Thursday, May 26, 2016


Today is an AF day. It's a gorgeous day here in sunny London and I went on a little walkabout earlier - looking at all the beautiful flower displays in the shops nearby (they put on a bit of a show to compliment the Chelsea Flower show which is nearby).

I drank yesterday but stopped at 5pm.  I normally would have got a bottle after my last meeting and carried on - but I didn't want to.

Today, as I say, I am not drinking. I had a little twinge earlier and so bought  KFC (3 pieces with fries, gravy - since you're asking haha - it was bloomin' lovely!) I don't often eat KFC but had the urge and for now, those are the urges I will give in to.

On some of the blogs I read, it often comes up about romancing the booze. We forget the hangovers, the dangerous situations, the cost of job losses, relationship losses etc etc. On a lovely sunny day like today - we think of.... well you know.

Part of my strategy to re-programme myself is to watch and read some unpleasant things. When I went to AA, some of the stories were heart breaking. I always cried. I don't understand why the people telling them didn't cry. Perhaps they had told them so often.

Anyway, I wanted to share some things with you - if you too are looking for ways to replace the romantic image of alcohol with the reality for us.

Have you watched Leaving Las Vegas?  Oh my God, it will tear you up. I won't spoil the story but again, it is heart breaking. It's also a brilliant, brilliant movie.

Something else I have been trying to find online is the stunning documentary - I think it was called 'Dying for a drink' and it followed the stories of three or four people as they lived with or fought their battles with alcohol.  One part I remember vividly is one young chap who was yellow, such was his liver damage. He was sat in his mother's living room lying on the sofa with a bottle of red wine in one hand and a bucket in the other. He would take a swig, vomit into the bucket and take another swig. Over and over again. His mother was at her wits end. He did eventually get off the booze, which was fantastic.

Today I received an email from someone in my industry. He does not know me and he certainly doesn't know about my problem but he was telling his story about building his business and lo and behold - he used to have a big alcohol problem.

He is sober now, has been for years and is very, very happy about that. He mentions a tale about a friend of his; This is what he said...

'I once met a man who was so sick from booze that he vomited every time he took a drink. He had no money and couldn't afford to waste his liquor. His solution was to vomit into his whiskey glass and then drink it again... Last time we talked, he'd been sober for 20 years'

Do you think that reminding ourselves of how bad it was, or could get, helps us stop romanticizing? Maybe that's why AA works for lots of people.

Sometimes it feels like the world is conspiring against us doesn't it? But sometime, these little things, reminders like the email, make me think the world, universe, whatever is actually conspiring FOR us; and really, really wants us to stop.


Tuesday, May 24, 2016


So, I think I said my giving up date was 28th July. Lots of events until then that I know I will go to and drink. So I am preparing myself.

Earlier, I was saying I was fretting about not wanting to go a buy a bottle of wine to drink before I went out.

I wanted it at 10am. I read some lovely comments (TY xx) and held out until 4pm. Then I got the wine.

I was going to a champagne tasting event and my (the demon talking ) thoughts were 'listen, you are going to be drinking anyway bird, a little glass of fizz while you're getting ready hey?'

Anyway, I went and I got it. Normally I would drink the lot, turn up pissed and it's all downhill from there. I can hide it well though (I think). I don't slur or fall over - that's not until the 3rd or 4th bottle normally.

I had two glasses and set off. It took me a good hour to get there on the tube.

I think I am heading in the right direction. I am home, safe and sound. I left early. I have no broken bones. I have an almost full bottle in the fridge but no inclination to touch it; and I spat tonight!!!!

How vulgar is that? hehe I deposited some champagne (about half of what I was given) into the spittoon. Never, ever, in a trillion years would I have done that before. (You are going to have to be a certain age and probably be a Brit to appreciate the picture here #SpitTheDog)

I know I can't moderate and I am not lulling myself into a false sense of security. I'm looking at this
as moving towards the day - the day it ends. 28 July. One step at a time.


I need all the help I can get

Thanks so much for your comments. I thought I would be blogging into an empty void!

So, yesterday I was AF and as usual, today I feel good! My body is a wondrous thing (no really ;) Having abused it for years and years, it still likes me just a bit and with a big fat sigh, goes to work overnight to make me feel human the next day. Remarkable. But I know I'm pushing my luck.

My pattern is to have a mini blow out, say a couple bottle of cava and then feel like hell the next day. I spend the rest of the day, when I am not in bed, dragging my sorry ass around like a slug - full of self loathing and hopelessness. The day after that funnily enough, I don't usually have any inclination to drink but I decide to QUIT. I obsess about giving up and - well hence the blog.

Today I am feeling the stirrings and the demon is whispering into my ear once again. This started at around 10am. It's getting earlier and earlier every day. It's a good job I work for myself. I would have lost a job a long, long time ago. At the moment, I am resisting it (trying to) but like a persistent toddler, the voice, (is it a voice?) gets louder and louder and drowns everything out. When I give in, which I usually do, it then turns into the teen from hell where there is no thought about consequences or the future.

I have an event this evening but if I can just get to 6pm without going to the shop for a bottle 'before I go out', the evening will be far, far less painful.

So let's get positive and not let this f**ckwit win!

I am a huge believer in leverage  - tools and strategies to help you get the edge (imagine what we did before washing machines were commonplace!)

There is a particular video stream I follow when I have the time (who am I kidding, I spend more time drinking and recovering than anything else, so I need to stop telling myself that I don't have time)

Anyway, this video stream, it's from a guy who condenses great messages, advice etc from great books into a short video. I watched this one today and it blew me away.

Before you watch it, let me tell you my thought processes behind it. I am not speaking for everyone obviously, and I have not met everyone who has a drink problem - obviously. We all have our reasons and ideas of why. But everyone I have met with a problem has some underlying issues (including me) we are trying to blot out. It may not even be things we are aware of and although I am not one to blame everything we do because of past bad experiences - I am not comfortable in victim mode - I do think it's helpful to try to understand why - and to stop beating ourselves over the head every time we fall off the wagon. Anyway, here is it;

Let me know what you think x

The other tool I am going to be trying is a 10 minute meditation every morning - and perhaps when I get the urges.

Loving this one

Especially the background sound & video of rainfall on leaves - bliss.

See you on the other side xx

Monday, May 23, 2016

Here's the plan...

I have quite a lot of booze-type events coming up and so I have set a date to quit for good - after them

28th July

I know me and I don't want to set myself up to fail because I know I will. Champagne tasting? My resolve will fly out the window.

The last time I gave up, and I think one of the reasons I started again, apart from being sad, was the absolute terror of thinking my social life will be zilch once I quit. That fear is still there and I need to find a way around it.  I know people who say they don't need a drink to have fun  - I used to have a chum who could take it or leave it and would often drive into town when we were on the pull ;)  I couldn't get my head around it. I am one of those people who 'live for today!' 'Sod it, you only live once!' could be my calling card.

The thing is I don't have fun without a drink - or so my brain tells me (or is it the booze demon??)

I feel itchy, bored, disorientated and on edge. I know that's probably the addiction doing that and once I'd gone through 100 days things may get better. But it's that train of thought that nothing is ever going to be fun again.  Not that it's much fun with a hangover, vomiting, blackouts and hurting myself. (So far I have managed to break an ankle, several ribs and a toe, as well as tear all the cartilage in one knee, sprain an ankle and be admitted into  A&E with alcohol poisoning - that's without even considering the damage to my liver and kidneys) Yep heaps of fun.

Anyway, I am rambling.

I am re-reading the Jason Vale book and I'm going to put together some strategies to re-programme my brain to be FREE of this crap. I've tried hypnotism (plus acupuncture, meditation, CBT, medication and AA).

Any suggestions, gratefully received! x

Sunday, May 22, 2016


So after that first AA meeting. I didn't give up going. God no! I run several businesses, you can't give up!

Can you see the irony here?

So, I went to other AA meetings and the people there were totally lovely and healthy and sober - and oh God, I wish I could be like them.

I'll come back to that but...

So what happened?  I did 50 odd days and then slid back into the booze.

Shall I tell you why ?

It was my birthday and I didn't get some birthday cards from my close relatives and so I got very upset and distressed and thought fuck it.

I'm going to buy myself a very fine bottle of champagne and enjoy it for my birthday, because "I deserve it" and I will  be sober again tomorrow.

Only we can't do that can we?


Second post, same day but I felt a brief history (part 1) of my madness with the booze is in order.

I went to AA last year. It was terrifying at first. My first meeting was in a group of around 70 people and most of them were scary, hard drinking men.

BUT, they had a couple of speakers at the front and one of them was the most hilarious, warm, funny, gay guy ever. That made me relax a bit. He'd said 'Hello Darl' when I walked in :)

I probably looked like a cat who'd just had an Alsatian's nose shoved up it's nether regions. Funny, how there are things you will never forget. (No. no. no - not the Alsatian's nose but the kind comments - what are you like!?)

Anyway, I had the hangover of all hangovers. I looked like shit and I felt like shit, When you feel like that you hate everyone (you know the drill).

Intimidated and thinking why the f*** are you here you sad cow; I sat there and I reminded myself that I had back-backed around the world on my own for a year in 2004 and that nothing, NOTHING could intimidate me (it's true, but when you are drunk or hungover you doubt yourself). And more importantly I NEEDED HELP. I am so rubbish at that, asking for help.

So that worked for about 5 seconds; when I spoke up and said my name, and that I was an alcoholic and that it was my first time. And that was that.

People clapped, people nodded kindly at me. One came up to me afterwards to say well done. And that was that.

I listened to people's stories. Everyone seems to want to tell their story at an AA meeting. They can't wait. It's like they've been suppressing it all day long. I want to keep mine hidden. The others just nod, waiting for their turn. I'm not sure if anyone is even listening.

It's tough, hearing bad stories. I have never had a problem with empathy. In fact I probably have empathy overload.  I cry at every bad thing. It's hard going at AA meetings when you are like that. I wish I was a hard bastard.


So, this is very my first blog post about my addiction.

Wow. Saying that freaks me out. I have been to AA meetings before (for 50 days last year - got the token, yes siree) but I still can't get over how bad (shameful even) it feels to say (shush, do NOT tell anyone) 'alcoholic' or 'addiction'. That shit is not meant to happen to me.

Having said that I have a some friends from way back who have died through drug overdoses or are in NA. Bless 'em. I think the one old pal who is in NA  is incredibly brave - a superstar! She's been clean of booze and drugs for 20 years - how cool it that? I have known her since we were five years old, but our lives went in different directions;  we have just re-connected after about 13 years via Facebook.

I was told she was in rehab for drug addiction years ago and I tracked her down....eventually. They wouldn't allow visitors so I scheduled a call. Do you know what I said to her?  'WTF xxx?, why can't you just get pissed like the rest of us?'

But me? Addiction? Nah, No love, Don't be daft. Me? (you need to watch that brilliant Catherine Tate sketch, just substitute 'gay' for 'alcoholic' and you have my denial right there

Here's the link if you haven't see it

YES! I am a party girl but far too sensible for illegal drugs. My drug is freely available on every street corner. Encouraged in fact. If you don't take it people think you are weird - they actually ask you why you are not taking it - how bat crazy is that?

Yep. Booze. I'm a booze hound.  I am addicted to alcohol. Who's the daft one now?

I've been mooching around reading some blogs - in particular

Mummy was a secret drinker

Annie - Dappled Path

Red Recovers

Ginger Groundhog Day

I get most of the updates via email. So I read but not often comment. But today I felt I really needed to comment on a post Annie made about her lovely hubby.

Part of me feels it is none of my business, at all, STFU Shanti!

But she comes across as such a lovely lady. I couldn't help putting in my tuppence worth. I would hate to see her lose her fella. She is well in her rights to tell me to foxtrot oscar.
Anyway, I hope it's taken in the spirit it was given - the opinion.

I am really, (no, really) crap at asking for help or support but I'm going to now (just saying that makes me feel vulnerable and afraid - jeez). So if anyone out there is reading this and can identify. could you let me know? :)  Put a comment in the comment section?.

I feel that this may help me in my battle with the booze - just in expressing things, feeling less alone - well you know. If I can help you, obviously, give me a shout.