The train

It was explained to me on an Internet site,  that you can think of  continuing drinking as being on a train track – once you realise you’ve lost control of your drinking and you’re on that track you can get off as soon as you want. If you don’t get off, the ultimate destination is  death.

On the way there are the stations: debt, broken marriage, trouble with the law, injury, lost friendships, shame etc. You don’t have to stay on the train that long. You can get off at any time, but if you don’t, if you can’t, you will pass through at least some of these stations on the way to the terminus -death.

Realising that you’re an alcoholic or a problem drinker or whatever you’re most comfortable saying BEFORE you’ve lost too much is a gift. You can take action now rather than waiting for things to get worse. Living in the uncertainty of what the next disaster would be (and there always I s a next one) is like living in a constant fog of impending doom,  waiting for the axe to fall.

You , no I , can get off that train at any time …

‘Not as bad as others.. yet” That’s something I have identified with in other writings about drinkers; i have not been in trouble with the law, have not lost my job, children or relationships through alcohol YET.

But I see how close the line is between NOW when things are ok, and one small error and the whole house of cards could come tumbling down.

I have ‘only’ been drinking 60 -70 units a week ONLY ??? what the fuck – that is 5 x the recommended limits – and its impacting negatively on MY life. I have missed work due to drinking in the last  year – ok, only once – but countless more days I have been below standard, irritable and performed poorly because I have been hungover ….

Its time to stop. While I am my family are still intact.

Today is day 12


I have had a difficult day. Physically not too bad but mentally all over the shop. I don’t know if its an excuse that I lack concentration because of alcohol withdrawal but I feel really discombobulated and unable to focus on anything. Tonight my children are home, one doing a project the others homework/messing about. I feel cut off from them , irritable with everyone and desperate for some oblivion at the bottom of a wine bottle.

I am really afraid of what will happen to my relationship with my partner if i don’t drink. He is / has been tolerant of my drinking. Very rarely in almost 6 years has he told me that I drink too much. Most of those times have been in the last year. He gets cross when I fall asleep at 7 pm on Saturday evening because I have been drinking all day; and he gets cross if I am really really drunk – doesn’t happen that often – more usually its low grade, permanent inebriation.

But, aside from that, he enjoys a drink. We enjoy drinking together. We enjoy cooking I together and drinking nice wine. we enjoy going out to concerts and having a beer, we enjoy watching movies with a bottle or two or wine.. Drinking is part of ‘us’.

when we met I was (quite) recently separated. I had there children, the youngest then only 5 years old. He would come over after they were in bed and we would sit up and drink and talk all night…

So how will it be if I don’t drink? what will I drink if we are out for lunch ? will I get annoyed if he is drinking a lot ? will I get upset with him if he drinks when I cannot? will he stick by me when I feel I cannot ‘do’ stuff because the temptation to drink is too strong and I need to protect myself?

I feel very anxious; clear headed, I know i have to do this – either now or next week or next month. It WILL come to this as I have gone too far to be able to drink moderately – I know that i cant do that and have proved it SO so often. i need to do this before something bad happens..

So far I have ‘got away’ with it. But I am so conscious of the knife edge I am teetering on. And one false move – one small error could have catastrophic consequences. Eg I do not consciously drink and drive – I would never get in the car after a couple of glasses of wine; but I KNOW that on some “mornings after” I have been over the driving limit. One small thing, little accident, even if its not my fault – and its a DD charge, I would be reported to my professional body and might lose my job ( pretty likely actually as they would find out how much I drink) then I would have no income and we would soon lose our home… the shame – everyone would know in our small Community. My relationship with my partner would suffer.The children would suffer. All so scary.

And all because I cant stop drinking ? I Have a CHOICE

My health is precarious. I know this. I had abnormal liver function tests 2 years ago. I am too afraid to have them done again. But I am afraid that if I cant stop now I will end up in hospital, and again everyone will know. Maybe I will die from drinking If I cant stop. If not soon then in the end. How sad for my kids.

sorry for the stream of consciousness. I need to be in contact with others tonight – thank you for being there and I hope you are all ok

Today is my Day 11.

AF16 x

Day 85

Someone commented on my blog today !

Thank you.😀

Until now I have not really mingled much in the slobber blogosphere . I have been reading avidly, books, threads, blogs; but not really joined in, except on a long running thread on a well known parenting site. That thread and the women (and men) contributing to it, have provided huge support and encouragement to me as the days and weeks have rolled on.

i have ignored my own blog a bit, but now that someone has seen it !!! And been kind enough to comment, I intend to pick it up again.

so, as my title suggests I have been completely alcohol free since March 12th. Thats 85 days. Not one drop of alcohol has passed my lips in that time , and largely I have been content. Not too awful craving, not too much temptation.

I have more work to do, and I’m not complacent – I am the  woman who did almost 8 months largely sober (apart from two small blips of one evening each) and then picked up again. In retrospect I think those two small blips were much more significant than they first appeared. They allowed me to perpetuate the myth that I could moderate (after all I went straight back into the AF life); they fed the “wine witch” and kept her strong , and they sent the message to me and to others that I ‘could drink’ on special occasions …. All of these messages were unhelpful, deceptive and self sabotaging.

So this time, no blips, no glass of champagne with my DH, no self delusion. It’s sobriety all the way.


Happy weekend all xx ( one reader ! )

October 2013

the first time I stopped drinking I posted this on an Internet forum. It’s quite sad that nothing has really changed ….

My name is $$$ and I am very afraid that I have an alcohol problem. I am 47 and have been drinking heavily for at least 20 years. I would very much like to be alcohol free. I have tried many times to cut down, moderate, not drink alone, not drink on weekdays, not drink before 8pm – you name it I have tried to do it. Always I end up drinking too much.

Most weeks I think I drink about 60 units. Sometimes its more. I try to have one or two nights a week when I don’t drink – that works sometimes. I am too afraid to go to the doctor after some abnormal blood tests more than 2 years ago.

I manage ok day to day. I hold down a responsible job. I don’t miss work, I don’t not do anything. But I drink a bottle of wine most nights and struggle to remember things i have done/said. At weekends i sometimes start drinking at mid-day and will be pissed by 7pm. That’s not a good look for my children. The whole thing is unhealthy, a crap example and perhaps crucially completely out of my control.

SO why do I drink. I drink t cope with pressure. Pressure of work, financial problems, too much to do and no time, intermittent relationship problems,(my DH is also quite a heavy drinker but he is much bigger than me so its less obvious)

I hate it. I’m desperate to stop. I’m scared to stop. I’m scared to admit i cant stop. I love drinking. I need it, but its killing me.

Today is my third consecutive day without alcohol. That hasn’t happened since January. I cannot look forward beyond the next 1/2 hour right now. I have cup of tea and no alcohol in the house. I want to be sober. I want not to drink. I want to be free of the dreadful anxiety and fear that i have around alcohol. I want it not to be necessary to stop. But I know that it is.

I succeeded in being AF for some time following this – now I am ready to start again. This time I will succeed

AF16 x


New week, new enthusiam…

  • I’m delighted, relieved and slightly amazed that I made it through the whole weekend, including Three 6 nations rugby games, with not a drop of wine, cider or anything else intoxicating ! Horray!

I am well aware how ridiculous that sounds to people who don’t drink – or don’t drink like me anyway … 3 days ? Really ??? And that’s an achievement ? Well, it is for me anyway- and one day soon, I know it will be the norm and not such an e cause to feel proud, but right now 🌷 for me.

I also know that, having tried this alcohol fre life for a while before, quite soon the wine witch will start ” you can have just one” , ” you are not That bad” , on and on and on. So my favourite tricks to escape that incessant internal dialogue are:

  1. play the tape to the end – borrowed this one from AA. It won’t be one glass of chilled wine in the garden, having a nice chat. It will be one bottle – and them some, and a shitty hangover wiping out the next day
  2. remember some of the things you have done through drinking. Too shameful to repeat right now, but resident in the recesses of my consciousness nevertheless..  Remember those things
  3. Wait 5 minutes – you can wait 5 minutes for anything – and usually it doesn’t see, like such a good idea in 5 minutes time …

My plan , in starting this blog , is to do something different this time. I’m too scared to go to AA , for my own reasons; but I do need support. I have told my partner, but that’s all right now … This is my support that I will use to grow and muse and consider what my new, sober life will look like.

i want to not Want to drink. That’s where I’m trying to get to…

Love AF 16 x




Day 9

still here, still sober, still struggling.

i should be feeling great, but I have a cold, a sore throat and a pounding headache. I’m bone tired, red nosed and can’t be bothered to do anything that I should today.

instead I’ve spent the day reading other blogs, musing on posts, and rejoining Soberista’s (which I left when I started drinking again in June 2104)

fortunately my children are engaged with their own activities and my partner is out today – so it’s the fire, sofa and hot tea/ lemsip for me.

this is not the first time I have decided to stop drinking. It’s not the twentieth either. Most of my resolutions have been made at 3 am, sweaty and anxious following yet another heavy drinking session. Promises made to myself whilst I frantically try to recall the black spots in the evening; check the space next to me to make sure my partner is there – try to figure out if I behaved badly ?  Most of those promises never made it past the witching hour on Sunday lunchtime. After all I deserve a glass of wine for cooking the lunch ?

the one time I did take myself seriously, I stopped drinking  for 282 days. YUP, 282 days ….

And what I keep asking myself today is why, having done 282 days , did I think it was a good idea to start drinking again ?

starting again

I am a functioning alcoholic.

Let’s get that out if the way to start with. I have no idea how long I have known this about myself, it feels like forever. I have certainly spent the best part of the last 15 years trying to ignore the glaringly obvious fact that I have no “off” button once I start to drink.

I have become all to familiar with that sick sense of shame when you realise that, once again, you have embarrassed yourself at some event or other;  I have become accustomed to noticing unaccounted for bruises; my weekends and evening passing in a blur of gentle (and then not so gentle) haziness, my morning spent fighting nausea and stuffing down paracetamol to try and rid myself of the persistent throbbing headache.


that’s the alcoholic part.

I am a very ordinary woman. I live a very ordinary life. I have children, a husband, a home and a career. I also have an alcohol problem.

There have been many years of hiding, obfuscating, excusing and minimising before I have been able to write that last sentence. I have an alcohol problem. I don’t want it, I didn’t ask for it, dare I say I don’t deserve it… But I seem to be stuck with it.

This blog is my narrative about acceptance. How am I going to learn to live with and accept what I cannot change

Seven days ago I had, what I intend to be, my last alcoholic drink. I didn’t know, as I sipped another glass of white wine, that it was to be my last. Abstinence wasn’t in my plan at all. Somehow it is now. Actually its the center of the plan. This blog is my journey into an unknown future

Some time ago I stopped drinking. I managed to stay sober for almost eight months. Then I ordered a glass (actually it was a bottle- and I was on my own)  of wine – because I “deserved it” … And less than a month later I was back to a bottle a day …

this time I intend to stay sober. Today is day eight. This is the first Saturday morning I have woken up without a headache for an embarrassingly long time.

I want to succeed this time. I have no illusions, it needs to be forever. So this blog is to chart my progress and my thoughts as I move forward without alcohol .