My Not So Secret Diary


Hindsight walking with my husband Lee Hatwell in Cornwall during the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown. Writing for my blog about mental health and sobriety. My Not So Secret Diary.
Me and Lee.

Out of the blue sometimes memories catch me and make me feel sad. I know I am stronger now than I ever was before, but I wish I could make the bad memories go away. Of course, I can’t and if I did I wouldn’t be who I am now.

It upsets me to think of the times I put wine first and chose that over other things that would have been better in hindsight, and would probably remember more now. At the time, wine seemed to be the only thing that hit the spot.

Looking back, I hate the reliance I had on drinking. I didn’t realise it was building until it was too late and then it was well and truly a part of my life. It was the only way I relaxed, the only down time I had and I was proud to say the only vice I had. I didn’t smoke, I ate little, but not badly. I mistook the fact that I wasn’t overweight with being healthy. I didn’t eat enough and so there was no chance of me being overweight. Looking back, I looked ill, but I didn’t see that, I just saw the label on my clothes, and thought no more about it. I read in a book once that it is the skinny drunks that have to worry. At the time, reading that made me worry, because you always hear how people lose weight when they stop drinking. I didn’t. I had no more to lose, but of course, I was drinking plenty before that, so I am lucky my body still works, and has bounced back to good health.

I’ve said before, I wish I had stopped drinking sooner, but in reality, I don’t think I could have done. I think I needed to hit rock bottom to feel angry enough to stop. It gave me the fight I needed, and boy, was it a fight! Everything changes when you go from drinking to alcohol free. I glamourised alcohol, my hand felt ‘normal’ with a glass of white wine in my hand. I couldn’t see how I would ever be calm or relaxed without it. I hated the way quitting made me feel like I had lost something, but for a long time I did.

I felt lost and adrift for a long time. But I was one of the lucky ones. I had my family to anchor me. To put up with my moods and sadness and unpredictability, and pull me back to normality. I know many people don’t have that, and I am so grateful that Lee especially put up with me and helped me get to where I am now.

I guess I’m always going to have memories of time I wasted, of things I would rather have not said or done, but much as I hate those memories, they are a part of me. They made me who I am now. Sitting here writing this, while my little one plays next to me and my husband works at the other end of the table, makes me certain that I wouldn’t change who I am now. It took me a long time to get here, and I am still a work in progress, but I know for sure, that I’d rather be me the way I am now without wine. I never thought I’d be able to say that.

Take care, and thank you for reading.
Claire x