On my way to the meeting yesterday, I walked past a group of people – 2 men and a woman – drinking wine and beer on a bench. I never want to be like that, I thought. But at the same time, it was oddly triggering. And then in the meeting, people’s stories of their drinking days, especially the recently sober ones, also got me thinking more about drinking than I wanted to. The hiding bottles, the drinking on waking, the rehab treatment programmes – these were cautionary tales (though I’ve definitely hidden bottles) – but the everyday tales of drinking too much at parties, drinking alone, the drinking creeping up so that suddenly you discovered that you were drinking far more, and far more often…these stories were more familiar. I didn’t say a word; I felt worried.

And so what did I do, to try and prove to myself that I didn’t have a problem? I rocked up at my daughter’s open air concert that evening and took the first paper cup of fizz that I was offered and gulped it like there was no tomorrow. And there will be no tomorrow if I carry on down that route. Then I eagerly looked for more. Look at me! I’m fine about drinking! Nothing to see here, folks! At home, I poured generous gin and tonics for me and my husband, topped mine up a second time when he wasn’t in the room, and then had wine. I ranted to my poor sister-in-law for 47 minutes on the phone, when what she needed was quiet, calm marital advice, not drunken talk.

Bedtime, I listened to a podcast that a lovely friend had sent me earlier that evening. And I spoke to my husband. I asked for help. I told him about the meeting, and I asked if he would give up drinking as well, for the next few weeks at least, so that I didn’t have to watch him drinking. And he said he would.

Day one again, in a long line of recent day ones. Things have been progressing. I think my drinking is the worst it’s ever been. So I start today, and my husband will be with me this time.

14 thoughts on “Triggered”

  1. Hi Annie,

    I drank and drank, I promised myself more times than I care to remember that i would stop, that I wouldn’t drink ever again, or just tonight…. It didn’t matter I just kept drinking, slowly getting to the 1.5 bottles of wine a night every night no afd’s for me! I stopped and you can and will too. I put my stopping down to reaching “my” rock bottom. My son who lives three hours away, was in town unexpectedly for one night for work. I had not seen him for probably six months. I did not catch up with him because it was Friday and I wanted to drink. The next day I stopped, my son lived thru my drinking days and survived while it may have seemed that I had chosen alcohol over him on many occasions, on that particular night I knew I had.

    It helped I had been to weekly one on one counselling for six months about my drinking, there was no strategy in plan, no stop date just me realising what a waste of time, effort, energy, money and my life. Keep at it I am sure one of your day ones will be your last. If I can do it believe me anyone and I mean anyone can.

    Best wishes for your journey

  2. I’m so proud of you.
    Keep going back to meetings. Your heard the truth there. That is a powerful thing. We ARE all the same, deep down. And surrendering to that humanity is so freeing.

    I can completely understand your denial. But really, all it did was prove what you already know. And it has helped you take another step.


  3. Annie, strength and good vibes are being sent to you across the ocean. Good for you in asking your husband to join you! You are being so open, honest, and courageous; and I am proud to be your friend!

  4. Hi Annie,
    That’s great you asked your husband to help you. Hopefully it will be a little easier if he isn’t drinking either. Thinking of you.
    A x

  5. Hope you’re ok Annie. It is so, so hard. It’s good that your husband knows how unhappy this is making you. I personally didn’t want my husband to stop with me as I didn’t want the added stress/responsibility of having someone else doing something that they didn’t really want/need to do. My husband isn’t an alcoholic. I am. And now he hasn’t got me cajoling him to be my partner in crime, he drinks a whole lot less. But I’m glad your husband is supporting you and it shows him how desperate you are to do this Annie.
    Take care of yourself and remind yourself, as you know from last year that it does get better xx

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