Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

I've scared myself and am not sure what to do.

(36 Posts)
Shinylights Sun 29-Sep-13 20:59:37

I drank two bottles of wine, by myself, in my pj's, in front of the telly, one night last week. When I got up the next day I was horrified at how much I'd drank and haven't drank since, but I've scared myself.

I'm in my 40s, married with 3 kids. We are under a lot of external pressure and after going through a phase of continually bursting into tears/shouting etc, I saw my GP and she put me in citalopram. I felt more in control I suppose, and calmer, but it affected my sleep and I also feel like I can't relax properly, so got into the habit of a big glass if wine when the children go to bed. The glass has turned into the bottle, and then opening a second bottle, and that takes me to last week.

My husband keeps odd hours and wasn't aware how much I was drinking. I told him everything and he was shocked but supportive. I've got rid of all the wine in the house and haven't drank since but I need a plan I think.

AA seems very "all or nothing" and I also am too frightened to come off the antidepressants. I come from a long line of drinkers, and my dad is a functional alcoholic. I haven't discussed this with anyone other than my DH.

Please help!

*sorry, pressed post
Love not having to wake up in the morning, and worry about what I did the day before.
I also love the fact that I live in the moment, and not constantly think about when I can have a glass of wine!

There is a difference between being physically and emotionally dependent on alcohol.
I have never been physically dependent. However I was totally emotionally dependent, and used it consistently as a coping mechanism. I drank emotionally not realising that it made every situation worse.
I now have many other ways of coping. And don't have any desire to drink.
Bottles of wine no longer call to me from the fridge!!! And when I have a bad day, or a good day or an ok day - I have other things to do to occupy the time that I filled in with booze.

I also stopped for weeks, therefore telling myself that I was ok and not dependent. However - I still hated myself in the morning after drinking,
I love not having to wake up

Shinylights Fri 04-Oct-13 21:07:43

Thankyou! Tell me again the bit about not being dependent? I mean, is that the sort of benchmark - that you can give it up for a week without physical ill effects?

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 04-Oct-13 20:58:54

I'm glad you're making progress. Lost a good friend to alcohol related liver-failure a few years ago and she was only a 'bottle of wine a night' girl rather than the traditional image of the hardened alcoholic. So it's easy to be damaged without knowing.

I always suggest to people that realise they have been drinking too regularly/heavily to commit to just one week off the booze. A week isn't 'forever' but it's a decent break that allows you to find other things to drink with the pizza and ... very important.... see how dependent you are. If you've given up for 8 days I think you can be satisfied you're not dependent - good news. Which means your wine-drinking was a bad habit which is a slightly less scary thing to acknowledge. Entrenched bad habits take about six weeks to begin changing so maybe you could make that your next goal? Good luck

Shinylights Fri 04-Oct-13 20:47:58

Thankyou I'll have a look at that website!

It's Friday so that's 8 days since I last had a drink. grin
I'm ok. I've had to rethink my habits and have made some changes to my evening routine which has helped. I've also said I'm going to give up for October, for Macmillan (they're doing a campaign at the moment) and will donate some of what I spent on wine, to them. It's also easier to say that's why I'm not drinking at this point, and feels achievable and not "endless" somehow.
My skin is better, and I feel better in the mornings too, more than I thought I would. My sleep is still a bit weird but I wake more refreshed.
So all to the good I think. I'm not patting myself on the back yet, but a week ago I didn't think I'd be able to write this.

whoop Tue 01-Oct-13 10:25:38

Hi shiny, just wanted to say well done for facing up to something you are not happy with in your life, must have taken a lot of courage.

Don't worry about everything being jumbled up in your head. Without wanting to sound to hippyish, have you ever heard of mindfulness or a website called headspace? They do a free ten day guided meditation trial. It might help? ( am not linked to them or anything, have come across it on here before and reading your posts made me think it might be something else that might help.)

Sends like you have had a really fab 4 days even though you are feeling tired.

Shinylights Mon 30-Sep-13 23:01:12

And I too, will never be addicted to running! I know this with absolute confidence! grin

Shinylights Mon 30-Sep-13 23:00:10

Thanks tons for all your replies. It's Monday, and it's been 4 days since I drank and I feel ok. Better, maybe. Certainly I slept better last night but I'm very tired all the same. I've stocked up on B vitamins and am drinking lots of fluids.
Monday was always a heavy night - DH and I order pizza and I'd invariably have wine with it. Tonight I had orange juice!
I'm not patting myself on the back yet but I do feel like I've had a bit of a mind shift.
I still haven't worked out if I drank because of the citalopram, and if I wasn't on it then I wouldn't have developed the habit, or what. It's all jumbled up in my head.

HopeClearwater Sun 29-Sep-13 23:41:06

I know AA seems scary and 'all or nothing' but they don't see it like that in AA. It really is 'one day at a time' in there. That's all you need to deal with, OP - today. Not having a drink today. Never mind the rest of your life, because it's not here yet.
I love don't ignore the evidence venusandmars

venusandmars Sun 29-Sep-13 23:20:11

And I am never, ever likely to be addicted to running grin

venusandmars Sun 29-Sep-13 23:17:02

shiny I have no idea (to either of your questions). It's such an individual path.

I think that by admitting that you have problem NOW is good. It's maybe time to get on top of a bad habit which can be difficult to get out of, but doesn't mean that you have an 'incurable' alcoholic disease (if there is such a thing!).

My opinion is that a habit, any habit, is difficult to change (have you ever tried to change the 'habit' of brushing your teeth with your right hand? there is nothing 'bad' about which hand you hold your toothbrush in, but just try it to understand how tough it can be to change a non-addictive habit). If your habit is to drink, then the braves babes have loads of practical advice about helping to change the habit.

And several who post, or have posted in the past, have changed their habits. And are fine and OK and 'normal' drinkers (but are probably always slightly more vigilant and aware.....)

For me, the middle ground was the toughest of all. For me, it meant being vigilant, in control, always conscious of what I drank or planned to drink, always with strategies and plans, ever analytical, always counting units, forever bargaining with myself. God, it was exhausting. For me, much easier to not really drink much at all.

No-one can tell what your path might be. Imagine it as a great big experiment. You'll soon find out what works well for you, and what takes you back onto that big old alcoholic loop. And in your experiment you WILL find out what works for you. Just don't ignore the evidence.

Shiny, the thought of being abstinent really really scared the pants off me too, it also stopped me actually doing anything about my drinking for a time (longer than i care to admit tbh).

I went to AA thinking please let me be the one that can continue to drink a little bit. I am shocked to discover that it bothers me not a jot not to drink now.
I don't go to AA now because I don't want to live my life looking at what I don't do, I am too busy doing stuff I do want to do. But they were very helpful in the early days.

I would also point out - I am an addict. I was addicted to alcohol (whether that makes me an alcoholic - I am not sure) I am now addicted to running :-) far healthier - and makes my jeans look far better than they did after 2 bottles of wine!! I am quite happy to recognise that I am addict, it certainly helps with lots of things - just was not conducive to me and bottles of wine :-).

Choos123 Sun 29-Sep-13 22:51:53

Good luck shinylights, some distraction activities in the evening might help, is it possible you could start working out in the evenings, go to the gym, something to break that cycle of sitting down and trying to stop the whirring. I'm sure others would have better suggestions on that too.

Shinylights Sun 29-Sep-13 22:41:34

Thanks for replying - I simply cannot imagine being total abstinent. But is there a middle ground? By admitting I have a problem does that mean I will always have a problem?

venusandmars Sun 29-Sep-13 22:38:54

bafana 'greedy drinker' is such a great phrase smile it doesn't carry the emotion or prejudice of 'alcoholic' and it so well describes the feeling of wanting more, and also the feeling of hating someone who stole my share!*

shiny hold on to your hat and come and join us. It's a wonderful and bumpy ride.

I am with Venus on this, I no longer drink, and haven't for almost three years, because I drank very much like she did, I recognise myself a lot in her posts.
I did two things, I went to AA (although I don't any longer) and I joined the Brave Babes here. It helped me to talk through all the things that I didn't want to talk about and would rather have drank on.
I was also a very greedy drinker, one was never gonna be enough for me, I wanted it all and more. Two bottles was something I certainly did by the end of my drinking.
Luckily - like you I recognised it was not a good place to be. And I changed it before it began to really have a serious impact on my life.
Wish you all the luck in the world, you can totally get a handle on this.
I don't drink at all now, and tbh, the freedom it gives me is wonderful. And I can't think of a time in over a year where it has even occurred to me to drink.

Shinylights Sun 29-Sep-13 22:22:43

Thank you venusandmars, I'll peep in at the new thread. x

Shinylights Sun 29-Sep-13 22:19:15

I read every post on the very first thread of bravebabes - the one by jesuswhatnext and that's what prompted me to post - but she went to AA and I can't get my head round that. It's too scary. And you're right, I need another way to cope. I can't see how one glass has got so out of hand, yet it has. It's become That Thing I Do When The Kids Are In Bed.

venusandmars Sun 29-Sep-13 22:11:39

shiny I post on the BraveBabes thread on here: link here

We're all kinds of people who acknowledge that we drink too much. Some are not drinking at all, some are controlling their drinking, some of us are just in a messy phase.

Keep your own thread going here, but maybe have a wee peek at the Brave Babes thread - if alcohol is one of your problems then you'll probably find you identify with loads of what people post.

(and please don't be scared about posting - there are so many lovely people on that thread - they are a bunch of sweethearts)

something2say Sun 29-Sep-13 22:09:50

All you need is some different coping mechanisms to face those things. X. You can't deal wit trouble by getting off your tits every day x

Shinylights Sun 29-Sep-13 22:05:49

Will have a look, tgeboutiquemummy

Shinylights Sun 29-Sep-13 22:04:51

Something2say, the anxiety is from some heavy duty outside influences which I can't do anything about - some issues with one of my children, a protracted legal case which is still ongoing, that sort of thing. I've just got ground down.

theboutiquemummy Sun 29-Sep-13 22:03:25

Try the soberistas website they offer some great advice

Good luck x

Shinylights Sun 29-Sep-13 22:02:21

"Tbh, as someone with an alcohol problem, I never really wanted to be what anyone in normal society would call normal drinker. I didn't want to have ONE glass of wine and then drink tea all evening, I didn't want to share a bottle of wine with dh OCCASIONALLY, I didn't want to be sensible or sober. I wanted to be intoxicated. Often."

That rings a lot of bells with me.

something2say Sun 29-Sep-13 21:53:04

Shinylights, well done first of all, for admitting this. My advice is that you google alcohol services in your local area and make contact. Xx and don't get fixated in taking mess to alleviate the anxiety for too long...maybe up to a year. What could be behind the anxiety would you say? Xx

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now