Lorraine, UK

After coming across you some time ago and reading many blogs and listening to your videos for a whole day and doing nothing else, I became in the right frame of mind to have a go at stopping drinking. I wasn't exactly in the situation whereby I got obviously drunk or couldn't go out to the pub or for a meal without having to have a drink. Quite the opposite really. I found it really easy to only drink soft drinks when out, or going for a meal. I didn't think twice about being the one who drove so remained alcohol free, especially, as I recall all last Christmas all week and over the new year!

Then why am I bothering you about having an unhealthy relationship with alcohol? Simply because I have, despite the foregoing and seeming control. I think mine is a strange one and maybe not a typical example and wonder if you have come across anyone else the same. It seems to focus on when I stay in, not go out that I have the problem........ 

My issue became progressively worse 5 yrs ago when I met my partner. He very rarely drinks at all, although I did. My mum passed away and I was devastated. My partner told me to stop working and retire after basically 40 yrs of working. And that he would support me financially, which he has. It was great not to have to do 12 hour night shifts and have all the days to myself to do whatever I wished. I was going to do all sorts.  I could spend more time with my animals and out with my dog. Loved it. Then my cat 16 passed away, then the year after my beloved dog, 17, followed by my other three cats, all 17, & 18 through age related problems as I got them all at roughly the same time. They were my world, but consequently lost them all in the same year. I was devastated.

I then broke my shoulder and damaged my hip and back. The drinking got worse, I had terrible bouts of depression, I hardly left the house, hardly saw or spoke to anyone other than my partner when he came home from work which was not at all interesting or fulfilling as he always had his woodwork and gardening hobbies to go and get on with. So I succumbed to a life of basically being on my own and gradually lost all my confidence. All I wanted to do was watch tv with my dear friend - Wine. He always consoled me. I felt I became lazy and it was such an effort to bother with myself, whereby I had always been pristine in my appearance with a positive attitude. I suddenly didn't matter anymore and I couldn't find a reason to. I only felt negativity, worry and total doom for the future. I felt worthless.

My partner was quite happy to just bob along , not being able to understand my depression, worry and concerns, and never knew the extent of my drinking as I hid it so well. He was quite happy in his own little bubble. I was wasting my life, I was merely existing. With not going anywhere unless absolutely necessary, hence not needing to drive, I had all day to spend with my friend Wine. 

 So then it became a vicious circle. I changed from a full time worker, healthy, did lots of exercise and ate healthy with a nice figure, to this retired, unhealthy, sluggish, much fatter person due to putting on 3 stone since meeting my partner and falling into his bad habits. Sick of cooking two completely different  meals every day, as my partner hated anything remotely healthy, no vegetables other than frozen peas. Had to be chips or frozen wedges & croquets, pies, kebabs, pizzas, mountains of cheese, fried chicken, unhealthy curries, take aways, a family frozen lasagna or shepherds pie all to himself, every day, and an absolute mountain of it each meal, gorged down in 5-10 minutes folIowed by a big family bar of chocolate or family trifle to himself or both. Ended up slipping out of my healthy eating pattern to frozen fish and chips and such like. He had a specific pizza night whereby he had a 12" meat feast with a garlic pizza and garlic mushrooms all to himself. I don't know where he put it, he's only 5'4" and it's all gone in 10 mins. I worry he is a heart attack waiting to happen but he couldn't care less, so I just give up. He insists i 'treat' myself, so for convenience I have an 8" tuna, onion and mushroom pizza but only manage to eat a couple of slices. Seeing what he eats and how he eats can quite revolt me, but I know I can always call on my friend Wine to help console me..

 The circle week 1:

Slip into my partners unhealthy eating pattern, hardly leave the house, watch lots of tv, spend lots of time with my animals, feel content with my friend Wine but in an isolated, yet content, controlled manner.

Week 2:

Continued as week 1, really chilled, then half way through, scales showing put weight on. Feeling guilty about the weight, decide to cut down and eat more healthy and he can cook his own unhealthy frozen family pies and chips with extras for himself. Feeling fed up. Started to substitute food for Wine as it takes the edge off being hungry, fed up , empty days, gets the pounds off and takes the accent off the isolation.

Week 3:

 Weight comes off nicely. Feel good about that. Start to have no interest in food and don't feel like eating. Still drink Wine nice and steady,  a couple of bottles a day. Start to look pale, start feeling very weak, brain won't seem to work properly but it's ok, I don't do anything, no one sees me and I'm losing weight.

Week 4:

Feel really crap. Unable to eat, have the runs, light headed, feeling faint, dehydrated, can hardly do anything, so weak with not eating, can hardly stand up. Frightened, anxious, scared. Suddenly, losing a good 3 quarters of a stone doesn't feel so good. Ditch the wine and concentrate on drinking water. Days of hell trying to physically get a mouth full of some sort of food down me. Don't sleep for 4 days and nights. A battle every day to try and eat a mouthfull of something. Feel like my heart is going to stop and I am going to die. No one sees me like this, no one knows but Wine, who is still there in his upright bright bottle, rich, fruity, healthy, cool, happy, radiant and content, almost wanting me to want him, yet at this point I am revolted and want him out of my life forever.

Week 5:

At this point, I am so humble and grateful I have somehow survived, although i feel so ashamed of  myself. I have yet again gone it alone and no one knew. The diarrhoea has finally ceased, I am able to eat a little light food, eventually my brain slowly kicks back into function. By the end of week 5, I feel so well compared to week 4 and wonder how I ever got to that stage, substituting food for Wine yet again, 

This was a circle for many months that however hard I tried, I seemed unable to break. I felt moments of euphoria,  but not worth the days of feeling so ill and unable to function. God knows what damage it did to my body and organs with all the turmoil.

After watching all your videos Jo I managed to stop drinking completely for a whole month. It wasn't as hard as i thought it would be and I was so pleased that I had been able to do it. Apart from being pregnant so many yrs ago, can't remember the last time I managed a whole month drink free. 

 Then my partner decided to do a "nice thing" and buy me a bottle of Wine.  Wish he hadn't.  Managed to keep it in the fridge for a few days then during one day was so peed off with an uninvited cold caller being so rude, after putting the phone down and opening the fridge to get a bottle of cold water, spyed said Wine and thought what the hell, its only a bottle, bout time i got rid of it. So consequently opened said Wine, and relaxingly drank it, forgetting all about the crap it had previously caused. That was ok though, cos just a bottle when hydrated and eating properly and not drank for a while was ok. But did it stop at that? NO it just slowly started me off again. However, not in the same circle and becoming so ill. Seemed to have finally been able to break the circle and be much more aware of things. However, still got back into drinking more than i want to.

However, because of your help and slowly coming back to some resemblance of living on this planet and feeling so much better, I decided to call a retail company to see if they happen to be recruiting temporarily over the Christmas period. I was asked to go in for an interview. Armed with a different approach towards myself, I went with my zipped leather case, documentation, C.V. past sales achievements and a 'I am worth something, I can give something' attitude. Was told if unsuccessful I would receive an e mail stating as such, but should I be successful, would receive a phone call in 2 or 3 days. I was anticipating an e mail. However, I received a phone call the very next morning, induction a couple of days later, and started the beginning if the following week. 

I am now into my 2nd week and loving it. I was so nervous and lacking in confidence inside and in such pain with my back and hips with so long not used to it, but I have persevered and it's getting easier. I brighten people's day with my attitude and personality that has all fallen back into place and am doing well and getting on so well with all the other staff.  I have my independence back and finding the old 'me' again. I don't want to get back into that 5 week cycle ever again and it's all down to you Jo for your help to get where I am now. There was a batch of us started temp at the same time but they are usually,  if cash flow allows, able to keep one person on afterwards. You never know 🙂........

I am not completely free from drinking at present, I still have a couple of glasses of wine in the evening. But I am eating and having a drink now doesn't blag my head or render me useless. Its all in proportion. Its still a work in progress to cut down even more and fill my time with more productive things now I have my head back and sleeping much better. Its so fulfilling to be able to be so bubbly, smiley  and chatty with customers in my work and see their initial serious, down faces lift, smile and chat back. I have had some excellent feedback which really makes everything worthwhile, knowing I am using the gift I was born with to help brighten someone's day and not wasting it on an unhealthy relationship with my ex best friend Wine, who did nothing but use and abuse me. .....

I now have purpose in life and gained back my independence and confidence.

Thank you so much Jo for helping me find the strength to address my life issues. I would not have been able to be where i am now if it were not for you. 

Here's to not giving up, keep thinking differently, and no going back....... 🙂

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