Giving up the Drink - My Story
Sunday, June 08, 2014
I AM WRITING THIS BECAUSE I CARE ABOUT ALL THOSE PEOPLE WHO HAVE DIFFICULTIES WITH ALCOHOL AND ALL THOSE WHO WANT TO HAVE A LIFE FREE FROM ALCOHOL. YOU ARE ALL SO LIKE ME AND HOW I USED TO BE. PLEASE DO NOT BE OFFENDED BY ANYTHING I SAY AS I MAY NOT ALWAYS EXPRESS MYSELF CLEARLY. IF I OFFEND ANY OF YOU, I AM TRULY SORRY - I JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO ME.
I said I was not going to be on alcohol related forums any more but I do look in from time to time. One thing that strikes me is that no matter when I look in the same stories are being told over and over and that makes me very sad. I liked being part of a drinkers group because everyone was like me (how I was), giving each other support but also giving each other permission to drink. Sorry if that sounds blunt but I see it from a very similar perspective to a slimming club.
For example, you go along thinking you are going to be the fattest and everyone is going to point the finger and no-one will understand what you are going through. You get there and you are not the fattest and everyone else has the same stories and same struggles so you are kindred spirits. You laugh at the tales of the sneaked cake out of the fridge in the middle of the night which has no calories because no one saw you eat it. You all have tips on avoiding eating too much at parties, weddings etc., and tips on how to get away with having a little more at the party by hardly eating all day. You like the fattest girl because she makes you feel better but you like the ones who are the same as you, 1lb off 2lbs on, 2lbs off 1lb on, nothing lost and nothing gained. The equilibrium is comfortable. None of you ever believe you will be the slim girl you saw at class when you first came but she is not around now. Have you wondered where she is. She has stopped coming since she reach her goal. She came for a while and joined in offering her advice and support but you didn’t want to listen because you thought she was the exception and you would never be that girl.
Getting back to alcohol, you can all be that girl, the one who gives it up and finds a better life. What you are doing here is the same as the slimming clubs do, keeping the momentum going and not upsetting the equilibrium by making drastic life changes. You are in a place where you feel comfortable and safe and so you should be, but you are also in a place where you don't want to leave. If you gave up alcohol where would you go, you would have to leave the group and you would be outside your comfort area.
Now I feel a bit like an evangelist but I am not religious, not perfect, far from it. I have been drinking since the age of 11 following sexual abuse (I won't go into my story, some of you already know). I have always drunk, when happy, when scared, when lonely. At parties, always the one to have not just one too many but several until I was falling down dead drunk. At meals, always the one who had to finish the bottle or get another in. My trick was that my husband always finishes a meal with a coffee which I don’t like. The waiter would be told, one coffee and a large white wine please. At family events I was always known as the one who would make a fool of myself or cause an argument. I know now that often they would have preferred not to invite me. I know my daughter loves me with all her heart but was hurt by the whispers the next day from friends and always felt she had to stick up for me and protect me.
I didn’t have a problem. I was never an alcoholic, I never had gin with my cornflakes and tried to be alcohol free at least 2 nights a week. My medical results never showed my drinking was causing physical damage but recently had started to cause my doctor to ask questions.
OF COURSE I HAD A PROBLEM, I COULDN’T STOP DRINKING.
There, I have said it.
Not long ago I was browsing through a forum for women who felt they drank too much but didn’t feel it was a problem. They wanted to cut back and try and lose a few pounds. One contributor mentioned a book called ‘KICK THE DRINK… EASILY’ by Jason Vale. She said she had not read it but intended to. I don’t know if she did or not but I did.
I started to read it and he says not to give up until you finish the book - maybe I could drag it out for a year!!! But, seriously, he says to read the whole book within a couple of weeks, which I did. He also says to plan when you are going to stop and think about it.
This being mid-November, I decided to stop on 3rd January 2014. In my mind that was a good date to stop to allow me to get a few drinks down me over Christmas and New Year and giving up drinking would be my New Year’s Resolution. AGAIN.
I dutifully read the book and thought carefully about what he said, questioning some things, agreeing with others. When I finished it I felt as though I couldn’t wait to stop drinking. I told my family I wanted to change my stop date to 3rd December but they were sceptical, thinking I would be miserable over the Christmas holidays and probably make everyone else miserable. I thought about this for a while and could have used it as another excuse to carry on drinking but no, I had made up my mind. Or had I had my mind made up for me.
I STOPPED DRINKING ON 3RD DECEMBER 2013.
Since then I have been to parties at Chrismas, one inbetween Christmas and New Year, a New Year’s Eve Party, my birthday, hubbies birthday, our wedding anniversary, holiday in Italy and so it goes on. Some friends bought us a bottle of Champagne for our April wedding anniversary. It is still unopened.
Since then I have had more problems regarding my past abuse, I have suffered a further bout of depression and currently I am suffering acute anxiety diagnosed as PTS and will be starting therapy to help me finally put the past away. Still I have not had a drink.
I don’t know what Jason Vale has done to me but I cannot bring myself to have an alcoholic drink. That is not totally true. In Italy I was told I must try Limoncello, the national drink. A very small glass is usually offered free at the end of a restaurant meal. I tasted it. It was delicious. I gave the rest of the glass away. One sip was enough. One sip did not drive me back to drinking so I have no fear of being around alcohol. Good job really as we have a cabinet full of various liqueurs, spirits and wines but not a one to tempt me back. I don’t even have to think about it, or fight it. I JUST DO NOT WANT TO DRINK.
That is my story and it takes me back to the forums I spoke about earlier. They are there to support and comfort but I also hope some of you find the answer you are looking for. Jason worked for me so it might just be worth a try.
Disclaimer: I do not know Jason Vale, never met him, I have only read his book. I have no other reason to recommend it except that it worked for me.
I would like to thank him for saving my life.