Behind Closed Doors…

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 slathered with butter.

People often ask me did I lose friends after I stopped drinking? No I didn’t really because at the time of my 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 for me in my final years of drinking it largely went on at home alone – night after night.

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 I reckon. In their houses on their sofas behind closed doors.

I know how how awful it feels at the end of the night and in the morning 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 while 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 grateful that I no longer live in a boozy hell.

Love, Mrs D xxx

  1. Anonymous 1 year ago

    I have done worse. Like drinking in the morning because I could not face the day! Away from home at the beach. I start on day 1 again. This time I have to make it. It is too awful to be controlled by alcohol!

  2. Marzbarz 2 years ago

    Day one for me – and this is great to read – I am a behind closed doors person, who looked forward to being at home so I could just enjoy that Chardonnay. I fooled myself that it was just the flavour I enjoyed and so drank it instead of non alcoholic drinks. I don’t drink or like fizzy or juice because it’s so full of sugar and bad things., but happily consume a bottle of wine a night…. Go figure! I need to take charge of my life again. I want to feel happy and healthy again, and I want to lose weight! I love camomile tea, and quite a lot of flavours, but I keep sabotaging myself! I love the mantras people are suggesting and am keeping them in the fore-front of my mind to break my chains! Thanks for this site and Mrs D – you are an inspiration, and thanks to you and this site – that I just happened to chance upon whilst looking up something completely irrelevant – this was a message from my universe to sort my shit out! Here’s to trudging through the thick mud and climbing out the other side! Cheers!

  3. Gracie 3 years ago

    This was me too. Hid it well from everyone. Drank at home every night. At least one small bottle. Bought the large ones in case one small bottle wasn’t enough. My drinking evening started around 4 – preparing dinner. Every night. Got to the point where I wouldn’t go out at night because I was already smashed. Couldn’t wait to drink, or couldn’t go somewhere and nit drink. Everything revolved around drinking. I’m only 4 months into sobriety after 40+ years of every night drinking. I appreciate having my evenings back. But it’s still hard. I appreciate hearing all of your experiences. Gives me some hope.

    • Dtry 3 years ago

      @Gracie enjoyed your post. I’m back at day 2 again. It’s a beautiful sunny day And I do not have a hangover. I was interested to note that you say it’s still hard at 4 months I need to remember that. I must walk through the tough times to get into happy sobriety. X

  4. JNRmama 3 years ago

    Today is another day one for me. My goal is a sober summer. So grateful for all of the people who have responded to this post…. Mainly because I realize I am not alone…… Similarities to my story, the angst I hear but also the relief of putting down the bottle. I hear in the responses of many of you that it does get better, today that is all I needed to know to make the decision not to drink.

  5. Anonymous 3 years ago

    This was me too!! Every night 1/2 a bottle of wine, by myself in the lounge, would usually take glass of wine to bed with me too. It just became this gap filler- lonely, bored, sad gap filler. Now that I no longer choose this for myself I can see that drinking behaviour kept me stuck in a bt of a victim mentality and I feel so much more positive and hopeful about my life and it’s future now I’m not stuck in a habitual drinking rut. Almost coming up one year sober and very grateful that the lights went on!

  6. macaroni 3 years ago

    It’s so inspiring and feels so
    Supportive to read all of these great comments. Thing is, being sober does feel amazing but I can’t imagine ever not thinking of that feeling of your first sip of wine (which always leads to much more).

  7. danpat73 3 years ago

    Thats a great reflexion for me, the secrecy, the shame, the senselessness, the confusion, all results from what promised to be the “cure” for the said same shame, confusion and secrecy. I had a lovely hot chocolate with the kids tonight, so much more satisfaction than a bottle o plonk could ever give me !

  8. timeto 3 years ago

    Behind closed doors…more like prison! The daily drive home from work alternating liquor stores and buying twist top wine that can be opened on the fly. A long nite of smoking cigs outside and popping back in the house to “check on dinner”.
    So much lost time…. hiding from life to the seduction of a bottle of wine…a big bottle. Such a relief to have an ordinary life. Being in the moment and actually doing what I’m doing….not planning the next swig.

  9. thirstystill 3 years ago

    This post made me cry. It’s all so familiar. I did most of my drinking behind closed doors by the end of my drinking days, too. It’s so sad to read it when it’s someone else’s story, and I struggle to think I deserve the same empathy that you and all the others deserve. I know I say this to you so often, but I’m so glad you found your way out of this hell and showed the way so that others, like me, could follow along behind you. Big hug to you, Mrs-D! xo

  10. Ziza 3 years ago

    I love how this site made and still makes me feel surrounded by people who understand. I could have written this post myself… The broken promises, regret, self loathing and gradual degradation of every bit of integrity, self worth and hope for escape. This community along with some people I met this year have helped me escape hell. After only 45 days I can honestly say that I have grown to love myself again… Enough to even be OK with being boring on my couch at home. I like boring me a whole lot better than sneaky, dishonest, loud partygirl me. .. She was never me to begin with!!!

  11. maryisnotafairy 3 years ago

    That is certainly my story as well..night after night living my dirty little secret. Drinking late into the evening , waking up at 3 or 4am feeling sick and ashamed, being tired all day…repeat. “Relaxing” my life away…slowly killing myself and sinking further into shame and depression. I’m so glad that is not my reality anymore. Sobriety is freedom for me.

    • tourmaline 3 years ago

      Ugh, that was so me. Lying in bed in the early morning hours berating myself and promising never again… How awesome it is to be free of that. Sobriety is freedom for me, too.

  12. Jasminasper 3 years ago

    I really relate to the point ” I can calmly process …” . Now I’m liveing sober I love that I am Calm .

  13. Meadows 3 years ago

    Yep this was my story too. Important thing being it WAS my life and I want it to stay that way.

  14. Anonymous 3 years ago

    My poor couch felt like the only physical entity available to support the sadness that sat on it.
    The wine footprint I left on it is heavy with the sad lady who slurred and swayed there.
    My world had dwindled down to a tiny fearfilled space where I thought I could hide from an addiction that had cornered me and taken my family as hostage
    Im still sitting here but without the trickery of wine.
    Today I have gratitude in my heart ,hope on my agenda and forgiveness to come. Today I can be me and tomorrow I can be more of me and that is all I need to be. X

    • Meadows 3 years ago

      What a lovely post x

  15. BackwoodsGal 3 years ago

    I used to actually look forward to when my husband was traveling or my girls wouldn’t be coming home, so I could imbibe as much as I wanted all alone in the house. When you want to replace being with your loved ones with drinking all alone, you know you are in a heap of sad, trouble.

  16. Sedgey 3 years ago

    “Feel contented about my messy, ordinary, sober life.” Love this.

  17. Wvlheel 3 years ago

    Your title sums it up nicely. It is so insidious, starting with big boozy fun and ending with sad drinking all alone in a quiet house.

    Well done Mrs. D. I’m still a quiet stay-at-home person but my closed doors aren’t hiding anything right now, thank-you-very-much.

  18. janabel 3 years ago

    I am finally learning that the ordinary sober life is pretty damn nice. I dont have to throw huge amounts of wine down my gob to make it more ‘exciting’, because it never did. I have learned to just sit and be calm, its not boring, its peaceful. I was mistaking calm, quiet and peaceful for boring. And used alcohol to ‘jazz’ it up and it never did. It never did a bloody thing for me and i am so glad my relationship with it is over. Thankyou Lotta. 🙂

    • tourmaline 3 years ago

      Totally ditto this.

  19. Not_going_back 3 years ago

    Sounds like my own story! id wake up every morning thanking God nothing had happened the night before that may have resulted in my having to drive one of the kids to hospital while still pissed or something awful like that! We used to live in a rural situation and hubby would work away from home. The guilt I feel for all those wasted pissed years makes me feel so guilty and so sad. Nearly 500 days sober for me now though. My now 18 yr old has been saying since he was around 13 yrs old, that he’s no intention or interest in ever drinking – wish I’d felt the same at that age! Love life now – every mundane boring sober moment of it 🙂

    • hikergirl 3 years ago

      Hi my sixteen year old daughter was just was invited to a party but changed her mind and went to a friend s to watch a movie and as she was leaving she was like in her sing song voice books over booze. I just had to laugh to myself bc I was sooo opposite at that age – finally at 50 getting her point .
      Keep it going ! 500 days and more to

      • hikergirl 3 years ago

        Hi the last message was for @not going back . I’m still getting the hang of this … Congrats again for 500 days …
        And like a lot of you , my couch was my best friend and somethings the closet or bathroom where I can hid my poison. I was pretty pathetic .
        Happy sober Monday

    • Meadows 3 years ago

      You are obviously setting a great example for you son. Wonderful!

  20. Petunia 3 years ago

    Oh my gosh, this is so true and so me I am near tears. Well here is one other person who is not drinking behind closed doors any more. Sloppy, dysfunctional, sick, miserable and confused. At this early stage of recovery I cant say that none of those labels apply to me anymore…but I am owning my life and not avoiding it. Thank you for sharing.

  21. Anonymous 3 years ago

    This is so me. Although I have had long stretches of sobriety only to be wooed down that ” one drink won’t hurt me”. Well it does. It ruins all the trust and love I’d been given back by my daughter. So now I have to start again.
    I feel it never goes to far away that temptation no matter how hard I try to ignore it.
    I loved your book and your posts. Thank you.

  22. seedynomore 3 years ago

    Yes that was me.Behind closed doors.Unfortunately there were also my family behind those closed doors so I feel so sad they had to see me sometimes so enebriated I was not making any sense.I’m so happy to say I no longer subject my poor children to that disfunctional emotionally closed up, no sense woman.I am still mostly behind closed doors,mostly because it is now winter in NZ, but now I make sense and can 1000 tines over..function so much better.I am so elated some days when I realize I am ‘no longer a slave to that thing I call ‘CRAP” Thanks for the share @Mrs D It is so resonating with me today x

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