Before I start rambling on, I’ll explain what I intend to post here. I’m in no way whatsoever qualified in alcohol recovery but what I am good at is finding information when I need it. Over the last few months I’ve found websites, apps, ideas, hints and tips that have really helped with my recovery and I think it would be good to share them with you. Feel free to return the favour!
When I decided to quit drinking for good on Friday 29th October 2017 I never dreamt I’d get the response I have on social media. I know there will be people reading my posts thinking “what are you doing posting this for everyone to see” but one of the main reasons I realised I had a problem was by seeing posts from a friend going through similar circumstances. Some of what he wrote struck so many chords so if I can help one person by writing about my experiences then that’s a bonus. The other reason I’m doing it is simply because that’s how I deal with my thoughts and feelings and I have done for a very long time. I find writing things down very cathartic. It’s not about the ‘likes’ or comments, although they are really lovely and motivating. It’s simply because I need to get it off my chest.
My life was in chaos. I was drinking 2 bottles of wine most evenings after work and at weekend I’d start on Thursday and finish Sunday afternoon. I only finished the party on Sunday because I was either skint or worried about another week at work. I ‘started again’ every Monday – I’ll be good this week. It usually lasted until Wednesday. I was going from job to job, relationship to relationship, chasing happiness but never finding it and blaming others for the blows that life kept throwing at me. It was a vicious circle that was slowly but surely getting way out of hand and I’ll be honest, if I hadn’t done something about my drinking, I’m almost certain I wouldn’t have made it to 50. I also quit smoking on the same day but this was easy for me as I only wanted a cig when I’d had a drink. If I could stay away from the drink, I’d be saving a fortune on booze and cigs. So, here’s what I posted on Facebook when I’d done a whole month sober …
I’m not usually one for these kind of posts but if it wasn’t for a friend posting about similar circumstances I wouldn’t have done anything about it. Seeing his post made me realise I’m not on my own and I’m so happy to be able to say I’ve been sober for a month. Some of you may think that’s easy but it definitely hasn’t been for me. I wouldn’t have done it without the Smart Recovery meetings or people of Sober Grid. When I think back I’ve probably had issues with alcohol since I was about 18. Over the last few years alcohol has become a massive problem and was ruining my life so I decided to quit. I’m no longer depressed, anxious, overthinking, worrying, skint, frustrated, angry, bored, lonely or stressed. I am a LOT happier, enjoying my job, have money in the bank and the only thing I’ve lost is weight. I know some of you will think I’m crazy for posting this on Facebook but if someone reads it and does what I did then that’s amazing. My next hurdle is a sober Christmas!
Again, I know people are wondering why the hell I did this. Christmas was around the corner and I was getting myself in a state wondering how I was going to explain to family and friends why I’m not drinking over the festive period. I’ve got an amazing family and amazing friends but alcoholism is something that’s very difficult to explain and now I know I really can’t just have one drink. I didn’t need people to understand but I did need them to respect my decision to not drink and the last thing I needed was someone saying “oh just have one, you’ll be fine”. Haha … if only!
As I pressed send and the post was out there for all my Facebook friends to see I felt sick with worry about whether I’d done the right thing. Would my family be annoyed for not warning them? Will I get some nasty comments from people who may not ‘get it’? Will I get texts saying “Claire, that post doesn’t come across great”. The response was unbelievable and extremely positive. Within 5 mins of posting the status I knew I’d done the right thing. I also had an overwhelming feeling of relief. Everyone knew about my problem and the secret was out.