Narcissistic personality disorder

I dislike “self diagnosing” patients who come to me and tell me they have “bipolar” because they are a bit moody, or lupus because they have a spot on their face.

And I try hard not to diagnose myself – I have a wonderful GP and I trust her 100% tomake sensible decisions about my health. She is secure enough not to be challenged by the fact I am a colleague, humble enough to come to joint decisions when required and mature enough to be firm ! 

BUT. I’m now going to do exactly what I hate others doing and do a bit of armchair Psychiatry with respect to my ex P

Narcissistic personality disorder: wiki definitions in italic, my observations in plain type

According to the DSM-5, individuals with NPD have most or all of the following symptoms, typically without commensurate qualities or accomplishments: 

1. Grandiosity with expectations of superior treatment from others. Yes yes yes. He expects others to treat him with the utmost respect and deference, yet shows little to others. He really believes he’s had a successful career when he has sold two works in the last 6 years, and has earned no money

2. Fixated on fantasies of power, success, intelligence, attractiveness, etc. He has  a whole load of completely unrealistic expectations as to how he can take small comments forward, believes he will be a global success without putting in any of the spade work

3. Self-perception of being unique, superior and associated with high-status people and institutions. He was once and I don’t think he has got over the loss 

4. Needing constant admiration from others. Always always, especially me. Have to tell him how wonderful everything he has done is…

5. Sense of entitlement to special treatment and to obedience from others. Enormous sense of entitlement to be supported financially whilst he does very little. Expected everyone – including me – else to do as he wishes. Shows no respect to my kids, but excpects them to respect him

6. Exploitative of others to achieve personal gain. Hmmm 6 years or not working not contributing and having everything paid for, absolutely no remorse or understanding as to how that could have been detrimental to me. Note debt in the 10,s of thousands … 

7. Unwilling to empathize with others’ feelings, wishes, or needs. They are so unimportant to him he won’t even discuss them

8. Intensely envious of others and the belief that others are equally envious of them not so sure about this one

9. Pompous  and arrogant demeanor, Oh yes, extremely 

So where does this get me? I sent this to my friend K ( without the annotations) and she saw immediately the traits within ExP. I also asked if it mattered what you call it ? She thinks it does, and I’m beginning to believe her – it helps me to know I’m not going mad, that this is him not me, that he will never change because these are fixed personality characteristics and he doesn’t not, cannot , see where he is wrong ? In which case I have to give up any faint hope that he will change, do anything different, understand what I’m saying and why I am upset. 

I have to let go, and understand that I can’t win. K also pointed out to me that I sound like I do not LIKE him much, and I realise I don’t – he has few of the personality traits I admire and many I positively dislike ; and that I don’t have much respect left for him. 

So maybe I’m going to go ahead , inside me and say that I believe my ExP has a narcissistic personality disorder. And that just maybe I’ve had a lucky escape. 


I’m writing this in Chinatown London between the two “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” performances that I am enjoying  with son #2 today. I’m sure most, if not all,  of you will have at least heard of Harry Potter. The play which opened recently in London is delivered in two separate performances (part 1 and part 2) which can be seen on the same day or separately. As sons 1&3 are away, I have taken the opportunity to do something special with #2 , and spent a huge part of yesterday afternoon sourcing tickets.(The show is completely sold out until the end of the run in May 2017)

So here we are. The show was fantastic, and we are grabbing a coffee ….

One of the themes of the show is about “what might have been”. I won’t say much about the show at all – the plot lines have been extremely closely guarded –  but it has made me think. Like many people recovering from addictions, I have a lot of regrets. Things I have done, said, not done, neglected. There are many regrets for missed opportunities and seriously stupid decisions made. Not all of these were decisions when I was drunk, but they were all decisions taken when my self esteem was Rock bottom – at least partly as a result of drinking.

In the show, the “what might have been” is invariably worse than what actually is. And that’s a way that I don’t often look at things. When I’m blaming and criticising myself for decisions I made, I always imagine that the alternative would have been better.. That if I were not a woman unable to control my alcohol intake … I would have made better decisions, that would today see me in a better place than I am …

Maybe that’s not the case. Of course we will never know, but perhaps if I had done other things, taken different paths, things would NOT be better, but as in the show, quite a lot worse ….

Maybe this is an allegory I am meant to draw- to remind myself that I am lucky – blessed – and that things are as they are for a reason


I woke up this morning feeling rough. I had a pounding headache, a dry sticky mouth and Felt just like I used to when I was hungover. Seems very unfair when I only drank Becks blue last night. 

I wonder how I managed for so long waking up every single day with a hangover? Starting each morning feeling so ill – stuffing down paracetamol and Diet Coke first thing in the morning then , standing in the shower hoping that the steam and hot water will revive me. Cleaning my teeth with loads of toothpaste and swilling double quantities of mouthwash so that my breath doesn’t smell of ketones and stale wine. Always tired, always struggling to get up in time, always rushing to get the necessary done before rushing out the door to work. I would usually feel better by lunchtime – and by 4pm be looking forward to the ‘reward’ bottle of wine… And the cycle began again.

I literall could not conceive off how o would cope WITHOUT drinking every day. I felt it was necessary to me, why is that? What other activity that makes you feel so awful would we ever have to struggle to give up ? 

My partner stopped drinking for June. There was no angst, seemingly no struggle. When I asked him he said he felt better not drinking, clearer and more productive. But he had a drink last night, and that also seems to have been a non event. No worry about what might happen,  no anxiety snot triggering a fully fledged fall into a huge binge; just a couple of drinks at an exhibition. 

Along with ‘moderation’ I have to accept that this is something I just cannot do. The only safe level of alcohol consumption for me is none – yet I would have said he has a drink problem – certainly he finds it hard to stop at one or two. It made me wonder if I am creating a problem for myself. That if I just chilled out about alcohol there would not be a problem. 

I know that way madness lies- I’ve proven it to myself too many times- and if my “problem” is that I take it all too seriously- then that is still a problem … I had to think for several minutes about how many days I have under my belt today – it’s 113 – but that I think is progress, and I’m not inclined to risk my relative peace of mind for another experiment which I know in my heart is doomed to failure …



It’s 4 am in the morning , and I am NOT asleep. This is completely bonkers and very annoying . Periodically I suffer from insomnia – but this has not happened since I got sober 110 days ago. I’m Pretty annoyed that I’m Lying here wide awake for NO reason . 

In an attempt to soothe myself to sleep I listened to a bubble hour podcast about community and the importance of ‘connection‘ in maintaining sobriety. The podcast failed to send me off to sleep, but it did get me thinking. 

Last night I realised how much I have valued the comments and support I have received on this blog. I mean really REALISED,how  important the input of other recovering people has been. Everyone’s comments , from those  earlier in recovery than me , those faltering and the members of the wonderfully long term, established  sober community, have something to offer me. And more than that, by their posts they cast light over parts of my life that were in shadow, and by allowing me to contribute to their lives they boost my fragile self esteem. 

We use the JoHari window in professional Development, to illustrate the ‘unknown unknown’ areas of learning need, ie those things you don’t know that you don’t know. Unsurprisingly these learning needs are the hardest to uncover and we often use feedback from others to help uncover these needs. 

I see a parallel in my life, my sobriety and my blog. I wrote about what I feel, what moves me and how my decision to stop drinking is impacting on me. That’s all ‘known’ to me. (the known known) There are lots of things that I am aware I don’t know – like how to manage my relationship with my mother (this is a known Unknown – I am aware I don’t know what to do about it) ; there are things that others know about me from my posts – that they can see are unhelpful but about which I was previously either not aware or only dimly so. Lastly there are the nuggets I pick up from others posts that strike a completely unexpected chord with me, that open up a thought process that I had never considered before. These are JoHari’s unknown unknowns and their discovery is a gift.

I get all of this from Interaction anonymously on line. This is my ‘community’ that supports my sobriety. The podcast I listened to talked about the pivotal Moment where one of the presenters discussed sobriety with a REAL LIFE PERSON. She described how this interaction literally changed her future and provided the stepping stone to a full and positive life of interaction with others.

I get that, I really do. But I just don’t feel ready to ‘share’ my sobriety. I have reflected on this and will Return to the theme of isolation in another post. I guess for now it’s enough to say I’m Not ready.

The theme of community and community support and the tension between the intensely personal nature of addiction and sobriety against the isolation caused by shame, and the positive impact of loving support is one I will be returning to. 

And now it’s 4.30 am, I have had one hours sleep so far and I need to get up in 2 hours… Time for some valerian and another attempt at sleep.



The dog

Today I have been thinking about things- introspective again.
Sober mummy commented a few days ago that there are three distinct ‘phases’ to getting sober.

The first, that probably lasts for a 100 days or so is the sheer ‘getting through’ it part. When a huge amount of your focus is on just not drinking, managing social occasions without alcohol and just gritting your teeth and riding e roller coaster of emotions and physical / psychological symptoms.

The second, which is where I definitely am now, is a phase of introspection and self analysis. How did I get here? Am I an alcoholic? why am I like this etc etc. In many ways, where I am now is a great deal easier. I definitely think about drinking much less – sometimes a whole hour will go by without the thoughts of “I’m not drinking” , “it’s day X ” etc initially I reckon I thought about alcohol about every 10 seconds.

In my introspection I have been walking our dog quite a bit. I have posted a photo of Lola at the top of this post as she is so important to me and my recovery. Lola is a 2 year old border collie bitch. We have had her from a puppy and she is just the best dog ever. She adores everyone in the house, and no matter what disagreements we humans have, Lola shows no favouritism. She is always delighted to see everyone , even if you have been away for 5 minutes. She us loving, loyal and cuddly and she never tells any secrets.

Watching Lola run this morning I was reminded of childhood, it’s simplicity. All she needs is food, company and exercise – and she is completely and perfectly content. No substances, no artificial highs, she lives in the moment and enjoys everything for what it is.

Today I went on a school trip with number 3 son and his classmates. Their 11 year old enthusiasm, and infectious, irrepressible curiosity about the world around them was really cheering to my rather jaded mind. They too live a simple life.  Listening to their chatter and ideas it seemed sad to me that in the next few years they will become anxious and stressed about the future and that as their world expands from the safety of primary school and home, they will absorb the tribulations and first world concerns that affect adults.

We should all take a tip from Lola’s book of life, and live in the moment, content with what we have.

Halves …

You know that saying “she never does anything by halves” ?

That’s me.

All my life I have been driven and competitive with myself. As a child I liked to win games, not because I wanted t beat others, but because I wanted to do the very best possible. I would run to take messages at school, because it was faster than if i walked; as an adult if I’m running each 5k time has to be better than the last 5 k time… More negatively, when I buy stuff, I never buy the perfectly adequate  middle of the road version – it’s ALWAYS the top of the range model …

This coming week I’ve taken a few days annual leave. Already my time is filled with those things I never get the time to do when I’m working, see the dentist, optician, take the dog to the pooch parlour, doctors appointment, blood test, take dog to the vet, hair cut and colour, school day out with number 3  … And in addition I have decided that it is ESSENTIAL that I spring clean the entire house …(why WHY??? )

Now we don’t live in a mansion, the house is about 200 sq m (that’s 2000 sq feet), but there are 5 people and one collie dog living here as well as assorted friends colleagues and sundry folk through the house …and we have a cleaner, who is great but she just keeps on top of stuff day to day … So, after my mammoth bedroom clean yesterday, today I tackled the utility room.

I took virtually everything out, washed the floor, shelves, woodwork and cupboards. I threw away loads of stuff that we don’t actually need (shhhh don’t tell anyone !)  Then I re populated the shelves / cupboards with stuff we do need, in an ordered and logical way. Then my competitive edge came to the fore again and I decided we need a steam cleaner to lift the dirt-of -ages from the floor – once again , no second rate, middle of the road steam cleaner for me; no I bought the most expensive one in the shop,(maybe this is why I have ongoing financial problems) 

Now you might ask why I feel that I have to clean on top of all the general maintenance things I need to do. With a few precious days off I could rest, read a few books, walk the dog in a leasuirely way, get out my art box and start a new painting (or finish the three that are “almost there”)   Do some baking / cooking to a) eat good food and b) fill up the freezer. It not that I’m short of ways to fill my time ….

It’s not like I don’t believe I deserve a rest. I work FT running a practice with my two partners. I’m a Busy busy GP; I have 3 kids, I have a home to keep, a struggling relationship and friends who need my support … Maybe I feel that the mental stress if I don’t sort the house out, will be worse that the effects of doing it … Alternatively, tomorrow morning I get in the car and disappear somewhere for a few days on my own …. No, I recognise that I do a lot, and that most people would struggle to do what I do and it’s reasonable for me to have “time out” ( at least logical I know this)

But I literally cannot ignore this now, the pull to complete the house cleaning will not let me be … Of course this leaves me vulnerable to the T (ired) part of HALT ; but also the A (ngry) because I feel like no one else In The house is pulling their weight in keeping the place tidy. This leaves me feeling L (only)  … Sigh. 

It’s served me well countless times, this internal drive to succeed; right now I wonder what it would be like to be a middle-of-the-road, good enough, sensible person….

Lily 🌷

Here we go again

Today has been a very productive day. I like days like this, when I’m motivated, have clear things I want / need to achieve, and do them without procrastination. It feels good. So today I was up quite early, went to Pilates, packed the kids off to their dads and CLEANED the bedroom. I don’t do this as often as I should, so today was a very thorough, washing the paintwork, polishing the wooden floor type, clean. I washed everything, hoovered, dusted and threw away loads of rubbish. Very satisfying.

Then the trouble started. Early evening I decided to take the dog for a walk. The kids are all out, things are strained between my partner and I so I head for the park with the dog. It’s a beautiful evening and as I’m walking I start musing about drinking. Generally I allow myself space to do this as its too tiring pushing all the alcohol thoughts away. Generally my thoughts are about how pleased I am that I’m sober, and generally my thoughts are supportive of my decision not to drink. But not today , no, today I find myself missing drinking 

I’m thinking that it would be easier to talk to my partner after a few drinks, that we might manage to communicate better after a bottle glass of wine … Really ?.. And then, almost before I know where my brain is leading I’m thinking that “I’ve done 106 days, I could maybe drink for a week and then give up again ”  and I’m SERIOUSLY thinking that this is a good idea. I’m planning to go home via the supermarket ….. 

Don’t worry. I didn’t.

But it was quite an effort. Possibly the biggest effort I have had to make since the first couple if weeks. And it came from nowhere.  What saved me was the memory that this is exactly what happened last time I was sober – just one day having a drink,  and it took me  21 months to get sober again… 

I was walking the dog FFS. Not at a party, at dinner, not with others who were drinking . Just walking in the park. 

So I’m working through the checklist …. Initially I though none of the HALT emotions could be the cause of this Left field craving for alcohol …


I guess I am tired after cleaning – but a ‘good’ tired (physically tired, not emotionally exhausted ) ; although come to think of it ….. It hasn’t been the easiest week…. : not hungry; Angry … Hmmmm well yes, still pretty angry with my partner , and no way to let that out right  now. Lonely : well, yes I guess I do feel quite lonely .

OK, OK ,ok it’s perhaps not so unexpected  … I probably need to be a bit more self aware 

So… Early night, Becks blue, nice shower, movie in bed … Night all 

Lily 🌷

The grip of alcoholism

This morning I have spent two hours in a child protection conference. One of the parents is deeply addicted to alcohol. This was one of the most painful conferences I have ever attended. Both parents are deeply in denial about the risks posed to the children as a result of alcohol; one is permenantly drunk and the other so co-dependent they are not able to take any steps to do what need to be done to protect the children.

The alcoholic parent is an educated, attractive, articulate empathic person. Everything bad that is happening to them, involvement of social services, removal of their parental responsibility, separation form their children, admission under section to a psychiatric ward, arrest, police caution, frequent admissions to hospital with vomiting blood, liver failure, and shortly death, is entirely and completed attributable to drinking alcohol. And they will NOT seek help. Will NOT engage. Will not consider residential detox. Wail and rail and moan about what is happening to them, but will not, cannot, accept responsibility to change themselves. My comment at the end “I know you love your children, but sadly at the moment you love drinking more” was brutal, but accurate.

I’m a bit fragile myself at the moment, and this is horribly close to the bone.

I have been in my profession long enough to know that I can advise, support, offer guidance – but until people are willing to listen it’s all to no avail, but this is one of the hardest things I have ever had to watch.

Thank god, or thank a higher power, or thank luck that I am not in that persons position. That I retained insight sufficient to call a halt before any of these awful consequences came to me.

And what of the codependent one ? Actually I’ve been there too. My ex husband was / is a drug addict and alcoholic. I turned a blind eye to his drug taking for far too long – deflected from actually dealing with it by fear, denial, cowardice and optimism. Only when his aggression, paranoia and hostility spilled over into actual violence, physical and emotional did I act. And I always had the financial and practical wherewithal to deal with the fall out.

All the while I drank, to escape from the brutal reality that I couldn’t change him, couldn’t make him want to change, and that the responsibility for acting came down to me. The consequences, for myself and my children were my responsibility. As a drinker I was never an aggressive drunk; more a sloppy, sleepy, oversharing , over emotional, impetuous drunk. I don’t doubt that I have done harm,but it was easy to minimise when compared with the other adult who lived with us.

And now I live with a man who does not work, is super critical of my children to the point  that last night we all sat in our separate spaces with no communication at all. Because the kids don’t want to be shouted at. He won’t change. I need to “grow a pair” and change what I’m not happy with.

The dangers of codependency have been displayed to me this morning. I know what is happening inside my own life – only I can change it. I’ve taken the first step by getting sober. Now I need to be strong for my kids.


100 days

Today is the 100th consecutive day I have not drunk alcohol.

I’ve been looking forward to being able to write that. 100 days. It feels like a long time, and conversely no time at all. 

I stopped drinking on the day I did, following a fall at home, of which I have no memory at all. In fact I don’t really remember much about coming home that night. My partner tells me I was stumbling around, and that I fell, narrowly missing my head on a sharp object. It was that one ‘last straw’ blackout that made me decide ‘enough’, but in reality it could have been any one of a number of pretty shocking, embarrassing and sometimes dangerous things I did in the last 18 months. I have the list. I wrote it shortly after I decided (again) that absolute sobriety was the only answer. At present I haven’t felt the need to revisit that list – its pretty much burned into my brain – and as such I’m still very clear that I can’t drink at ALL. 

I started this blog, because whilst I knew I could live without drinking, I wanted to WANT to live without drinking. To me that’s the only way to stay long term sober. It’s no good denying yourself something you want indefinitely – we all know diets don’t work for exactly that reason. No, being AF has to be a positive choice, made with conviction and commitment to see out the rough and the smooth – not a self denying exercise in will power. 

So where am I , 100 days in? The positives are undeniable – I sleep well, my skin is better, I look better and take better care of myself. I am more flexible and have better balance thanks to the yoga and Pilates I have attended and practiced. My children at least the youngest feels happier. I have lost the shame and fear about what I might have done the night before , I can put the recycling  out without shame. Bigger anxieties have abated; what’s happening to my liver? Exactly how much alcohol IS in my system this morning ? Am I ok to drive ?. Do I smell of stale wine ? The absence of these worries is a tangible and measurable benefit that I am thankful for…

BUT – and maybe don’t read this bit if you are newly stopped and hoping for a woman still on the pink cloud … My emotions are all over the place (they probably always were, it’s just that I was too drink to notice) I feel sad and flat quite a lot of the time. I’m also bored, and unmotivated which makes the self critical part of me berate myself a lot. I am unsocial, and often agitated and (inwardly) irritable when in company. I feel self conscious, inadequate and socially inept, in a way tha I don’t recall when a couple of glasses of wine were swiftly downed at every social occasion. My relationship with my partner is thrown into stark relief . The good , and the really not so good. I feel I can’t trust what I think or feel at the moment. 

I’m not about to renege on my commitment to sobriety; I know that I can’t. I just hope it gets better than this. 
Lily 🌷


Yesterday I wrote that I was planning to start therapy. My reasoning being a) no one can be as interested in sorting me out as I am, and I need some help ? (B) there is just so much ‘stuff’ in my head right now that I feel I need some help to unravel it (c) vaguely I’m hoping it might improve My self esteem by helping me be less self critical. 

One or two warning type posts have suggested to me that this might not be the best time to start therapy / ‘self analysis’ as its early days in my new sober life. I’m guessing this is along the same lines of don’t make any major decisions in the first year of sobriety …

Does anyone else have any thoughts ? Experiences ? Good or bad ?. I do feel quite ‘raw’ and ‘suggestable’ at the moment … 

OTOH I have avoided dealing with a heap of stuff for a very long time, by drinking to forget. I think I am afraid that with no drink,  a well of self criticism / hostility and sabotage will somehow overwhelm me …. 

Lily 🌷



I have been musing on why people, having fought hard for a few weeks or months of sobriety then lapse and start drinking again. I think I’m hoping if I can understand it, It might be less likely to happen to me. I do know this is nonsense, and that there are so many reasons why people start drinking again I could never ever understand them all.

It’s not about how much people NEED to give up drinking. I have seen people dying from drink stubbornly refuse to take any steps to stop – and others who drink way less than I did decide to pack it in.

Is it about how much people WANT to stop drinking ?


Rock bottom, where traditional alcoholic ‘law’ says you need to be before you can quit, is very different for different people. Most of the sober men and women I have ‘met’ on the internet in the last few months have not hit the traditional ‘rock bottom’ in that they still have jobs, families, houses, partners. Most of them, and I include myself, have just reached a point where they can see what’s coming if they don’t quit. (See  The train ) Everyone has tried (endlessly ) to moderate and failed again and again. Many land up with a decision to go AF as a last resort to escape the awful cycle of drinking, shame, hangover, anxiety, drinking.

For many, and again I include myself, it takes a few goes. The first time I really KNEW the only option for me, ultimately, was total abstinence, I was 33.  I managed 6 weeks, convinced myself it was ‘not that bad’; I had ‘learned to moderate’  and started drinking again, with predictable results.

Maybe that’s one reason people lapse. Denial and self-delusion.

The second time I stopped drinking I was really desperate. My mental health was shot to pieces, mostly due to home stresses, I knew that alcohol could not be helping me –  despite using it as a crutch every single day – so I decided to quit.  That withdrawal / detox process was very, very hard, and despite staying almost completely sober, I had my most serious episode of suicidal anxiety and depression that necessitated 6 weeks off work.

Ironically when I recovered I felt so well I started drinking again, almost immediately. On reflection I don’t think I believed that I could be one of the people who succeeded and thus, by believing I would inevitably fail at some point, I set myself up for it.

Maybe self sabotage is another reason people lapse.

I have also considered the understanding of complete sobriety. Last time I stopped I ‘allowed’ myself a drink on Boxing Day when my children were with their father and DP and I were alone. And another (few) when we went away for a weekend in April. I didn’t understand then, what I do now, that this was just one more attempt to fool myself that I could moderate, drink “sometimes” on “special occasions”

On that Boxing Day (2013) I wrote about my experience:

“i did drink a glass of champagne. Within the first mouthful it was as if the previous 50 odd days had never happened, suddenly everything was about alcohol again, how much I could drink – how grey and dull everything was without it, ugh…. I was every bit as consumed with the wish to drink myself senseless as I ever have been. i loved the idea of being ‘out of it’ …desperately wanted to finish that bottle and every other bottle in the vicinity”.

That stuff is powerful. What was blindingly obvious, but I could not see, was that to succeed at being AF you have to BE AF, completely, 100%, ALL THE TIME…

Drinking “sometimes” perpetuates the myth that you can be normal around alcohol, it reawakens the ‘wine witch’; It allows space to that nagging voice what says ” well nothing bad happened on Boxing Day did it” … which just starts the whole damn argument again.

I think that’s not being ready, which is perhaps the biggest reason why people lapse – for whatever reason, with the best will in the world and the strongest motivation, they are just not ready.

This time I AM ready. I am not in denial, I believe – no, I KNOW, I can do this,  I will Never drink again in any shape or form, Never. I don’t need it, I am tired of it.




I’ve come a long way


Yesterday I wrote that it was 12 weeks since I had drunk alcohol.

I was wrong.

Its been 13 weeks !

It got me thinking about how far I have come. Thirteen weeks ago I could have counted by the hour how long it was that I had not drunk. Thoughts of drinking , not drinking, how to explain myself, get out of drinking, manage situations, make excuses, resist cravings dominated my thoughts constantly. CONSTANTLY. It was exhausting and very demoralising. I also felt I would be stuck that way for ever. I KNEW intellectually I would not – because I had previously managed a reasonable period of sobriety and those obsessions and preoccupations had faded. But, in the thick of the withdrawal phase, I was utterly preoccupied and terrified.

Now I am much, much calmer. Thoughts about alcohol, its role in my life to date, the decision not to drink still occupy a significant percentage of my time; but they are calm thoughts, coherent, and they feel manageable. I am also distractable now and there will be several hours when I do NOT think about drinking.

I sleep SO well. Deeply, restfully, calmly. You can see it on my activity tracker which monitors my sleep. No more nights with 50 -60 episodes of restlessness, no more hours of sweating anxious wakefulness trying to recall the end of an evening; no more raging thirst, pounding head and nausea. Just deep, restorative sleep.

My relationship with my partner has improved. Especially as he has decided to join me in the AF life, at least for now. Our relationship feels kinder, more supportive, more intimate. I feared that drinking together held us together, now i feel it was driving us apart.

I have already spoken about my relationship with my adored youngest son, which seems to have developed an openness and honesty on his side that has enabled him to confide more in me. My anxieties over his oldest brother have not abated, but they have assumed less monstrous proportions in my mind. I catastrophise less and feel more able to relax while allowing him to make the mistakes that I cannot influence. My angry, hormonal middle son is less easy to reach, but I hope my calmer, more consistent presence will provide him with greater stability and security as he navigates the teen rights of passage.

I have taken up Yoga and Pilates. I look forward to each class and am able to be present, in the moment, to benefit from the exercise, the meditation and the discipline.

My physical health has improved. One major motivator to quit drinking was the unpleasant discovery that I have developed hypertension. Perhaps not surprising considering I am 51, have a highly pressured job and was drinking 70 units a week, but unwelcome none the less. Since I quit drinking I have been able to reduce my medication and maintain a low/ normal blood pressure. My blood test results, showing some signs of alcohol related damage have improved.

My ‘Imdonedrinking’app, tells me I have saved > 800 pounds in the last 92 days… well, I have not spent it on alcohol anyway..

How do I feel – in one word – optimistic. There is some way to go – I expect this to be an evolving journey – but I know I am on the right path.

Uncomfortable feelings

Like many others, and lots without alcohol problems, I drank, at least partly, to suppress uncomfortable feelings. Ironically – as I knew even whilst I was drinking – the drinking created more uncomfortable feelings of guilt and shame.

Since I had my last alcoholic drink 12 weeks ago today, I have had to find other ways of managing anxiety, anger, frustration, fear and confusion. I can no longer get quietly drunk and forget / bury the emotions, I have to live through them

At the moment, my youngest son – who has just turned 11, is sharing with me his thoughts about my drinking. He noticed I was not drinking about 10 days in; my other sons, being older and more self absorbed probably wouldn’t have noticed if I had started wearing a temperance suit, but the youngest, still at primary school – asked me why I wasn’t drinking wine. First intensely shameful  feeling. I knew that, theoretically, children absorb the way their parents behave. I knew that all the kids had observed mum coming in from work and barely stopping to say hello before opening a cold bottle of wine… I hadn’t allowed myself to really KNOW how strongly they associated the evening with Mummy drinking wine….

I told him that “I didn’t feel like it at the moment”, and the subject dropped. He didn’t mention it again until about 2 weeks ago in the Supermarket when I bought myself some Becks Blue Lemon. Then, the full extent of his observations and anxieties relating to my past behaviour started to come out. Small comments to begin with; ” You are in a much better mood now you are not drinking”; “Its better now you are not drinking” ; ” Are you going to start drinking again?” (worried voice).

Then more specific comments “Do you remember when X came round and you were drunk ?” (followed by some mildly embarrassing story about how I ordered the wrong pizza); “You have more patience and listen more when you don’t drink”; “Now you get up early with me at the weekends” Followed by “are you going to start drinking again”…

I have answered these comments, which are almost every day now, matter of factly without communicating ( I hope) to my son, any emotional weight associated with either the (not) drinking or the comments. But My goodness they cut me to the quick. The fact that my innocent, sparky, happy little boy has been worrying about what I, his mother and shield, has been drinking; that he has ‘managed’ me when I have been drunk ( and we are not talking VERY drunk here, not falling down drunk – we are talking day to day inebriation) This is so deeply shameful to me I hardly know how to face it. It is one of the most uncomfortable things I have ever had to deal with – and I have to do it without mind altering substances. I have to look myself in the mirror every day and know that I DID THIS, and it cannot be erased.

All I can do now is commit to not doing it again and hope that the memories fade. And manage the shame as best I can.

We joke about this, which is why I have included this image. But its not funny really. Drunk Mummy is unpredictable & scary. Drunk adults are slurry, boring, dis-inhibited and frightening at times.

Never again


cognitive dissonance


I’m wondering increasingly about my persistent listlessness and inability to ‘get on with things’. This is really unlike me – and although I know I must allow myself space to adjust to the new reality of not drinking, I’m struggling with the consequences – it seems to me that everything is falling apart.

I lack the motivation to cook, to clean up, to manage the washing, to help the kids with homework, to manage my paperwork. All I seem to do is watch rubbish TV, drag myself to the gym, spend money I don’t have, and EAT – sugar and carbs being top of the list.

This behaviour, or lack of it, is making me really miserable. I wake feeling hopeful, planning things I need to do, and then all my energy is used up being at work and I come home with barely the energy to unload the dishwasher. The house is a mess, the kids do very little, (In reality nothing at all unless I nag them to death) and my partner just doesn’t seem to see what needs done.

All this failure to do what I need to, is not great for my mood.

This persistent feeling, from ‘not bring good enough ‘ to just plain BAD , is very familiar to me. For a long time it was my drinking that I felt bad about, my weakness in giving in every day to the lure of alcohol. It’s ironic that, having removed the dissonant feeling related to my drinking , it’s almost immediately replaced with something else.

Could it be that I’m so unfamiliar with feeling happy with myself, so unused to Not feeling ashamed of me, that I am self sabotaging? Replacing my disgust with myself related to my drinking to disgust with myself for laziness, overeating and neglectful parenting?

Is this uncharacteristic idleness serving some deeper psychological need within me ? That it’s too hard to be proud of myself ? That I deep inside believe I am too worthless to feel comfortable in my own skin. So, to bring back the unpleasant but familiar cognitive dissonance and self disgust, I subconsciously do other things that I disapprove of.

Oh heck I am a mess. A sober mess, but still a dreadful mess …


Right from early childhood I was taught to put others first. Consider what they wanted, put myself out to make others happy. I was conditioned to behave in a way which took little account of my own feelings. Indeed I almost grew up believing that my FEELINGS were of no account. When asked by various counsellors over my adult life how I ‘felt’ about certain situations , I have often been completely unable to identify my emotions about almost any given experience. It has recently – in the last two years – occurred to me how abnormal, and more importantly unhealthy, this is. 

Always putting others first has been, unsurprisingly, a recipe for disaster. I have literally not been able to respond with appropriate anger and outrage when appalling things have been done by others. I have struggled to feel anger, let alone express it, when I have been physically threatened by my ex husband. 

Getting sober – and staying sober means that I have to put my needs higher up the list. I have three children – and their needs (and often wants) have been my first priority, add to my life a FT professional job running a medium sized healthcare business with two others, a partner I adore, my mum, friends and it’s easy to see how carving out time to attend to my own needs has been a low priority.

I know, to be long term successful, and to grow and develop into the woman I believe I can be, I need to reverse the habits of a lifetime and start prioritising my needs. We all know that cravings and temptations are harder to resist when we are hungry, angry, lonely or tired – and we all know individual triggers that make us want to reach for the nearest bottle of alcohol – any alcohol. I need to manage my work load, personal time, activities and social life do that I minimise these triggers , and support myself in achieving what I desperately want to.

It’s hard though, to learn to put oneself first … And will be called selfish by some. … I just need to reframe that “selfish” as self protective / self care / self love


imageI’m still struggling with low mood and boredom, and a vague feeling of dissatisfaction. So today I have decided to write about my hopes for the future. In many ways my decision to cease drinking was based on an increasing cognitive dissonance, I enjoyed my wine, relied on it, used to to fill uncomfortable spaces in my life, but I had been increasingly uncomfortable with my resultant behaviour.

So the first of my hopes for the future – which is already being partially realised, is that I will live a more authentic life. I will not be doing something which on many levels I don’t actually want to. I hope that this authenticity will reduce some of my self criticism and feeling of worthlessness. Being drunk, and the way I behaved was not great for self esteem – and I am looking forward to remembering my behaviour without cringing.

I have hopes for my professional life too. Too many times I have been operating below par, cutting corners and fighting nausea whilst I get through the days. There are things I want to achieve at work, things that require higher level thinking – time and consistent concentration. I believe I have the aptitude and necessary skills to develop my business further – and that doing so will provide me with a satisfaction that has been lacking in recent years.

My hopes for my personal life are the most important. I’ve had a pretty tumultuous last 20 years. I’ve made some seriously foolish decisions and had to live with the consequences, I honestly believe that as a sober woman I will have more to offer my friends, family and my relationship. I hope that being proud of myself, rather than slightly ashamed, will translate into taking better care of myself all round. It already has to some extent – I attend yoga and Pilates now, and am much more physically active. These classes are at times when I would previously have been either drinking or hungover ! Some of the money I used to spend on alcohol I am spending on gym membership – and some of the time I have saved is being invested in self care. I have a dream that I will,one day be flexible like the others in my yoga class, and develop a posture like my yoga teacher !

I hope my kids will be proud of me. That they will never worry that I will embarrass them by being drunk, they they will see me as an honest, developing person, and respect what I have achieved.

As I write this post, I can feel some of my listlessness dissipating. It’s empowering when I see that these hopes are within my grasp. And to achieve them, all I have to do is stay dry.




“change…usually begins with a door closing, an ending, a completion, a loss, a death. Then we enter an uncomfortable period, mourning this completion and living in the uncertainty of what is next. This period is hard.

But just when we feel we can’t take it anymore, something new emerges: a reintegration, a reinvestment, a new beginning. A door opens. If you fight change, you will be fighting your whole life. That’s why we need to find a way to embrace change, or at least to accept it.

Through aspiring to accept life on life’s terms we begin to move from feeling like a victim and blaming the world around us.”

Elisabeth Kubler Ross.

I am struggling a bit right now. I managed the physical symptoms of the first two weeks, and I survived the draining insomnia. I coped with the first few social encounters, smiled and explained away my unusual abstemious behaviour. I went on a weekend break – normally a huge excuse to drink heavily. And I did not drink.

Now the intense cravings have largely passed, I’ve settled into NOT opening the wine when I get home, I’m sleeping better… Importantly to me, my blood pressure has reduced significantly. And I’m a bit bored. I’m aware of a creeping ennui, and a vague feeling of dissatisfaction; a feeling of being short changed.

I have not lost any weight, my life is not magically transformed, I still have problems. In fact the blunt reality of those problems seems more present, real and intrusive than they were when I drank to forget. I’m not running, although I have taken up Pilates and Yoga;  I’m still overwhelmed and over stressed. What’s the point?

When I read the above quote, from a psychiatrist I greatly respect, I remember that choosing sobriety also involves loss and grief. Sure, much of the loss is positive, but there is also loss that deserves recognition. The loss of myself as a ‘normal drinker’, the grief at the time I have wasted, the acceptance of the foolish, selfish and at times dangerous things I have done. These things need acknowledgement; they need emotional space so that they can be processed, accepted and I can move on.

I have read a large number of “sober bibles”; at the time I read avidly and absorbed every word as though it were gospel. Now, as I reflect on some of what I read, I chose to reject the relentlessly positive message that comes from some self help books. There is loss, grief and sadness in accepting change, I suggest there needs to be.

But ultimately I expect there will be acceptance, and peace. This picture, taken in one of my favourite places feels peaceful to me.


Not as bad as others… Yet

Since I have decided that my drinking days are over I have confided in only a few people. Last time I stopped drinking I told a few more – and a common response was surprise that I should feel the need to stop drinking completely. I guess I hid the full extent of my consumption quite well. But surprise, and suggestions that I could ‘just have one’ or ‘keep or to the weekends’, just remind me that whilst I may appear to others to be successful and in control, the reality was somewhat different.

In my line of work I have seen many people who drink too much. For the last 20 years or so, I have comforted myself with the thought that I am ‘not as bad as them’ ; Now I add “yet” on to the end of that sentence.

‘Not as bad as others.. Yet’ .. I have not been in trouble with the law, have not lost my job, children or relationships through alcohol YET; my health has not broken down, YET…

But I saw how close the line was between NOW when things were ok, and one small error – when the whole house of cards could come tumbling down.

I had ‘only’ been drinking 60 -70 units a week. That’s quite light compared with some – and I have fooled / deluded myself with that knowledge ….

In reality – ONLY ??? what the fuck – that is 5 x the recommended limits – and it WAS impacting negatively on MY life. I had missed work due to drinking in the last year – ok, only once – but countless more days I had been below standard, irritable and performed poorly because I have been hungover …. The impact on family time has been more nebulous, and is the subject of an alternative blog post I think.
It was time to stop. While I am my family are still intact.

I have told only my partner that I intend never to drink again. I don’t know why I am reticent – it may be predominantly that I am ashamed to admit my alcohol dependence. It maybe because normal people – you know those who don’t drink because they don’t like the taste – don’t really talk about it. It may be because it’s personal, and the decision is private… I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s because once you tell people there us no way back … You can’t exactly say one day ” ok I’ve stopped drinking because I recognised I had a problem ” , and then be seen waving a bottle of sav blanc the next can you !

So for today I am thankful I have been granted the strength to quit before it was too late…” Not as bad as others yet” – and hopefully now, never.img_0262


You want to stop drinking. You get as far as having a few days AF. Your significant other/your friends get a bit tetchy about it, so you cave in (lets be honest, we never need (needed) much of an excuse) and get totally wellied, with all the guilt and other ramifications that go with it. The people that wanted you to drink in the first place now take great pleasure in telling you what an arse you made of yourself the night before.
Stop – rewind the tape and have a look at what you’re thinking here. You have a drink because other people want you to?? You’re killing yourself to keep other people happy?? Really?? That’s like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.(Nelson Mandela) 

Being sober is my number one priority at the moment. I will put that need above other people’s expectations, social obligations, niceties, prior arrangements everything. At home, with my family I am confident I can resist the urge to drink; outside, in other company, not so much. So for now, I don’t put myself in positions where I feel uncomfortable, edgy or awkward.

Last night there was a school reunion. It’s 35 years since I have left school! There was a free bar – courtesy of one of my peers and the reunion was close to where I live now. I gave it a lot of thought as to whether I should go. Without alcohol I can feel socially awkward, anxious and edgy. It’s not a nice feeling. I weighed up how likely I was to feel like drinking, how easy it would be to resist and planned what I could drink, and how I could leave. In the end I met a couple of past friends in the afternoon for tea and cake, and the bolstered by that and knowing that at least one would be at the evening event , I attended. It was fine, no urges to drink – although I ate a lot of chips ! 

today is day 86, EIGHTY SIX ! and I had to think about that. I realise I have thought about drinking a lot less in the last few weeks. Initially when I decided to stop I honestly thought about drinking every 5 seconds for days, even at times I would never previously have thought of it. Now I don’t; most of yesterday passed without me thinking ‘I don’t drink’ or ” Yay I’m sober’ or “I need wine” . i have thought all those things, but not continuously… It’s a relief as I was finding the constant pre-occupation with alcohol exhausting….

So, small steps forward. I attended a social event I would have avoided like the plague a month ago, and sailed through. Being sober, not drinking, is beginning to feel ‘normal’, and my DP, who has previously been supportive but carried on drinking, has decided to take a break. Today is his day 5

Happy Sober Sunday xx

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 .