Behind Closed Doors…

woman inside dark house

That's where most of my boozing went on in the latter years. Behind closed doors, in my house, on my sofa. Me on my own (Mr D was a shift worker and went to bed early) finishing all the wine in the house, watching TV programmes that I wouldn't remember in the morning.

Occasionally I would make trips to the loo - the moment when I got my heavy body up off the sofa and trudged to the bathroom was often when I first realised how drunk I really was.

Sometimes I would make toast. Piece after piece I would eat, each one slathered with butter.

People often ask me did I lose friends after I stopped drinking? No I didn't, because at the time I was getting sober I wasn't in a big gang of boozy mates going out and getting pissed all the time. I had been in such boozy gangs before (through jobs I worked or social groups when I was younger), but toward the end of my drinking I largely did it at home alone. Night after night after night.

Me, drunk alone, on the sofa, eating toast, watching reality TV on a Tuesday night. What kind of a life is that? It's incredibly sad actually.

Sad is how I feel when I think about all the other women and men who are still doing this. There are hundreds and hundreds of people still drinking in this way. In their houses, on their sofas, behind closed doors.

I know how how awful it feels at the end of the night, not to metion the morning after, when you are living this way. You feel sloppy, dysfunctional, sick, miserable, and confused.

Why confused? Because we have no-one else to blame. It was us taking that first drink in the early evening the night before. Despite knowing where that first drink was going to take us, still we slurped it down. It enticed us, told us it was going to help us 'relax' and 'escape'. Told us we deserved it. Told us it was going to HELP our lives for fucks sake.

(I have to put words like 'relax', 'escape' into inverted commas because alcohol doesn't help us to relax or escape all it does is lead us to numb and avoid. Those are NOT the same things, no way.)

But such is the madness of addiction. Such is the awful stuck place of twisted thinking we are in when we are trapped in our addiction. We know that first drink is going to lead to misery .. yet we forget when the craving hits and the lure to imbibe proves too great.

So we sit behind closed doors and we slurp and we slump and we fall into bed and sleep like crap only to rinse and repeat the next day.

Until something happens to force us to change.

I still sit on my sofa behind closed doors most nights. But instead of filling myself up with a shitty awful liquid drug that crushes my sense of self, I drink chamomile tea. I still watch TV but I remember what happened the next day. I still get up to go to the bathroom or kitchen but I walk sure-footed, and while I'm there I might be cleaning my face or packing school lunches for the next day.

But most of all I'm free in my mind. I can calmly process things that have happened. I can make plans for the days ahead. I can think creatively about work. Or I can just sit and feel contented about my messy, ordinary, sober life.

And as always - I can fall into bed sober and sleep restfully until morning. So, so grateful that I no longer live in a boozy hell.

Love, Mrs D xxx

26 Comments
  1. Patricia Taylor-Moore 2 months ago

    Hi, I am 72 days sober. I was a secret drinker. I’d
    buy half a bottle of vodka on my way home from work & sneak it upstairs with a glass & bottle of tonic water. I would keep popping upstairs throughout the evening, hiding it from my husband. I felt deceitful, guilty & shit about myself the day after, so then I would have a break from it for a day or 2. But then I’d be back on the booze again, then decitful, guilty & shit again, promising myself I would never drink again. This would be repeated for years & years. Now finally I have 72 days sober under my belt, relief….

    .

  2. S 2 months ago

    Spot on like reading my own life of late. Time to make that change and stop with the denial that it’s ok to keep doing this.

    Enough is enough!

  3. Michael6 2 months ago

    Thank you for this post. There is so much that I identify with. Yesterday was another crazy decision, twisted thinking indeed. I drank cheap cider after 1 week sober (for the umpteenth time.) Paying the price today. It’s a horrible, confusing carousel. It always feels like I have no choice in the matter, but I don’t believe that. I always trick myself. “I need this to calm my mind” etc etc. But you are right. It only leads me to numb and avoid. How can I get out of this hellish cycle???? Is it as simple as choice?

  4. Sansa 2 months ago

    Wow! I thought I was reading my own story! This really hit home. It is a horrible place and feeling to be in that space of loneliness and addiction and hiding it from myself and everyone I love. So true it does anything but what I want which is to relax and have fun. Instead, I’m more anxious, stressed and miserable.
    Thank you Mrs. D. Thank you for holding a mirror up for me to see.

  5. MollyLeveret 2 months ago

    Yes that is me too. Spending Saturdays watching reality tv and drinking. It is so pointless and depressing and I justify it to myself as having down time or ‘me’ time. Like many of us I have a very stressful job, and it seemed the only way i knew to unwind. I need something else. I am 45 and I have simply had enough.

  6. mike78 2 months ago

    New to this journey. This is the first thing I read and it is so close to home it brought tears to my eyes. Thank you very much for sharing.

  7. Pixie2017 2 months ago

    THis is a great post. I also sit at home, alone and got drunk. Sad life.

  8. Tom4500 2 months ago

    Really good post, Mrs. D.

  9. Morna 2 months ago

    Awesome insight and similar story here. Good to read and re make the links. Thank you 🙂

  10. JR 2 months ago

    Such a Visual description it was sad that I actually preferred to get drunk alone and even out drunk with people. I had nobody to judge me and then I realized even if they say at home in my house with my family how alone I really was. I remember thinking forward thinking if this is the path I’m taking my marriage and family will not thrive. Visual description it was sad that I actually preferred to get drunk alone then even out drunk with people. I had nobody to judge me and then I realized even as I sat home in my house with my family how alone I really was. I remember thinking forward thinking if this is the path I’m taking my marriage and family will not thrive It still took some time before I ditched it and never looking back I’m so incredibly grateful And it started here two years ago

    • JR 2 months ago

      I was voice texting so I’m sorry for it repeating Something is up with my phone

  11. Lucy 2 months ago

    This was me 96 days ago.. feeling alone, confused, angry, sad and drunk…. great post really made me realise how far I’ve come x

    • Ree 2 months ago

      Wow, me too!! I’m 84 days today.
      I can’t believe how much this post resonates with me.

      Stay sober, Lucy

      XO Ree

  12. Winner 2 months ago

    So awesome @mrs-d . The pain alcohol and it’s insidious grip that it has on your soul is agony. There is absolutely no doubt that many people we think we know that we may even perceive as normies may have the same problem. It’s so true the very generalised saying, nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors. Glad to be rid of the poison and frankly chocolate is more delicious I reakon. ❤️❤️

  13. DYbyDX 2 months ago

    Day 69 . I was drinking alone at home too. Working and drinking. As a formerly upbeat person I got fat and sad and depressed. I agree wholeheartedly with Mrs. D’s words: Alcohol isn’t a relax and escape, it’s a numb and avoid. So spot on. Drinking alcohol daily is living in survival mode. Just taking care of what needs doing and not more. Not planning. The waste of time and money. Alcohol really is an insidious rat bastard. I am feeling good down 21 pounds with 10 to go. Keeping on top of household stuff on a timely basis alone makes life so much better. Next up I have to figure out my work. Have a wonderful day people.

  14. DYbyDX 2 months ago

    Day 69 . I too was drinking alone at home. Working and drinking. As a formerly upbeat person I got fat and sad and depressed. I agree wholeheartedly with Mrs. D’s words: Alcohol isn’t a relax and escape, it’s a numb and avoid. So spot on. Drinking alcohol daily is living in survival mode. Just taking care of what needs doing and not more. Not planning. The waste of time and money. Alcohol really is an insidious rat bastard. I am feeling good down 21 pounds with 10 to go. Keeping on top of household stuff on a timely basis alone makes life so much better. Next up I have to figure out my work. Have a wonderful day people.

  15. connilynn 2 months ago

    This is exactly my story too. My husband is an early riser so he would head off to bed long before I got tired. Literally all my drinking was done at home alone. And the getting up to go to the bathroom and only then feeling how drunk I was- that was me. I managed to head it off a bit when I had early work (because my addiction to pleasing others trumped even alcohol), but I had my getting ready routine down to 15 minutes, so I slept until the last possible second. I also headed off the 3 or 4 or 5am wake-up by chugging a glass of water and half glass of wine I kept by the bed. Whew. First time I ever admitted that- even to myself. I was very good at my work and no one would’ve dreamed any of this was true. Still wouldn’t . What I was losing was time just being- time to ruminate and feel at home in my body. What I was missing was any true joy. I was always packed tight with stress because my life was either work or drinking. I would complain to myself about how my life was all work and no play and somehow justify the drinking as a “reward”. I feel so sad for that woman now. And so grateful for finding this group.

  16. Saoirse 2 months ago

    @MrsD I find this post absolutely heartbreaking. It is so sad and so where I was that I could feel again the terrible loneliness, hopelessness and incredible sadness. It is a slow sinking obliteration of everything good I had ever done in my life and I felt reduced to nothing.
    Now I am coming out the other side slowly and carefully because I never want to feel those feelings again for the same cause that is alcohol.
    Life was happening for all those people out there and I felt like in your picture trapped inside,looking out and wishing I could feel some joy or happiness and be with them.❤️

    • Ree 2 months ago

      Saoirse,
      Same here!! It’s me exactly.
      I’m 84 days sober now, and feel so much better.

      God bless you! ❤️

  17. Poppy88 2 months ago

    I am beyond grateful for all you have done in this space Mrs D. 15 months sober and so glad I’m here. Planning our summer getaway with friends today involved me talking about non alcoholic drinks for me ( they are all normies) and without a doubt I’m there in a sober warrior living my best life through the ups and downs. I know I made the choice to not drink but it was you or made it ok to say I’m actually not ok. thank you thank you thank you 😊

    • Poppy88 2 months ago

      Who not or!!

  18. Classic50 2 months ago

    I can relate too…. so much! This post is so like my experience, especially the feeling of bewilderment the next day… so confused and miserable! Posts like this really help me just to keep going, to keep moving further and further away from that scenario until a different script is the norm! That’s the real happy ever after!

  19. pullingl 2 months ago

    A beautiful description of my life behind closed doors also. I say ‘beautiful’ because I was tired of feeling so miserable, like a fraud. If they only knew what I did behind closed doors. Besides feeling the physical affects of booze the next day the guilt and shame were killing me. I say ‘beautiful’ because I need to own it, not to ‘wish it’ out of my memory. It is a part of my life however messy. I want to feel content with my messy, ordinary life. All parts of it because denying the ugly part only kept me in the cycle. I am both! And that’s ok.

    All of your essays help to remind me I am not alone. Thank you. All of you.

  20. thisisit 2 months ago

    I have been drinking behind closed doors for so long now I have no experience of drinking in company, that’s were alcohol takes you. It’s horrible, loving being present and alcohol free for forever 💕

  21. Niki 2 months ago

    I can so much relate to your experience. It was the same with me. I was drinking secretely, living alone, meeting my sober friends at daytime and noone would even dare to think I was such a mess behind closed doors. I am nearly 2 months sober and enjoying a concious life. All the best to you and all souls who are on their way to sobriety. Thanks for sharing!

  22. memejacobs 2 months ago

    I want out of this boozy hell!

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