Archive for the ‘Me and alcohol’ Category

Strange reactions part 1

Posted: June 28, 2012 in Me and alcohol

I am not sure what I am expecting if I sneak the fact that I am an alkie into blackberry conversations……..

Friend – oy Diddy. Coming over for brunch on Sunday?

Diddy – cool. Give me a shopping list

Friend – I think the easiest is you bring what you would like to eat. Plenty of champagne of course ! I’ll be doing eggs, bacon, mushrooms, fried tomotoes, porkies etc

Diddy – I’ve just started going to AA. Turns out I am an alkie !

Friend – nah you’re not. Just bring two bottles of champagne then rather than¬†three¬†!

 

 

Advertisements

The best recovery advice I have received in the last 6 months is from the freaking You magazine of  all places.

The article suggested giving up alcohol for a month and based on the outcome of this, determine your relationship with said booze.

I managed to get up to day 20. Not too difficult, but much more difficult that I thought.

After three weeks of mostly work, a few meetings, parental duties and not much socialising, we went to a friend’s house for dinner. I mistakenly thought I could handle “just one drink”. I didn’t even take a bottle of something with me to lessen the chances of me getting alcohol down my gullet.

The evening after 11pm is abit of a blur. I remember grabbing my handbag. I remember getting into bed, but I don’t remember the ride home.

With insight from sitting in a few AA meetings and being a little active on a great recovery forum, I realise that I have no control once I “take my first drink”. That yet again I “drank more than I planned to”.

These are all “you are an alcoholic” symptoms.

I woke up with dread at 3am on the Sunday. With the familiar “oh no !” feeling.

Here I am, trying to remain sober and failing. I do not drink like a normal person. I never have. A normal person can take a drink and perhaps have two. Not me.

A real stumbling block for me is my parents alcoholism. They were the vodka on the cornflakes type.  My step father turned abusive and violent when drunk. And well you all know, he liked to fiddle sexually with me when on the juice. My mother Рwell towards the end Рshe had a drink or two before work.

My concept or misconceptions of alcoholism is that you have to be “as above”.

I’m not.¬†Unconsciously…I was very sly and became a different type of alcoholic. A Friday night alcoholic. And it has been progressing past just Friday nights….and oozing over into other nights…

I never wanted to be like my parents. And I lived up to that. Does not mean I am not similar.

Sunday morning after fretting for what felt like eternity, I woke Porra up.

I think I am an alcoholic !!! I bleated.

No shit ! He replied.

This two sentence conversation may seen little and not worth much, but although I have been surmising and humming and harring here about my addict status and shared with you that I’ve been going to a few AA meetings, little old Porra has been in the dark.

I realised I have not confided in him before now because this would mean he would expect me to be accountable and stick to the AA program of abstinence (gulp !!!!).  Once I am honest with him, I can no longer have one foot on the alcohol party bus.

After this weekend’s experiment of controlled drinking (which failed) I feel more convinced that I am an alcoholic.

My misconceptions of alcoholism are still rather firmly entrenched around my parents  drinking patterns.

Because I am “not as bad as them” I’ve been in denial.

The only judge of how bad an alcoholic I am will surely rest with Tweenie one day.

(this time round…..I went through a batch a couple of years ago)

….was freaking scary. I just wanted to run away. I could smell someone’s booze breath in my vicinity. This is “allowed” although if a person has had a drink, they are not meant to “share” as it would be the alcohol speaking and not the person.

Last night was my second meeting. Not half as scary. I’m starting to feel more relaxed. Slightly. Which means I am not off in my head worrying during the meeting.

“the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking”. Yes. That’s me.

What scale of alcoholic I am or am not does not matter, I have realised. That was what I was all hinged on. Whether I am or not.

It doesn’t matter.

My desire is to stop drinking.

Boss invited me out for a glass of wine at lunch time. This was quite an honour as she is rather “high up” in the company and I am a mere underling.

Old me would have loved it……the comradie around having a glass of sneaky vino with the boss…….being part of the inner management circle.

Took quite a bit of balls to decline feigning too much work.

16 days sober.

Not just wine sober.

All alcohol sober.

Feeling physically clean from the inside out.

My mental need to be sober wavers now and then, but I am choosing to stay off the juice one day a time.

Only I know how low I’ve stooped to get an extra glass of wine or three into my throat. Did you know that Porra does not notice wine if you put it into a coffee mug after you get home from dinner on a Friday ? You didn’t know that. But I do !

Is being sober a tad boring ? Hell ¬†yes. I’d much rather be at book club quaffing Alto Rouge than ¬†in bed with my kindle and not-very-sexy-flannel-pajamas on my lonesome.

But I feel ……I don’t know what I feel……but I feel like this is something I am meant ¬†to do. For me. And for Tweenie. I am handling Tweenie much better.

There’s a saying in biking “keep the rubber on the tarmac”. or “keep the sticky side down”…keeping upright and on the road

Any the hoo….

I am abit of a Doris. I have been in therapy and in recovery of one sort of another for over 20 years.

I have the winning formula on how to stay sane……but I repeatedly try and tweak it a little ……just a tweak here and a tweak there.

Diddy’s Winning Formula

<this is the current winning 2012 edition of the formula by the way …and is subject to change…..at any time……this is a mental health blog after all…..and that’s how it rolls>

  • do not date anyone who has a more serious mental disorder than yours. The “better half” must really be that. The Better Half
  • do not date anyone who takes more drugs or drinks more alcohol than you do
  • do not date anyone who has been to rehab. They are complicated and were not there because they were misunderstood by their ex and/or family. You “get” him ? So you can fix him ? No. It does not work like that. Run a mile ¬†sweetie.
  • date a man that is kind to animals. It shows inner compassion and softness
  • stay on your meds. Yes. You do need them. You think you don’t need them because they are working you Doris.
  • go to meetings. AA. Adult Child, CODA….sheesh a church cell group. It doesn’t matter. Get your ass into something spiritual. Yes. Every week. Yes, it’s a cold freaking church. You’ll get over it.¬†They have free coffee. Put on a beanie and off you go.

 

 

I’ve decided to eventually admit I lean on wine too much. And that I drink it in an unhealthy way.

There I said it. At last.

Other ladies at book club may be able to have one glass and feel fulfilled. I don’t. I need my whistle to be wetted continually and I feel a panic at the thought of only being “allowed” one glass of wine. Ever. One glass of wine doesn’t cut it with me.

When Porra suggests we go for “a” drink, I think “one”? What’s the point ?

This Friday was slightly tough. We usually make our way to our local pitza place or sushi bar where my attention is more on my three big glasses of wine than the food. I planned a small excursion out to get takeaways and then we settled in for a warm cozy evening on the couch. No wine in hand. No wine in cupboard.

As you may recall, I love the Graham Norton show. My “list” for my Friday night tipple led me to notice – with a sense of loss – that Graham Norton allows himself and his guests to quaff wine on set.

One day at a time. Saying goodbye forever to red wine, dry white and Pongraz is too much of not a nice thought.

Au naturel Diddy is not necessary a pleasant experience.

I am feeling sensitive (I had a good idea about something – that the whole company will do because it’s a good ¬†fecking idea – s0 my boss called me a brown noser last week which hurt all day. I am humming and haring whether I should tell her it was not “on”)

…on edge all the time (especially around my boss)

…..in my head and over analysing (I have quite a stressful job and cannot tell if my anxiety is job appropriate or whether it is Diddy being Diddy)

……plenty of stored up anger and irritation bubbling under the surface (fucked off at the world Emo style)

I’m using wine more and more to cope. Not copious amounts you understand, but this week – two or three glasses twice in a week to take the edge off. Thursday evening Porra bought a bottle of white home at my plea that “I’m stressed !

Friday night I had my usual three glasses with dinner….If truth be told, I only organise the meal out so I can have my wine. I have no interest in the food.

I’m very aware that my alcohol intake has upped from once a week Friday. Mother is needing more of Mother’s Little Helper.

This is not feeling healthy at all to me. It’s a backwards step in my recovery.

I’ve heard before that once you are an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. I had a chat with someone in AA a couple of weeks ago about binge drinking AA style. This – he explained to me – is binge drinking without consideration for the consequences…..chaotic drinking…..unhealthy and risky behaviours….bar hopping perhaps…..bingeing

I can say that yes……I have been a binge drinker AA style. Before.

I did a full purging confessional to Lady Gandalf once of all my drinking sins.

Ignoring my single days before Tweenie – when I was into heavy drinking and any drugs available, I was an AA style binge drinker from around 2002 – 2007 (I’m looking at my notes I ¬†made for the Lady Gandalf session as we speak).

I really only cleaned up my act when I went into adult child recovery in 2007 and a couple of months later met Porra.

I am too embarrassed to purge my binge drinking sins here in internet land. Let that stay in Lady Gandalf’s ears. It was awful to recount it at the time and I realised how much damage I had caused to Tweenie. I have no idea why I thought it was acceptable at the time to behave it such a selfish way with regards to Tweenie. I was hugely in denial and no-one in my life ever stood up and said “hey man, this is not right”. I’m not saying it’s anyone else’s job to reprimand me. It’s just when I was in that lifestyle, I surrounded myself with similar beings so I was nothing out-of-the-ordinary driving home snot-fok-drunk or taking a pass out snooze in the back of my car in a really rough neighbourhood.

Even at the height of my coke addiction when going to work was not a priority, no-one ever said  anything. I wonder why.

Anythehoo. My point is I am not back there. I feel in my life there has been varying degrees of alcohol and drug abuse…..and I’m not in that space right now.

If coming off meds is making me resort back to unhealthy coping behaviours then probably not  being on meds is not the brightest idea of the year.

So why don’t I just stop drinking ? It’s been a pretty much constant crutch since I was 16.

Mother is scared of a life without Mother’s Little Helper.

My beloved nearly five year old Honda Jazz died on me a week ago.

So I have been without four wheels for a week. The fix was for me to ride my bike to work with a complicated wardrobe situation ensuing. Choose clothes at 6am without a chance of “trying on”.

I dislike riding my bike to work. Not because of the danger of lane splitting down the middle of traffic on the highway. Not because accident prone Porra has beloved Tweenie in his road care, but because the chances of having a bad hair or bad clothes day are that much higher.

I wear my protective gear – jacket, pants and biker boots. I pack my work clothes for the day in my bike backpack. And that is it. I am stuck with those clothes for the day.

Even if I look like the Queen Mother on acid.

No clothes back peddling allowed.

Stuck.

No major insights on the am-I-an-alcoholic question. I have been without my favourite tipple – wine of any sort – for a month today.

In 30 days I’ve had two Captain Morgan’s and coke (the premixed variety lest I am heavy handed with the dop) and one Margarita at mexican dinner last week.

Each time – yes, it was hard not to have a second (or third) drink. I really wanted to have more……..but I didn’t.

It has not been that hard, but mentally I am very aware I am giving up something so I find myself craving sweeties and biscuits. I am not craving alcohol and substituting it with sweets……….but the feeling of I need to treat myself is there.

I feel the need to sooth myself because I am going without something else.

The thing about looking into alcoholism or alcoholics is that all the famous ones are the type that get fuck’d drunk most nights and need a minature vodka on their cornflakes ¬†to settle the shakes.

I’m reading Anne Robinson’s bio (she of Weakest Link fame) and she was a vodka on the cornflakes type of gal so I’ve been unable to compare drinking habits there.

A very interesting book so far though.

Looks like the first book this year I will actually finish.

Investigation continues.

 

I had an excellent session with my Dr Ruth yesterday morning.  A really big aha moment for me about my ongoing battle with sexual relations.

I am in a crap mental space. Have been for a while. I am miserable and complicated and the classic adult child characteristic of “having difficulty having fun <insert without wine>”.

But then I s’pose digging around in the times when 9 year old you got to jerk off your drunken step-father is bound not fill you with the joys of spring.

Yes. Yes. Yes. I’ve seen pictures on facebook saying “don’t look back”, but mentally my step father is in my mind and house every day infecting me.

I had planned to do a post last night about my Dr Ruth. Got home. Notebook flat. Plugged it in to charge. At some point Porra plugged in his i-pod. 10pm I am ready to start whacking the keyboard.

Somehow his i-pod stuffed up my internet access and I couldn’t use my notebook. PMS Diddy was not amused. I sulked and went to bed.

So here is a quick “at work” post of a non-sexual nature:

Drunken mother – nothing is by accident and I bumped into someone from the AA fellowship last week that I know quite well. I have had a few “signs” about me and AA during January. Firstly, I stumbled on the book “Memoirs of an Unfit Mother” about Ann Robinson (she of the weakest link fame and an alcoholic). Secondly, a mug I accidently “lifted” from an AA conference turned up in my house after being AWOL for 3 years. I was shocked to see it. I could smell the Higher Power aura around it. Porra had found it in the garage and returned it to the house…………and now bumping into “Miss M”.

I’ve organised to meet “Miss M” and discuss AA and binge drinking and what-ever-the-way-I-drink with her…………..all the fellowships recomend to sit out 6 meetings and see if you relate before making a call.¬†And it may be time for old Diddy to follow her own preachings.

Fancy Pants School – I had a lot of tears over the potential “forced removal” of Tweenie from her school. To cut a long story short, Daughter Dear’s Dad changed his story towards the end of his time in Cape Town and said it was never his intention to move her and that I must “cut costs” in terms of medical (the damn medical aid runs out every year in July). I feel very unsettled around this¬†and feel I am at his mercy in terms of Tweenie’s education and medical care. She needs a counsellor to deal with her suicidal thoughts and anxiety. So how to get her a counsellor and “cut costs” ?? A counsellor for her twice a month is going to be more costs and I can’t get around that. I am going to see the maintenance lawyer so get something formal set up.

It’s 8am……back to work !

Perhaps not the brightest idea ever…..but I have decided to give up wine and chocolate at the same time.

Wine to save Porra’s sanity.

Chocolate to save my figure.

<the comments on my Facebook were along the lines of “pigs will fly” yadda yadda yadda>.

I am feeling mildly suicidual. But then – who wouldn’t – with no wine OR chocolate.

I have been scoffing my face since pre-Christmas and have been eating what the fark I want, when I want. It seemed even less of a brighter idea to give up wine and dive into a full on chocolate addiction.

I did speak to my Dr Ruth during early December as I had noticed an alcohol intake surge. Soothing myself with Douglas Green, Leopards Leap or whatever was the house wine available to chuck down my throat. She did say we should “keep an eye on it”

Well, Porra is keeping the eye on it for both of us.

I have noticed that I perhaps have an easier time blabbing and blogging about my childhood and how crap my parents were and relating it all back to current day events and feelings rather than putting my own hand up. I am good at blaming others (mainly Porra) for my miserableness and mild suicidual thoughts.

Any reader might think…well….you’re a piss cat and Porra is getting fecked off with you so stop drinking.

It doesn’t feel as easy as that.

I am feeling very restless and irritable. I am feeling like a puppet in my own life.

I’m feeling the need for some change. I’ve lived in the same house for 11 years, I’ve been driving the same car for 5 years, I’ve been dating the same man for over 4 years. I’ve even had the same duvet cover for a million and one years !

I’m not used to things being this tame. This the same.

This is the mecca yes ? For a child from a chaos background. You would think ?

Adult children are addicted to excitement in all their affairs.

No huge solution or insight.

 

 

As one does after a birthday binge, I was duly full of remorse for passing out falling asleep  at my birthday party.

Mental pictures of AA meetings abounded. I could already see myself on coffee duty in a dusty old church hall with uncomfortable plastic stack out chairs.

Yes, I said to Porra. I’ll go back to AA.

Yes, I shouldn’t have drank wine on an empty stomach.

Yes, I have a problem.

Yes, I am sorry I embarrassed you.

Sorry sorry sorry. And sorry again just for good fecking luck.

As the remorse lessened over the days so did my ideas of going to a dusty mildew smelling hall.

As I spoke to some long time friends who disagreed with the I-am-an- alcoholic- analysis, my desire for change diminished.

Trouble is. AA is all about abstinence. This is a little pesky if you are a wine lover. AA is not, how to eat on a full stomach and choose “lighter” drinks that won’t travel into ones bloodstream so fast (been there, tried that and failed repeatedly)

Trouble is. Porra has a memory like a fecking elephant and remembers all those  repentant bleatings.

Trouble is. A week later he will still hucking on about it.

And I remain unforgiven.

Any inkling of an idea that I have a problem has been super-super-ceded into the fact that Porra is telling me what I must and must not do.

An ideas of change for the better are now all caught up in my teenage rebellion.

“You will not be drinking again”

“You will be going to AA”

“I just as well have stayed with my ex-wife if you are going to turn out the same”

Weeellllllll…..says I. Then if I am a bona fide alcholic….how about you go to Al-Anon ? Then you can learn about it being a disease and how alcoholics cannot stop by sheer willpower.

Feck dat says Porra in his veggie shop accent.

You are the one with the problem not me. Of course you can stop by willpower. Just do it !

………and then my anger starts boiling.

………and then I dig my goat heels in like any decent Capricorn chick.

I know where the anger comes from. I flipped out this weekend in such a rage. I shouted and screamed at Porra like I have never dared to. Porra flipped out right back at me in rage.

The intense anger I feel is a throw back from being under the  iron fist rule of my crazy ass step-dad.

I hate being controlled.

I hate being told what to do.

Hate doesn’t even describe it. I rebell against it. I resist it to the max in a spate of anger. I start to despise the controller.

In fact I usually will do exactly the opposite of what I am being told to do !

Even if it’s in my best interests.

At this point, I refuse to go to an AA meeting. Purely because if I go to an AA meeting, Porra will be watching me like a hawk from atop his high almighty horse that he is on.

Sexual problems – cool – ship Diddy off to a sex therapist

Alcohol problems – cool – ship Diddy off to AA

This could be denial and avoidance and all those beautiful things I’ve read about. I don’t know.

I just feel all out of being shipped off right now.