Alcohol, the bane of my life for the whole of my life!
Well, I say for the whole of my life, I really mean since I was 12 or 13 and had my first experience of a killer ‘vomitty’ hangover after secretly drinking at a friend’s party in a barn in the middle of nowhere.
I remember the day very clearly - or at least I remember the distinct lack of sympathy I got from my heavily disappointed parents. Far from the caring folks they were had I previously been ill (this time felt no different to me than my regular tummy bugs) but the cause of my discomfort this time was a cause of shame.
Left to fend for myself (I’m sure secretly overseen by concerned parental eyes) through my day of illness and constant vomiting, you would have thought I would have learned my lesson, but alas, that was simply the beginning of a long & tumultuous affair with my old friend alcohol.
Many a day would be spent recovering from a night in the company of my friend and ally, some days lost completely, including one Christmas day laid up in bed sick every 20 minutes until the late evening after a Christmas eve of meeting the friendship group of my then new boyfriend.
Friends who saw me in this state for the first time, would assume I needed hospital treatment or to be put on a re-hydrating drip, when all I would really need would be to be left alone, in silence, in a darkened room with a bucket and a glass of water.
Horizontal was the only way to get through the poisoning my body was enduring.
…& poisoning it was!
But that fact was always super seeded by the ‘fun’ I thought I had the night before.
Friends would fill me in on the details, telling me how funny I had been, and expressing their amusement. They said they didn’t mind looking after me the morning after because their entertainment outweighed my suffering.
The fact that I could not remember most of the night, that I put myself in dangerous situations or that at times would wake up in places I did not recognise - with or without my belongings - seemed to add to the entertainment factor, creating new anecdotes to be brought out for years to come, rather than sounding the alarm bells that should have been ringing loudly in my head.
Perhaps, some might say this was just the natural fearlessness of a of youthful mind – that mind of total of invincibility, but I know for sure that had alcohol not been involved, those scenarios would never have occurred.
As I grew older, weekend binge-ing, gave way to weeknight drinking.
Because heavy drinking was the norm amongst my friendship group, I didn’t see anything wrong with downing a bottle of wine of an evening to relax and wash away the stresses of the day.
I thought my (now ex) husband, who never drank in the house was odd for thinking I was an alcoholic, after all, I was only doing what my friends were doing. As is always the case - in my world my way was the norm.
I was used to the fuzzy head, delayed thinking, nauseous feeling and obsessive thoughts of when I would be able to have another glass of red.
I bought into the illusion of alcohol as a stress reliever and crutch. I ignored the fact that – as Alan Carr (the stop smoking guy, not the comedian) points out in his book ‘How to Control Alcohol’ - without added sugars and flavourings, alcohol on its own tastes like the poison it really is.
Aside from the many morning-after pledges to never again touch the stuff, I have had a couple of short lived swarey’s into sobriety.
Each have involved a whole load of willpower and daily feelings of deprivation.
This time however feels different, this time it feels like I have come to my senses on this destructive relationship.
I have finally seen alcohol for what it really is.
Bad for me!
I’m sick of it’s lies and deceit, it’s manipulation & emotional blackmail.
I’m sick of the physical, mental and emotional abuse that I have allowed into my life for so long.
I have had enough.
So this is why I have finally decided to terminate my relationship with alcohol once & for all.
I have finally made the decision, to leave the relationship which has taken up so much of my time and energy for the better part of the last 3 decades.
This time I feel free. I feel released!
…& now it is I who feels amused at the looks of sympathy and the comments of my bravery at putting myself in a position of missing out on the societal norm.
But how can I feel deprived from something I no longer want!
When I have left relationships in the past, it has been because I knew full well I’d be better off on my own, & I finally see that same light with alcohol for too.
My perception has taken a massive shift.
I write this from mid-way through a girl’s holiday, one where I thought my feelings might falter, or my resolve might not stick. But I can honestly say, despite being the only one not drinking, I have not had one craving, not one longing, not one thought of want or need or of missing out, in fact I have felt quite the opposite, & have woken each morning with a happy satisfaction because I feel good and can function like a normal human being. It’s truly great!
Now, I know things change. Life has it’s natural ebb & flow. This is the law of the universe. So I’m not saying this is me forever. But I recognise this feeling from just after I extinguished my last cigarette all those years ago. This is a turning point I have never experienced before with alcohol, so for now I am relishing the win, allowing myself to celebrate the reward of feeling good, clear headed & most of all free from the unhealthy obsessive thoughts. 😊