....but the problem is, if you let yourself down often enough, break promises you've made to yourself constantly and often act in a manner you wish you wouldn't - you do start to believe that you are shit. Because you can't blame anyone else for the broken promises. It's you making the promises, and it's you breaking the promises.
"I'm not going to drink until Friday," you might promise yourself on a hung-over Sunday morning. But then workmates encourage you to the pub on Wednesday and "one quickie" turns into a long session and so you wake up on Thursday morning feeling like crap physically and crap emotionally because you broke your Sunday morning promise. The promise was heartfelt and real when it was made. But breaking it was also a choice wilfully made. So it gets confusing. It's hell.
"I'm not hiding any more wine from my wife", you promise yourself as you clear the empties out of your car into the neighbourhood recycling station. But a week later you know one bottle between you isn't going to be enough so you stash another one where you can furtively drink from it without her knowing. You secretly sip, but you feel like shit.
"I'm not going to drink in front of the kids", you promise yourself after your 4-year-old refers to your wine as 'Mum's juice' and it makes your stomach turn. But then four days later you've had the day from hell and it's impossible to resist the pull toward a glass of wine at 5pm. So you have one, two, three, and deep down you feel like a shit mother because you remember that promise you'd made to yourself four days ago.
I don't think 'normal' drinkers ever make promises to themselves about their booze consumption. I think it only happens to those of us who have many, many instances of regret. These instances of regret spawn fierce promises that down the track are really hard to keep because we are (most probably, although this is a slippery scale that is very hard to measure) hooked into booze. Or booze is hooked into us.
It's not that we're bad people, or weak. It's that ALCOHOL IS ADDICTIVE!! If you want to read a really good summary of how and why alcohol is addictive and exactly what happens in our brains and bodies when we drink it read this. And know this: we are not bad people, we're addicted.
So the problem for those of us who have been addicted for a while and have let ourselves down time and again (by breaking promises we make to ourselves), is that we really genuinely start to believe that we are bad people. That we are worthless, that we are crap, that we are weak or damaged or useless.
We're not any of those things. We're addicted.
We're not the problem. Alcohol is the problem. Or more specifically - alcohol inside us is the problem. But us addicted folk lose sight of that. We think it's us. This is why removing the alcohol and overcoming the physical aspects of addiction (withdrawals & cravings ) is only one aspect of recovery. The other is healing our emotional selves. Building up our feelings of self-worth to where they were before we started breaking promises.
When I was at the end of my drinking my sense of self worth was completely shot. I was at my lowest ebb emotionally because I had let myself down time and again. All the wine I poured inside me despite my best intentions and promises to myself had made me feel terrible, and my final deceitful drinking act - hiding a bottle from my husband - was absolutely abhorrent to me. But this is what booze led me to! This was where my addiction had taken me.
The morning after I hid the bottle I separated out from myself and saw very clearly that the problem wasn't me, the problem was the alcohol. It was then that I made the decision to stop drinking.
The problem wasn't me, the problem was the alcohol.
So I took the wine away and slowly began to heal. Now I trust myself again and I respect myself again. And people ask me if I miss drinking?! No fucking way. I'm never touching that shit again.
Love, Mrs D xxx
Very important to frame the problem, the real problem. This is my first time back at the site, Mrs. D., since the makeover. It looks awesome! Thanks for spreading the good news of sobriety. Nice to hear your latest thoughts.
Just finished reading your book – thank you so much. x
It’s really great to read a real inspiration for alcoholic.I will defiantly describe this in our addiction treatment centre i.e
Thank you so much for this post! I have been reading your blog since I quit drinking in July 2018. Your story and honesty about the feelings and phases has helped me tremendously. I can relate to everything you describe. The alcohol is gone but I have a lot of work to do on learning how to love and accept myself again. Thank you for all you do!
Thankyou @MrsD. Another great post. nice to read Im not the crap person I believe myself to be. Will take some convincing though.
Lotta (Mrs D): I still do this. in fact, all day today and now drinking again. The pain is real.
That describes me to a T. Thank you @MrsD.
Someone once said to me, when I told them I don’t drink, ‘my father always said you can’t trust someone who doesn’t drink’ and I thought I can’t trust myself when I do! All those after morning guilts about what I did or didn’t do. G.O.N.E! Good effin riddance too! Great GREAT post Lotta. Always so apt and real. Bless ?
Thank you, Mrs. D. This is great reminder to all of us.
Today is day 365 for me! I am really happy, really proud. I never thought I could do this!!
Some days are still hard. My goal is another year of sobriety, buy it truly is one day at a time.
Thank YOU for all you do! I don’t think I’d be one year sober without your support!
What you have written is how o feel and think, that I am a weak and worthless , deceitful wast of space and I do not deserve to be liked nor loved. Alcohol has ruined my life and brain. Taken so many days, weeks months and years from me. No more. Thanks for the great post Mrs D x
You’re a mind reader. I needed this article so badly. I’ve been recovering for a year and a half and last week I started teetering with the idea of “moderating” and making myself internal rules and promises. My friends here reminded my what I already knew and so I got my head spun back around again in the right direction. We are not normies. Normies DONT make promises to themselves about drinking alcohol. I’m pretty sure they don’t even think about it and belabor it. I think one thing I always forget is that my true nature is a “rule breaker”. (Ive been in more trouble besides drinking alcohol because of it. Lol). No booze for me. No moderation attempts. No more broken promises and rules. Ever again. Thank you sweet lady for all your time, effort and energy helping us lost alcoholic souls.
True. They so don’t make promises to themselves about alcohol. Well put!
i will surely use it in my rehab centre http://www.shrigksdeaddiction.org
Amazing. Thank you so much. I needed to hear that today. X
@MrsD Thank you for this ! xx
Amazing Post @MrsD and exactly what I needed to read today. Many Thanks!!! x
Another excellent blog post. 🙂