Published On: November 16, 2022728 words3.6 min read

“My big break up 19 Nov 2021. 

Mr Beer came knocking on my door in my late teens and we fell deeply in love. We were inseparable and not a day went by that we did not spend time together, often ending up passed out together and waking up hungry for more. We were champions wherever we went and never felt bad if it was just the two of us! Life was good and everyone knew how we loved each other. 

As the years went by, our love grew until I met Mr Pinotage. He was tall, dark, and handsome, and boy was he smooth! I fell hard for him and lost myself when I was with him. I did not break up with Mr Beer – I could never give him up – but I always ended up with Mr Pinotage; he made sure I had company long after everyone went to bed.

The more time we spent together the more I wanted him; I could never get enough. The frightening thing was that my brain stopped making memories after a few and although I acted fairly normal I had no recollection the next day and I struggled day after day trying to figure out what I did the night before. 

Slowly but surely the effects of Mr Pinotage started affecting my days; the hectic hangovers, the tiredness from sleepless nights, the guilt, the hopelessness, the shame, the memory lapses, the false promises to myself. And the rules I made! The rules were made to be broken; skip a few days and then make up for lost time. What a joke! It was affecting everyone around me and the daily ritual of waking up trying to remember how I got to bed, trying to figure out what I did and trying to see if I offended anyone was exhausting. 

It was on a morning like this a year ago that I repeated a story from the night before and my adult son (having been sober himself for over a year and a half) told me it had to stop. This conversation shocked me and I felt both ashamed and relieved. 

This feeling drove me to give both Mr Beer and Mr Pinotage and all their handsome friends the boot immediately. Never ever did I want to have that conversation again and never ever did I want to lose control again. I wanted to be present and enjoy every moment and remember every conversation for the rest of my life. I realised that my toxic relationships with these guys were ruining me and I was not capable of a casual fling; it was all or nothing. 

Dealing with the loss of my long standing relationships was softened by the loving support of a 27 year old son constantly sending his 56 year old mother encouraging messages of support. He inspired me to forge ahead and I adore him for that. 

Today I celebrate a year of sobriety and am amazed how well I feel. When I started this journey, I thought I would take it a month at a time but Christmas, New Year, weddings, parties, get-togethers and wine tastings with friends, came and went and still I remained true to myself and sober. I found alternate AF drinks and literally tricked my brain into thinking that we were hanging out with the old boys again. 

People often comment on how they admire me for doing this but I don’t feel proud, I just feel immense relief to be in control again and know that I can never ever trust myself to go back there again.”

In this story I tried put in a nutshell how I got to the point of giving up. I needed to maintain my close bond with my loving and supportive husband by still being his buddy and enjoying having a drink together; that is why I chose AF beer and wine. All our friends enjoy their wine and I couldn’t remove myself from that so again the AF wine was my best solution; most if the time they forget and don’t even notice as I sip away on my Spier Dealcoholized Shiraz.

Thanks for a wonderful platform and the great podcasts! I referred a friend who is really struggling and hope she will find a way to break free too.

Yours Sincerely

Liz

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