My husband and I have a running joke.
Every time I want him to run an errand or finish a task – I sit beside him, hold his hand and talk gently to him…
“Love, we need to talk about our feelings”
That usually gets him right off the couch, and hurrying away to put out the garbage or cut the lawn. Result!
There’s a flip side to this of course – not talking is generally a bad thing.
I am British, as many of you know, and we (as a nation) are famed for our ‘stiff upper lip’. Talking about feelings is something that we just don’t do. Therapy? Counselling? Just pull yourself together and get on with it!
Times, they are a’changing – I am so glad to see even our younger Royal family is making a public effort – but for many of us, regardless of our nationality – talking about our booze problem is a terrifying prospect.
I knew, three years before I finally quit drinking, that I had a Big Problem. I knew in my heart, that if I didn’t stop, something Bad was going to happen. Either my health would deteriorate ( I worried constantly about having a stroke), or I would do something dangerous in the middle of a black out. Many a morning, I would check to see if my car was parked in it’s regular spot.
Yet, I didn’t know who (or how) to talk to. I was ashamed, humiliated, desperate and sad. I felt alone.
The main issue was the Big “ol Road block – what if I am an alcoholic? I didn’t know then, that 1. I was, and 2. It didn’t matter – I just needed to deal with it.
So for three years, I tried to moderate, and when that failed – I drank more. In order to prove (according to my twisted logic) that I was fine.
In secret, I read books about drinking and quitting. I read sober memoirs, self-help books and novels that featured drunk people. I looked for differences to prove to myself that I was ‘not one of those people’ (I was) and occasionally, I would spark up a conversation with a friend, something like this..
“Er, I wonder if it’s a good idea to quit drinking for a bit…” or
“I wonder what life would be like without a glass of vino now and then”
One friend said to me ( without realizing of course, the predicament that i was in)
“I don’t know what life without Wine would be like – and I don’t want to find out!”
“Ha ha” I agreed “Me neither!”
Since I quit, I look back, and although I don’t live in regret, I do wonder how much quicker I would have quit and how much easier it would have been, if I had been able to talk.
When I found so many wonderful people blogging – I was saved.
I almost inhaled blog posts. It was the connection that I needed.
I have recently been contacted by someone who wanted a list of bloggers, so i thought I would list my go-to people here:
( Mrs D has a list of blogs and I read as many as I can. You will see that I am listed as The Wine Bitch – my previous alias)
Fellow Brit. I can’t wait for her book!
You may have seen Laura and I do a joint facebook Live.
Betty is a fellow Pacific NorthWester – so we are a bit obsessed with the weather!
Wendy is a rock!
There are so many more, and just because i haven’t listed them here, doesn’t mean that I don’t love them. If you start to read one blog, you’ll find others.
Back to talking. I am starting something new.
I am opening up some time for us to chat – face to face (although not in the flesh- through the wonder of technology). If you are struggling with something specific – or if you want a longer term sober buddy, I am available.
Yes, I am charging for my time. I am a freelancer, so when I am not working, I am not getting paid – so my time is valuable. But you’ll see (and you can calculate) that the time and money invested in talking is far less than you would have paid for booze – and the return on investment can’t be measured in cash alone.
The sooner you can chat, the sooner you can connect with your sober tribe – the sooner you can fix this horrible problem.
So why don’t we talk?