Today is my second day of being sober. Although the day is not quite over and its now 19:30 I feel quite confident that today I will remain alcohol free. I am actually staying with my family at the moment and for me it’s easier to stay clean when I am around them, as they are the only people who know and ACCEPT that I have a drink problem.
I am emphasizing the word accept because most people, including most of my friends do not accept that I have a drink problem. I think some of this comes down to the fact that we are “booze buddies” who all get together and drink heavily. My behaviour is not that out of the ordinary in my social circle and if I’m honest I really believe in most social circles in the UK (where I am based). In Britain it is more normal for adults to drink too much then to not drink at all. I have stopped drinking before (sometimes lasting several months) only to be greeted by close friends and strangers with shock and dismay “Why don’t you drink?”. However, on all the occasions where I have drunk too much, ended up in dangerous situations, injuring myself and landing in hospital, crying and vomiting – nobody (including myself) has asked “Why do you drink?”. A question I need to properly answer throughout this journey.
So my binge drinking slips under the radar it is difficult to be seen as abnormal or different, because it seems so regular, so common place in most peoples ritual of alcohol in their weekend. I am not blaming anyone for my decisions with drinking or even society. I take the responsibility of my decisions to drink, I just think that addiction and alcoholism is so misunderstood. That after drinking for over 16 years I am only just starting to recognise alcoholism in myself, I don’t think I would be able to recognise it in others, maybe because that’s the trick of most heavy drinkers – we are so good at hiding our drinking and the pain behind it.
Today, I have been experiencing some pangs/itches for booze. I went for a late brunch with my boyfriend and my mum in a cafe across the road from a pub. Watching the people in the pub drinking and smoking outside in the sun looked so lovely. Watching them enjoy the ice-cold beer, I could imagine the cold smooth heavinly liquid in my mouth and I waa jealous. It was scary for me to imagine not drinking ever again, it seemed like a monumentally impossible goal. I realised that by thinking about abstinence on a day-to-day process is going to be less over-whelming for me – especially at this early stage. If anyone reading this has any advice regarding this process of recovery please feel free to send me a message or comment below.
If you have managed to read this far on this rather rambling blog entry you are probably wondering why now? Why have I suddenly stopped? The truth is that last week my drinking scared me.
I drank everyday last week. Which is out of character normally I do two monumental drinking sessions a week and its been this way on and off since I was about 15 (they first time I got very very drunk was when I was 13 and I loved it from then). Last week, I even went out with two non-drinking friends to a pub quiz and over the course of the evening I managed to drink 3 large glasses of wine. Again, this is something I can normally refrain from when with people who don’t drink, I try to use it as an opportunity to take a break, maybe to prove I can if I want too. That it’s not me It’s the situation that makes me drink. But for whatever reason that night I drank, I got a little tipsy and they didn’t. Then two days later, on Friday night things got really crazy – which was the last time I drank.
On Friday night I tried to have one drink on and one drink off throughout the evening, but that slipped away and my control on my drinking once again failed. I ended up staying out until 9am on Saturday morning at a friends house party. Even as everyone went off to bed I stayed awake playing Spotify and drinking on my own, whilst a female friend was collapsed on the sofa opposite.
It was quite clear that on Friday night that one) I didn’t care that my friend was collapsed on a sofa – something I am not proud of and does not reflect my sober personality and 2) It really didn’t matter to me if anyone else was there. My drinking was not about being social or about having fun at a party. The party had ended, yet for me the party was still going strong because there was booze and therefore it must be drunk.
The next day when I got home and clambered into bed, whilst everyone else in my family home was getting up to start the day. I realised that this behaviour served as a warning sign, multiple red flags had been raised to shoe me that if I carried on floating through life with the help of alcohol – I was going to sink and eventually drown.
This is still highly possible. I am at the early stages I don’t really believe I have left the starting line with my recovery but I hope that this blog will help me to maintain my abstinence and hopefully connect me with others on the journey of recovery. If anyone is reading this. I just wondered if you had spotted any red flags in your own drinking behaviour? Also if anyone has any advice for newly sober people like me that would be greatly appreciated.
I have actually been reading a really good blog http://unpickled.wordpress.com/ Although it is written by a grandma and I am 29. I really found so much of her thinking and behaviour relates to my own feelings about myself and my drinking. If you are in your early days of recovery like me I really recommend you read it. It has great resources and is a really encouraging and positive read. It has certainly made me feel less alone.
Right I am now off to watch the X Factor which some people might argue is a worse habit than alcoholism. But I do enjoy a bit of trash TV every now and then and if it’s really a load of s@*t then at least I can turn it off. Something I have proved to myself over and over again that I can’t do with booze. Plus scary spice is a judge and with that in note I am going to leave this entry with a music video from the best girl band that ever did live… THE SPICE GIRLSSSSS. (Suddenly the spice girl video at the beginning of this entry makes sense…maybe??)
Who was your favourite spice girl? I think mine was ginger! She always had the best clothes! Ooo that’s my halloween outfit sorted ;)