Daily drinking was taking over Carolyn’s life. It was how she dealt with every high and low that life threw at her. Realizing something needed to change she turned to This Naked Mind for help.
My father was and is an abusive and sometimes violent alcoholic. I’m not sure that you use those terms so dependent on alcohol which I can now trace back to a very traumatic, violent upbringing. But I’m talking top level, now in a derelict state in his 60s, in a wheelchair and major brain & body damage. I’m surprised he’s lived this long. But I really haven’t had anything to do with him for the last 30 years, nor 5 of his 6 kids.
Leary of Alcohol
My mother didn’t drink at all (of that I am really grateful). And after the trauma of their marriage which ended when I was 10, alcohol wasn’t part of my life for the next 10 or so years. I was extremely scared of it. I didn’t do the normal teenage experimenting. In fact, I only got drunk the first time on my 21st birthday. At that time I worked in an office with older people and it was part of the culture there so Friday night drinks after work became a regular thing. It was a fun escape from my mind. I didn’t really take it too far then.
Drinking to Fit In
Then we traveled to Australia with my now husband and in many workplaces and parts of Australia the drinking culture was a lot more prominent. I really started properly drinking in Darwin because it was so hot and I always drank very fast. I made friends that drank a lot as well. Everyone did in Darwin. I probably put myself in dangerous situations and was lucky I wasn’t taken advantage of.
We moved back to Queensland and had lots of couple friends and that’s what we did to socialise, but nothing too excessive. I was glad and I still am glad that I chose a husband that wasn’t a particularly big drinker but that’s all relative I suppose. He definitely didn’t drink as much as my dad or brother but would overdo it on occasion. I found myself in a job that was very stressful ethically and my husband was working away and I started to drink in dangerous amounts. And sometimes drive home when I was probably over the limit.
Daily Drinking Begins
Then I got pregnant and stopped drinking without much trouble but was looking forward to drinking again once the baby was born, to celebrate. I probably drank a little bit whilst breastfeeding, timing it so I thought it was safe, which in retrospect I wouldn’t do now. Then I got pregnant again and had another baby and stress levels were high. My husband and I started almost daily drinking at the end of the day to unwind. My husband became weary of it and quit randomly about 5 years ago, which then shone the light on my drinking.
Children Change Everything
It continued to slowly build over the next few years of having little children but escalated when my eldest son was diagnosed with a neurological disorder. I was so stressed and sad, researching and looking for answers. I questioned every decision I’d made about my parenting. Was I to blame? Did I drink too much before he was conceived? Did I damage his brain by drinking while breastfeeding? I now don’t believe it was related but I did stop to question myself. My sadness, stress, and drinking spiraled fairly out of control. Using alcohol to temporarily escape the stress but it was working less and less. Drinking faster than everyone else. Getting blackout drunk. Not remembering how I got home or what I’d said to people. Crying and faking it through work and life that I was okay. I was at breakdown point. I could not stop crying about my son and I was put on antidepressants.
I continued to drink while I was on them and when I had my blood tests my liver function results scared me. I stopped for a month and then weaned myself off the antidepressants. Most of my drinking was binge drinking on the weekends with the occasional binge during the week. I refused to leave parties with my husband. I blew just over while driving and that scared the life out of me. I’m not sure when 1-2 glasses of wine became 4-5. It was starting to stress me out, becoming a downward spiraling cycle of stress and self-loathing, and that I was becoming like my father and my brother. I didn’t want to lose another family member to drinking and my boys deserve better than that.
Ending the Daily Drinking
I was too embarrassed to buy This Naked Mind from the bookshop in the small town I live in and finally got on Kindle. I have stopped drinking now for five months. It’s been really quite easy even during Covid but also there haven’t been the social situations there usually are and I will have to confront those situations as they arise. I have found a really nice alcohol free wine as something to have in those situations and I’m enjoying that as a Friday night wind down with dinner. It will be stressful for me to attend social gatherings without alcohol. But I will practice. Alcohol is not going to be a priority in my life. I worry that I will turn to it again during stressful situations but I think the knowledge from Annie Grace will keep me on track.
Is daily drinking becoming an issue for you? Start reading This Naked Mind for free today and discover what set Carolyn free.
My youngest son is now showing signs of the same neurological disorder. If I hadn’t quit drinking I would not have been coping with this at all. At the moment I’m just going with the flow and taking it as it comes.
I don’t want drinking in my 30s and 40s to impact my life in my 50s and 60s and beyond. Being so aware of alcohol’s destructive and addictive nature I can’t believe I became trapped. I don’t want brain or body damage. I want to achieve new career goals and be the best mum that I can be. I’m more present now. My mind is clearer. I can make better decisions. I’ve stopped crying. I can deal with this.
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