Wednesday, 8 July 2015

The Trap Door

The trap door, lets only the opinions you want in your life, in.
I drank in secret. Mainly I drank after hours, after dark or just 'after'. After the kids went to bed, after work on the way home when I was alone, after hours, after midnight sometimes, just after. Eventually I didn't like others seeing my drinking. On the outside, I guess mostly things looked OK. I could drive and not drink at all on a night out, as long as I had two bottles of wine or so to make sure I drank when home. Sometimes my drinking didn't start until well after midnight. Some days its started earlier, depending on how 'alone' I could be. On occasion my drinking crept in earlier and usually ended up in my coffee cup or my juice glass, but always on the whole it was hidden.

Which I guess mean the hangovers were hidden, or if not hangover, the 'next day shitty feeling of lethargy and oh god another day to get through-ness'. Repeat everyday for several years and repeat often. And, I overcompensated hugely. Cooking from scratch, delivery of children on several billion activities, attempting to hide everything and make life super-de-doopery perfect.

Mostly built on secrecy and lies and shame and drinking. Repeat everyday. Booze was my trap door to escape the hard stuff. Problem is it also let in a pile of other crap. It got so hard to close, eventually I learnt to live with its monsters, which wasn't fun.
Recovery, it seems doesn't work like this. Slowly we have to chip away at what we are, who we were and fathom a new way forward. Without the booze to hide behind.

And, let me tell you, as secret as you try and make your recovery, it seems sooner or later you bite yourself in the ass and realise whilst you don't have to share everything, some sharing is useful.

So like today I went to my group. A great session, fewer folks this week, but helpful. I'd also gone early as I've decided to sign up for a personalised recovery plan. Another sober tool. Essentially its a contract between me and myself, discussed by a sober coach with short, medium and longer term goals. A kind of sober 'to do' list.

I'm happy to share some of my goals for the next three months.

1 - Not Drink.
2 - Be more open with my partner. (GULP)
3 - Keep attending meetings.
4 - Look into other groups if work commitments change my schedule.
5 - More personal time, which I dictate, not others.
6 - Look into counselling which is right for me.
7 - More open with close friends about my recovery.
8 - Cull some of my social group which are dysfunctional/bad for me.
9 - More time with kids.
10 - Be nice to myself (I added here, in sub-text, and not talk to myself like I'm an idiot).

One of the reasons I think I need to work harder on my recovery, (aside from buying booze last week !!) is that I still have a very nice 'trap door' set up slap bang in the middle of my life.

My family and very specifically, my partner doesn't know how hard I'm trying to give up. I've really down played the whole giving up booze thing with the usual excuses. And, he certainly doesn't know the extent of my past drinking nor sometimes the extent of the internal battle I have with myself about drinking. Especially the 'just have one when you're out, its perfectly normal to drink'.

Like I say its like having a trap door, which I can drop through when I fancy. How I'm going to achieve this isn't quite apparent yet. I'm all for honestly, but, lets face it, those layers of why we drink aren't always easy to penetrate. So, as I gently peel away at them, there's a level of vulnerability that is raw and precious, needs protecting. And, I'm not really very happy or ready to lob myself at others mercy in real life. Part of this journey has revealed how much of my inner thinking and actual 'honest' life is closed to other folks, even those I care about. Self defence at its finest. If you can't let them in, no hurting here thank you.

So my first goal is not drinking, my second is to be a bit (and I caveat this with, a bit) more open with my partner. And start to nail my trap door shut, bit by bit. I've started this by telling him I was thinking of signing up for a three month kind of plan with my **coughs** anxiety group (which is what I call my recovery group). In that I told him I was thinking of writing in my 'contract to myself' I won't drink for 3 months, not even a glass. But, you hardly drink he told me, no biggie.

Well, that might be true for now, but lets work on that and keep it that way. Its a start on my road to sober honesty. Sort of, its a start. So, he finally knows that I'm actually working at not drinking for the next three months. No more trap doors.

And, trap doors, or escape hatches which lead to drinking excuses aren't useful. Well mostly.

I remind myself, I have small sober feet, which need to take small sober steps if they are to be sustained.

**Takes out a couple of nails and a hammer and heads towards my trap door**.

I do waffle on, so thank you for getting this far! If you've something kind or helpful to add or just want to say hello. Please drop a line below. I'd appreciate that. Thank you.


  1. Awesome post Daisy :) If it's any consolation from someone further along the road with an equally big fear of letting people in - like not drinking, it gets easier {hug} xx

    1. Thanks lovely, one day slowly slowly moving forwards xx

  2. Awesome post indeed. Brave Daisy. Go gently. Hugs! X

    1. You're very kind Bea I loved your last 'truant' post! x

  3. Daisy,
    You are stronger than you think!
    I love your plans!

    1. Wendy I don't feel so strong but thank you and have a great weekend!

  4. I can tell, you, from experience, that t king your husband the truth about how concerned you are about your drinking will be relieving and liberating.
    I used to say I was going to cut down for anxiety/weight/self control. But the day I actually spoke up and said I had to quit as my souls was dying was a huge one.
    My husband didn't get it at first. But once I said it once I was an,e to talk about it more and more. The feelings of compulsion and guilt. The sick remorse in the mornings.
    We can joke about it now. But it was a scary step to take.

    You are doing great.


    1. We had a bit of a chat the other day, nothing about anything really. But, he did say, you really want to quit for 3 months (talking about the programme thing) and I said, well yes and no. No because the odd glass of wine sounds nice, but yes because it mangles my head, fills me full of self doubt and loathing the next day. Sheesh he says, if it did that to me I'd never drink again.........I didn't reply, but its beginning to be 'out there' - small steps xx

      Thank you for sharing your scary step,

  5. That last reminder to talk nicely to yourself, be gentle and show yourself respect is so important -- I used to berate myself all the time in my head and that felt normal as if self-contempt and impatience was no better than I deserved.

    When I started to show myself kindness and appreciation, it was as if a small crushed part of myself could crawl out from under a rock and begin growing up.

    And all this unlayering, opening up and living with vulnerability does get easier, Daisy. Just hang in there.

    1. I think for many of us, that voice in our heads, it seems often to be the crux of it all. Its so hard to change as well. But, small steps. Thank you Mary for sharing with me x

  6. This post is really helping me today, as I try and edge forwards. Annie x

  7. Hey there! This post hit home today as I start my sobriety all over again. I have struggled over the past 4 years of my 11 year marriage to open up to my husband about my drinking and desire to quit, often times it ends with the guilt and my inner self beating myself up . Thanks for the inspriational post and I look foward to more.


  8. I have been reading your blog over the last 4 days (of which I started my own sober journey) and you have nailed so many thoughts/feelings I am experiencing. Today's post really hit home with me, especially the part about being honest with your partner. I know for me, I struggle with this the most because I don't want my husband to know how bad it's been. And a part of me does not want accountability and/or condemnation if I should fail. Thank you for sharing your thoughts - they are very encouraging!