Over a period of 12 months, I had visited my GP, had Cognitive Behavior Therapy, had talking therapies and eventually attended counselling from an alcohol specialist service. Trish my counsellor asked me what I wanted? I said I wanted to cut down my wine consumption. Each week she would encourage me to cut down and each week I would ignore her, obviously I didn’t want to ‘cut down’ after all. At the end of the summer in 2018 I missed a session and didn’t re-arrange and so I slipped off their radar. I’d feel a failure and drink more after the sessions rather than less. After I fell off their radar I had a couple of months of drinking as much as ever, every night.
I started to have some really low points, rock bottom events if you like. I behaved ridiculously, started arguments for no reason whatsoever and walked out of restaurants and hotels and went missing. I had regular blackouts and would be absolutely mortified the next day when I found out just how ridiculous I’d behaved, it was becoming a nightly occurrence.
One of the low points was a fall out with my mum where she pulled me on my drinking and I was distraught, really distraught. I’m pretty sure both of us cried for days!
Another low point was a couple of days later, I asked my son to lend me money to buy a ‘stop drinking’ book and he came with me to Waterstone’s to buy it. I’m still so ashamed of how low I stooped when under the influence of wine. I wasn’t just under the influence of wine on a nightly basis, it was on my mind pretty much all the time. I’d work and be looking forward to wine o’clock. I’d go running and dripping in sweat call in Tesco on the way home to buy copious amounts of wine.
Anyway, I read the book, downloaded books on audible, joined club soda, followed everyone sobriety related on Instagram, I kept myself extremely busy and I stopped drinking. The first few days were tough, but with the invaluable support of my partner Pete who stopped drinking with me, it was so much easier to do this together. I chose to drink alcohol-free substitutes, Nosecco and Freixenet 0% were my absolute saviours. I drank them by the bottle, but I didn’t care, I wasn’t drinking poison so could justify it.
I didn’t really tell people for the first few days, but then people actually started to comment on me being different. Being chirpier, clearer skin, losing weight, being all-around happier. After a few days and weeks I told everyone as I was so thrilled with how much better I felt.
I genuinely think that I got through those first weeks and months by filling the days full to the brim with ‘quit lit’ audio books, podcasts, books, social media support, running, yoga, park run, visiting friends for coffee and cake. What I was actually doing was making up for all the hours, weeks and years that I had lost of my old wine drinking life. It felt absolutely amazing to be so full of vitality.
So here I am writing this at almost 12 months sober, people are still really supportive, I’m still enjoying life to the fullest, with such a positive outlook, still doing crazy shit, never still, always on the go, trying to inspire others, trying to help people if they need it. All because I can….
Thank you for reading my blog post! Do something lovely for yourself this weekend, I know I will 😊 X
Disclaimer: I do not condone just stopping drinking, please seek medical advice before you make any drastic lifestyle changes