Archive for the ‘Me and alcohol’ Category

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I can understand why some people would try and convince someone that they are not an alcoholic. If that person was a big drinker themselves and they missed their drinking buddy. That their relationship was based on their escapades together at yonder party place.

I can understand if it gets bought up in the middle of a ho down heaving party. They are a few merry drinks down and they want you to just be your old self and join in on the fun and not be a wet blanket

I had an experience this weekend – in the cold light of day – not a party in sight – where a long time friend was quite adamant that I am not an alcoholic. That he had known me for 30 years (true) and that I am definitely not an alcoholic (untrue if you know the correct definitions) and this stopping drinking lark was taking it to the extreme.

Said moderate drinker friend was cleaning his swimming pool when I popped in to say hello so there was no party going on and it didn’t need to be addressed within the first minute of conversation like it was.

It was like he had been waiting for the chance.

I am still abit confused as to where this came from.

Perhaps it was been playing on his mind.

I am a little irritated that it has taken me years to step up to the program and get to the point where I am comfortable saying “I am Diddy and I am an alcoholic” and from left field there is a friend who is not happy with my diagnosis and new lifestyle.

As a side bar issue, this friend’s best male friend is someone who I think is an alcoholic. A right ball of fun. But yes. A piss cat. So perhaps he really really likes his mates to be alcoholic ?

What benefits are there to a person to having an alcoholic friend ?

Why is it an issue if they stop drinking ?

Does it put the alcoholic friend in their place lower than them in the pecking order of life ?

Are alcoholics exciting to be around ?

Are they entertaining ?

I don’t know.

I is just pondering.

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rock bottom

I have been not able to get to any meetings this week because of lack of babysitting.

Teenie has been feeling very floppy and – dare I say – exhibiting signs of low grade depression. I’ve just googled “lack of energy in teenagers”. Not much info except she should get 9 hours sleep a night. Which she does. She tends to shuffle around, shoulders hunched and sparks of excitement and energy only seem to surface when around friends on the weekends. I am surmising this upturn of mood based on recollections and must make a mental note to watch her mood over this weekend when her mate comes over.

Although on the one hand I do not want to be helicopter parent, I must take into account her depression history, our past and the family history around bi-polar, addiction, depression and anxiety. She is on medication for anxiety and ADD and has been for about six years. There are some recent signs of body hate (“I have fat legs” “my feet are too big”) which concern the hell out of me.

Back to lack of babysitting – although Teenie is 14 years old and many of her peers would probably stay at home on their own for an hour or two, Teenie doesn’t. She refuses to stay even 5 minutes on her own. We live in a secure complex and have our own alarm and armed response and panic buttons and what not. Our complex has an electric fence around the perimeter and we have neighbours either side.

When Teenie was a small child, there were some instances when I would drink excessively, usually a one women party, escape the world for an evening, eventually get to bed and pass out (I am amazed always made it into bed. Kind of like the miracle of your handbag getting home with you after a big piss up out!) In the midst of a particular nervous breakdown, I was also on strong medication and sleeping pills as well. I never heeded the warnings about mixing anti-depressants, sleeping bills and what not with alcohol.

Poor little Teenie would wake up in the night and – calling me and getting no answer – and would think that she was abandoned and alone.

I cannot say how often this happened. It could have happened once, it could have happened twenty times. I’m not proud of it at all and it disgusts and shames me that I did not have the awareness not to do it. I do not know what I was thinking or – more so – what I was not thinking. Perhaps I thought she was little and it was OK.

The fact that Teenie was always a restless sleeper should have been a huge frikking hint that if I was passed out – that she would need me at some point in the night.

But no, I would chuck wine down my throat while we watched Survivor. Her Tuesday night treat. We would sometimes light a fire with the help of Hairy Hannes (who kept a cooler box of my favourite bubbly Pongraz in his car) and make hog dogs on the fire and wear silly head scarves in support of our favourite tribe.

Then after she had gone to bed and I was going through one song per CD and scattering CDs all over the place – if I had run out of wine (more often than not) – I would run up to the corner shop to get more Mommy Juice. At 10 pm at night.

One morning, a neighbour three houses down asked me what was the problem the night before. Teenie had been screaming the house down. Me in my pisscat state had not heard a thing.

Teenie remembers that night to this day, 9 or so years later. She ran around the house screaming, thinking she was alone. She tried to rouse me and thought I was dead. The poor mite went back to her room and cried until the morning. She only realised I was alive when my alarm went off the next morning and I woke up.

She could have broken her neck on my stairs.

This is the only spoken-out-loud time, but I cannot say how often it happened.

We have spoken about it over the years and I have blamed or put it down to being on sleeping pills.

The bottom line is that the effects of being a piss cat mom is that my now half adult child has an ingrown fear of being left alone in the house.

The paradox of having a teenager who doesn’t like me alot of the time – is that she is not happy with a babysitter either. She wants Mom to be home.

So home I happily stay – even though I am missing my favourite meeting tonight – because after all I am the cause.

In some ways I lead a double life.

I have (as I am sure many of us do) hidden my alcoholism and more so, my AA involvement at from the people at work. I have not mentioned a peep. I sometimes want to share what I did the night before or explain why I am dashing off at lunch time to get a 1kg of coffee, 2.5kgs of sugar and 3 litres of milk. I usually tell a half lie and say I was at church the evening before or I am on duty for coffee at church.

My colleagues must think I spend a helleva of time in cold mouldy smelling church halls and am in the running for a place at  the local nunnery.

So my life of meetings, readings, sponsor, sponsees, fellowship and prayer are all private. Keeping all my recovery and growth to myself and watching what I say takes effort and I am thinking – fuck it – stop living two seperate lives.

<side note – I would have no qualms about sharing my shit when drinking. Vomit out all my dark and dirty secrets one time. Sexual abuse, I kissed a girl, cocaine use, my current  sex life or lack there of. Nothing was sacred!>

I am thinking of just coming out with it. Slipping it into the conversation at the kettle on a misty Cape Town morning. Hey. Guess what ? I am a piss cat!

<like they did not notice at the Christmas party!>

Not sure if it is a bright idea or not.

I am only ready to come out with it now that I have a significant amount (well for me a significant) of soberity under my belt.

My previous two dabblings with AA, I don’t think I was serious and hadn’t fully accepted I was an alcoholic and I relapsed (a biggie quite spectacularly at the Christmas work function).

The only downsides I can think of coming out of the closet is that if I am off work – sick or similar – that it will be assumed that I’m hungover or that co-slaves will think I am on the juice if I go to the loo too much.

Mmmmmmm. I ponder.

I would never have thought I would have got to 8 months sober, but I have done it. One day at a time. Reminding myself each day when I wake up that I am an alcoholic.

Because I am not a vodka on the cornflakes alcoholic, it was easy to deny for many years that I was an alcoholic. Because my yard stick for alcoholism was my child’s view of what I saw about my step-dad’s and my mother’s alcoholism (a little toot before work, midnight vomiting), I could slot myself into a perhaps-I-have-abit-of-a-problem, but-not-alcoholic category.

I thought a life without alcohol would be like having a leg amputated. The first 90 or so days were the most difficult. I was sensitive to alcohol in all of my environments. Wine adverts on restaurant windows jumped out at me when I’d driven past hundreds of times with no such jumping out of wine labels. I’d never noticed actors in soapies drinking before. Now  I did.

Going to dinner or socialising around friends who were drinking was very difficult (this is when I took up smoking again which really really helped instead of sitting there like a virgin lemon. Bring on the smoking !)

What has helped me is knowing the following about alcoholism:

it doesn’t matter how much I drink, it is how I drink it (fast and on an empty stomach thank you very much)

if I drink more than I intended (hell yes!), I may be an alcoholic

if I crave more alcohol once I start drinking, I am an alcoholic.

A misconception of mine was that if I were a true alcoholic, I would list after alcohol all day, every day and be a rehab candidate. This was not my experience. Yes, on a Friday morning I would look forward to my Friday night binge, but I wasn’t waking up thinking about it on Tuesday or Wednesday. I did get pissed now and then in the week when the opportunity came up, but I didn’t actively pursue it (but sometimes a bottle of wine fell down my throat during the week. you know how that happens).

My obsession or craving for alcohol only really kicked in once the first drop was past my lips and I could usually hold out for the weekend.

Towards the end of my drinking (after Porra being embarrassed about my drunkenness and/or passing out once too often), Porra kept an eagle eye on my abnormal drinking and I would have to pace myself in front of him. I remember eyeing out other diners wine glasses to check where they were in their consumption so I could speed up (hopefully, but never – I was always far ahead) or slow down (white knuckle it through that me dears).

Porra accepted a consumption of three big glasses of wine at dinner. And that was it. Time to stop now Diddy.

He has no understanding on the need to continue guzzling.

After 3 glasses, I would get slightly slurry in speech and Porra would moan. My only choice then would be to shut up and say the bare minimum for the rest of the evening lest Porra supersonic hearing picked up some slurrrr burbling in my voice.

Walking from the car to the house was always monitored closely by Porra. Any wobbles were duly commented on and a black mark against my piss cat status made.

But being an alcoholic I would get sneaky. Some pearls of sneakiness being

….drinking more by putting more wine in my coffee cup when we got home from dinner

….., taking slugs of neat rum from his prized bottle of Captain Morgan rum when he was upstairs (it always amazed me his bottle of rum lasted him a whole damn year !)

…….going to visit the granny next door (with some lame excuse to Porra) who always always offered a wee glass of wine (so I would relieve her of a bottle of wine).

……….encouraging my family to have dessert or more food so I could drag out supper and get more vino down my gullet

On reflection – I do not regret going sober for one minute.

While on holiday in December, I decided that 2013 would be the year of change.

Dare I say, the year of happiness and contentment.

It is so easy – while sitting in a holiday seaside town in a fancy clean house – to make such grand plans. The year stretches ahead with  endless possibilities. The fact that one is not at that moment chained to your office desk for 8 hours per day helps.

Stress of normal life feels far far away. The possibilities are endless me dears. Getting uptight about daily life seems so so silly.

Being a woman, the first change was to cut my hair on my 43rd birthday. Not a big deal for some people perhaps. But dear blog, I have had exactly the same haircut for 12 or 13 years.

This was so symbolic for me. Life changing stuff. Out with the old, in with the new.

Well – that helped the upbeat feelings for a week or two.

I am now in AA for my third time.

The second time – sometime in 2012 –  I got caught up in a sponsor relationship that did not work for me. I didn’t feel listened to. I would say one sentence and my sponsor would go off on a Hamlet like soliloquy that I didn’t relate to.

The demands or “suggestions” were too much for me. I did the rebel thing. Or perhaps the timid passive aggressive thing. Which is quite funny if you think that I am in my 40’s. I apparently still  have the capacity to rebel. So much for being a strong fearless women who can speak her mind. Squeak squeak.

I went on a September 2012 holiday. I avoided said sponsor. I drank daily on that holiday and hugged the toilet bowl a few times.

The thing with flirting with AA is that once AA is in your head it kinda messes up the fun side of drinking. If there was actually a fun side left.

I continued the not-so-bad drinking through October, November and December after untangling myself from former said sponsor. I cannot remember any hectic drinking stories. But then I am a master of denial and minimalisation ! I have a disease of forgetfulness. Really. I just don’t remember stuff. Can be a gift and a curse.

Any-the-hoo, then came the OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY !

I’ll summarise it for you:

Wine farm

Free booze

Dodgy dancing

Dodgy conversation

Toilet bowl hugging

The day after the christmas work party I decided there and then I cannot do this shit anymore.

I’ve been given a lifeline and some rope time and time again. I’ve freaking been sniffing around the solution for ages. Why do I continue to torture myself ? There is nothing more torturous that the day after making a total and utter tit of yourself. An evening of not being available to your child because you are just too freaking sick. I never ever wanted to feel that stuff again.

I hit 90 days sober yesterday.

Am I happy ? not sure. Am I content ? Glimpses.

All I know is that AA has promises. And those promises look fucking good. They speak to me. I’m in the limbo before the promises come true. No mans sober land.

Living life on life’s terms without the numbing qualities of wine. My relax juice. Living life without the camaraderie of friends and wine that go so well together.

For me life can feel more rosy after a glass or two of wine. Takes the edge off. Sometimes, with a glass of wine in hand, I can feel – this is it. I am happy and chilled. I have arrived !

But an alcoholic can’t keep it at one or two glasses of wine. I’ve proved it to myself time and time again.

Dear adult child Blog….addiction blog….sexual healing blog…..whatever you are..

Apologies I have been a bad inadequate blog parent.

I haven’t spent enough time with you lately.

It’s not that I haven’t thought about you ! I’ve missed you and thought about you often. I have had many a post in my head that didn’t make onto your front page.

Plenty has happened and not really happened.

On the parenting side, Tweenie is now a Teenager. So she will have to be renamed – for the purposes of this blog – to Teenie. Porra has gainful employment. Alas mostly in other provinces ! So I am back to being a single parent during the week and sometimes on the weekend too. Some times he is away for a few days, sometimes for a week and sometimes for three weeks at a time.

I am reminded how difficult and lonely being a single parent can be .

Porra’s and I’s relationship is going well. Very comforting and easy. Not much work involved. With him traveling and working away a lot, he is not a ball of energy or excitement when at home. This has me moaning about him belonging to boringman.com. His preferred mode of daily home entertainment is to collapse in a heap on the brown leather couch clutching the satellite remote whilst filling me in on the gripping subject of plastering. And lunging towards me sexually when I feel I hardly know him……

Whilst I understand he is tired, I’ve been waiting for him to come home and provide some entertainment and a break from the old routine……….which is not forthcoming.

<Single mums need to sit on said couch clutching said remote when little ones are asleep. Either that or reading is the method of nightly entertainment>.

Whilst I understand that him being “boring” is better than me chasing him down at some pool hall or biker bar (been there, got that t-shirt), I still – at times – miss the diversity that was part of my old single life. Variety being the spice of life and all that. Long term relationships aren’t full of variety. Which has its pros and cons.

In terms of AA and goodbye vino, I got an AA sponsor as is the no 1 suggestion. For those of you not au fait with the workings of AA…..this is someone in the fellowship who has more sobriety under their belt than you. Like a sober guide. They help you and guide you through the steps. Well, if there is a Hitler in AA, she would be it and I managed to find her.

The minimum requirement of me was four AA meetings a week. Any other meetings or therapy did not count. Prayer and meditation and readings of the Big Book every morning and written step work in the evenings.

I did bleat at every sponsor meeting that it was impossible for me to fulfill the meeting requirements. That I had a relationship to attend to as well as being an often single mom. The answer was that everyone including Porra and Teenie should put my soberness first. I already had long standing commitments to two other meeting/therapy a week so add that on the AA deal and I would be out 6 times a week. A really really impossible feat for me.

As I left our sponsor meeting, I would be reminded to “email me your meeting schedule”. That – to me – wiped out anything I had been saying. I was not being heard.

I felt a failure before I’d even got out the door. I could feel tears in my eyes often at sponsor meetings. I got up to about 40 days sober and attended a birthday celebration. I had one glass of wine. I came clean with my sponsor who suggested I start back at day 1 again. Of course I understand this, but I felt so deflated and not good enough.

The people that can attend many meetings seem to be revered by AA Hitler. I would probably be living a clean and completely sober life if I could get to daily meetings, but I can’t. I have other responsibilities.

I bailed on AA. I know self will alone does not stop someone drinking. Hells bells I’ve tried that. I do attend open meetings when I can when Porra is in town. These are meetings for any interested parties and not just the alcoholic themselves.

With Porra away, I have Teenie 24/7 and cannot get to any meetings. Teenie is also very up my ass and in the middle of end of year exams. To say I am claustrophobic and have cabin fever is the understatement of the decade. She’s a teenager who sneers hatred to me one minute and is up my ass, because of her own fears and insecurities, the next. I’ve barely got over having over critical parents and now I belong to an over critical teenager !!!

She sleeps in my bed when Porra is away, she refuses to let me get a babysitter to I can go to a meeting……she even wanted to come into the doctor’s rooms today when I went to see my GP !

<As we speak, she has just called me from downstairs where she is studying to check I am here!>

I admit last night I escaped to my neighbours house and had three glasses of wine. We stay in a townhouse complex. So if Teenie needed me it was a simple matter of opening the door and knocking on the next door.

I came back home an hour later and got a whole guilt trip on why I had been so long with the granny next door (because there was wine probably!).

My phone had 4 missed calls from Porra and a message from my sponsor who I haven’t seen for weeks after I told her I wanted to leave it for a while as I was getting too resentful.

From the amount of people trying to track me down, you’d swear I’d been at a crack house in Woodstock and not three metres away at a 78 year old’s flat !

I beat myself up emotionally all day for being so weak willed and drinking that wine. I never sleep well when I’ve had some wine so I am usually delicate from lack of sleep. A 3am wake up is par for usual after vino. Add into this a fidgety Teenie in my bed and it is chaos.

I’ve tried to speak to people about how I feel. My “normal” friends don’t think I am alcoholic, AA people seem to say that if you even ask “am I an alcoholic ?” that you probably are (a little like gay men saying every man could be gay)…..

If I say I don’t think I am an alcoholic, then the answer would be I am in denial.

If I say I can’t stay off the juice because I can’t get to meetings, I have been reminded that Bill and Bob (the pioneers of AA) did it without meetings and just working the steps.

So my soberness status is probably pro-rata in relation to the number of meetings I can get to. I am not completely 100% sober, butI am not out-of-control. I probably drink a lot less than Average Joanne. Two – five glasses a week depending on whether I drink one evenings or two.

AA has helped me lessen my drinking.

The thing is AA is not about lessening your alcohol intake, it’s about abstaining 100%. That is where the difficultness factor is upped. But then I also think that if I had to give up chocolate or coffee or any other manner of things, it would also be difficult.

Is that not why there is Lent ?

I’ve never managed to give up coffee for even a week.

I have been trying different things to “find myself”, but that’s for another time.

Plenty has happened since I last posted.

Most importantly I now have an AA sponsor who is my daily contact. There is plenty of “must do’s” and I do admit that it all seemed a tall order. 4 meetings a week, daily phone calls to sponsor, prayer and meditation, Big Book readings, daily gratitude journaling and set questions to answer.

It was all too overwhelming. I did not do all that was required. I gave up before I’d started. Our second sponsor/sponsee meeting turned out to be (at my instigation) discussions around me now having had time to digest what was required of me, ask questions and perhaps redefining what I could do…….what I could fit in to my life.

With Porra away alot, I am a single mom again……..

I’ve needed some me time. Feeling totally overly responsible. Me time – which is severely lacking when you have a child who suffers from seperation anxiety and would gladly crawl up your bum and sleep there if she could….

Enter in prayer and my resulting gratitudes………

 

Higher Power

Today I am grateful:

  • that you listened to my last night prayer of some “me time” and a day off work….. I did not expect you to send my house keys with Porra on a plane to JHB thus leaving me completely locked inside my house here in CT. But the lesson is “be careful what you pray for”. I have learnt that you have a devilish sense of humour much like me.
  • that I have the luxury of a car. Walking and taking trains today (once escaped house over the six foot back wall) made me realise what a blessing my reliable car is.
  • that my birthday girl daughter saw the unexpected train ride to school as an adventure and understood there was a lesson in all of this. I could only see the silver lining because of you and what recovery has taught me. I only stayed angry for an hour ! A memorable 13th birthday indeed. Even the cake was passed over the wall!
  • that you showed me you are here with me.

 

Love light and recovery

Diddy

I am still on my sober “plak” and haven’t had a drink for 16 days straight today ! Before that  was 21 days I think.

Not drinking is rather difficult, but the benefits are that I feel very healthy. I feel like I suppose a vegetarian or vegan would feel.  Like I am not putting poison into my body.

I bumped up my meeting attendance to three last week and have found that each meeting venue is different. Some seem to be for older folks and some are for the young and funky and some inbetween.

I thought I fitted in at the young and funky meeting. Porra did remind me however that I am not young and funky anymore (thanks Porra).

I have also read that you cannot diagnose any mental disorders (like depression, anxiety etc) until you are 3 months sober ! I haven’t been three months sober since I was 15 !!!!!

An unexpected side effect is that my anxiety seems to be decreasing. Perhaps because I am not anxious about only being able to have one  or two drinks at a social occasion  (?)- a rule I set myself pre-AA and that I repeatedly fail. Perhaps because I’m not worrying about wine and when is Friday night going to get here.

I’ve set myself all sorts of rules in the past which I’ve broken. Only drink light breezers alco-pop type drinks, one cooldrink inbetween each glass of wine…….straight strong wine always won hands down.

Tweenie has seen me reading AA books over the last few weeks. And says “Mom, you can drink if you like”. She says she sees it makes me happy.

Awful hey.

Tweenie and I have been doing quite a lot of work on our relationship lately

She will only be a Tweenie until midnight 1 August 2012 so I will have to think up another nickname for her.

Tweenie and I have seen a proper psychiatrist for a second opinion. The first opinion being ADD and bump up her meds to perhaps include a SSRI. The second opinion is that she may not actually be ADD and that her lack of concerntration could be to do with her chronic anxiety. The shrink left her on the same medication which is for anxiety and ADD, but has topped it up with a night mini dose (no SSR!). I do not what has worked…….the counselling or the meds, but Tweenie’s anxiety has also been on the decrease.

We have also been seeing a counsellor together and I proposed to the counsellor that perhaps Tweenie and I are more like sisters that parent and child. Why I say this is because Tweenie has no-one to fight with like you do when you have a sibling.

I remember some real humdinger physical fights with sisters and brothers. Tweenie and I argue alot, but not when Papa Smurf Porra is around. Once the counsellor confirmed that could be the nature of our relationship as we have been together on our own for years…..we have both been able to understand the dynamic between us…..and things are easier.

It’s easier to understand “us” if we know we are in an unique relationship and not stereotypical mother and child.

Day 30 sober is quite a biggie in AA…..I’ve been told not to worry about it and just to focus on getting into bed sober each night.

Getting into bed sober as we speak,\.

 

 

 

When I usually try and abstain from alcohol, I do it alone and I don’t think about the process. Going to AA meetings is making me process the situation more. This is my second time around with AA (one month last time) and I am hoping by putting my thoughts down now that I can avoid a relapse and make it to 30 days (…and more)

The first time round in AA – three years ago – came about by huge remorse over a particular binge.It all accumulated in me missing a good friend’s funeral because I was too hungover and had been out at a nightclub the night before. Slap you in the face type of stuff. Hard to ignore what a mess up I am.

I am now on day 11. Getting to 30 days is a huge challenge as I am a Friday night binger. So in essence, I really have only got through one weekend.
The longer I am sober, the more my remorse wears off. The longer I am sober, the more I start thinking I am not really an alcoholic. The more I go to meetings and hear stories from the “I had to drink daily” alcoholics….the more I try and dodge or reason myself out of being an alcoholic. The thoughts that I am really an alcoholic fade.

I start feeling like a fraud alcoholic because I haven’t been to rehab or I didn’t need a hair of the dog drink in the morning.

<My parents were “hair of the dog” drinkers in the morning before work so my concept of alcoholism is largely related to this. This is why it has taken me years and years to diasect my own shit>

Then I think I can manage the one drink. That I can minimalise my intake for a while. Controlled drinking. White knuckling it if you will. Reigning myself in to stop at two drinks. And usually not being successful.

But I always get back to the binging. Or leaning on wine too much. Not being able to stop once the cork is out. Hiding my wine in my coffee mug at the end of evening when everyone else has had enough, swigging straight from the bottle when Porra is not looking, thinking of having a quick shot of tequila on the way to the loo at the pitza place to up my intake away from the table where Porra is looking….

I took the test in one of the pamphlets on an AA website…..Is AA for you ? And I answered 6 when the minimin requirement is 4. I did it to convince myself I am an alcoholic when I am in “trying to wiggle out of it” mode.

I know why I use alcohol. Pure escapism from my anxiety. Relief deluxe.

Things will be different this time around.

ImageB

Because my juice of choice is wine, it does lead to misconceptions of grandeur in my own head. It does always seem elegant yes ? Let’s get “elegantly wasted” as INXS said.

I live in the one of the wine capitals of the world, Cape Town ! The start of the wine route is a ten minute drive down the road. My name means “goddess of wine”. If I am an alcoholic, it would have to be WINE !

I do not miss beer. I do not miss cane. I do not miss vodka. I do not miss Old Brown Sherry. I do not miss breezers.

I could quite easily dodge doing anything about my drinking. I don’t get into too much trouble around it. Porra only flips out now and then. My work is not affected except for the very odd day twice a year when I have a week day hangover <I am a weekend drinker usually>. Tweenie does not mind me drinking. She actually encourages it as she says it makes me smile and seem happy. That is quite sad in itself. That my child says I seem happiest when half way down a bottle of River Red.

I do not have many current day consequences around my drinking because of one factor. Porra. Although he abhors drinking, he unwittingly enables me. He is a non-alcoholic and has unwittingly become my nominated sober driver when I am in the need for a four glass/one bottle of wine evening.

The questions that helped me solve my 5 year riddle, Am I an Alcoholic ?

Here in A.A., we practise abstinence. Can you abstain from alcohol? And if so, when you’re sober, do you miss drinking? And when you start to drink, say you plan just to have a couple, are there occasions when you drink more than what you planned and know is good for you?

These are just general questions to ponder; in A.A. no-one tells another that they’re alcoholic – we just try to help provide the information so anyone can make up there own minds.

Like it says………no-one can tell me whether or not I am an alcoholic. In fact, some of my friends have told me “bullshit, you’re not an alcoholic”

But I answer yes to all these questions and I am the one that wants to make a change and not self medicate on wine to relax and cope.

I’m on day 7 of abstaining.

It’s not easy. I’m fine when at home or work, but socialising is a bitch. I got hugely anxious at a social gathering today. Wine takes the edge off socialising. I’ve known the host for over 20 years so you think it would all be a breeze…..

But with a lot of my life, wine and champers is perhaps the glue that holds us together. Them in a non-alcoholic manner you understand !

I’m also co-dependant though and feel the need for socialising and interaction.

So stuck somewhere is social no-mans-land at the moment.

Craving a social life, but finding it difficult at the same time.