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