Sunday, February 28, 2010

Jeanie in a Bottle

I have an old friend who in the past has helped me to cope with some really difficult times.  When I felt shy in social situations I could always rely on her to boost my confidence and make me feel part of the crowd. When I felt stressed, or bored, no-one else would do.  She was always available...and was often on special offer from my local off-licence, so she didn't cost me too much either.




The trouble with alcohol is that it isn't honest.  It covers up who I really am, and makes me feel like 2lbs of shit in a 1lb bag the next morning.  Parties and social nights out terrify me and I need to start saying "I'm sorry I won't go because I feel horribly uncomfortable at them...it's nothing personal", instead of dragging my quaking butt to the bar and drinking until the fear passes.



When I have a difficult day with Bob (I'm afraid non-autie parents just don't get how difficult Difficult is), by 4pm I'm texting Bob's Dad to swing home via the offie.  Then I can survive 'til 10pm that night knowing that later on I can sit an relax with my old pal.

The odd glass of wine was always lovely, and that first sip is the heavenly moment when the day's stresses melt away.


But.
Since Bob was diagnosed with Autism, and I gave up my job (which I loved, but which was impossible for me to sustain), I spend my days cleaning up poo, pee and puke (as he enjoys eating non-food items like aeroboard and books).  My life has become a treadmill of speech therapy, occupational therapy, TEACCH, ABA, PECS, constantly locking doors and gates as Bob is a bolter etc etc etc.  The list is endless. This isn't a pity party, or an excuse for looking for tranquility at the bottom of a wine bottle, but when I take a step back from the exhausting chaos of my life, I can see why the odd glass of wine has snowballed into half a bottle every night.

My image of an alcoholic is someone swigging out of a brown paper bag in a railway station with pee stains down his trousers.  Or a wife-beating bully who would see his kids without shoes before going without his whiskey.  It's not an ordinary autie mammy who can function perfectly well without a swig of vodka to settle the shakes in the morning...it's just that the crutch I've been leaning on is starting to lean on me.




I don't know if I'm an alcoholic, but I do know I need to stop and that I'll really miss it.
I'm afraid of how I'll cope when every fibre of my being is convulsed with tension, or when the the constant autie newsreel in my head just won't stop.
I hope I will have the strength to find other ways of  dealing with that.
.

34 comments:

  1. jesus jean thats brilliant you are really talented with words! I can relate to what your saying because I know I have wanted to have some wine during the week and a couple of years ago I would more than I do now just to relax me. I'm sure lots of people are drinking more than I did at that point but it bothered me that I was starting to look foreward to it so I made a rule of none at all until the weekend. I guess because my hubby doesn't join in made me aware of it. It worked I think because now I will buy one at the weekend and sometimes not finish it over three nights and if I have been out which is much more than I used to I dont have any. It's easy in our situation to over indulge at home we have lots going on!! love your post really interesting xxxx

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  2. such an honest, heart melting post

    jean we all have a crutch, if we diddnt we'd end up an alcaholic

    as a child of an asshole alcaholic father i can honstly say your a truely amazing mum who knows only too well that enough is enough, your couragous and 100% commited to your children and your duties as their mother


    well done you, lots of crisps and chinese, with fants xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  3. Hey Jeano, couldn't have put it better myself (which is why you're the blogger and I'm not) Tony and I gave up the alcohol on the 14th February (the day after my birthday.) The first day is REALLY TOUGH, cos it's just habit really. It's still TOUGH but less so every day. Try to replace the alcohol with a treat like smoothie or summit and u dont feel as deprived haha. Keep it up hun xxxx

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  4. wow Jean...think uv summed up the habits of some of us there...and wouldnt see myself as an alcoholic either...what starts as a pleasant way to pass the hours of an evening escalates and becomes habit more than abuse of the bottle....and the fact u can so simply tell urself u need to stop is another sign ur not on the slippery slope....when u cant wake up in the mornin without feelin the need for it then worry....challenge urself woman and go out to a party or few sociables...get out of ur comfort zone.....after the first couple times it gets easier....but bring me when u do lol....but for now its a pleasure to know u Jean the non drinker....

    xx rosie xx

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  5. Wow Jeanie! Honest and fabulous as always! Alcohol has never "done it" for me - chocolate is my drug of choice, and lately i have been reaching for it more and more. Just this morning i decided enough was enough - and I'm joining weight watchers again this week. You are a fabulous mother and woman - don't be too hard on yourself xx

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  6. popsie you sound very aware and it's great to know that we can take control
    coolkid, I descend from a loooong line of alcoholics so I guess it's something I'm sensitive about too
    Dougal, I may be pm-ing you over the next few weeks wehn I'm in the DT's lol
    sesame it's lovely to know you understand
    I was afraid that I'd be told to cop on, sure it's only a few drinks etc etc. You're all feckin fab xxx

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  7. thanks Taz...it's not that I'm being hard on myself...I just want to be more "myself"...now giving up choccie would be a toughie...xxx

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  8. Jean, I will join you on this one. I just seem to be adding more crutches to my list every day and I know it is time for me to get a grip. Alcohol is about the only one I don't use because I know where it would lead so I just don't go there (family history too) but I understand exactly how you feel. I have a bit of a panicky feeling about cleaning myself up, but I know I have to do it too. I am going to say to you that one of us will always, always, be around for you and then try to remember that for myself too. Huge hugs for you missus. Jen.

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  9. yeah defo couldn't do without the choccie!!!

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  10. Wow Jean you have amazing courage to tackle this subject and I admire your honesty so much, I suspect there are quite a few of us out there who convince ourselves that we can cope with alcohol and use it to relax and unwind. Thankfully alcohol isn't my crutch but like Tara food has become my friend and I really need to do something about it as it is unhealthy for me and also for the children especially if I can't do fun stuff with them because of my weight. What a brave post and I will be just as proud to know Jean the non drinker! I think you are feckin faab too :) xxx

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  11. forgot to say that I've never seen you after a few drinks, but stone cold sober you are one of the nicest people I have ever met xx

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  12. Well done on your blog, found myself wandering in the same direction last year, was coming to having a glass every night, just a habit,to unwind.
    Now restrict it to a Friday night, watching American Idol or whatever reality TV show is on. Joined the library and relax with a book every other night. We all know how easy it is for habit to become a dependency..

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  13. Wow Jeanie another fabby honest blog from u.
    Dont do alcohol at home myself - but remember we are all here or on fb to help you thro it :D

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  14. I knew I could rely on your support, thank you so much xxx

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  15. Gosh Jean, you've just put in words what I've been afraid to verbalise.

    The glass of wine has become a big habit in the Jazzy house too, and as Mr Jazzy doesn't drink wine well, I get to drink it all! Although I do try not to have the whole bottle and am usually successful. It's happening most nights though ...and life is not as difficult for me now so it is a habit.

    I did try to give it up for Lent...during the week at least. No success so far!!

    But after reading your brave and honest post I think I'll join you and try again!

    Well done Jean, this must have been a very difficult post to write. xx Jazzy

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  16. Thanks for that jazzy...it wasn't really difficult to write, surprisingly enough. I think it's just the right time for me. Welcome aboard the good ship Abstinence!! xxx

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  17. love it...and Taz shes just as lovely after a few as she is sober xxxx

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  18. Thanks Joey's mummy...you're a pet. I expect my liver to give me fabulous presents at birthdays and xmas now lol xxx

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  19. You have such fantastic way with words missus and I'm sure there are many reading who can relate to your words. Its very easy to find a crutch and become dependent on it. I stopped drinking midweek for the same reasons you outlined. I give the impression most of the time that I'm sociable and confident, but that couldn't be farther from the truth so I have often found myself overindulging to become a different person. Perhaps I should take a leaf from your book instead xxx

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  20. Thanks for that petunia. I think I've touched a nerve with a lot of people xxx

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  21. AGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! *door slams, sound of feet running away*

    xxooxx

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  22. Great post, I can say as an non autie mom I can't get close to understanding how difficult is. I admire you all so much and seems to me that you are totally in control of your situation. I understand though your need to wind down and have a crutch, one idea is every time you feel like having a glass of wine have a glass of a non alcoholic drink instead and put the cost of the wine in a jar. At the end of the month go shopping and treat yourself.

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  23. I just had that conversation with my sister Irish Mammy...I can see some new dermalogica products in the near future
    PML hammie xxx

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  24. wow jean, congratulations. Such amazing honesty. Your a strong woman, you will be able to do this, you just need to find something else that helps you unwind.
    well done jean
    xxx

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  25. Hey Jean,
    Have only recently got to know you and your blog through FB, and I have to say that each time I check the bloggers page on FB, I always hope that you've written a new post as you have such an amazing way with words. You make me laugh, cry and go away feeling totally normal for feeling the same way too. So thanks a lot for that. And kudos to you for giving up your crutch. It's a very hard thing to do, and I admire you for it. I don't drink much myself cos it does weird things to my sinuses! But I do love my choccie and a good book. There was a time when all I needed was a bit of retail therapy. A few new items of clothing and I'd be back on track again. But in recent times even that's not working for me anymore. Probably a good thing too, given the recession. Anyhow, wishing you the best of luck with your mission, and looking forward to more wonderful posts from you. Laurie

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  27. Cheers Claire and Laurie...finding a replacement is my new goal...shopping DOES sound good... xxx

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  28. Thanks blue sky...all your good wishes are really helpful xxx

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  29. Hi Jean, just want to repost the last comment: this is also a sensitive subject for me as someone who was very close to me was an alcoholic, and all I can really do is wish you the best of luck. People often think they can't cope without alcohol, but then find they are actually happier - hope it works out like that for you x

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  30. Jean, You are so brave to do this. I often think that alcohol is as seductive as the sanke from Jungle Book. So easy to give in to but ultimatley no good for you. However, imagine a life without hangovers or The Fear. I think that as you come out the other side you will be so happy with yourself that you will be able to face social situations content in who you are as a person. Sláinte.

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  31. Great post Jean and the very best of luck. What is it with the old vino? So addictive! It's crept up on me a couple of times over the years. Suddenly realised I was tippling nearly every night. And it does make you groggy in the morning. Mostly have a glass on weekend nights now. I find coordinating not drinking with a (very easy, pathetic) get- fit routine is great. Up clear-headed in the morning, drop kids off to school and go for walk or c...ves or whatever. Its great while it lasts. Inconsistency is my middle name. Hope you find what works for you, xx

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  32. alison you're a little pet (and sankes work as a metaphor too)
    good idea maisie may...whatever works for you is cool xxx

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