Thursday, 30 April 2015

Shame? Or no Shame? Day 1 again.

So I drank last night.

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:
  1. Know your shame triggers and reality check them
  2. Talk to yourself like you talk to someone you love
  3. Reach out to someone you trust
  4. Tell your story


  1. ah, bollocks.

    yes, back on the horse. and in your saddlebags the knowledge that alcohol hasn't changed - but that you have, and that's why you're recoiling from the
    behaviour you describe so chillingly.

    big hugs AND NO SHAME :) Prim xxx

  2. No shame, only admiration for being able to understand yourself so very well. I think a relapse, whilst disappointing, can be part of the learning process to help us become stronger, more vigilant and more determined.

  3. Daisy, no shame indeed. (I also have found Brene Brown really helpful on this subject. Her books are super, and I'm speaking as someone who is usually a cynic about the self-help genre!) I felt like I relived the horror of my own compulsive drinking reading your post. But it is great that booze tasted awful and the feeling was rotten and you know even more clearly now that alcohol is not for you. I'm glad you're planning to take very good care of yourself over the next few days. Care and love and kindness, that's definitely the way through this. Sending you a big hug. xo

  4. It's fairly shaming to see our drinker behaviour in the cold light of reason, isn't it? You wanted it, you did what you needed to do to get it, secretly, and then it wasn't even enjoyable. It seems like "fun" when we see it in our mind, and it turns out to be furtive and dirty and doesn't even bloddy taste good! Well done on pouring away the rest of that bottle. I think you can see this as an occasion to learn from; that one glass in the restaurant triggered a desire for more. There is an effect known as "kindling" in the brain of those who abused alcohol, which makes us more sensitive to the effects of any alcohol and more prone to relapse. Glad you get a lot out of the SMART meetings. Do x

  5. Hi Daisy,
    Slips happen:). You are brave to confess. I love your honesty. Thank you for sharing this, particularly your thoughts while you were plotting how the night would unfold. You see, this helps me remember how my mind works after one drink, and I will be forever grateful for your reminder. Carry on sweet lady, you are a jewel. KT

  6. Dear Daisy,
    When I started to shed my shame around drinking, I was able start to heal. Reading your story today, reminded me why I can't drink anymore. Wolfie is always waiting for me.
    I am giving you a giant hug!

  7. Brene is my hero. The gifts of imperfection is my bible.
    Step back from blame or shame and be the non drinker. The next few days might be hard. That voice is very strong.
    But you know what works for you now. And it's not the wine.

    Big hug from me too.

  8. Bravo Daisy :) And on we go xx

  9. OMG Daisy, this could so be any of us. thank you thank you thank you for sharing and being honest. it is a stark scary reminder and i would behave just as you did but worse i am sure. there is NO SHAME, you be nice to yourself and start again with that knowledge that actually the romantic idea about wine is just a fantasy!!!!
    i was riveted by your story and am reaching out to you with the hugest of hugs. Lisa

  10. Daisy, you are brilliant; smart, honest and brave. Paths are seldom linear and your looped sidetrack has brought you further on than you were before because you gained profound insight from that detour. As Lucy said, bravo. Onwards. Hugs from Bea xxx

  11. Good to read you Daisy and hear the honesty. No shame or hiding, just getting back to where you need to be for a sober life. And go gently with yourself this week.

  12. absolutely no shame. it was your birthday, you've been through so much, it was a natural thing to happen. you went thru the motions and now you have decided you don't want to go back there. In a way this had to happen. you are amazing and doing great. well done and hope weekend goes okxx

  13. It's just a blip. Confirmation that you are happier without alcohol in your life. Don't best yourself up Daisy. Half a bottle of wine in more than six months is insignificant compared to what you've achieved xx

  14. Don't feel shame Daisy. You have been through so much. It is part of the journey. You will learn from this and be even stronger. Thinking of you . A x

  15. Gosh reading this felt like it was me. thats just what I do, i plot, am secretive and throw it back before I can engage my brain to stop. Horrifying but bang on. Thank you so much for sharing this!!. Im definitely going to read the shame spiral and brene brown. sending you love and happy vibes.

  16. More than having that bottle, it’s more likely that you felt ashamed because of the lie you have told. Though I think what matters is that you acknowledge your strengths and limits. More importantly, you are still keeping to the general routine of refusing alcohol, and that the process of rehabilitation for sobriety is maintained. Thanks for sharing your experience on the matter, and that link to Ruby’s story. Stay strong!

    Johnnie Smith @ Ranch Creek Recovery