow I was different. This morning I woke up and thought, thank god that was a dream. But, seconds later my brain told me, it wasn't. I drank. There's a wine bottle in my kitchen under a bag waiting for the recycling hidden.
I opened up my email and Lucy's post today on The spiral of Shame, spoke to me so profoundly I've been mulling this all morning. I've also listened to the links she posted up as I too love Brene Brown. Pop over and watch them, please do make time.
Lucy's post is here
I can't thank her enough for posting today. I'm not going to disappear in a shame spiral, I'm using this as a learning event and a lesson to myself not to take my sober life so smuggly. Although I don't think I do. I guess I let my guard down and Wolfie went for my throat. Was I complacent? Look at all the crap I've been through this past month and WOOP WOOP no booze. Bugger. That's now not true.
Here's what happened. Yesterday was my birthday. I've been a bit flat with everything that had happened and decided that for my birthday I'd go to my SMART meeting, as I get so much from it and it was a GREAT meeting. Sadly next week I'll have to share that I had a 'lapse' but I'm telling you all RIGHT NOW that it was just that, a momentary lapse. I've learnt from last night and I'm taking the positives from it.
So I'd had a long day, got home late and had been sharing a lot of the past weeks happenings with a lovely chum. The conversation itself was helpful, the subject a bit triggery. I was aware I was triggersome but not too concerned.
We (husband and I) went out to dinner and I talked a bit more about the hurtful things someone in my life had said about our miscarriages the previous week. So clearly still on my mind. Although none of this is an excuse.
We sat in a lovely vibrant new restaurant and pondered drinks. They do cocktails, no mocktails though and the drinks were a bit dull. (Again no excuse) Out of my mouth came the words, 'I fancy a glass of wine, and it is my birthday. Just one, that won't hurt.' In my head drinking one glass of wine before a meal pondering the menu is one thing I can put my hand on my heart and say I miss.
So I ordered one, and I made it large.
Oddly my husband said nothing at all, except it was nice to see me relaxed enough to have a glass of wine and not worry about it all. Sometimes I think he's kind, sometimes I think I don't share enough, sometimes I don't share enough so he can't get it.
For a while, I don't drink it, then I taste it, its not very nice for a Pinot Gringot and its a bit warm. I slosh some icecubes into it and hope it gets better, it doesn't. In fact, I hardly touched it and thought that odd, normally I'd wolf (excuse the pun) it down. In fact it was almost at the end of the meal when it was only half finished. So I drank a little quicker, telling myself best not waste it and it was probably a bad idea in the first place.
I had no thoughts of drinking more until we decided to get ready to leave. And, then I think my inner Wolfie was on full blown fire.
Instead of feeling a sense of satisfaction and proud (don't ask me why) for being able to have one glass and being 'special', I knew I needed more.
Immediately as we're in town I say to my husband, I think I'll nip for ice-cream, maybe some alcohol free wine and we can continue our celebrations at home.
All of these were lies. I was going for wine, I didn't want him to see this, as half way through the meal I found myself saying, you know I'd like this, the odd glass of wine when I'm out but not drinking at home, that makes me sad.
The lies began.
I asked him to pay the bill, whilst I nipped to the shop, he could pick me up on the way home, best use of resources.
Now if I hadn't wanted wine we would have walked hand in hand to the car talking, kissing, laughing.
My selfish side was ripped open with avengence.
I bought the strongest wine I could find quickly. All of my devilish drinking skills maxed out.
Wine in bag, juice for him for good measure so he'd carry his into the house, leaving me time to hide the full-alcohol wine.
And, here's the thing.
We get home and I put the wine in the pantry, so he can't see. More deceit.
I ask him to sort out the living room fire so I can pour and drink the biggest glass before he comes back to settle himself. I want him immediately out of the way. More deceit, more normal drinking behaviour from me.
I try to throw the first glass down my throat, discarding the special glass I use to use for wine which is now my 'juice' glass, my anti-wolf glass. I still want that to be special.
And here's the second thing, its disgusting. Its so bad I resort to old tricks of pouring elderflower cordial in it, to make it go down easier.
Its still disgusting. I honestly struggled to drink the glass full.
My mind is telling me, it will get better, who cares just drink it.
My heart is saying, this isn't right. Its vile, you're not enjoying it, what are you doing. We've come so far. Is this how you want to spend your birthday in deceit.
I finish the glass, my second glass of wine tonight, generous glasses lets call that two 250ml glasses. Half a bottle. One glass out, one in the house. Two glasses.
In 207 days its my only alcohol. I'm proud of that. Something inside me seems to just admit defeat.
This isn't me anymore.
I go to the larder and empty the wine bottle down the sink. Half of me wants to drink its revolting contents. The other half of me is sad that I'm here and sad that I've lost this part of my life. This isn't fun, its not how I remember it. I'm more disappointed that ashamed.
A large glass of water and I return to the sitting room. I'm a bit buzzy from the wine and I don't like it.
I really don't like it. I don't like the stories, the hiding the running away from a lovely meal from my husband to get wine.
I just don't like any of it.
So here I am. Day 1 again. I'm not seeing this as a failure. I'm seeing this as a lesson, as part of my journey. I'm sorry I let my guard down and let wolfie in but I learned so much last night.
This isn't me anymore.
I'm not missing out on anything.
And of course, the biggest lesson, I'm certainly not special. I can't have one glass and it goes nowhere.
All the drinking strategies kick in almost immediately I got to the end of the glass in the restaurant. Wanting more, that hunger. I only bought one bottle of wine in the shop because I knew my husbands wine was in the house and I could drink it afterwards if I wanted to. I had a plan all sorted out in my head about how I was going to stay up all night drinking it all. Savouring it.
But, that's not how it panned out.
So here I am. After reading Lucy's timely email and Brene's kind words. I'm stopping this spiral which could be shame.
So I'm pinching this bit from Lucy from Brene.
And I've told my story. I've told myself it was a slip, and part of my journey. Today I'm being kind to myself. I have the mother of all hangovers too, go figure, how times have changed, it would have taken 2 or 3 bottles to make me feel this crap.
So I'm human, I'm still here and sober again. Lets hope I've learned from myself. I don't like the drinking me, she's selfish and a liar.
From Lucy - The take-aways from this clip on how to stop a shame spiral:
- Know your shame triggers and reality check them
- Talk to yourself like you talk to someone you love
- Reach out to someone you trust
- Tell your story