When did alcohol take over my life? When did I cross that line? When did I become a secret drinker? Drinking alone. Guarding my stash. Nobody knew.
A few drinks were never enough. My whole headspace was taken up with :
How much wine will there be?
Why is everyone drinking so slowly!
Where’s the next drink coming from?
Will there be alcohol here?
Why can’t we order another one?
When nobody knew. I often wondered … who actually knew?
I grew up with an alcoholic mother. My childhood was happy enough but I was anxious. I never really understood why. My mother drank a lot at home. I hated it. I hated finding hidden bottles. I actively searched for them. Trying to protect those around me. I dreaded my father coming home and finding her in bed. There were often rows and bruises. Nobody spoke of it. We just carried on.
She died in her 70th year. I was expecting my second child……
Now I’m a 56-year-old woman with 4 grown-up children. Unexpectedly, I became a secret drinker like my alcoholic mother, but last week I celebrated two years sober. If I can do it you can do it! This is my story in my voice.
I think that alcohol took over my life when my father’s dementia grew unbearable. I’d be looking after him but exhausted and alone. Away from my kids and hub. Drinking was a break, in a way. For some reason, I started sneaking wine at my father’s house. He’d never know.
I continued. It snowballed. Most days per week. I’d smuggle them in. Miniatures, cans bottles. A secret drinker, guarding my stash. Nobody knew.
Surely I’m not an alcoholic.
Not like my mother.
Nobody would know if I had a few ‘extras’ in my bag. I got really good at smuggling booze everywhere 😱 It became a full-time job keeping my secret stash topped up, not to mention getting rid of the empties. It became a little game. Just the alcohol terrorist and me. How much could we get away with ? !!!
The game was up for me when he became greedy. Taking away my dignity. Pushing me over. Causing blackouts. Bringing tension into my home. Crippling me with anxiety. Taking away chunks of time that were a complete mystery and an embarrassment.
Feelings of loneliness, how can that be with four kids and a husband? Numbing it out seemed the only way. Chasing that buzz. Nobody knew.
This went on for years sadly. Only I knew. I also knew that it wasn’t right. I knew that although I wasn’t as bad I was becoming like my alcoholic mother. A secret drinker guarding my stash.
By complete fate, I heard a radio interview with the author of High Sobriety, a great book that changed my life. I learnt about an online forum HSM, the predecessor to here.
I continued my secret drinking. I read loads and started posting to my community online until finally, I woke up. I realised the nonsense that booze was feeding me. I couldn’t do it anymore. Not even moderation. It just wouldn’t work for me. It can for some, but I didn’t want just one glass. I had Absolutely No off switch.
It took a while to figure that one out. The crippling anxiety and blacking out. Booze was now doing that to me when once it had been fun.
The fun was over. The real work began of finding me. The real me.
I’m still a work in progress.
When nobody knew, I often wondered who actually knew ? I knew for sure. There was no getting away from me.
Thankfully I got off that hamster wheel.
I truly hope that you’ll see the true colours that booze delivers. I’m thankful everyday, now that my conscience is clear whatever life throws at me 🏋️♀️
Have you heard the term Gray/Grey area drinking? If you haven’t heard that term this post explains it really well :
and so does this post from a different perspective :
Many of us considered ourselves grey/gray area drinkers. If you are wondering where you are on the spectrum these posts might help
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