Was I really that bad?

Don't judge

How bad was my drinking really? I didn’t crash any cars or end up in hospital or jail. I didn’t lose any jobs or destroy any relationships. My organs didn’t fail, I never got uncontrollable shakes or drank myself into a coma.

But are these the only markers of an alcoholic? No. Alcoholics like me can look very together and appear to be holding down ‘normal’ lives. They can stay on top of their responsibilities and meet all their obligations. They can look quite groomed and smile readily when you meet them. This was me.

High functioning to the max but dying inside. Awash with booze, crippled by guilt and regret, constantly operating at less than 100%, hungover often and always consumed by thoughts around drinking.

Don’t judge someone’s insides by their outsides.

When I was deep in my drinking days I was utterly miserable, my self esteem and self belief were being chipped away at by addiction. It was terrifyingly intense to admit to myself that I couldn’t control alcohol and unbelievably massive learning how to live without it.

Was I really that bad? Yes. Does it really matter? No. What other people think of me is none of my business.

Labels don’t matter. Outward markers don’t matter. What matters is what I know to be the truth. The drinker knows. I knew. I fronted up to myself and admitted the truth, and then took step after step to turn my life around. Inch by inch I turned my life around.

And what matters now is that I continue to make the best choice for myself every single day – to stay sober, awake, alert, raw, real.


That’s what matters.

Love, Mrs D xxx

  1. Elsa1202 1 month ago

    I love this @mrs-d. An alcohol addict comes in many shapes and forms and many people just don’t get that! It’s always what’s on the inside that matters the most – so cliche and so true.

  2. Gettingthere 1 month ago

    Great post, and so much truth in the comments on here. It took a long time for me to admit that my drinking was a problem. One of the hardest things was adjusting to a new self image, telling friends etc, going to social occasions and being sober, because of course most of my friends were drinkers too. But after the initial surprise nobody really cares and it becomes the norm. Actually giving up the drink was fairly easy for me. Living life and coping with it- not so easy. But it gets easier, and 2 years down the track I rarely think about it. So hang on in there, newbies! It is so worth it. It gave me back my self respect, which is priceless. I am forever grateful to Mrs D, as seeing one of her posts was my turning point.

  3. SteveF 1 month ago

    What a great post @Mrs D. I could see myself in every word you wrote. You have so much insight about alcoholism. So glad I found you and this community.

  4. behind-the-sofa 2 months ago

    Yeah, it’s not a competition…….. it’s all to do with the related feelings rather than the outward visage…. like you said don’t judge somebody’s insides by their outsides…….. and also we shouldn’t compare our insides with somebody else’s outsides…….. looks can be very deceiving……. happy, smiling, outwardly looking successful people may be more miserable and lost than they seem…….. we just have to focus on ourselves.

  5. Anonymous 2 months ago

    Sooo on point.

  6. Anonymous 2 months ago

    Fantastic post, so true. Thank you!

  7. Livinglife 2 months ago

    Thank you for the post. There will always be alcoholics who are worse off then me and better off then me. I need to stick to my own journey. Our stories are all different but the feelings we had are remarkably the same ! I can identify with so many alcoholics on that level. Thanks again Mrs D and all who share!

  8. Eschia 2 months ago

    Thank you for sharing this important, raw, honest post.
    Comparing myself to other drinkers kept me sick for a very long time. Denial was huge for me and it took an act of Providence to shatter it. High functioning and broken inside was me everyday. Finally, I was sick of being sick and decided to take that first step towards sobriety. I kept telling ppl, “just because you can’t see the whole staircase, doesn’t mean you can’t take that first step.” Yet, I couldn’t take my own advice until one day I was able to.
    I am happily at D290 today and will pray that I stay sober today.

  9. Changedlife 2 months ago

    Me to a tee! High functioning and looking like I had it all together but destroyed inside. I’m happy daily that I’m changing and feeling better about myself. I can do this. Thanks for this post xxx

  10. Siouxs 2 months ago

    Mrs. D. Whoa. I hadn’t logged on for several months and I have been feeling pretty vulnerable to this EXACT question. Was I really that bad? Maybe I wasn’t as bad as I thought. Maybe I could drink a glass of wine with dinner? But then I step back into my old journals and my old posts here even and I know. I know, just like you say. I was living day to day with a hangover, swearing I wasn’t going to drink EVER again, or that maybe I could have a drink earlier than 5(which I had to set as a time or I would’ve consistently had a drink prior to that). So thank you for this post today. Quite simply, it is exactly what I needed to read tonight in order to harden my resolve. Today is 573 for me. I would’ve been devastated tomorrow had I convinced my tonight self that I could have a glass.

  11. Gm 2 months ago

    Thanks Mrs D. Just what I needed today.

  12. Poppy88 2 months ago

    Same, same, same and same 🙂 being a very happy, loving but sloppy drinker my friends are all surprised at me not drinking. But the inside stuff was too much to bare in the end and the middle if I’m honest. Beautifully thoughtful and bang on Mrs D. 116 happy sober days and counting ⭐️

  13. Cinderella 2 months ago

    I shed my old skin for a new one!! Maybe no one noticed or maybe everyone did…..One things for sure, I certainly did notice and I’m absolutely loving my new skin to bits. I hear you Mrs D. I wasn’t a black out, car crash everyday drinker …but boy could I get Drunk on a bottle. Wahoo, have a good time Lindy…..embarrassing but good and yes, everyone noticed!!!!!!!
    225 Days of no shame makes me feel so great inside and out. Nice post thank you 🙂 xox

  14. freedom1025 2 months ago

    Spot on Mrs D!! If you were to compare me with others, my drinking maybe wasn’t considered too awful. But I knew it was awful and soul crushing and demoralizing and it was robbing me of my self respect. And that’s why I needed to stop.

  15. updownstrangecharm 2 months ago

    If people don’t know about *us* by observing our lives, then imagine how many other successful people must be going through what we do/did on the inside!? Scary…

  16. Sunny_Disposition 2 months ago

    Resonated with me this post, thanks for sharing Mrs D xxx

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

©2018 The New Zealand Drug Foundation

Built with love by Bamboo Creative and powered by Flywheel

Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?

Create Account