There's a scene in the documentary Drinking to Oblivion that, even weeks later, is still haunting me.
(See my post: Drinking to Oblivion)
One of the alcoholics who Louis Theroux spent time with was a young woman with the most appalling boyfriend. He taunted her with stories of the other women he was shagging, and constantly put her down, to her face and in front of the camera.
When, finally, Louis asked her why she didn't leave him she replied "who else would want a fat drunk like me?"
This is another of the terrible contradictions of alcohol. We drink it to give us confidence, but it gradually leeches away all of our self esteem.
AA have a saying along the lines of alcohol gives you wings, then takes away the sky.
The problem is that the less self esteem you possess, the more difficult it is to quit. Which is why it is so crucial to get off the slippery slope before you hit rock bottom.
In order to quit you need to be able to believe you can do it, and believe you are worth it.
If you're in the early days of quitting, then it really helps to consciously work on your self esteem.
For example, if you're plagued with insecurities at wine o'clock (I can't do this, it's too hard. I haven't got the strength) then try visualisation (See my post: I am Khaleesi).
If you find yourself thinking what's the point anyway? I'm so old/dull/insert your adjective, I might as well just carry on drinking then think back to your pre-drinking days and remind yourself what a brilliant person you are.
Find a picture of a young, happy, vibrant you (see my post: Picture a Young You) and stick it on the fridge.
Ask your children to describe you, and stick those words on too (be warned: my kids usually come up with words like 'saggy boobs' and 'big bum'. You need to ignore those ones).
You owe it to the younger you, and you owe it to the super-hero Mum in your kids heads, the one who can heal all wounds with a kiss and has an answer to every question, to nail this thing.
Since I've been thinking about self esteem, I started a new project. I've called it the You're Awesome Project.
My kids love table plans. The rule in the SM house is that whoever lays the table gets to decide the seating plan (this is v good for my self esteem as it always involves sitting next to Mummy, even if I do have saggy boobs and a big bum).
Every family meal we end up writing out little place names, and then losing them. So, I decided that each time anyone has a birthday, I will give them a plate, hand painted by me at the local pottery café, with their name on it.
Then I got a bit carried away, and I decided to paint thirty adjectives, all round the rim of that plate, to describe why that person is awesome.
I've just finished Mr SM's plate The smalls all helped choose the words, which include: kind, cuddly and hero. But also descriptors like James Bond expert, soufflé supremo, skydiver and cable guy. Plus, since we're being truthful here, my personal favourite: folically challenged.
So now, whenever we have a family dinner, not only do we all know where we're sitting, but we're all reminded of what makes us awesome.
What's not to like?
Love SM x