Hi, so I’ve noticed that I’ve been drinking a bit more than I used to. After my wife died I stopped completely, but now I can sit of an evening and have a few beers. Not every night but enough that I’ve noticed. I’m starting to note it on the calendar just to get an idea of how much I’m drinking in a week. It’s not out of control by any means, I avoid spirits and tbh honest anything other than beer. But it adds up. The problem for me is that my wife and I both loved to sit round our table at the end of the day and chat about life and work over beer for me and wine for her, we’d drift into the night with food and laughter. It wasnt every night by any means but we worked freelance together so could organise our days to suit and didn’t have the responsibilty of children, so it wasn’t constrained to weekends or anything else other than if we fancied it or not. When I sit at our table and have a beer now I re-enter that space, I started to keep a notebook where I write down all the things that I remembered about her, the adventures we had, the loves and hates that we shared. The notebook is full now and I’ve started another, but I’m becoming unsure if this is the best way to go about things, using drink as a key to these memories and spaces. I seem to remember so much more after a couple of beers, but I don’t want to get reliant on it. I guess I’m trying to find a balance. Does anyone have similar experience?
My neighbour who lost her husband 7 years ago said when she was first widowed she would start drinking at 9 a.m. my husband hadn’t drunk for the last 10 years. It reacted with his meds so drink doesn’t have any association for me. I just don’t fancy it. I doubt as you are aware it could become an issue that it will. Just another part of getting through this grief. Xx
We socially drank, and on holiday. We gave it up at home because we were trying to be healthy (what good it did him).
I also gave up smoking about 14 years ago. It was interesting that I wanted both a cigerette and wine when Rich died. And I had wine, then another and 4 bottles later (not all at the same time) and I knew if I didn’t stop I could easily get into a problem.
I enjoy a glass of wine or gin but I’m very cautious at this fragile time that it isn’t the answer for me. I need a clear head. I can’t have just 1 cigarette, I will start again and I don’t want to go back to where I was before Rich came into my life and changed it massively for the better, as I did for his life too.
Personally, drinking the beer at the table takes you back to a time with your wife and keeps you there. If that’s what you want, that’s not a problem. For me, I have a new normal as I have to cope without him, not forget him, but have to start afresh with new routines.
@Walan. My husband and I also used to enjoy a drink in the evening before dinner. It was a lovely relaxed time and anticipating our meal.
I haven’t been able to have any alcohol since I lost him.
If you enjoy a couple of beers and it helps with your memories, then why not? Our lives have become bad enough.
with all of our grief, don’t deny yourself.
Thanks Ali, giving up at home was a thing we were moving towards, getting older, wanting the benefits As soon as she was diagnosed we stopped and never missed it throughout her illness. But as with you, when she died it offerd what I needed for a very short time, then I stopped again. Ironically I only really started again this summer, out for one of my long, long walks in the sun of June I just kept thinking of an ice cold drink when I got home. And I sat that night watching the cat in the garden, sipping that drink and I started her notebook, and all these memories came flooding back.
But I see where youre coming from, I know that I cant keep remaining there with my wife at that table, it’s been a nice place to go back to to and very surprisingly comforting. I guess it’s just having all those memories come back, but I’ve written them down and I love to look at them, they are there now in black and white. I’ll probably keep drinking my beers on and off, but I know the time is coming to leave the table. It’s not really the drinking thats the problem, it’s being back there with her. That will always be accessible, I just have to leave it behind now, not let it become my present.
It really doesn’t seem an issue. You seem to be using it rather than it using you if you see what I mean. Two of my neighbours will be coming over in the next couple of weeks and I am pretty sure a couple of bottles of Prosecco will be disposed of that evening. Xx
I guess I just get worried that that will flip and I wont have realised, then it will be using me. I’m not worried about drinking socially, it;s that I’ve been doing it on my own, but I’m aware and questioning it and I’m sure thats enough to move me away from that outcome. I guess it was nice to feel some form of ‘normal’ for a while, I could see her smile across from me again. But as Ali says, it would be easy to get stuck there, and I have those memories written down now, so it’s not all bad. Bit of a wake up for me.
I’m drinking too much. At all hours of the day and night and in secret - and neat whiskey. OMG, the heartburn! I know I shouldn’t and I do have some days when I can go all day and not need to, but some days the sadness is just too much and I don’t have anyone I can talk to. I’ve gone on a diet to try to get back to some sense of normality and am logging all my calories and including the whiskey - and that is making me realise just what I’m doing, because the alcohol is taking up all the calories I should be eating. I didn’t drink yesterday and today the sun is out, and I’ve opened the doors and windows to let in the light. I did the same when my mother died, but that was wine, and after a few months I gradually stopped. I’m determined to knock this on the head now. Enjoy the good weather, get out in the fresh air and look ahead for brighter times.
Be strong. You will beat this. Remember alcohol is a depressant. Not what you want when you are already depressed. You are obviously turning a corner
@Pudding Yes, I can definitely see now that it is not really helping and I need to knock it on the head. I also notice that I cry even more after I’ve had a drink!! I’ve shut it away in the cupboard and told myself I can only drink in the evening, and only if it gets too unbearable. So trying to keep myself busy and wishing the weather was better to get out and about a bit more. Making myself log it in the food diary has definitely helped.
Hey Dublingirl, it’s tough isn’t it, espescially in our cultures (I’m Glasgow originally). I was the same with Whisky when my wife first died. It’s dangerous stuff, the heartburn only lasts those first few sips then the bottle is finished. I cut myself a lot of slack in those first few weeks but I knew it had to end, or I would be following my wife. To be honest, at the time, this wasn’t so much of a problem, I didn’t wan to be here where my my was not. I can’t really say why or how I stopped as my memory is shot, but I know I must have realised that it was getting out of control. I do remember making a decision, standing up and pouring all the booze I had down the sink.
It’s good that youre keeping a note of the calories involved, similarly I’ve started to record how many units I’m drinking. I aim to get it within the recommended amount, which I don’t think will be too difficult as I don’t think its that far off, but I’ve never really added it up so it may come as the shock that I need. I buy as I need now, just beer, no spirits. I find that making the decision of how much to drink is easier sober than not and if I dont have it in the house I can’t drink it. It seemed to be working for me but as I’ve said recently I was starting to get concerned, usually after I looked in the recycling bin.
And thats why I find myself on here so much now. There always seems to be someone around to chat to, to relate with. It has made me feel so less alone, in fact it’s made me feel welcome and surrounded by people that understand my position. Theres not many palces that you can come to and express your fears and problems and not be judged. This thread is testament to that.
Weird, I just remembered that most of the booze I had in the house, that I poured down the sink, I had been given for xmas, 2 weeks after my wifes funeral, 4 bottles of single malt from different people. That’s really what a grieving person needs, 4 bottles of single malt
How do you manage to hide all your grief and the drinking from your family. And believe me, that is not a criticism. You have so much to conceal, I really don’t know how you cope with the stress. I guess that’s where the whiskey comes in?
Please don’t do this to yourself. You can’t afford to go down this road, you have your family and they need to you.
I know it’s hard and grieving secretly is difficult. Rather than drinking and taking the risk of addiction, is it worth speaking to someone?
I say this all with no judgement x
@Ali29 @walan Thank you both. Hiding the grief is absolutely horrible. I have to put on a face every night when the family gets home. Hence the day drinking and crying in secret. If I feel it is getting close to the edge in the evening, I will go and make a cuppa and have a sneaky drink or hide in the loo, or go and have a bath. If anyone has noticed, then nobody has said, they are all so wrapped up in themselves of course. As long as the tea is on the table and the clothes are washed and dried… I have had some counselling, and maybe I’ll have some more. I do feel like I’ve reached the point I have to get a grip. This is the new reality as they say.
…unless you are falling over everynight, don’t worry about it …I don’t…and a few days a week I’ll go to my local pub late afternoon just so I can get out of the house and speak to some people I know…only have 2 pints but it gets me out
Thank you! I do worry as my mother was an alcoholic and I’ve struggled not to go down the same road. But sometimes I just get so sad and it takes the edge off! I don’t think I’ll ever stop drinking, but I do need to get it under control now.
@Dublingirl, secret drinking is not a good place to be. I understand why you can’t express your grief properly, it must be an extremely difficult and soul destroying situation. Unfortunatley I don’t have any advice that I can offer that might help you other than to keep coming on here and realeasing your grief. I’ve found it surprisingly healing to take the time to realise how I feel and put it on here and chat with people about it. I understand that your situation is not the usual and you may be wary of fully expressing what you feel for fear of judgement , it must be really isolating. Life is a complicated place and with the best of intentions we get through it the best we can, but love is love and how it is experienced doesn’t make it any less valid. It doesn’t make your pain any less real. You loved him, he loved you, that much is simple, but your circumstances have brought you to this place. You sound as if you know yourself that the secret drinking has to stop, hopefully the people on here can help you realise that ambition. as ali says it may be time to talk to someone about it, only you can make that decision but from what you are expressing it seems like that might be close. Keep reaching out on here, I know you must feel totally alone but that’s why we’re all on here, connection with people that understand. In the end youre grieving the loss of a partner and that’s the same for us all.
@Walan Thank you. I think it has helped getting it out there today. I’ve said it out loud so to speak. And yes, my situation is different but I also know there are others who read these threads who are in the same situation as me. We are all grieving. It really is the worst club to be in!!
@Dublingirl Small steps mate, small steps.
Funny you should say that about single malt. My husband was really into single malt whisky but also would occasionally have a bourbon. After he died in February I couldn’t face any of it so there are now 11 (!) bottles hidden upstairs. We did have a little group of friends whom we’d organise meetings with in each other’s houses in order to sample/taste different ones. I’m having a summer gathering in a couple of weeks when I shall take the whisky/whiskey downstairs to be consumed with much haggis, black pudding and cheese!
@Guineapig65 Sounds lovely, hope its Stornaway black pudding!