When a transformation happens in someone’s life, people are often curious about the “moment” that they decided to make changes. You know that real rock bottom? The moment when we know it’s either do or die. I definitely had the rock-bottom moment and I go into more detail in my book, Sticks and Stones. I will never forget that day. I call it my duvet day. It was without choice though. My head was literally stuck to my pillow. It was pounding. It was awash with thoughts of shame, regret, self-hatred, self-harm, self-pity and dark clouds of depression.
I could hear my three children downstairs making breakfast with Nigel, my husband. I was still fully clothed from the night before and my mouth felt so dry, that I feared I would not be able to open it up to drink the water beside my bed.
“What did I do last night?”
“Who did I offend?”
“What did I say?”
“How did I get home?”
“Who saw me like that?”
These were just some of the questions I was asking myself. I had no idea the answers to any of them. All I could do was just cringe at the thought of what the answers might be. In fact, cringe is a really mild word to use here.
My stomach was doing somersaults. It was ready to throw up. My head just pounding. The slightest movement would make me giddy. Absolute stillness. Except for my mind. That was running at a hundred miles an hour with lots of horrid accusative thoughts. There was no escaping. I had to lie there and listen to every word. It was the worst hangover EVER.
I had “the fear”, well and truly. In my head, I had offended everyone, made an absolute idiot of myself and was terrified to find out the true extent, to be completely honest.
Nigel came upstairs with a cup of tea, bless him. This, for sure, was not the first time he had seen me like that. I had pretty much always been a heavy drinker since we met in our 20s. You know, we were travelling when we met, so the culture was very much a drinking one. I just never really “grew up”.
I could not lift my head to drink the tea. So it stayed there staring at me, reminding me of how incapacitated I was. Nigel, bless him, did the same. Terrified to ask him, terrified to hear what he would tell me. Please tell me a very watered down version. I don’t know if my head will cope with the real-life version. Sadly, there was no real way of watering the events down. So I held my breath as he told me. It went something like this. We had been at a friends house for a New Year’s Party, with many, many people there, kids included. Most of the people there were friends through our local community and schools. Three months earlier, I had given birth to my third child, my son Max. I had gone back to my “self-sabotaging” eating habits, ie not eating very much at all. So the 4 glasses of Champagne, went directly to my head. I have no idea how much more I drank, as I have no idea what else happened. When he informed me that I had been “missing” for a while, the search party that had been sent out, AKA the husbands, I was eventually found sleeping on the toilet, mid toilet! Can you imagine? Sure, it sounds really funny now, but believe me, this was probably one of my most humiliating moments, ever.
Once they had broken down the huge wooden door to get in and “rescue me” I was carried out whilst being watched not only by my own children but the other 40 there too! Nice.
All I can say is thank the Lord this was just before Facebook was invented!
So as I lay there weeping, hearing all this from Nigel, hands over my ears, but still hearing, I wished the bed would literally swallow me up. I wished it would suck me down and keep me from ever having to face anyone again.
“I cannot carry on like this”. ” I am a total failure. I am a disaster”. My kids, they cannot have a drunk mum. My husband deserves a better wife. I am going to lose everything if I carry on like this.
Drink, for me, was a way to escape my own head. Sometimes it felt like it was relieving the pain. The pain of my own thoughts. But, the truth is, it was actually causing them. It was contributing to the depression. It was stripping me of my self-worth. It was stripping me of my energy. It was stopping me shining my light. It was a noose around my neck. I loved it. I hated it. I needed to get it the hell out of my life. I knew at a very deep level, it had to go. Do or die.
So I did. I said my final farewells to the bottle. That was 7 years ago. My life is so very different from then. I have this confidence in myself. I have freedom, I have my health back, I have my mental health back. When I said goodbye to the bottle. I said goodbye to pain. I said goodbye to blackouts. I said goodbye to those horrific hangovers. I said goodbye to my beer belly. I said goodbye to the bloat. I am the mum my children deserve, I am the wife, my husband deserves. I am a friend, my friends deserve. I finally found love for myself.
I will never forget that day. The decision I made under my duvet would change my life in ways I could not begin to imagine. I could share my healings with the world and help heal others. Rock bottom, for me, was a beautiful start. Sometimes when we hit the lowest point we are open to the greatest change. The best view comes with the hardest climb.
Thank you for reading.