That’s what friends are for

23 Jun

Today a dear friend posted something on Facebook. I imagine that, because she knows me so well, she had me in mind when she posted it but couldn’t bring herself to tag me in it because that would basically be like saying to the world that I need to sort my shit out, and, if you’re like me, or the woman in this documentary, all that results in is flippant remarks, sarcasm or denial.

Haha, don’t be silly. I don’t need help. I’m no where near the stage where this is a problem – tis what you would say to people if they confronted you about it. I come from a culture of drinkers. A family of drinkers, with an alcoholic in the family.

Do you know how hard that is to write now? When shit hit the fan with my sister it wasn’t hard to write about at all. In fact it was easy blaming her and almost feeling pleased that it was her and not me and that I would never ever get to that stage where drinking wine in the middle of the day in the car while my kids played in the park was something that would even cross my mind.

And it hasn’t. Drinking in the middle of the day holds absolutely no appeal whatsoever – unless of course its a Sunday and hot as the bloody Sahara dessert and there happens to be an ice cold beer in the fridge.

But it is harder to confront within myself now because back then I was pregnant and breastfeeding and not drinking. It was easy not to drink when I absolutely had to. But now I’m pretty much Mrs D in this video (or rather, who she was three years ago), minus the vomiting in the toilet and dancing round the living room by myself at midnight on a Wednesday night.

Each to their own. I drink, and instead of dancing, I order shit off the internet and pledge money to save the polar bears, or rescue dogs from Afghanistan, or pay a thousand pounds to get obscure artists to sing at universities, or start a bidding war for a really horrible piece of artwork on trade me … … the list is quite extensive. No, really it is.

On the flip side, the drinking means I sleep well, but this is really irrelevant as I never had a problem sleeping before, its just that when you start drinking every night and then you try and stop, its hard to get to sleep. Although, I imagine this only lasts a few days. In fact I know so cause remember I stopped drinking once? For like 10 days. Lost 2kg, had a clear head and was feeling bloody fabulous – after the first three days of bitchiness.

I have a lot more to say on this topic. But I have written ‘this’ post many many times and never published it. I even started a secret blog twice but deleted it after the shame of not being able to last more than two or three days. I usually incorporated it with the whole fat and diet thing, trying to hide the that I knew the booze was the real problem.

But now, regardless of weight, it needs to be an issue I deal with for what it is, on its own, out in the sunny light of day. I also watched that video from start to finish. I was crying in shame and utter hatred at myself after about the first two minutes. I would say I am not alone in this. She was brave going out on national TV and ruining the image she had of being a highly organized, mother of three who had it all together.

Had it all together until 5pm each night when she’d get the wine on – dance round the living room after the kids were in bed, and wake up with a hangover and shame that she’d been unable to go without the night before – again. And again. And again.

Despite the promises to her husband and to herself. (thats me talking there – god the amount of times I’ve made empty promises…)

I very rarely wake up with a hangover, but thats not because I’ve only had one glass the pervious night. Its years of building up to ‘handling’ large quantities. I still wake up with the shame and sometimes utter helplessness that I can’t stop.

Thank you to Mrs D for making this documentary and letting me know that I’m not alone – and more importantly that its not just a ‘couple of drinks’ every night, its a fuckin problem that is ruining my chances to be the best person and the best mother I can be.

And thank you to my lovely friend for sharing it. That my friend, I hope, was the final push I needed.


Right, I’m really going push ‘Publish’ now.

No, I am.

(deep breath, I think I can, I think can…)


51 Responses to “That’s what friends are for”

  1. Tash June 23, 2014 at 3:09 am #

    Lots of love xxxx

    • gaijinwife June 23, 2014 at 3:49 am #

      Thank you, for the love, and the sharing. xxx

      • Tash June 23, 2014 at 9:19 am #

        To be honest, while it made me think of you, I didn’t realise things had become so similar to ‘Mrs D’.

        But I read this a while back and it made me think of you (and a conversation we had about alcoholics) and I think maybe it’s worth a read today

        Hugs xxx

      • gaijinwife June 23, 2014 at 11:03 am #

        Thanks for the link πŸ™‚ “In other words, when you think of your issue as the monster on your heels, that’s what you get. But only because that’s the way you’re thinking about it.” I went from feeling angry ten minutes ago cause the kids were being ‘kids’ and I couldn’t have a drink to make the universe align to reading that and feeling a lot better. xx

  2. Alex June 23, 2014 at 3:37 am #

    I keep wondering what will happen when I don’t have pregnancy/breastfeeding as a stop… I guess it doesn’t help that my icon picture is a bottle of sparkling, does it. It just shows how big a part of all of our lives alcohol is, how pervasive drinking culture has become. This is a fantastically brave post, sending love and support and whatever else you need your way.

    • gaijinwife June 23, 2014 at 3:49 am #

      Thank you Alex. Perhaps the first time someone hasn’t sent cyber wine and kampais πŸ™‚ I’ll take the ‘whatever else’ and run with it πŸ™‚ My advice would be to just breastfeed your child till they are two, get pregnant again, and repeat for the next 20 years :p Seriously on at least twelve occasions over the last year I have thought, perhaps I should just get pregnant again, at least that way I’d stop drinking for nine months plus some!! You are on the home stretch now – not long till bugs is out the saloon doors. How exciting!

      • Alex June 23, 2014 at 4:06 am #

        Exciting and absolutely terrifying. As for doing this again, over and over and over until my uterus falls out – NO BLOODY WAY. I have been describing pregnancy as a ‘human rights violation’, but I suspect I am being somewhat naive in thinking that THIS is the hard part. May I be able to face it all with as much humour and strength as you have, from the saloon doors and beyond.

        The ‘whatever else’ could encompass internet TV watching, super marathon running, cake baking, onsen-ing, goat raising and artisan cheese making, or whatever else makes you happy. I’m looking forward to hearing about what that is, the next stage of your adventures is going to be absolutely fabulous.

  3. merry June 23, 2014 at 4:01 am #

    I really want to say something awesome and supportive but I don’t know what to say. Writing this post took guts and I don’t know if I could have done it. I do know that if you need to talk about it, you have a whole mess of people who read your stuff and we’ll all listen and not judge… Or at least it goes for me; I’m sure the other readers feel the same way!
    I don’t pray or anything, but I’ll be thinking of you.
    Take care πŸ™‚

    • gaijinwife June 23, 2014 at 5:26 am #

      Thank you. That in itself is awesome and supportive. xx

  4. emilycsimpson June 23, 2014 at 5:10 am #

    This post is one of the bravest things I’ve seen in a while. I’m sure you’ll get lots of support from your friends here, and I hope you’re also getting it “in real life” as well. Big hugs.

    • gaijinwife June 23, 2014 at 5:28 am #

      I hope so. Its harder in real life. Hub is along the lines of ‘but surely if you stop we can still have a drink on the weekends?’ – and maybe, we can, down the track a bit. I’m kind of like the boy that called wolf about this. So many times I’ve said ‘right, thats bloody it, no more damn wine’ and then by 5pm I’ve convinced myself I deserve it and I’ll start the no drinking campaign the next day, or perhaps monday, or Thursday, cause thats the 10th and a nice round number…. :p (Crosses fingers this time is different)

  5. hamakkomommy June 23, 2014 at 7:18 am #

    This is why I love you, because you’re so fucking honest.

    But lol at your hubs.

    • gaijinwife June 23, 2014 at 7:34 am #

      We drink a lot ‘together’ – well, as in I’m in this room with wine streaming Masterchef or House Rules and he’s in the TV room drinking beer and watching Japanese TV πŸ™‚ Kind of easier to ‘not stop’ if your not the only one, although he drinks in much more moderation and goes for days and days with none, has a couple and then goes days and days again. Now if I could just steal some of his strong will and resolve…

  6. rawlikesushijapan June 23, 2014 at 8:14 am #

    You are brave, wonderful and strong. I have nothing but respect for you and if there is anything I can do to help just let me know. Of course you can do it and you will. We never know how strong we truly are until we are faced with challenges. I have the greatest of faith in you xxx

    • gaijinwife June 23, 2014 at 9:11 am #

      Thank you E. Let’s just hope there is a good few calm days void of drama to kick things off πŸ™‚ Never easy in the face of adversity. Alcohol is always the first thing I go when I’m stressed! Thank you for the faith. xx

  7. Denise June 23, 2014 at 8:46 am #

    It’s a fine line between enjoying a glass of wine or two and needing a glass of wine or two… if you feel you have crossed the line then make changes….but ones that make you feel good not deprived. Replace the wine reward with something else….I know it won’t be easy at first but I really believe that if you change the way you are thinking you can change your actions. Good luck Katy….if anyone can do it you can!

    • gaijinwife June 23, 2014 at 9:15 am #

      Thanks Denise. I don’t know what I’d replace it with to be honest – as a reward anyway. Never really been a sweet tooth. Would love to say I could replace it with exercise!! Wahooo, I get to exercise at the end of the day :p God I envy people for whom exercise is their thing. Tonight is hard but the kids aren’t being too testing which definitely helps, although perhaps I should have been a bit more prepared and made their favorite dinner so at least there was no ‘I can’t eat this’…. πŸ™‚

  8. Ruth June 23, 2014 at 9:37 am #

    Wow!! I’m with Merry. I’ve no idea what to write but go girlfriend for writing that post. If there is anything you need or anyway I can be of support let me know. It is so much easier to justify things when some else is drinking or eating or whatever the vice may be. Big hugs, I’m sure it won’t be an easy road but you can do it!! xxxxx

    • gaijinwife June 23, 2014 at 11:06 am #

      Thanks Ruth πŸ™‚ xxxx I’ve already had the battles today that perhaps I’m not ready to even take the road, well not tonight anyway, maybe tomorrow – and then I come back and re-watch the video clip or read comments and it gives me that bit to get through the next hour. I took the kids out for a long walk just to be out of the house. We have left over part beer and red wine which I will need to dispose of tomorrow in some way other than drinking. Fortunately neither are huge pull factors for me but if there had been white wine in the house tonight I’m pretty sure I would have gone there and just started afresh tomorrow. Ganbarimasu. xxx

  9. kireikireikirei June 23, 2014 at 10:16 am #

    I really admire your honesty and courage. You’re already awesome, but think how much more awesome you’ll be once you get your drinking under control. Good luck!

    • gaijinwife June 23, 2014 at 11:07 am #

      Thats the end goal anyway – surely more fabulous awaits when it is under control. Thank you. xx

  10. Ang June 23, 2014 at 10:32 am #

    Reading this has me in tears, because I have been worried about you and have been for the past several years when the shite in your life would drive anyone to drink. I have this same relationship with food – comfort eating – you know that. You stop drinking, and I’ll get a healthy eating relationship and we can both be fabulous (not that we aren’t now… just more fab!). Love you xx

    • gaijinwife June 23, 2014 at 11:09 am #

      Thanks Ange. Its hard to hear that friends have worried and probably felt they couldn’t say anything cause surely losing not one but two parents like that so quickly is cause for anyone to drink when raising three children so far away. Lord knows I have used that excuse time and time again. Hopefully by the time I see you next we’ll both be a bit more fabulous πŸ™‚

  11. SomedaysSarah June 23, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

    Congrats on taking the most difficult first step and good luck! You know you have all of us rooting for you from across Japan!

    • gaijinwife June 23, 2014 at 1:08 pm #

      Thank you Sarah πŸ™‚ I think I’ll need it.

  12. Debra June 23, 2014 at 12:11 pm #

    hugs to you xo

  13. aurora94 June 23, 2014 at 1:03 pm #

    Sending love your way, Katy!

    • gaijinwife June 23, 2014 at 1:08 pm #

      Thank you aurora πŸ™‚ received, and definitely remembered in the morning πŸ™‚

  14. Erin June 23, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

    I’ve always just lurked here, but hugs and much love to you for the bravery that this must’ve taken.

    • gaijinwife June 23, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

      Thank you Erin. I think the bravery will be in trying to follow through. So far so good. Just burning my tongue on my second flavored tea this evening. Tis a small miracle I even had such a drink in the house.

  15. Anonymous June 23, 2014 at 9:19 pm #

    So proud of you, you can do it I know, you are a strong woman. You have all my love and

    • gaijinwife June 23, 2014 at 10:06 pm #

      Thank you Anon πŸ™‚ Managed to get through night one sans wine, which was difficult but I’ve done between 2 and 5 days before and know that tonight shouldn’t be as hard but then tomorrow will be. Hmmmm. Feeling good this morning. Maybe there’s something to that green vitamin drink I was trying to convince myself was wine by having it in a nice wine glass… xx

  16. aronkowski June 24, 2014 at 12:52 am #

    After a rough Sunday and Monday, I was all ready to head to the store for some beer to open as soon as the baby went to bed. Then I read your post. So instead of the liquor shop I went down to the mysterious organic juice bar in our neighborhood and ordered a tall cup of their special blend for fatigued and “iraira” people. It was foul green, cost 850 yen, gave my toddler Baby’s First Detoxing Colon Cleanse and now my sweat smells like parsley. I hope you’re happy. =P

    But seriously, I’m glad I didn’t get the beer. Bravo for this post. I’ll be cheering you on from Tokyo!

    • gaijinwife June 24, 2014 at 2:22 am #

      LOL – awesome. Sorry about that. Must say that sweat smelling like parsley is better than beer or wine breath :p and Thankyou. xx

  17. Susan June 24, 2014 at 1:04 am #

    Nothing original to say except that I’m on the list of people who think it was extremely brave for you to put yourself out there. I have struggled with various addiction problems myself over the years as have many on here, I’m sure. My biggest problem is food … so many times I’ve woken up in the morning and thought how much easier it would be if I didn’t have to eat anything at all today. Anyway, I hope that being back home in NZ for a bit will be less stressful for you and help you in your resolve to get things under control. Although I don’t ‘know’ you, the you who comes through in your writing is a strong, funny and bold person who can do whatever they set their mind to. Cheering you on here in NJ πŸ™‚

    • gaijinwife June 24, 2014 at 2:28 am #

      Thank you Susan. Some people must read my post and think just stop, why do you need to drink every night. Like I read your comment, and think man, I’ve never hoped I could just inhale air all day πŸ™‚ Hmmmm, thinking about air makes me hungry. Life is definitely a lot less stressful now than it has been over the past three to four years but the bad habits had already been formed so its a matter of breaking them ‘before’ I get back to NZ – cause while I do foresee parenting my three children on my own for 6 months as hard work, I definitely don’t see it as my biggest hurdle while I am at home. Having a supermarket full of delicious NZ sav five minutes away, and friends and family and everyone else who just ‘catch up for a drink and a chat’ – those will be the hurdles. Tis nice to know I have people cheering me own though. Thank you. xx

  18. Corinne June 24, 2014 at 8:13 am #

    Mrs D seems like an amazing woman, as are you and I know that if you can achieve things like a fantastic career, 3 beautiful kids, a house and all the other stuff you seem to manage while not killing Granny K or hub in the process, giving up drinking is just another thing you’ll excel at. I just did a juice fast which meant no coffee or alcohol for a week and I said to Ryota “I feel like my brain is on blue ray!” I felt fantastic, not just physically, but to not be reliant on substances felt really free too. Good luck!!! xxx

    • gaijinwife June 24, 2014 at 9:55 am #

      Thanks Corinne. I don’t real feel like I excel at anything but it would be nice to get someone positive with this at least. I presume your Juice fast also meant no food, other than in juice form? God, good effort. My brain definitely felt good this morning so here’s hoping a week will see even better maybe DVD type results at least πŸ™‚

  19. Polly June 24, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    gaijinwife, it must have taken a lot of bravery to post that. hopefully you can carry on with the same momentum!! one day at a time πŸ™‚ and we are all rooting for you. x

    • gaijinwife June 24, 2014 at 9:52 am #

      Thank Polly. Fingers crossed anyway πŸ™‚ Definitely one day at a time. I thought foolishly that today would be OK. WRONG.

  20. Midori Abraham June 24, 2014 at 9:42 am #

    Chocolate is my alcohol so while the scenario and consequences are slightly different I can understand where you are coming from. This is an incredibly brave post and I really hope it helps you work towards changing things. (((((HUGS))))

    • gaijinwife June 24, 2014 at 9:51 am #

      Thanks Midori πŸ™‚ Unless its creme eggs or mint chocolate I’m non plussed about chocolate, thank god, or I think I’d just substitute and if I worked really hard to curb the drinking and then just got even fatter, well, I think that would drive me to the drink!!

  21. Tracy June 24, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

    Damn it, I watched the TV programme about Mrs D & triedto convince myself that whilst there may be some similarities, I was nothing like her, I have no problem and don’t need to drink. Umm yeah, right. I can’t actually remember the last night I didn’t drink, I do recall many times saying I will have an alcohol free night – never happens. Time to take action & get my head out of my arse.

    • gaijinwife June 24, 2014 at 1:46 pm #

      I have been quite capable of seeing other situations and convincing myself thats not me at all but lately things are out of hand and watching Mrs D was like watching myself in so many ways. I always wake up guilty and say that night will be different, but by five I’ve convinced myself otherwise – repeat, repeat, broken record. Its so bloody draining feeling that guilt and shame every single fuckin morning. Not this morning though πŸ™‚ Or tomorrow. I made it through day two and might try and get to bed. Hub is drinking in the other room and lets just hope he stays up long enough for me to fall asleep to the sound of the frogs and not his snoring πŸ™‚

    • Polly Garter June 25, 2014 at 11:49 pm #

      Me too
      So true
      We can do it

      • gaijinwife June 26, 2014 at 12:06 am #

        Yes, we can. Good luck. xx

  22. mimi June 25, 2014 at 1:33 am #

    I believe that you can and will win this battle. Thinking of you in Ky.

  23. Persnickety June 27, 2014 at 4:29 am #

    Good on you for this. It can be really hard to recognise when we slip into a pattern of dependence, and it is so easy to say “it’s just one glass”. Good luck

  24. Mrs. N June 28, 2014 at 2:08 am #

    I read this and I could just feel how much you want to be free from this. I do pray- and I’m going to press in on your behalf. I don’t always comment, but I read most all of your posts. I know you are a beautiful, wonderful soul- and you can do this. Sometimes we just need a little help. Xxxxxxoooooo

  25. Anonymous June 29, 2014 at 10:03 pm #

    Oh K. Big hugs and kisses. Not sure what to say either, except that loads of peeps, like me, love you and are ready to support you any way we can. I’m gutted that I won’t be in NZ when you’re here… (Kirsten)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: