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I am a high functioning alcoholic

(50 Posts)
MrsDarcy99 Thu 01-Mar-18 09:31:26

And I don't know how to change.

I drink a bottle of wine every night, sometimes more. I have a demanding, stressful job. I am a single mother, one child at university and one about to sit GCSEs. I know I need to stop drinking but the thought of doing so scares me. I have been drinking for such a long time at these levels, I don't know how to be me again.

Another issue I have is that I like the social side. I like having a glass of wine with my friends and my family. I wish I could just have one or two drinks but I don't seem to have an off switch where alcohol is concerned. Many evenings become a blur. Lots of evenings I have really looked forward to become nothing. I don't remember them.

I don't know what the triggers are any more. I think they used to be boredom, frustration. loneliness. But now it's a habit. I feel fat, sluggish, I don't do any exercise, my clothes don't fit me anymore. Surely all of this should be enough reason to do something about it? But the thing is I know I need to stop completely. I have no willpower at all. That is what scares me as well

Yesterday I went out for lunch with colleagues from work. I had two large glasses of wine, and in the evening I finished a bottle of red wine and then opened a bottle of white wine and drank half of that. That's not normal is it? It's gone beyond just having a drink when I get home from work and become more of a crutch to get through the evening.

I have been on my own as a single mother for many years. I have not had a relationship for some time and that is largely due to the fact that I don't like myself. I think there is a huge correlation between this and my drinking.

I wake up every morning thinking this will be the day I'm not going to have a drink. But every day I find a reason not to stop. I find a reason to have to go to the shop. Once there I don't have the willpower to not buy a bottle of wine.

I don't really know why I am posting this. It has helped me writing this and saying the words out loud. But I know I need help to try and stop. Why is there such a sense of shame to admit to being addicted to alcohol rather than being addicted to cigarettes?

So today is day 1 smile

MrsDarcy99 Thu 01-Mar-18 09:31:46

Sorry that was so long!!

jayne1044 Thu 01-Mar-18 15:19:25

Hi Darcy,

I could have written your post just over a week ago. Today I’m am 10 AF. I understand the not liking yourself bit I’m very hard on myself and am also a single parent. Not in a rush to be in a relationship until I have found happiness with myself first.
I joined the brave babes thread on the relationship board and post there each day it has helped and I was given some great support and advice. I’ve been reading the Jason Vale book and downloaded clare pooleys sober diaries on audible to listen to on my drive into work.
I was worried I might have horrendous withdrawals after drinking a bottle of wine night for god know how long but the worst I’ve had was a mild headache on day 2. I can’t stop eating though and have stocked up on lots of posh fruit cordials with spring water. You can do this x

sportyfool Thu 01-Mar-18 15:24:42

Yes you are alcoholic dependant in answer to your question but loads of people seem to drink a lot every night so you aren't alone .
You need to break the cycle for your health . Maybe join AA ?

BerkInBag Thu 01-Mar-18 19:14:46

Congratulations on deciding that today is day 1.

I'm day 67 alcohol free. I didn't think I could ever do it, I couldn't imagine not having a drink and I also felt shame that I couldn't "drink normally". I am now at a point where I can see that it is possible and that I can have a good time and a life without booze and I don't care what anybody else thinks.

Start reading the sobriety blogs, get the books, listen to the podcasts and audiobooks and find out how other people started from your position and moved to being AF. I recently signed up to Club Soda which has a website and a few closed Facebook groups. There are a lot of links to resources and good books on the website and free courses like the 30 day Alcohol Experiment that you can take part in. Good podcasts are the Bubble Hour and the Truth About Alcohol (used to be the Needy Helper). Good books are The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober and Alcohol Explained by William Porter but there are loads of others.

I've found that if you keep reading, keep listening then eventually you start to see through the smoke screen and all the bullshit around booze. You get to the point where you think "actually, why the hell do I do this" and when you hit that point it's so much easier to stop. You start feeling sorry for people that do drink (but I would NEVER say that to anybody in real life).

lynmilne65 Thu 01-Mar-18 20:05:47

yes there is life without alcohol, I have done it for 34 years now !!!!

teaiseverything Thu 01-Mar-18 20:15:16

Just want to say well done for recognising and admitting there's a problem.

HRHPrincessMegan Thu 01-Mar-18 20:33:39

I stopped drinking just before Christmas 7 years ago. I too liked the social side of drinking and genuinely believed that I would never be able to have a fulfilling, fun life without alcohol. The truth was that my life was rendered pretty empty by drink. I couldn’t enjoy my family, my highly paid but stressful job, my friends mind was a mess.

7 years on I do not miss alcohol one bit. I don’t need it to relax, to celebrate, to commiserate, to fill my evenings. My life is far richer for its absence and more importantly manageable.

I second the advice to read sobriety blogs, join AA. Basically speak to people who have shared a dependency on alcohol. Some experiences will resonate now, some later and others will make you think, there but for the grace of God go I. You will be fine.

MrsDarcy99 Thu 01-Mar-18 20:37:04

Thank you all so much for replying, I didn't think anyone would!

I'm ashamed to say I bought wine (needed milkblush) but I won't drink more than this glass. I'm tired and had a crazy day at work.

I do have Jason Vale's book, I have started it many times but never got past 100 pages. Maybe this weekend I will try and read it. I've also got an alcohol hypnosis download. It really relaxes me but doesn't get me past this time of night.

It's just so bloody hard making that step towards drinking nothing. If I could only stop at one or even two on a night out. But as it stands I drink until I can't drink any more. I'm never sick I don't really wake up with a headache, but that's even worse isn't it?!

Onwards and upwards xx

donajimena Thu 01-Mar-18 20:43:15

Hi I'm almost 15 weeks alcohol free. If you are a Facebook user join us in club soda together.
I think there are a few mumsnetters in there. Its a closed group.
I've read all the books mentioned above and I have gone from a daily drinker to zilch
My life is so much better now. Yet I thought I would never enjoy life without alcohol in it. There is hope.

HRHPrincessMegan Thu 01-Mar-18 20:44:23

I think you’d really benefit from meeting people who’ve been in your position and passed through it. I found AA immensely helpful. I cried buckets the first few times I went but it was so cathartic. There are women only groups if you think that might make you feel more at ease. You don’t need to speak at the meetings, just listening is incredibly helpful.

vxa2 Thu 01-Mar-18 20:44:37

If you are by any chance near Birmingham I run a group for professional women choosing alcohol free. I am coming up to 2 years sober. I could have written your post. If you would like to come to the group PM me. How about going to your GP or local addictions service? I self referred to my local service. I really didn't want to but I needed to stop and actually they were really good. Well done for reaching out.

MrsDarcy99 Thu 01-Mar-18 21:00:34

I've heard negative things about AA...and going there means really having to admit there is a problem. I know it sounds ridiculous, but posting on here is somewhat anonymous. Actually completely anonymous.

So going to meetings where I really have to confront the issues and the demons face-to-face seems terrifying to me. It was bloody hard posting my message this morning!

I know I have to be brave and I know I have to tackle the problems. But I'm not really sure of the best way to go about it. Having a crazy day at work today all I could think about this afternoon was going home and having a glass of wine. I wish I could just crave going out for a run, a cup of tea, or a bath and my book. But instead I crave a large glass of cold Sauvignon blanc. And once the bottle is open the rest is history.

But I know the first step towards getting past this, is to acknowledge that there is a problem. So baby steps 😊

MrsDarcy99 Thu 01-Mar-18 21:01:49

@vxa2 I'm in Buckinghamshire so not too far away! Thank you so much for the suggestion. What days do you run it on?

HRHPrincessMegan Thu 01-Mar-18 21:20:39

I have heard plenty of negative things about AA too but I’ve never experienced them!

I know exactly what you mean about the significance of attending a meeting. It took me a long time to get to my first meeting - many, many years passed from my first awareness that that I was a problem drinker to actual going to a meeting. It wasn’t plain sailing once I made it in the door either. That’s when I had to confront truths about myself that weren’t exactly pleasant and without the numbing benefit of alcohol.

HRHPrincessMegan Thu 01-Mar-18 21:22:28

And of course you crave a drink rather than a bath/book/whatever, you are addicted.

jayne1044 Thu 01-Mar-18 23:07:32

I have tried a few times, but a bottle of wine always managed to find its way in my shopping basket and if not I would get twitchy about 7pm and find a excuse to nip to the corner shop.
I’m only 10 days in but this time I’ve had a mindset change. At first my plan was to just last one week now i want to do 30 days and maybe never again who knows.
I struggled at first with Jason Vales book but most of the time I was too pissed to concentrate. This time I’ve done a couple of chapters a night in bed with a cup of chai tea or chamomile.
Somehow the penny has dropped and instead of feeling like I’m giving up something I’m looking to what I’m gaining.
My quality of sleep is the biggest think I’ve noticed straight away. I’m now looking forward to all the other gains I.e more money, clear eyes face not so puffy these are already improving slightly.
I’ve saved nearly £80 so in a few weeks I’m going to treat myself to a a facial.
Just try one week see how you get on what have you got to lose? I for one would love to hear how get one x

jayne1044 Thu 01-Mar-18 23:10:13

* sorry for typos I meant to say “how you get on.”

donajimena Thu 01-Mar-18 23:48:31

Ive been to AA women's meetings. They are lovely. I don't agree with a lot of AA but I will definitely go again because its extremely supportive.
I often hear the comment about negative things regarding AA but I don't let that sway me away from it because for a start they are (mostly) sober and also there is the saying 'take what you need which for me is the inspiration and support from the women there.

MrsDarcy99 Fri 02-Mar-18 07:42:57

Yes @jayne1044!! I started reading it so many times but would have to re-read what I thought I'd read the night before. I seem to have thrown away misplaced my copy though so I've just ordered another one on Amazon to come tonight.

And I completely relate to the twitchy feeling around 7. I've been known to be poring a glass of wine before I've even taken my coat and shoes off. And the puffy face and crap sleep. How will I get to sleep? Will I become addicted to something else? All these things go through my head.

Plus what message does this give to my children?

On a positive note I didn't finish the bottle last night and I'm bizarrely proud of myself.

Thank you all, you're lovely x

MrsDarcy99 Fri 02-Mar-18 07:43:47

*pouring even 🙄

BigSandyBalls2015 Fri 02-Mar-18 10:43:04

Well done for not finishing the bottle, that in itself is a huge improvement and step forward.

Today's a new day, best of luck.

Don't beat yourself up - the fact that you've recognised this is a problem and you wand to change is a fab thing.

jayne1044 Fri 02-Mar-18 11:07:36

I worried about getting to sleep but not had any problems at all.

What are your plans tonight?
I bought some bergamot oil the other day I put a few drops in a hot bath it’s so relaxing.

jayne1044 Fri 02-Mar-18 11:12:30

And yes the children were a massive factor for me.
When DS 3 asked me if I wanted a brew or was I on the wine after getting in from work made me realise sad

Peanutbuttercheese Fri 02-Mar-18 12:04:36

You are acknowledging there is a problem that's the first step and I say well done. My stepfather was an alcoholic, his alcoholism killed him. He had a very well paid responsible job. He was in charge of the lives of hundreds of people a day. He never ever acknowledged there was a problem.

Under all addictions be it alcohol, food, people that are bad for us is some underlying deep sadness. That sadness may be truly known to the person but never said or it may not be obvious. Sometimes people block out trauma especially from childhood but those fractured memories are always there driving the addictions.

Good luck I think meeting people, with similar issues whatever they are is very helpful.

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