From Wine Stains To Tea Stains

It seems that, yet again, this blog is taking a new turn. Appropriate, I suppose, since it’s the new year and everything, but still not quite what I had planned when I began writing here three years ago. I was going to review my year (which was mostly good when you piece it all together coherently, as opposed to taking it as a jumbled mish-mash of random events) but, instead, I come here with a confession:

Wine Spill

I never did get back on my wagon. Not quite. Well, I did, finally, but really only five days ago. Polishing off two bottles of Shiraz Mataro followed by hysterically crying over half a bottle of Baileys whilst watching Ashes To Ashes until 4am three nights in a row is something that should tell even the blindest fool that they have a problem – even if the swollen belly, the painful pins and needles in the feet and the pain of your already-damaged liver screaming at you don’t deliver the message.

If nothing else gets through your thick skull, then surely the death of the God of rock ought to?


I would say “RIP”, but that’s the last thing Lemmy is going to want to do, probably

This hit me extremely hard. The Big Man, the Immortal hero of rock fans everywhere, of every age, can actually die – and die he did. Nothing like the unexpected loss of one of your heroes to make you put on the brakes, sit up and take a good, hard look at yourself.

But what made me think the hardest were my husband’s tears as he watched me “double fist” a glass of wine and a glass of Baileys as I took part in an online piss-up in Lemmy’s memory, with eight thousand other fans – sharing memories, pictures and videos. People, when your man is lying next to you, crying and begging you to stay, to please not leave him, that is when you hit the emergency ejection button. It shouldn’t even come to that in the first place.

The brakes were applied with a screech the very next day. I even “came out” on my Facebook page so that I can no longer lie to myself – and the love, support and even empathy from those who have been there has been phenomenal. Others even reached out to me, thanking me for my honesty and telling me they felt they could admit their own addictions to themselves now. You can bet I’ll be there to support them as we battle this together, even as sober friends will be there for me.

I’m just going to come right out and say it, here and now. The truth as I know it:

I am The Hairy Housewife. If I am not an alcoholic, then I am the closest I can get to being one. I have a drinking problem and I need help. I do not want to die.

I have been remiss, and stupid. I fell into the “Just one won’t hurt” trap and I allowed alcohol back to become a regular feature of my life. Worse, I allowed it back into my home: something I swore I would never, ever do again. It stops here.

Fortunately, I am not short of friends and family. I also still love Doctor Who, my tarantulas and Chinese Tea. Especially now I know how to brew it and how to become tea drunk.

Chinese tea set

About Missus Tribble

Media volunteer for Epilepsy Action (UK) and advocate for both epilepsy and autism awareness. Would like a Tardis when I grow up.
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16 Responses to From Wine Stains To Tea Stains

  1. Congratulations on your new commitment to your recovery from a drinking problem. I really understand how hard it is to overcome a problem with alcohol. I had a massive drink problem, everyone told me I did, but I was in such denial that I thought everyone passed on drunk on the floor of toilets in nightclubs, had to be carried out by the entire bar staff then went into convulsions on the pavement. I really did not believe I was an alcoholic. I genuinely thought that you had to be filmed on reality TV attacking the police to be an alcoholic. It was because I got addicted to cocaine (to “control” my drinking of course) that I got into recovery as my family forced me into treatment. Now I’m just coming up to 11 years clean and I can genuinely say my life is massively better without alcohol. Keep up the fight to stay sober, it’s worth it!

    • Thank you so much for your comment, it’s truly appreciated. You would have thought I had it licked really, as I was 12 months sober after a “small” (haha) scare with liver cirrhosis in August 2014, where I almost died on ICU. Sadly, I appear to have an addictive personality, and so as soon as I was told I was free and clear of the liver issues (it’s just slightly enlarged now; nothing major or worrying and signed off as “expected for this patient”) I went and celebrated with a meal and a few glasses of wine in a pub with my husband. It’s been slowly creeping on me ever since.

      I will never have to stop fighting, it seems – but at least I know the early warning signs and was able to slam the brakes on. Here’s hoping that I never let it get to that point again. Thank you, also, for sharing your story with me x

  2. I think that being slow on the uptake on occasion is part of the human condition.

    I have to say that I’d never consider drinking Baileys and wine at the same time, because the word which springs to mind is “curdle”, which then mentally at least, morphs into “vomit”.

  3. Keep fighting, Gemma! We would miss you terribly if you weren’t around.

  4. y_ddraenog_goch_2 says:

    Well done for recognising your situation, pulling the bang-seat handle, and recovering to an alcohol-free life. I’m sending strong positive thoughts your way.

    I’m very interested in the Chinese teas. Apart from the standard shop-bought China teas, and the jasmine tea served in a typical Chinese restaurant, I’ve never tried any others of that kind, but I’d very much like to.

    With any luck, I’ll be passing by your neck of the woods one Sunday early next month, on my way to and from Canvey Island. My brother G may be with me. If either or both of you would like to meet up, I’d be very happy to do so.

    • Of course, we’d love to meet up with you! I still need to make some confiturra for you, but I can easily get that done.

      As for Chinese tea, check out the link I posted in my blog entry, as it shows you how to prepare and drink Pu Erh tea. Don runs the Chinalife blog, and has made lots of helpful videos about the drinking of very many teas. You can drink them “Western” style, but drinking gong fu is always more of an experience πŸ™‚

      • y_ddraenog_goch_2 says:

        Great! I’ll take further arrangements to email.

        I’d love some more confiturra! I’m down to two jars, and one of them I have promised to my sister and brother-in-law. I’ll be very happy to take as much as you would like to make.

        I’ll have a look at the link, and see whether I can find a suitable local source of Pu Erh and other Chinese teas. I drink standard shop-bought China teas such as Keemun or Lapsang Souchong and Earl Grey with milk and sugar, but jasmine tea (when I’ve got some in, which I currently haven’t) I drink without anything added.

      • I only ever buy from Chinalife. Here’s their website –

  5. paulaacton says:

    You know I am here for you as we discussed in our messages but remember as well the positives you have also resolved to do like writing the book, I expect to see you posting on here again two or three times a week with updates not only on your health but your creativity also πŸ˜€

  6. develish1 says:

    I don’t have much to add here, but I will always offer *hugs* as needed πŸ™‚

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