The itty bitty shitty committee

lead by my old friend, the wine witch, is back from holiday and they’re well-rested, have a nice tan and they’re ready to GO.

Ah. The chitter-chatter in my head, it’s driving me insane. I KNOW, for a fact, that I need to stop drinking. I’ve tried (and failed) the moderationthingy for years now, it just doesn’t work. I KNOW this, there’s not a doubt in my mind and STILL, here comes the voices. “What’s the point in going to Greece on holiday if you’re not even allowed to have that tiny bottle of Retsina with lunch? You know how lovely and just enough that 0,5 litre bottle is and this time around you wouldn’t continue drinking after that, you could just get that perfect buzz (remember to not eat any breakfast and just have a small salad for lunch otherwise that small bottle won’t really hit that perfect spot) and have a lovely vacation. It helps you relax. Makes you a FUN person again, not this introvert bore that you’ve become these last 10 days. Come on. COME OOOOOOON!”

I’m hoping the Jason Vale book get’s here today, I really do. I need to re-read my list of reasons to quit.

Just did. Oh jesus lord almighty, I really have embarrassed myself in the past. The waves of shame are making me sweat. So. That was constructive. All of a sudden I now remember how I felt in Greece last year. Of course I had sworn to moderate because… Well, you know, that’s what one thought was the way to go, and of course I failed. Some days that small bottle of Retsina amazingly did do the trick and I stopped. Other days it was just enough to make me want MORE. So much more. Remember being extremely grumpy on the beach one day because my dear husband told me it was poor form to bring wine and I sulked like a toddler. I mean really, like getting all quiet and walking away and not answering when he spoke and just being really. Embarrassing. Oh, and also having been able to moderate for a whole week (those white knuckles were shining bright) of course I ended up being completely drunk the last evening, over-sharing with my new brother in-law, really, really drunk and then of course having to get up at 4 a.m the next morning and pretend not to be hungover at all and traveling all day and just wishing I was dead instead. So there you have it. No more Retsina for this old drunken lady.

 

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No rain

So. Le huitième jour. Seems like all the stress have accumulated and today I feel like a bomb that is about to detonate at any second.

Yesterday my oldest son called me from his sailing camp and cried. It was his first day and he had been hit in the head by the horizontal bar a few times and then he had panicked when the tiny boat started to spin. Nothing happened, he was wet and scared but he immediately wanted to quit for good, went into full on hysteria and cried and cried. Wailed. So how did I handle this? Was I a good and loving mother and oozed gentle and kind words? No. I reacted with anger and it was like I was teleported back to my own childhood and I was SO aware during all of this that this is what my mother did and that’s what made me so harsh to myself and apparently also towards my children. But this was some sort of holy trinity of triggers and I just couldn’t stop my first reaction. After a couple of minutes I calmed down and I asked my son to call hos father while I packed new clothes and got the dog ready.

I was fuming inside. I yelled at the poor dog. I may have kicked the sofa. I could see my reaction and I despised everything about it and simultaneously all that crap that I was taught as a child made me want to scream. First of all, the public display of emotion. Then it was the quitting part. One does not simply quit. And then of course there was the failing.

We do not fail! We do not quit! We do not show strangers that we are vulnerable!

My mother really did a number on me. This is the first time I have reacted like this when it comes to any of my own children. I have one set of rules for my self (see the three golden rules above) and another, much gentler for my children. I am usually the one to open up my heart and arms and give them a bearhug and then we talk it out. Yesterday something was different. Thankfully I realized this and called my husband for advice and then I took the dog and we ran/walked to the sea. By the time Big Dog and I arrived I was sweating like a pig and quickly turning piggypink in the sun. I gave him a big hug and we talked it out and I did a good job and today he went back and conquered that damn boat and his fear and  he was so proud!

If you have read all of this I salute you, it must be the dullest blog post ever but there’s something here. Something about this harshness that has made the wine even more seducing to me. I have a nonstop chitterchatter in my head, mostly it is my inner Judge Judy who judges everything I do and – SURPRISE! she’s never satisfied with anything. There’s always something wrong, always something to be disappointed in and to feel ashamed about. The wine shuts her up. Until she wakes me with a vengeance at 4 a.m.

I do not know how to be kind to myself. Forgiving. How to take care of myself. For the longest time I thought that smoking and drinking was the only things I did that could qualify as self-care. How sad is that? But I didn’t think it was sad, I thought it was kind of cool. “You other silly women, you can have your pottery-classes, massages and bubblebaths, I’m out here with the cool kids getting shitfaced and smoking 30 Chesterfields a day. I’m SPECIAL and COOL.” Turns out I’m neither special or cool. Just a bit broken at the moment.

Feeling completely stressed out, all the children are doing different activities these first few weeks of summer and I’m running around like a chicken with its head cut off. And when I’m not picking up/dropping off/packing lunch I read sober blogs and count days and try to focus on the long run rather than the quick fix. Unfortunately I have a deadline, I really should be working and now I’m starting to stress out about that.

I know what I need to do. Tomorrow I’m going to sit on my middleaged arse and work 6 hours straight. That’ll make me feel better, if I just get some consecutive hours in and then I’ll make a list and prioritize. All is good. I’m not going to drink.

Anyway. During my walk to the sea yesterday I thought of myself as a kid and how I still (secretly, on the inside) see myself as that little girl. Too grown up and always reading. Glasses. Chubby. And then I thought of the honeybee-girl.

Good night my dears. Sorry about the rambling.

 

So tired

So tired of always pretending. Of putting on my brave face and push through. Of not showing how terribly depressed and glum I feel. So tired of just surviving, not living. Of feeling SO much shame and guilt. Of waking up in the wolfs hour and feel him gnawing away at my soul. So tired of that gut wrenching feeling when you read all the Facebookmessages you wrote in the middle of your midnight blackout. Of always being afraid of getting caught. Of ignoring the horrible hangovers and go to work/do the laundry/pick up the children/help them with homework/cook dinner/be clever/be funny/be loving all while I secretly think it would be better for all of them if I just disappeared. That’s what wine did to me in the end, it took away my will to live.

The thing is though, that this pretending, this enormous need to appear being able to do it all? That came before the wine (the booze made it worse, oh SO much worse, but still) and that’s what I need to change if I want to remain sober. I need to start being honest. Finding out who I am and then stop being so ashamed of that person.

This is how I present myself you see, and it’s mostly lies.

  1. Gave birth to four kids during a period of six years – NO BIGGIE, EASY-PEASY
  2. Went back to university when the baby was two – ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS PLAN AND MAKE LISTS, NO WORRIES
  3. Started my own company when four of my kids were under the age of ten – THERE’S ALWAYS THE HOURS BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND FIVE, NO PROBLEMS
  4. I’m married to a Very Important Publisher so all of a sudden this feminist (me) ended up being the primary caretaker of children, washing, cooking and house. And to top it up? I got a Great Dane from said V.I.P as a birthday gift and now I need to care for a loving, drooling beast as well. But you know? – NO BIGGIE. SURE I’LL BABYSIT YOUR SNOTTY KIDS AS WELL, NO PROBS
  5. I’m skinnier now than when I was 20 – OH NO EFFORT, THAT’S JUST HOW MY BODY WORKS, OH NO I NEVER DIET OR EXERCISE
  6. My father died when I was four, my mother re-married two years later and guess what happened? Yes, he died in a car accident after a year – AMAZING HOW IT HASN’T EFFECTED ME AT ALL, I WAS SO LITTLE I CAN BARELY  REMEMBER A THING

I sound absolutely obnoxious. Why do I feel the need to just BRING IT ON, I CAN TAKE IT ALL. Maybe I can’t? Maybe I’m really overwhelmed? Maybe being responsible for two tiny children and feeling all alone in a strange city and working in a very competitive sector of media was more than I could handle? And that’s when I started having a quite troublesome relationship with wine. After my second son was born only 17 months after my first one I ended up with post partum depression, but no-one knew. I thought that this was just how life was supposed to be now. The crying, the panic attacks, the anxiety. And then came the chablis/chardonnay/chartreuse (no, I never had that liqueur, just got carried away with the alliteration …) and it did help. For a while.

More tomorrow, must apparently read some bedtime stories immediately.

 

Don’t stop me now

So. This is it.

I had my last glass of wine last Sunday. It wasn’t just “a glass” though, it never was, it was the better parts of two bottles of Veuve clicquot. (See? Real alcoholics drink  weird wine made from blackcurrants or vodka straight out of the bottle, I drink fancy stuff. I talk about terroires! I sip (gulp) from crystal glasses!)

But I know I’m an alcoholic, I do. There’s no point in denying it, I’ve known that there’s something off with my drinking for almost ten years. Started googling “Am I an alcoholic?” maybe five years ago and this last year the google search changed into “stop drinking on your own”, “help me”, “need to be sober”. Sadder and sadder. Less hope, more despair.

So why this blog then? Well, first of all I live in a very small country in the Northern parts of the world (winter is always coming here) and there’s just not that many women in their forties who are high functioning alcoholics and desperate and internetsavvy. And I realized I need to find my people, I can not do this on my own. I’ve tried and failed a thousand times. This time I’m reaching out, I’m trying to connect. Maybe even ask for help (did a cringy face as I just typed that last one).

That’s why I’m starting this blog, to find my people – to stop feeling so absolutely and totally alone in this world. I’m hoping it will help me sort out all the feelings and thoughts and make me remember why I quit when the wine witch starts whispering.

English is obviously not my first language, not even my second but I hope you’ll be lenient with me and my grammatical errors. Now. Let’s do this.

I have so much to tell you my friend.