About me

This is me aged 39 just before I decided to remove alcohol from my life.  Ha ha!  No actually this is me aged 17, underage at the pub.



Note the lollypop, gum, cigarettes, tomato sauce and beer on the table.  Most interesting to me now is that I was drinking beer.  Toward the end I wasn't a beer drinker at all.  Wine, wine, wine all the way with me.  I remember this weekend, it was a boozy weekend away with friends.  Note also naughty twinkle in the eye.  This was early days of my long and dubious drinking career.

I grew up with alcohol all around.  I first got drunk at 15, loved the physical feeling, and (as I now realise) loved the way it pushed emotions away, so I kept doing regularly it until just shy of my 40th birthday. Here I am about a month before I gave up the sauce. Yes that is a cocktail. Note the clock - not quite 5pm....



Heavy drinking has always been around me.  Growing up, in my line of work and in New Zealand society in general.  Heavy drinking is not frowned upon round these parts. 

But my drinking habit had slowly but surely become serious.  A very determined, intense, obsessed and unhealthy dedication to wine. 

My body clock was amazing - 5pm on the dot, or about 4.45 I'd look at the clock and think 'almost wine time!'.  I would have wrestled with myself during the day about whether to buy any but always the 'yes' voice would have won and I'd have a bottle or two in the house.  However much I bought that day was drunk that night.  Rarely would there be any left over.  I'd pop the top at 5pm and it would go, fast.  I always poured a glass almost to the rim and slurped the top down straight away. 

But towards the end 1 bottle wasn't enough. I needed one bottle and 2 glasses more just for myself to feel 'full'.  Binging.  Binging all the time.

And I was a 2nd day drinker.  Have a binge, then have a hangover, so the second day is a light one, just 1-3 wines.  Then the next day, no big hangover so have a binge again.

I feel like I've been working up to becoming sober for a few years now.  Enough of the mindless pouring of booze down my throat.  Heading in a stupid and very very serious direction with my drinking.  Where did I think it was going to end up?  What sort of life path are you on if you are pouring so much wine into your body?

It had to stop. And it did, on 6 September 2011. Here's me 18 months sober, at a wedding. In my wineglass - a Red Bull energy drink! Note matching lipstick and nailpolish! I had the best dance ever this night. Who needs wine? Not me!!



171 comments:

  1. Thank you, Mrs. D! I am 60 days into a new, sober life. I must say that it will be a challenge since I run a tasting room in a winery and my husband is a very successful Winemaker. The up side is he is my biggest support and, believe it or not, far less of a consumer than I ever was. 60 days ago I could not imagine an evening without wine, particularly with good food. And then, what about all those hours before bed without something to swirl in my glass? All the many bargains I made with myself...to not stop. The good news is that I did. I wanted to stop obsessing about what wine I would be having at the end of every day. And mentally beating myself up every morning for not stopping at the recommended (ha!) one, 4oz. glass. It felt like the pull of a dangerous lover; what started out lovely and romantic became desperate and grim. I could go on and on...but I want you to know that I truly understand a wine love affair and, unfortunately, there are so many others who haven't begun to address their addiction. Merry Sober Christmas, Mrs. D!

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    1. I'm into fourth week free of alcohol and I so relate to the obsessing. For the past few years I realise now that I have been constantly making bargains and agreements with myself about wine consumption. Reading 'Mrs D goes without' was what finally made me face the fact that I had to give up completely and it is kind of a relief. Thanks everyone for sharing.

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  2. Wow ~ I'm gotten very used to hearing elements of my own story in the history of others, but my similarities to your bio are totally uncanny! I, too, drank from age 15 to nearly 40, grew up in an environment saturated with alcohol (new york city - irish catholic neighborhood/ family), fell passionately in love with wine, and had the exact same pattern of binge/balance drinking. Towards the end (okay so the "end" went on for years), it was nearly two bottles a night and it was definitely starting to show (horrors! one may be an alcoholic but not LOOK like an alcohlic). Anyway, I'm so glad you are sober and I love your blog. Have a blissful, sober evening....

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  3. Wow! Wow! Appears we could be triplets! Wine, wine and more wine; the cheaper and bigger the bottle the better. Stopped drinking in my 40th year (now in my 50th); just shy of my liver shutting down completely. Gotta love the liver, my favorite organ! Stopped in the nick of time, allowing my wine soaked liver to reinvent itself and giving myself a second chance at life. Never got into AA but am thoroughly enjoying the sober blogs. Congrats to all and continue success with your sobriety!

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  4. Thanks Mrs. D--I am 47 days into sobriety, have attended couple of AA meetings but also not sure they are for me. I'm 44, and man, that little internal bell would chime every night at 5:30, reminding me that it was time. Time to pull the veil down, blur the edges, soften the demands of my kids and the injustice of my ridiculously underpaid job. My first love is/was wine, but towards then end I'd get started with a couple of vodka shots, simple syrup and a squirt of lemon hidden behind the cookbook.

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  5. I just found your blog and I am happy I did.

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  6. hello! i'm only on day 15, myself-- and happy to find others on the journey! cheers, and God bless!

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  7. So glad to have found your blog. 51 days off of wine myself and in my twenties. I will be reading whenever you post!

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  8. Glad Ive found this blog. I too have a very unhealthy relationship with wine. Was going to attend an AA meeting tonight but decided id try again to go it alone... Feel so ashamed. I feel so very sad that I can't drink nicely. Have been a drinker since 15. I dont drink every night as I know its unhealthy and once I start I drink till its gone. Maybe have 2 sober nights a week. Hosted a family dinner party here on Sat night. Went to soo much effort and then got smashed. No one else was drinking like me. I just remember seeing people out and nagging my uncle for cigarettes- i quitt a year ago and I have NO idea where I hid them. Just a blackout. I apparently abused my husband for no reason. I hardly get a buzz anymore. Im smashed before I can control it. My children deserve better. There is a bottle in the fridge now but I wont touch it as im trying to stop so I like to think that means im not an alcoholic and ill be able to control it but i know thats denial. I cant imagibe my life without it. How do I do this?

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    1. I watch my partner drinking like no one else at the dinner, at the party or bbq or whatever else... I always wish and pray that he could just have a couple or be sensible. I feel for you and one thing that may help is to tell yourself that you are not giving up anything, you are not going without, the poor me part of our being loves to think that we are denying ourselves of something. But try and change your thinking around and say to yourself , it is just something that I dont do. Good luck and God Bless.

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  9. Thank you for this blog...your description of Wine Time is spot on.....today is the start of my alcohol free life; I've had it, it's dumb, doesn't add anything and only takes.....I have read Jason Vale and Allen Carr and have started to see alcohol differently; in fact I must make sure I don't become a born again zealot!!! But it's nuts pouring this horrid liquid down our gullets to take the edge off.....this is life....why take the edge off??
    Paula in Italy

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    1. Good on you Paula,
      Removing the alcohol bondage is our only option.
      My disease progressed over the years,started as a teenager in the football club rooms.
      For me I had to surrender once my ego and pride were broken.
      "Pain (cold turkey) is the unacceptance of suffering"
      After 18 months sober,one drink would start a craving(I know that) and within a blink its "Game Over"(I know that).
      Im so grateful and enjoying my 2nd life,free to be me.:-)

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  10. Love your story! I started out with beer too and ended with wine, lots of wine out of the box! Very classy;). Love your blog too, thanks for sharing your life and sobriety! Congrats!

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    1. I totally agree with you. I think anyone can go sober if they want to. I wish i could help people know that their not alone in this world.

      thanx
      Abby

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    2. Hi Lotta, I am sure you have been overwhelmed with the response to your interview last night, I had to write and tell you that watching you last night was sooooo hard, so emotional, so raw, I cried, actually i was a bit of a mess, you put it so beautifully, truthfully, brutally, and perfect and I want to say Well done, PROUD PROUD PROUD of you. My name is Ida and I am an alcoholic, and watching you last night, it felt like it was only yesterday for me, the hiding of the booze, the secret drinking, the guilt, the self loathing, and yet i have been sober for nearly 24 years,I had my first drink at 14 and loved the way it made me feel, and finally stopped at 32, drinking a cask and a half a day, like you never when i was pregnant, but shit i made up for it when i gave birth, I have 6 beautiful children who helped me, ( with out realising it) and now am blessed to be a grandma of to beautiful wee boys, it was hard, but so worth it, my Hubby was a bit mystified by my weeping last night, but i met him after i dried out, He has only known me sober, One Day At A Time, Congrats hun on bringing it out, Good luck and enjoy life!!! awesome awesome!!!! Ida

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  11. Yeah, I did it. I'm over at WP so I had to use my brain to do this on Blogger. Now I'll get the posts in my inbox. BFN (bye for now) and lots of sober love. Lisa

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  12. I am drinking a glass of red wine at this moment after numerous glasses of white wine with dinner. I want to stop and be clear and healthy, but I love to drink beer and wine so much. What to do?

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  13. how can you have so much self-discipline? 100 days is a REALLY long time to go without. I think maybe I need to enlist God's help with this. Thoughts?

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  14. I am going to try the 100 day challenge starting at midnight. Stocking up on last minute wine and beer til then. We'll see how it goes. Currently in a pleasant fog...

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  15. Here it comes! white knuckling it all the way..Anyone else get it?

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    1. White knuckling is right. Stay sober for 100 days and then drink like you did before. Excellent. It solves nothing.

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  16. one more hour and two minutes til sober land blast-off!

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  17. okay, my sober moment is NOW; it is FRIDAY night, APRIL 5, 2013 and it is 11:18 p.m. Teeth are brushed and I am all snuggled in bed with a big glass of water on the bedside table (since I have been drinking since noon I know I will be incredibly thirsty throughout the night). Hopefully, I won't have to get up for a cool, wet washcloth for my face during the dead of night. Though sad to bid farewell to my alcohol I am really looking forward to meeting my new friend (sober me). What will that person be like? I think I remember; it was someone who cooked nice, simple meals, lived a sweet, simple life and was happy and healthy. Looking forward to becoming reacquainted.

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  18. Been sober for 11 minutes and loving it!

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    1. I've only been sober about an hour and i love it 100%

      thanks Mrs D xxxx

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  19. going to sleep now and will check in tomorrow for my first day.

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  20. Sobriety date is April 6, 2013.

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  21. DAY 1! restless night; awake from about 3-4:30 a.m. Night sweats, headache. Took two advil at around 4 and then finally got several hours of good sleep. Woke up at around 7:40a.m. and started Day 1..Made coffee, toast, and began my day. Thinking about preparing a big pot of homemade stew and cornbread for a nice, wholesome supper tonight. I'm looking forward to tonight when I can crawl in bed and get back to reading my book for book club.

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  22. So that's Mrs D!!! How lovely to see you. Oh it is nice to put a face to the name. You haven't actually changed that much since the first pic. I love how happy you look and those nails are fab!
    Have throughly enjoyed reading your journey while I stumble through mine. This blogging community is such a massive asset in my life now. I know I can do this cause I am in such good company. You are wonderful and I am happy to know you.
    Carrie

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  23. Ps. I hope to be able to do the same one day x

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  24. I love the pictures on here! I hadn't checked this page in a long time, so very nice to see a 'now' pic of you. You're lovely, happy and smiley - yay!

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  25. Also agree with Carrieonsober's comment that you've barely aged from the photo of 17 year old you! Present day you looks radiant and healthy.

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  26. Mrs D, love the updates to your blog! Love love love the new pics!!! You look awesome!!! You look healthier! You and your blog mean the world to me. You have no idea. June 1st will be 8 months. I have been following you since my first day sober! God Bless you for your willingness to start this blog and help so many others (as you can see you are helping more and more each day!) while you save yourself! You are amazing!

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  27. Ah I didn't know there were pics on this page now (I'm sure there weren't when I first looked at it, all those months ago?) You look amazing! So nice to put a face to a name. xx

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  28. Awww, I just came over to give you a heads up that I'm mentioning you and your blogroll on my resources page, and just saw the photos.

    You're a beauty--inside and out! So nice to put a face with the blog. Major kudos to you for stepping out!

    Love ya lots! Christy

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  29. Discovered you when googling 'vale'. Have read the book and just stopped after an 18 year 'career'. Very inspiring stuff and lots of similarities in our lives. Got through a large family / friends drop in for child 2 Bday without anyone noticing that I was not drinking. House now full of wine and the evil open bottles but not tempted. Week three tomorrow and I hope I can continue. Thanks for sharing and making sobriety seem possible.

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  30. Came to your blog from Belle's. I'm twenty years your senior but so many similarities. One bottle a night plus for so many years I lost count. Always hid it from my children but once everyone was in bed, I guzzled. So looking forward to a more balanced life. I get NASTY when I drink. Day 12 sober and hope for many, many more.

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  31. I thought I would contact you via comment as I don't have your email. I have also given up the drink, and written about it. You may relate to my experiences. The book will be free for download on Amazon on Sunday 26 Jan 2014. Check it out if you would like. It is called Between Drinks: Escape the Routine, Take Control and Join the Clear Thinkers. http://www.amazon.com/Between-Drinks-Routine-Control-Thinkers/dp/1922237957. I enjoyed reading your blog. Regards David

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  32. Mrs D: I like your comments and writing style! One of these days I'm going quit sooner than later! Keep up the good work as it does help me!

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  33. Hi, I have nominated you for The Sunshine Award! You can read about it at: http://wp.me/p48CTN-UP xx

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  34. Well done! You are an inspiration!

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  35. That story is so me if had to buy one mini bottle and a regular one,if two bottle were bought 2were drank.oh god the hangovers shuffle of the walking dead.that's so much for the words of encouragement,to en-courage not dis-courage aloha

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  36. Day 1 for me, will be coming back to read more of your inspirational blog posts :)

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  37. Day 100 for me. I just found your blog and wish to thank you for putting it all out there to help people like me. I started with wine innocently enough, lol, in my 40s, having not been much of a drinker up until then. But boy did it take off from there! Soon up to more than a bottle a day (hiding it from my family but getting caught constantly). A few years later I was up to vodka -- mixed with anything at first and later just drinking it straight or (my favorite way) disguised in a glass of iced tea first thing in the morning. Fast forward to today. I am now 59 years old and celebrating Mothers Day 100 days sober! I derive most of my support through blogs such as yours and online support groups like Moderation Management, MMAbsers to be exact. Thank you so much for what you are doing to help people like me! HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!

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  38. 1 month for me, I re-read Allen Carr's the Easy Way to Stop drinking....again. I took way too long to read it the first time and it didn't work for me. I decided to read it again and this time it has worked. And it has bee EASY! Easy Peasy, and I am free!!

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  39. I saw the Sunday promo on TV and just wanted to say good on you! I gave up smoking 8 years ago and while it's a different addiction and a different withdrawal, and I can't claim to know you're story, giving up anything like that is hard. Go you :)

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  40. Oh Mrs D
    Every time I see your promo on TV when you mention fighting the urges and struggling with the want I see my self in those exact emotions
    The only difference is my wine is food

    I'm glad I found your blog as I'm sure I'll find some useful strategies.
    Xx

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  41. Well Done ! Its never an easy step - you should feel proud of what you have done. Keep it up!

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  42. Since October 2012 I have also given up drinking and not touch a drop. wish my partner would give up drinking but he can't.

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    1. Yeh, people have to want to do it for themselves I guess. My partner doesnt think he has a problem, so I suppose I m the one with the problem...I hate his drinking. :( I really wish I could talk him into stopping.

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    2. If you live with some-one who drinks too much ie you want them to stop, then try Al-Anon. That is a program that will help you live whether the drinker is sober or not. It can't hurt you to try a few meetings [6 are recommended] to see if you can see it as a way to help yourself

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  43. woohoo you have inspired me. Im going day 1 tomorrow ( ive already been drinking tonight)

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    1. why not i probobly would have carried on untill i watched your story on sunday i threw it in the bin never again will i have a drink thancks to you Mrs D xxxxx

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    2. Thanks Mrs D, you are an inspiration. I have stopped for months many times before but always started again. Day one for me and this time I know I can do it. I will keep reading the blog and will buy your book once it is out. I can do this. Thanks

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  44. Just watched your story on television. I'm 66 years old and have been sober now for a very long time. Your story is very similar to mine, except that I got very physically unwell---peripheral neuritis etc etc. The thing that struck me when you were talking was when you said that you couldn't imagine what life would be like without alcohol. I thought exactly like that---God knows I was a mess WITH alcohol---but in the depths you think that getting sober would be even worse! All power to you and your family. I give the occasional talk about my alcoholic story within my community, and that's like therapy for me.

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  46. Good on you!!!! proud of you, I have been sober 30yrs and life is great for me and will be for you too keep it up.

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  47. Mrs D have just watched you on the Sunday programme. You are amazing and inspirational lady.

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  48. Such a brave woman. I also have been sober for over 3 years. A similar story to your own but I didn't get sober until I was 54, what a waste of my years. Thank you for your courage and you know that anyone who is negative towards you is simply fighting their own demons. Well done and much love, Elaine X O

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    1. Good on you Elaine. I left it until I was 60 and I've clocked up six years sober. Ain't life grand.

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    2. Yes, a sober life is grand. All power to everyone who wants to fight this powerful addiction. Today I will not have a drink---my daily mantra.

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  49. Congratulations .. fabulous programme and Mr.D is amazing.
    All the very best to you both. x Thanks for sharing

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    1. Well done keep it up i gave up over 11 years ago and believed i could never stop. you don't need alcohol to enjoy life.

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    2. exactly i used to think. I needed alcohol to enjoy life.

      But now im a 32 year old sober mother of two

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  50. So much courage. Your story was great.

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  51. I have just watched you on TV and feel you are a brave person to open up to the viewers, I shunned the Demon alcohol 13 years ago at age 48 having been a heavy drinker from age 17 and running foul of the law on many occasions because of the drink, it took a while but eventually I got to the stage where there was no desire to drink and the realization that I will never consume alcohol again, the same with smoking which I gave away around 12 years ago, the desire to continue has long since passed and my life has changed forever, keep at it, the rewards are far greater than what alcohol can ever provide, when offered a drink I take great pleasure in saying no thanks I don't drink.

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  52. I am so happy that I can comment as anonymous... I got everything I need in life!.. but I like my drinks at night... Can't help it sometimes and I am worried..

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  53. Mrs D
    I to have just watched your story on Sunday
    That took guts congratulations well done and good luck for the future

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  54. I have just watched your story too on Sunday, your an amazing lady and it goes to show even our own tv celebrities in New Zealand have their own family concerns and issues. I hope you can celebrate for being so strong for not just yourself, but your husband and boys. I believe that so many people lives have and will be touched because of what you have done. Celebrate !!!

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  55. i tried thowing old beer bottles at an old wodden door. i loved doing it so much i havent drunk since, and thst was on christmas eve last year

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  56. great work on inspirating everyone that is following you.


    YOU ARE THE BEST INSPIRATION FOR YOUNG AND OLD DRINKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  57. Mrs D you are amazing! My brother has a real problem with alcohol and he's a very angry drunk. His relationships have suffered because of it. We are hoping he has "seen the light" and has been off the grog for a couple of weeks now. I would love him to contact you. I shall tell him about how inspiring you are!

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  58. m onto my 52 day sober again..... trying so many times. I have been more of a lonel quiet drunk, am lonely so would drink. but finding life again. would one day like to have a partner, and am envious of others. I keep thinking if I had a partner, I would never have drunk. probably wrong there.................

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    1. Sending you best wishes....

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    2. Hang in there, one day at a time.

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  59. Inspirational. You have made me think long and hard about my situation.

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  60. I too was very impressed by your honesty and big reveal on TV tonight. I am not a heavy drinker, but even so, at 1 or 2 glasses most nights, I can relate as a woman with career/teens to looking forward to 'wine o'clock' etc. It clearly is a slippery slide and you (and your lovely followers) have made me much more aware of this. I usually scare myself off more by the breast cancer link. PS This blogging thing is new to me, but can anyone recommend a gambling blog site like this, but from/by a male

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  61. Today is my day 1. You are so brave adn strong and I to have started hiding bottles around the house. I am a mum of 4 and a teacher myself and last night I went out and can no even remember who drove me home from the 40th. Hubby and Kids had gone earlier. I need to do this and need help.

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  62. Saw you tonight & you were so inspirational! I can totally relate to " wine oclock " I look forward to it everyday. I am a 45yr old mother of 3 & I am a functioning alcoholic!! I am in the grips of this disease & I want to stop drinking but don't know how to. Currently looking at going to AA meetings. I never get hangovers as my body is so conditioned to having alcohol. My drink of choice is wine & I can't imagine life without it.

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  63. Inspiring! Tomorrow will be Day 1. I'm looking forward to reading all your past posts. Thank you.

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  64. Hi Mrs D. Just saw u on Sunday . Good on you. For anyone out there concerned about their drinking even if you've stopped, I'd highly recommend Alan Carrs book The Easy Way To Stop Drinking . At $35 it's easily the best investment I've ever made. I so wish more people would read it. Corran Kidd

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    1. Yes! I completely agree with your book suggestion. Allan Carr's book is a game-changer. Foul tasting poison. That is his description of alcohol. It's an excellent book!!!

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  65. I am sure now that this programme has aired and that your blog has been revealed, many more are going to come out of the woodwork. The fact that you can share anonymously will also be beneficial to many. I remember murray deaker saying "I got sick and tired of being sick and tired" and I guess it can come down to some thing as simple as that and just deciding 'when is enough ENOUGH?' ...When you realise it is controlling you and not the other way around that is a good indication. Love and support is a wonderful healer and even beneficial when it is from a stranger so a big thankyou for your opening up and sharing with us all. I think you may have started a giant ball rolling and many may now feel not quite so alone as they did previously

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  66. I am also high functioning. Thankyou so much for coming out and being honest. It means alot

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  67. Good for you Mrs D, keep it up and good luck;

    Signed;
    33 years sober now, life is good..

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  68. Thank you Lotta, your story is inspirational. I'm still struggling with it, but at least I know i'm not scum.

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  69. Thank you so very much! Day 1, my first step towards happiness xx

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  70. Hi Mrs D.....thankyou for sharing your story with us on tv last night. I saw my (boozy) self in your story. A toddler, a teen, a fulltime job and a hubby with a busy career. Wineoclock often cant get here quick enough. ...Ill crack open the lid for a couple of sips from the bottle . Often Ive thought of going to AA but joke that I dont want to 'cause I'd have to give up drinking. My husband says I don't have a problem , and that I just need to cut back.....but I know its an issue. I cant have 1 or 2 glasses; once that bottle is open it needs to be finished. Day 1 was yesterday. .....heres (not cheers) to more savvy free days. Mrs S.

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  71. I watched you on the tele last night with my glass of red. Woke up again in the early hours feeling guilty. I have a hangover today what is a regular occurrence in my life. Im sick of feeling sick and having this dysfunctional relationship with alcohol. I cant think of the last time I went a day without a drink. I think the programme last night was just what I needed to realize I too need to change. Thankyou for sharing your story.

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    1. You can do it, I have been clean and sober 5 weeks today and I thought life would be miserable with out drugs and booze, I like you loved the programme last night and it just inspires me to keep going, I feel well happy and my self loathing has gone, God help us we can keep on going, Keep on keeping on we can see its possible and its worth it, :-)

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  72. WOW I saw you on "Sunday" last night and by god I felt like I was looking at myself, everything you said resonated with me! Thank you and your husband for being so open and honest! I am on day 3 and after watching you I know I can keep going! Thank you thank you thank you Mrs D xx

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  73. I watched your programme last night too. I too am a highly functioning over drinker. Thank you so much for your honesty. It was great to recognise that a bottle a night IS a problem. You don't have to be an alchy on the streets drinking vodka at 10 oclock in the morning to have a problem.

    And I think the problem is there are so many of us drinking a bottle of wine a night that whenever you mention it to others, they dismiss it as being "normal". But for some of us its not OK and we know it. We know it is getting worse and we try and moderate and can't.

    I have tried the "ultimate" so many times - to only drink on weekends or when socialising. I see others doing it. I beat myself up as "useless, undisciplined, a loser" when I fail.

    I gain weight because lets face it a bottle of bubbles a night - its a no brainer - so I exercise. And I'm always on a diet... and then I beat myself up again when I gain weight.

    There is nothing good about this - just because there are thousands of women in NZ doing this doesn't mean its OK. We have a heavy drinking culture that is encouraged. Well I have had enough. I am giving up!

    This programme couldn't have been better timing. I have been without wine for 7 days and feel fantastic. I just need my reflection of my outside to reflect how I feel inside now. I know it will happen. Bring on the new energetic, happy, healthy,slim - did I mention happy - me!

    I think Mrs D you could start a revolution - lets change this heavy drinking culture of the average NZ mother/housewife/career woman. You've put it out there now. Congratualtions!!

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    1. I too struggle, felt real brave when I listened to Mrs D haven't had a drink for too days but having a hell of a mind game tonight not to drink. Wine should be taken out of supper markets it is too easy to just pink up a bottle or six and a pack of beer for hubby! I went off the wine cause I mentally couldn't remember or handle it and it cam to a really bad point for me. Thank you for your blog, Will it get better?????

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    2. It will get better, because you will love yourself, be proud of yourself and be grateful for your life. Keep going and dont beat yourself up, change your selftalk and tell yourself how amazing you are. Dont think of it as giving up something, but think of drinking as just something you dont do. Take inspiration from that amazing lady and celebrate yourself every day. I hope you are okay and you have had a good night tonight.

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  74. Mrs D, an avalanche of praise from everyone who watched the programme last night. You are an inspiration! fantastic.

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  75. As above; thank you for your openness, honesty, sharing and encouragement.
    I am still "at it", despite many years of poisoning myself,
    with bad liver-function results and doctor telling me I am killing myself...
    To fool myself I've eliminated spirits (but keep-on with beer and wine, in copious amounts - daily) and exercising hard every morning, to compensate for my deadly habit.
    Soaping my own eyes...
    I'll try without today...maybe.
    I'll let you know how I get on;
    what's the best way to communicate, as I would like to keep in touch, please?

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  76. I saw me in you. Help! How do I start? I don't have the discipline to stop, can go 2 or 3 nights and got to have a wine. Step 1 is......?

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    1. Step 1 is either go and see your GP or contact your local AA. Only YOU can make the decision to stop - no one else can do it for you. I won't kid you that it's easy but I can tell you that once you have reached the other side there's a new life waiting.

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  77. You were awesome last night and you are awesome for your recovery . . . Well Flippen Done!
    Keep up the good work Mrs D xx

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  78. I am so scared!! Terrified of the truth that my drinking is controlling me. Just thinking about drink makes me want to drink, where does it end? How do I stop? Clock watching, 5pm.... I so envy Mrs D and the rest of you guys actually doing it and surviving, I want that old person back but what a crazy journey.

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  79. Kia Ora Mrs D. I saw you on the Sunday program last night and it was awesome! Your a brave woman and I applaud you for the courage and strength you have in beating the 'piss' and eliminating alcohol from your life. I know it's not easy. I gave up alcohol 2 years and 2 months ago. I had to, it was ruining my life and my body. I thought I was 'healthy' and could handle the bottle but I was just deceiving myself. I was a terrible drunk. I had all of the classic symptoms, loss of memory, regret, guilt, a hangover that lasted far too long, remorse and a general 'hate' towards myself for drinking too mach, Yet, the weekend would roll around and I;d be back in front of the Sav or Pinot Gris bottle. I'd drink during the week too, it started with a wine or two while cooking kai, then it escalated into one bottle, sometimes even two bottles. I'd hide the empties too so my then partner, couldn't find them or truely know how much I;d had to drink. Gross. I'm proud of myself for giving up, but I do still have cravings every now and then. I've only been to two 'events' since I gave up drinking and I was terrified of how I would be judged or probed for questions on why I wasn;t drinking. However, thats been made easier by the fact that I was [and still am] breastfeeding my son. I gave up alcohol only 4 months before being pregnant with my first child. Up until that point, I had always wanted children, but it just never happened. I even got to the stage where I had convinced myself that I couldn't have kids. I also knew if I was going to ever have any chance of getting pregnant, I needed to cleanse my body of all the crap I was consuming, alcohol included. Anyway Mrs D, thank you. Your story has encouraged me to talk about my own. Not many people know I am alcohol free. But that will chance from today onwards. Your awesome, your brave and I just wanted you to know this. Thanks. Kia kaha. Mrs T

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    1. PS: I just made an announcement on my fb page about me being alcohol free! YAY! Although, I didn;t use the word 'sober'. Hmmm, may be I should have. Oh well. First step in letting the FB world now about my sobriety is done!

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    2. Well done Mrs T. It didn't take you as long as me to admit that not only had I finished with booze but that I previously had a very severe alcohol addiction. It's a massive step and an important one. Kia kaha.

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  80. Congratulations on where you are at. I know the feeling well as I have been in successful recovery for over six years now and every new day is still an amazing bonus. I shouldn't still be here as I was physically damaged as well with massive weight loss, peripheral neuropathy and so weak that I could not walk. Like you I have a wonderful partner and supportive kids who saw me through the nightmare withdrawal symptoms, five weeks hospitalisation and six months convalescence. I am now fully recovered in body and mind and back to my career at age 66. Keep up your great work - you're an inspiration.

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    1. Wow that is determination. Makes me think how much I want to do this. Thanks for the inspiration :)

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  81. Thank you, you are truly an inspiration.

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  82. Ok, so I know I should stop drinking but to be brutally honest it's a very scary thought! I justify to myself with words in my head like 'well I gave up ciggies etc so surely I can drink!' or 'its my wind down after a hard days work' but my daily drinking has got out of control. My situation is now like if I open a bottle I will finish it. There is no off switch. So you were absolutely talking to me Mrs D. Can I do it? I honestly don't know but I know Its been on my mind to do for quite some time...wish me luck!

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    1. Take it from a fellow drinker... the only way is AA. And that's from me who is currently not going to AA and is battling, and losing, the booze battle every day. One bottle becomes two....it is truly insane. I went to AA for about 6 months then stopped going. Started drinking again ....still drinking. Its killing me!

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  83. Thank you so much for your story and wisdom you provided the other night on tv. My mum drinks just like you did. Wine has been there for her through thick and thin. What started as fun sociable drinking has turned into has become a life relying on something that comes out of a bottle. Because she is not an 'alcoholic' in the stereotypical terms, she holds down a job, doesn't drink whiskey from a bottle at 11 am means she gets away with it. But I am sick of it. It is ruining the relationships with those closest to her, her children. We love our mum and want her without the wine in hand. I think you will be a real inspiration to her. Thankyou and all the best. :)

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  84. Hi Lotta, go you! I gave up a horrendous love affair with... you guessed it... WINE (a cask a day and I'm only little), on 24 January 2011, after being told I would be dead within 5 years if I did not stop. I was sober for 3 whole years and doing really well. Unfortunately my world collapsed around me, my best friend moved in as a border, my husband decided he liked her better than me and she reciprocated. My dog of 15 years died, which broke my heart even more. Then my Dad started having brain bleeds. It was all too much for me, I was a wreck, I fell into the most awful place of depression and of course, WINE was the solution. WINE will numb anything. I kicked my ex-best friend out of our home, reconciled with my husband but still, with the depression and loneliness, I reverted to 'my old friend' and the WINE ruled supreme. I took medication for the depression which has helped heaps, I have managed to lessen my daily intake down to a better level but I feel like such a failure that I fell off the wagon after 3 whole years. Your story has made me ready to give up again, unfortunately not today, however I know I can do it and I will. July is the beginning of the rest of my life, thankyou Mrs D, your story makes me feel less ashamed, I realise that the worst thing for me is the emotional triggers, keep on top of those and I'll be ok. Go Corrin, for being so supportive, my husband too WAS supportive when I gave up for 3 whole years however he then broke my heart, which made me WEAK! In my humble opinion... I would not be the drinker I have been over the years if WINE was not available in supermarkets, it is like cheese to a mouse, putting it right there with the groceries where every bored housewife goes!!!! It would be a different matter if we had to go to the pub for our daily fix. What are your thoughts everyone?

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    1. Couldn't agree more. If you had to buy it from a bottle store you could avoid it totally, but the supermarket? As the buyer for our household I am there sometimes 3 times a week and its such a huge section of the supermarket now, not just a little isle that you can by-pass!

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    2. Try doing your supermarket shopping online and either having your order delivered or pick it up if the delivery charge is a problem.

      You know what it takes to give up booze. You've done it before so get back on the horse and do it again.

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    3. The availability of alcohol in many retail outlets is a huge problem for people who are trying very hard to stop buying alcohol---the ready availability is a constant danger. However, it does get better believe me, and you WILL gain enough strength as you lengthen your sobriety, it WILL get better, 35+ years of sobriety tells me that YOU CAN become a sober person from real depths.

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  85. I love your small observations about the treadmill that is eveyday life at home with young children. Somehow motivated me to just get on with it :)

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  86. you were on breakfast to it takes alot of guts to do what you did.

    All i knowv is that i would never do that.

    thanx
    Abby

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  87. Sometimes I think the hardest part is explaining to your regular girlfriends that you usually share a bottle of wine with why you are doing this. Well now is the perfect opportunity. "Dry July" is just around the corner. I have managed to talk a couple of girlfriends into joining me so we can get together on Friday nights and eliminate the loneliness that can exist initially. My tactic is then going to be that I benefited from it so much I have decided to carry on.

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    1. Thanks Susie - the 'Dry July' thing is exactly how I am going to broach it.

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  88. I've been fascinated by your story, Lotta. I've worked in A&D programs and wondered whether there is a better option for some people, rather than extracting themselves from 'normal' routine to try to get sober. You look to have cracked it by the amazing response. I hope your story will keep percolating in our crazy drinking culture in NZ - the fact that fun doesn't have to be wedded to alcohol. Not having alcohol in your face in supermarkets - as it is here in West Auckland - is certainly a start. Thanks for going public with your story.

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  89. Perfect - I asked the Universe for help and oddly 60 minutes came on (getting ready to watch a movie in a hotel) The super odd thing is I gave up tv four years ago and there you were. I missed the first bit but what resonated with me was how clear headed you now feel. I want that! I have worked very hard for a great job and I don't want to screw it up. Day one without. I went for a bike ride - I used to love my bike.... it just about killed me.... thank you Mrs D from Missy Me.

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  90. To Dearest Mrs D. & the rest of the world who have posted on here – I am now asking myself why the hell I keep doing this to myself. Every day I say to myself “Oh yeah, wine o'clock”.... and being that I do not work, ‘wine oclock’ is not specific time of the day!!!. I justify ‘wine oclock’ by telling myself I have deserved it. What a joke!! But over the last couple of weeks I have realised that, I must think so poorly of myself to even consider or try and justify that ‘I deserve it’ at wine oclock time; - as it brings me/my family nothing but grief !! Why do I think that I deserve to bicker and argue with my partner every night or that I deserve to go to bed every night with either one or both of us, not talking to each other; waking up in the morning trying to remember why we are not talking to each other?? Absolutely crazy! Why do I think that I deserve to have dry wrinkled facial skin and look 10 years older than I am or think I deserve my child telling me they are concerned about who I become when I am drinking? I am not a bad person and have been told I have a good heart so if that is true, why am I persecuting myself and the ones I love the most?? I drank alcohol minimally prior to meeting my partner but quickly fell into the social lifestyle after we got together. He came from a family, lifestyle and social circle of big drinkers so it was easy to follow suit. No one forced me, it just happened so easily and to be a ‘non drinker’ in those circles, was definitely not normal. Then came the verbal and physical abuse towards each other. Then the children were born, I played the dutiful wife/mother who stayed home while he continued to drink, socialise, flirt and cheat. Many incidences occurred purely out of alcohol consumption with me often being made to feel like I was making a mountain out of a mole hill but I knew it was not the way a family/couple should behave towards each other and certainly hated the impact that behaviour would have on our children but I didnt know how to stop it. My partner continued to drink despite my attempts to hint that we should both cut down or even, dare I mention it, completely give up... but that was never an option and so the cycle continued. Many situations that shouldn’t have occurred over the years, only occurred due to the presence of alcohol and those situations unfortunately created an ongoing cycle of abuse, mistrust, blame, guilt and pain. Not having the tools to work out why our relationship had become this train wreck, I turned to another addiction. In hindsight I honestly feel that I was just lost in my life and relationship and just wanted a normal relationship but in my confusion of seeking some form of satisfaction,.I created a whole new set of problems which included drinking more alcohol to cope with my new addiction. My partner found out about my addiction which then had a fall out effect on both of our lives and now years down the track, I realise and accept I need help to overcome this addiction but also need to address the primary addiction of alcohol abuse!!! It is uncanny that Mrs D. Came out with her story over the weekend as I have been truly wanting to do something to bring change into my life. I always believe ‘things happen for a reason’ and Mrs D. Has given me that little bit more courage to take a step forward and say ‘enough is enough’!! Last week before I had heard of Mrs D., I started to engage in external support for my other addiction which I see as a sign in regards to also addressing my drinking. So thank you Mrs D. for your honesty and courage to bring this hidden addiction so many of us struggle to control, to the forefront of peoples lives. Thanks to the lovely people out there who have been honest about their own personal struggles. I wish you all well in your journeys and I will continue to read others stories in the hope that we can all keep inspiring and motivating each other to find peace in our lives. Mauri Ora 

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    1. That was such a great post. Well done you. There are many many women in the same situation. Good on you getting help. It will require change which can be challenging but in the long run it is so worth it.

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    2. thank you for your reply. it is so hard and I am one day alcohol free and battling I have to admit. I haven't told anyone what I am doing and I know I am going to have to do this solo - absolutely on my own as the people close to me don't see it as a problem or don't understand where I am at. they say, just do this or just do that or just don't do it - easier said than done.... I can actually feel butterflies in my tummy just thinking about the challenge ahead of me especially that I am trying not to drink anymore. it is so scary and I anxious. thanks to you also for coming to this blog of which we owe our gratitude to mrs d. for her courage and strength to share. mauri ora.

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  91. I am you.... You are me in a nutshell.. Just don't know about moving forward

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    1. take one step at a time; just a small baby step is all it takes to start the process of moving forward. how are you getting on??

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  92. Wow, have just listened and watched your story on my PC with headphones. Saturday night I went to a party, I got drunk.. others were drunk also but I guarantee they did not wake up feeling so overwhelmingly remorseful like I did. I am sad that I allow alcohol to control me is such a way. Alcohol is a liar...it tells you that you can't be fun without it, it tells you that nobody wants to hear what you have to say unless you have consumed it, you believe it and then the next morning all of the lies are so transparent..yet I go back. My story is very similar to yours. I am a 41 year old Wellingtonian. I have wonderful children a wonderful husband. for many years I did not drink, over recent years I have allowed alcohol to wriggle it's way into the home. It started Friday nights, as soon as I go home (5pm) while cooking dinner, 1/2 bottle progressed to a bottle and a bottle to a bottle and a couple of glasses. Friday nights then became Thurs, Fri and Saturday nights... it makes me so sad and angry that I have allowed this to happen. The rest of my life is in control.. I work hard, I am a great housewife, mother...I feel it all comes undone when I drink, how can something that makes me feel so strong and on top of everything..leave me feeling weak and selfish. Sunday night, when your story came on the television.. I had to turn it over, you see my family were sitting there watching also and I felt such a correlation with what you have been through and what I am currently, I was frightened they too would see the likeness. The tears welled in my eyes. Well done you. Monday was the start of my journey..

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  93. Me, now 59. Finally (a day at a time) gave it up just over a year ago having started AA some 6 years ago. Being an arrogant, cocky, brave (and, as it turns out, stupid) fellow I always thought I could do it again. Six days later I found out I couldn't. remorse, vomiting air, crushing regret and apologies all round. When did I start. Really don't know but every time I reflect back my "abnormal" approach to alcohol was earlier then I was prepared to concede. I think alcohol and bullshit go hand in hand!!! Koru membership, global travel business class and expense account +plus a ready availability of booze and clients to keep happy was not the best combination but I pulled it off. I told myself I had to. It's not a straight line to the top. It's bloody exponential and is all consuming. You talk of a "body clock" Mine started at 4.30pm with the body craving for a "loading dose" consumed in gulps not sips. Ahhhhhhh. The clock seemed to come back at least 10 minutes a day until I needed at 6.30am wake up call!!! Getting worse but head saying it's OK. Hiding bladders of wine all over the place with spares I could never find when I needed a kick start. It's downhill, one way and hell. Mind always thinking about drinking. Mixing supermarkets and credit cards so no one would suspect!!! Got kinda rescued I guess and thankful someone stepped in. Sober now for 6 years apart from the odd bit of what I call "market research" Read self induced coma!!! Happy, free, loving life above ground on the green side of the grass, honest and no horrors to haunt me to have to lie about! I love you and your story!!!! We are blessed with the one thing we all need...a GSOH!

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  94. Dearest Mrs D..
    Your blog is very new to me for this is the first time I've ever read your blog. I don't want to identify myself so just call me Anonymous.
    Im from New Zealand as well. And Im still a young buck. Your Blog has inspired me to never end up how you did. I discorvered your blog, because I was watching an interview of you talking about your blog. As a child I could never imagine what pain you (as an adult) went through. All I can say is Thank You ! Thank You! Thank You !! I hope you will with your wine carvings and you going sober:-)
    Love you Mrs D

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  95. Thanks for your inspiring blog. I looked it up after seeing your wonderful and courageous interview.
    I started regularly drinking about 12 years ago. At first it was just a glass or 2 of wine some evenings a week. I am 50 now and I drink one and a half bottles of wine most nights. Sometimes even 2. I too, hide them around the house, leaving a half full bottle in the fridge so that it doesn't look bad. I used to use a loyalty card at the supermarket, but I don't now as I was receiving great wine deals in the post. They had obviously noticed my spending habits.
    I also buy casks so that the recycle bin doesn't fill up with bottles. I burn the cask evidence in the fireplace.
    I used to occasionally binge drink when i was in my teens and early 20's. Then the children came along and I barely touched alcohol. But then in later years I took up wine as it fills a void, an unhappy marriage.
    Every morning I wake up feeling ashamed, remorseful and hungover. Every morning I tell myself that I won't drink this day. I can to up to 3 alcohol-free days, then it's back to it. I am disgusted with how weak I am. No-one else in my family drinks the way I do. One family member told me that they are concerned. If I can just get my head round the fact that life CAN BE fulfilling without alcohol, then I would be half way there. I have decided not to drink tonight. I hope to do the same tomorrow night and the next and the next..
    The worst part is that I am a church goer. I'm sure the congregation would be HORRIFIED if they knew my awful secret.
    I don't want to be a slave to alcohol. I know it has stopped me from leading a productive life. Yes, I am high functioning and yes, I hold down a good job. BUT, I am not doing my body and mind any favours and I have been a poor example to my daughters. My husband doesn't know the half of it. He drinks as well, but not nearly as much as what I consume.
    This is the first time that I have acknowledged that I am an Alcoholic. I want to be a recovering one. I am going to make a go of this. :-D

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    1. Good on you! Go you - you know you really want this and you can do it! It was mentioned by someone else earlier in the blog but it is worth looking into SMART recovery on line. They have a wonderful toolkit which is sort of like homework to get you to really dig deep about whats going on. It is an excellent website. Good luck and keep posting. Look forward and imagine your life and how great it will be going forward! Think of your kids!

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  96. Yes, think of your kids

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  97. I read Mrs D's blog July 3rd and wow is that ever me! Tiredness is a real trigger for me (among many other excuses) but the "Just fuck it..." is huge. This is day 1 for me and I really need to know you guys are out there! Im doing it in conjunction with Dry July (seems easier somehow) - even though Im a couple of days late. Of course day 1 feeling seedy (again) always is the day I feel strongest and by day 3 I repeat this viscious cycle all over again. It' s so great to have the support of Mrs D and all you guys out there - I so can relate but I feel slightly more empowered knowing I can talk and share with you all.

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    1. I fully understand and congratulations on your insight into knowing change needs to happen. I note a lot of people have shared their lives and experiences with alcohol on this blog but not many replies acknowledging peoples courage in sharing their stories. I for one am here for you should you wish to share and I personally feel it would be great if we all could continue to share, in the good times and not so good times; to enable us to not loose focus. I hope your dry july continues moving forward for you.

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  98. We are here - I think most are lurking, but you are not alone! How are you all going fellow DJs (Dry Julyers)? Friday night and alcohol free and happy! Yah - this is actually happening!

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    1. congratulations. the keys words in your statement being 'free and happy'!! well done and all the best for your journey moving forward.

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  99. I heard about your blog from my parents who watched Sunday. I immediately watched Sunday and saw so much of myself in your words Mrs D. I am a high functioning person who struggles to moderate alcohol. Last Saturday I had 4 big glasses of wine (prob 8 standard drinks) and could not go to Yoga on Sunday and felt fuzzy all day. Sadly this was happening to me too often. I've started Dry July and have found it initially really hard but since I'm reading your book Mrs D I am finding some inner peace amongst the guilt, shame and angst. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences on this blog you are helping me out more than you could imagine from Mrs M.

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  100. I am sitting here, drinking.... knowing it is all out of control!! I know that what I am doing is out of control. I function, i go to work, I pay my bills. I am also contemplating life as I write this !! I come from a dysfunctional family. As Im writing this, I feel people judgeing....its going to be a long road to sobriety if indeed I get there. I dont know how I am going to get through this.

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    1. could I possibly suggest that you seek some form of professional intervention. discuss your concerns about your drinking with your gp along with a brief overview of your dysfunctional family. your gp should do an assessment on you which is simple and does not delve into your background/history (unless you wish to share). then your gp will be able to refer you to a local psychologist for 4-6 consultations where you can discuss your concerns and possible triggers for your alcohol consumption. I did this myself, not just relating to my alcohol consumption and I feel like a 'load has been lifted'. it may be a start for you in regaining back control of your life. good luck :)

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  101. Thank you - what an inspiration you all are. Today is my starting point after reading your memoir Mrs D. Dreading the 5PM witching hour but here goes.

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  102. Thank you for sharing your journey. I read Jason Vale's Quit Drinking Easily not even intending to stop drinking. I just stumbled upon it. By the end of it, I was surprised, but convicted that I was not going to drink again. I then read Allen Carr's Easy Way to Control Alcohol and I was locked in. I'm 46 years old and a social drinker (weekends mostly). Mine was the occasional drink too much, cut it down, drink too much, cut it down cycle. These books helped me to see that we are all in the same boat and alcohol is nothing more than a drug and a poison. I now walk into restaurants and don't see the bottles of wine lining the walls, but the drug aisle. I wouldn't go taking poison even if it made me "feel good" or helped me to lose myself from life's burdens/boredom. So, just because society accepts drinking as normal, it doesn't mean I have to be a blind sheep. I have a weekend ahead with friends that typically includes a great deal of enjoyment of "beverages". I'm looking forward to it and hope to help others. I look at my friends and family who are also social drinkers/"normal drinkers" and I know each one of them wishes they didn't drink and just don't know how to stop. Hopefully, they will be asking me how I did it. Blogs like yours help us all become better and grow into who we are supposed to be. So, thank you!

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  103. I need to quit. Yes I love my 1-2 bottles a night. Wake up at 3am feeling guilty and cant work out why I always open the 2nd bottle of sauv blanc. Totally functional but my life is passing me by. Suddenly I am obese, confused, angry at myself and my lower back hurts like hell. I so need to quit. Have been drinking for 48 plus years. Cant ever remember a time when life hasn't been organised around alcohol. Cant remember most of it unfortunately. Have just bought a new business and this is my last chance to get it right. Am terrified of quitting and don't know where to start. I just know that I need to. Couldn't imagine life after tobacco but managed to quit that 13yrs ago. Surely I can quit the wine. Very scary. It is so sad to see that there are so many of us in the same boat. It is great that I am not alone. So many of you have the same fears as me. Heres hoping I can do it.

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  104. I am at DAY ONE...
    It was supposed to be yesterday, but i drank..your book kinda fell into my hands , and woke me up to myself!!!
    Thank you xxxx

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  105. I txt a friend today and said, "Right - alcohol and me are parting company." I know I've got a problem, I just find it embarrassing to admit to it, even to myself. I know it will kill me if I don't stop. I can't seem to only have one or two wines and stop. It's just the start. I'm shocked and disgusted at how much I can drink. So, thanks to everyone who has posted here, you are helping by sharing your experience.

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  106. I too am Day One. It is heartening to know so many of us are struggling. It is such a taboo subject. I am so sick and tired of beating myself up. Just googled a receipt for tonights dinner and bingo of course beside the lovely image of the food is a glass of sauv !!!!!! Well I am only concentrating on the food. Thanks Mrs. D you are an inspiration to all of us.

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  107. Four years alcohol free and it feels great. We both just decided one day to stop and did and haven't looked back. We told our close friends the next time we saw them for dinner and they accepted it. I didn't tell any work colleagues as I know they would have seen it a challenge to break my resolve. So business lunches I'd just get in first when the waiter arrived and order soft drink or just water. And it was amazing how a couple of others in the group would follow my lead. I became good at excuses when one would ask me "sure you don't want a wine" - I have lots of work to do this afternoon so need a clear head, I have choir practice early evening and its hard music, I'm taking some pills for something or other.

    We were drinking about half a litre of wine each a night plus a couple of beers. The decider for us was the night we'd drunk the wine, went for a walk, got home and he got in the car and went and bought beer. Within a week we were alcohol free.

    We've found alcohol free beer, a German style lager, and like it so we drink that at BBQs in the summer. This stops people annoying us "why aren't you drinking", the conversation just doesn't happen. At the end of a party a couple of years ago it was pouring with rain so we offered to drive somebody home that had walked to the party. They said, no way you've been drinking but we quickly put them right and told them our wine glass had been full of soda water and lime juice all night so it just looked like wine. Yes, all this sounds like were hiding that we don't drink alcohol - we're not, we just consider it our choice and don't want to sound like were preaching to those who choose to drink. alcohol.

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  108. Finally accepting I have a problem. So... this is it. Day 1. Thanks for your blog. I hope it will help me along this journey.

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  109. Thanks, Lotta, for being one of the brave, smart women online charting this territory. I found your website through Belle (Tired of Thinking about Drinking). Nine months ago, I had a week of sobriety, and then succumbed to red wine's siren song on Day 8. (I shouldn't say I succumbed. I should say I actively decided to take the first sip of wine.) Since then, I have been steadily working back up to my 1+ bottles a night, with a very occasional night off. I don't feel a buzz anymore; instead, I go from drinking 2 glasses like juice to being out-of-it. My hangovers aren't as bad as they should be, because my body is so conditioned to alcohol. On Christmas night, I drank over a bottle and took a significant amount of ambien. I am lucky to be alive. I am a 45- year old, happily-married mother of 3 wonderful children, living an amazing life. I had a fantastic childhood, with loving and supportive parents and siblings with whom I continue to have great relationships. By choice, with my children all in school, I have gone back to work part-time in a job I enjoy. Seemingly, I want for nothing. So then why do I feel the need to blot it all out by drinking until I pass out every night? I have been struck recently by the progressive nature of this condition. I used to be able to cut back to 2 glasses, or only weekends, but no more. I used to wait until the evening, but now I think about starting at 3. I find myself thinking of myself as a disabled person. For example, I can't make an early morning commitment because I will be hungover. I need to be home at such-and-such time so I can start drinking. I can't plan to pick up my kids from an activity at 7 pm because I will be drunk by then. I am tired of trying to understand WHY I am doing this to myself. And I am tired of worrying about how I will adjust to social situations, and worrying about how I will look at anything (e.g., candles, food, the patio, my bed, my favorite wine glass) and not long for wine. Instead, I want to re-frame the discussion in my head. For whatever reason, I do this to myself. Move on. Understand that alcohol poisoning is normalized in our culture, but that I have the power to enlighten myself about the poison in that bottle. Wine is NOT my friend. I have just ordered Jason Vale's book and am excited to be on Day 3 and to start reading it. I am posting this here, and will probably post on Belle's site, in the hopes that some sense of accountability and community will strengthen my resolve. Good luck to everyone who reads this and shares this goal.

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  110. Hi Lotta
    I am commenting as anonymous as I dont know how to do the google thing! My name is Julie and I am an alcoholic. Ive just read your book and from that I found this blog. This is my third Xmas sober and boy what a difference. I too trained as a journalist in the UK and my drinking progressed very much like yours except my witching hour was 6pm! I cant be an alkie because I only drink in the evenings and alcoholics have vodka on their cornflakes.... the trouble was that at the end of my drinking I knew that I had no off switch, once I started to drink all bets were off. Sometimes I could just have one or two, other times it was two bottles...and more. I never knew which it would be. After a particularly harrowing evening of which I remember little, I decided to quit. I realised that Ijust felt ill ALL the time, I was either hungover, carbloading or thinking about the next drink. I chose AA as the route for me, and I am glad I did, I needed the companionship, the coffee, the
    cameraderie. Like you I researched and read lots of stuff, including The Diary of an Alcoholic Housewife by Brenda Wilhelmson which I can recommend if you havent read it. Like you it took me a while to admit my alcoholism. I was sitting in meetings saying 'my name's Julie and I'm an alcoholic' thinking NOT. Then it took me even longer to accept it. Now I do. Like you I lost a close and much loved relative in the summer. Undiluted grief is HARD. But I know now it is bettet than avoided grief washed down with vodka. I want to thank you for your blog and your book. You help someone with every post and your words reach further than you think. Have a Happy New Year, I hope our sober journey continues with laughter and love.
    Julie xxx

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  111. Thanks so much Mrs D. I've just finished reading your book, and am rereading it.....I am only Day 3, but feeling more positive than ever before. I have been encouraged by your honesty.x

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  112. Can anyone tell me where to go to get real help and understanding with why I started using booze in the first place cause booze is what I'm using to control lots and lots of feelings I don't want to feel

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    1. Hi Anonymous… if you stop drinking and properly examine your thoughts and emotions then slowly but surely you'll probably figure it out for yourself.. but it does take time. A professional counsellor or some such can definitely help you along, maybe free where you live? Talk to your doctor. Otherwise register at www.livingsober.org.nz (free and anonymous) and start to talk to others in the Members Feed - they're all very kind and lovely and are doing exactly that - trying to get sober and figure themselves out. Good luck xxxx

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  113. Kia ora Mrs.D. Good to see you're still going strong. This is for your reading list: John Hare's "Sunday's Trilogy". Another journey to sobriety, John focuses on retraining the brain as a form of insurance against our often weak will power. Many of his thoughts resonate with your musings, I've realised how powerful addiction really is. Kia kaha e hoa maa.

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  114. I sit here a 40 year old mom of 2 and I think why do I need to drink? I have a great life, wonderful husband, successful business and big life. Sooo what is it that makes me drink 3/4 a bottle of wine and then switch to vodka and have another 2 to 3 drinks?

    Is it that I am so busy I need to de-stress? But I also drink when I am happy, sad, relaxed, bored,anxious,angry, I think I have covered most emotions… Most nights I consume between 2 drinks ( very light night) and 8 drinks ( no so light night)… I am always kind of surprised when It is just me that is drinking out of the wine bottle and there is barely any left. I switch to another drink as I don’t want to out myself to my husband that I finished the entire bottle. Much better when there is 2 different bottles open, easier to hide my not so great hobby. That is one of the reasons I am going 100 days without drinking is that I started hiding exactly how much I drink from my husband and others. I did try to solve by not drinking for 30 days in January, my supportive husband did as well and guess who cheated? Not once, not twice but 7 times! My husband knows only of one. I white knuckled through the other days..

    Mrs D, I can really really relate to your drinking… I am 8 days sober and feel happy that I wake up without a hangover for the last 8 mornings but around this time 7:42pm exactly I want wine. I want a big cold glass of white wine, can’t drink red anymore because I get bad hang overs not to mention that I am not the most attractive person when I drink. I usually go a few different shades of red but will drink red wine anyway if that is all we have ( how sad is that)

    I am attempting to understand why I drink this much since I was 23 or so… I can remember thinking then I was having at leasr 3 beers a night every night and thinking wow that is a problem, none else drinks this much every day… and here we are at 40.. the only time I did not drink is when I was pregnant and nursing but was soon back at it as fast as I could get there.

    This internal conversation of how much should I drink, just one, okay 2 well it is around 3 that I start to drink a lot faster… and then we are at 8 and I go to sleep and wake up at 4am, and then cannot go back to sleep and feel like crap all day. I fight through it because I am an over achiever and god forbid anyone notices. I am careful but lately li the cracks are showing. Gained about 45lbs since I was married and I swear it is all wine weight, I am also afraid that I am going to ( if not already) look like a drinker..yikes not the best look!

    So here we are, day 8. I hope I make it through, drinking another cranberry and soda…sigh…..92 more days to go and then I hope to understand if I can drink again or not. I also hope to understand why I am drinking so much.. The one thing I have figured that may make a difference is that drinking contributes to my anxiety and ruminating over things that bother me. I was drinking to relieve anxiety but finally have figured out drinking is causing alot of my anxiety!!

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  115. Oh wow you've done really well. Today is the day that I am going to give it a go. As like you were it's now controlling my life instead of the other way around. I gave up smoking 25years ago and are now ready to kick this bad habit too. Thank you for all your blogs. Wish me luck

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  116. You are such a beautiful person and a huge inspiration to me. TY I am going to buy me some matching lip stick and nail polish ;)

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  117. All of these stories are my life, I had a month off in September 2014 and it was hard but I felt so good, thought I could just drink like a "normal" person but didn't work out that way and in a few short weeks I was back to wine oclock. Have talked a dear friend into Dry July, she did our September stint but I am hoping I can carry on forever. Thanks for your story Mrs D I have read your book and blog and now realise I am not alone.

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  118. Hey Lotta. Saturday afternoon, in Lyttelton and I am in bed reading your book. I am only up to page 28 and I feel like I wrote the book! Not only that do I remember you from school, but your Mother in law was my daughters first teacher! I am guessing you are the wonderful daughter inlaw she talked about! I started thinking about the name "Lotta". And skipped to the back of the book to see your maiden name! Lotta, if you did it so can I. Many of my colleagues suggested reading your book and I also listened to you on talk back, as my friend sent me the link. I have been sober 7 days now. Which to the normal person would be ridiculous! But you are right. The power and the control that you said in your interview is amazing. I just wanted to thank you. There is so much more I could say. But the last thing I will say, as you said in your book, is that if you can help one person instigates their own amazing transformation, then you will be a happy camper. I will be that person. Thank you Mrs D. Rose Acton-Adams

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  119. Hi Lotta - I'm reading your book and got to the part where you saw an Oprah show and had an ah-ha moment. Last week I saw a rerun of Oprah interviewing Gary Zukav about addiction - alcohol, drugs, food, shopping, etc. He spoke of thinking through the addictive action to understand why you need the numbing. Since watching that show (6 days ago), I haven't had a drop. I also remember hearing "the reason you start drinking isn't the reason you continue drinking". You have just discovered a way to numb feelings and if you don't realize it, you will continue to use the numbing as a tool through life. Thank you so much for your book. I finally don't feel alone.

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  120. I'm on the journey of recovery as well - I never thought the day would come that I would be able to put down the booze and try to be positive and productive with my life. I share my struggles and story at christopherkarl.com if you or anyone is interested in another perspective of an alcoholic. Keep fighting the good fight!

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  121. I have been trying to quit drinking for about 3 years now. I have lurked on your website and am now starting to read it from beginning to end. Your story is inspiring and the get sober community is lucky to have you. Thanks for sharing your story.
    I also just started to blog about my journey, but I'm not sober yet. Hopefully soon.

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  122. I relapsed after 9 months. Been back on the sauce for 10 years. Found your blog and started reading your month by months. I have to stop or I'm going to die. What a horrible disease. Sick of being sick and tired. I'm going to keep reading. Keep the faith

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  123. I'm very happy that you have kept posting about you sobriety, all the other blogs that I have found, have not been updated in a long time. I was sober for 5 years but fell off the wagon since July 4, 2015. I really like your blog and I will use it as an inspiration to keep sober... Oh! I almost forgot, I have been sober for two days now, I am looking to be sober another five years.

    Keep up the excellent woth with your blogg. :o)

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  124. Thank you Mrs D for providing this service. I've been getting fulfilment from the living sober network. I'm new to the cyber-sober network and wanted to offer myself as a sober story if you'd like. I'm 8 years sober, a father, and a teacher.

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  125. Hello from Germany,

    I have read your (English written) book in two days. It touched me deep inside. Why?
    Cause you did what a lot of people should do: Tell yourself the way you´re going isn´t right and you have to stop and take another direction.
    Cause of boozing, cause of smoking, of eating too much, working too much...

    You touched me and I will change my way, even with praying much more...

    Thank sooo much

    Mr H

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  126. Hey Mrs D

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Today is day 1 for me. I am reading your book and man, I can so relate to your story. The book is written so witty and funny I laugh out loud. Wish me luck! All the best!

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  127. And have a look at my first blog post. It is inspired by you. Again, thank you!

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  128. Think it's neat that social media can play a part in one's recovery , my name is Russ and i have been in sobriety almost 30 months , in all likehood Parts of my story will be similar to alot of you , i spent 25 years trying to rid myself of "my solution" to all things "life"...Reality is , you can source all the self help in the world , whiteknuckle it , fake it blah blah and yeah you might stay "sober" ( perhaps for some years even)...Being sober is completely different from sobriety , an over active mind , low self esteem , anger and any other character defect , simply dosnt disappear because one stops drinking..Unfortunately for the average alcoholic self delusion is an ever present trait..Ask yourself , how many times you told yourself it would be different tommorrow , or unkept promises to yourself , family , friends etc ..The times we justified our drinking , usually for any given reason at all...Even when ashamed or those constant feelings of guilt..I can appreciate AA is not eveyone's "thing" was going to say cup of tea lol and i certainly dont proffess to know the answers...What i do know , is i was desperate , i thought if i could only stop drinking ( even for a few weeks , i could then be able to manage my drinking , like "normal folks") , i was able to stop ( with the assistance of a few weeks in a "social detox" here in Auckland) ..I dont need to tell any of you , how different life felt sober ( yeah , a novelity to someone who was permanately marinated for 25 years ) , yes it did take well over 6 minths for the fog to lift completely , but i will never forget that feeling of hope that maybe , perhaps i could do this..Bloody neat my problems are over , well so i thought , i simply had no idea about things like "honesty" , i assumed i was and i was in all things other than to myself , this was just one of so many areas i needed to look at in my life...The greatest gift an alcoholic can give to another is to pass on that gift of recovery , that solution for me is AA..Not saying this blog wont help you , hey great if its helped you stay sober , but as mentioned there is a big difference between being sober and having sobriety..The end goal is the same for us all , having that peace/serenity with all around us and most importantly ourseleves...If you want to know about AA. Give me a yell or give the AA service centre a yell on 366-6688 Mon - Fri 9.00am - 4.30pm..Reaching out is the single hardest act for an alcoholic ( even in sobriety) our office is manned with alcoholics in recovery

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  129. Hi Lotta,
    I have recently removed alcohol from my life (64 days ago) and I had written a post about this on my blog, trying to explain my underlying problem (difficult in a country like NZ). The following week I was having dinner with my uncle's family who had just returned from travelling, and while chatting to his wonderful wife about the issues I had identified around my drinking (being an alcoholic yet not being a drunk hobo in the gutter), she mentioned that my brand of alcoholism sounded similar to her friend's, and gave me your book to read (that awesome aunt of mine is Anna Askerud). I just wanted to say thank you so much for this read, and now that I know about your blog I will be a keen follower. I know that I can learn a lot from you (already have!) and feel your blog will be of great comfort as I try to reconcile my newfound sobriety with being a 31 year old who has just returned to uni (no big changes in the first year? Ha! And don't even get me started on the fears I have surrounding never meeting a partner as a sober adult).
    xoxo Chelle
    PS If you're interested, here's the post I wrote about ditching the wine
    https://chelleshockk.wordpress.com/2016/06/01/drunk-me-is-the-poor-mans-joseph-gordon-levitt/

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  130. Hi Mrs D, i'm in my 10th year of sobriety and hands down is the best thing i ever did. I wish i did it years before, but it took many attempts before finally reaching that all important low point, the point where you realise drinking is over and a new life dawns.

    Great blog and tons of inspiration!
    James

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