It’s amazing how a seemingly harmless habit can slowly but surely turn into a serious handicap in your life. The cozy comfort a drink offers at first, slowly becomes the core of your problems. And then it’s incredibly difficult to get rid of it. But it is certainly possible, no matter how difficult it seems! That is proven once again in this week’s impressive experience story. And what can be a more wonderful then a conscious hug from your children when you bring them to bed:
I am a 38-year-old woman, I have two children aged 11 and 13. I also have an administrative job for four days a week.
At the age of 14 I started drinking in the weekends when we went out. Even then I had a hard time taking it easy and I was often one of the few girls to drink with the boys. This has not been healthy (certainly by today’s standards and science), but it was not a cause for concern at the time and was limited to one evening on the weekend.
The moment I got into my first long-term relationship, the drinking became less in the weekends and from the moment our first child was born, I almost stopped drinking. The responsibility I felt towards the children was so great and my husband took no responsibility at all. He partied on with his life, making me a real caring housewive, who rarely drank.
Because I had to carry our whole family, I did get tired and frustrated and my husband didn’t change anything in his input, even after several conversations spread over the years. He had the best of intentions and was a hard worker, but at home everything came down to me besides my own work. When my husband was home, he either slept or was drunk. He struggled with various mental illnesses and his drinking, drugs and gambling problems got bigger and bigger. After years of muddling through, I finally decided to divorce him. This was over 8 years ago.
However, this turned out to be a very problematic divorce, partly because my husband was sliding from psychosis to psychosis at the time. A terribly tense and anxious time. Withdrawals followed, but none made a full recovery. The children were eventually placed under my full care and saw their father only under supervision.
Six months after my divorce, so about 8 years ago, I met my current husband, who has supported me enormously in the last seven years. In addition to his support, I increasingly sought relaxation in alcohol. That started with drinking a glass of wine in the bath on Friday evening. There was also a Saturday afternoon drink, Sunday a closing. A tiring day was ‘rewarded’ with a glass of wine during the week. That became a daily ritual while cooking. And this went on until I drank daily and hid this from my partner.
We often drank a nice glass of wine together, but when I went to refill the glasses, I quickly drank an extra glass by the fridge, and then re-entered the room with two full glasses.
I started drinking sweet white wine and the occasional summer beer. Eventually some heavier drinks were added such as Baileys and Apfelkorn, Bacardi. But in the end I drank everything in the house, brandy, gin, even if I had to pinch my nose for it.
I only didn’t drink, when I had drunk so much the day before that I had had enough for a day and decided that morning to stop completely. The amount didn’t make me feel really drunk anymore, but increasingly led to blackouts. And besides, the amount of different drinks made me sick. Yet I never missed a day of work as a result of the binge drinking.
Over the past year and a half, the situation around my ex has calmed down and his life is back on track. He has a job and a house of his own again and has his addiction problems under control.
And just when peace returned, I felt how tired I was. I became ill. I thought it was a stomach flu, but this resulted in a long sick leave. I ended up with a therapist, who diagnosed severe depression and burnout.
In total I stayed at home for almost 6 months and followed therapy. And after half a year I started to rebuild my work. I felt a lot more rested, but still drank. Of course I knew I was never going to feel completely well as long as I was still drinking.
Because the burnout had been sufficiently addressed, but the depression remained, I eventually started taking medication through the GP. This is not a good combination with alcohol, so before I started, I wanted to have stopped alcohol.
After one evening I had gone so far that I ended up above the toilet again, I thought it was enough and I stopped. This was on April 1 of this year, no joke, now over 225 days ago.
I’ve made several quit attempts, but they never lasted more than a month. Then my partner, for example, came by with a nice bottle of Apfelkorn to celebrate and I thought.. one can’t hurt. But that always resulted in a very rapid relapse.
Just because I never wanted to admit to anyone how bad it was, I never kept my back straight. Now in this attempt I have told several people, including my husband, that I never want to drink again, that I cannot keep a measure and so it is better not to drink at all.
Unfortunately I can’t say that I feel much fitter, but I feel proud every morning. I often dream about having drunk again, but every time I am so glad it was just a dream.
Remembering how I hugged the children when I put them to bed the night before is the best reward in the morning.
Sometimes I miss feeling the first sip. But I know how I will feel many gulps further, so I can do without the feeling of the first. I plan to stop drinking for the rest of my life. And as I am now in it, this will also work. But day after day, week after week, year after year…
I certainly won’t miss the blackouts, the after-drinking arguments and the hangovers and because I was used to driving to every party myself, I don’t miss it during parties now. I used to be a home drinker and when I feel like drinking now I mainly think about how I felt the morning after and then the urge flies by immediately.
I do have booze in the house, and I love to smell it and sometimes my mouth literally waters when I pour it for my husband or visitors, but I feel so strong and proud, because I don’t need it anymore have.
To anyone who still doubts whether they should stop or not, I would say; be honest with yourself. And if you (deep down) feel and know that you drink too much and should cut back or stop alcohol, then just do it, because then it probably is indeed too much.
Alcohol has never made a person better or more beautiful, and honestly, how hard can it be not to have to do something…?
Well, how hard can it be? 😉 Well, pretty difficult, but it’s possible, and that’s what matters! And luckily it really only gets easier, not more difficult. I can wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone, and I completely agree with your advice: if deep down you think you’re drinking too much, then you probably do. And then it’s better to stop sooner than later.
Thank you so much for your wonderful contribution to Alcoholfreedom! And if someone else, after reading this story, would like to write down his or her experiences with quitting alcohol: please let me know and I’ll be glad to share them here. If you fill in your e-mail on this page, I will contact you as soon as possible.
Have a nice day everyone!