Alcohol and Me: A Sobering Journey
When I think of alcohol and me, the following words come to mind in no particular order, (positive or negative): Social, demon, sobriety, laughter, uncontrollable, addictive, confidence, ego, smashed, embarrassing, BBQ’s, dependant, celebration, dad, drown sorrows, inhibitions, leery, cunning, sly, hangover, disorderly, arguments…I could go on…
Since I can remember alcohol has been part of my life either directly or indirectly, positively or negatively.
My dad liked a drink (my mum didn’t) and from early on, it was my best mate whom without I thought life would be boring.
That was until my old pal started to be demanding, dominating and taking over my life (like the lodger from single white female). Eventually, it became that it took up most of my thinking space. Let’s use some of the words from above to summarise my drinking career:
I drank alcohol for effect and I always used to say; “what’s the point in being drunk if you can’t be a little bit disorderly”, which I basically lived by.
From being very young I drank to be social and to give me confidence and as I grew up, I had laughter and sorrow at the hands of the bottle. I would find it hilarious to watch friends do embarrassing things but cringe when I had done so.
In my job, I worked hard but played harder and would often entertain clients getting smashed on expenses regardless of the hangovers and then after hardly any sleep, carry out informative presentations to secure contracts often worth hundreds of millions of €.
But alcohol is very addictive and cunning. It is named the Demon Drink for a reason and when drunk I started to become uncontrollable and lose my inhibitions and respect for others.
A self-confessed binge drinker, eventually I was almost dependant and would drink because of my highs, my sorrows, and for any other reason. It was instrumental when my marriage nearly broke down and this is when the takeover really started, and my friend became my foe.
Prior to this, I would have been classified as borderline, but my lifestyle at the time, as mentioned above definitely played with my ego like a cheap violin and with the demon pulling strings behind the scenes, I was definitely out of control and in need of reality or a helpful slap around the face!
In fact, come to think of it, every argument I have ever had with my wife was always probably alcohol related.
When we decided to make our marriage work (hold off on the rejoice), my drinking became worse through my mental state and my guilt trips from the past. You see, people who drink are emotional, and for me, the laughter stopped, the sorrow increased, and I had to act towards sobriety for all our sakes.
After trying different tried and tested methods, I now consider myself teetotal, a sober warrior, a non-drinker and don’t believe I will never look back because I have a feeling of contentment which is something (for whatever reason) I have never acknowledged before, and at the risk of sounding cliché, I have made peace with my mistakes from the past, something only sobriety has given me.
Cutting back was not an option, I am either drunk or sober and that is that.
Finally, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think alcohol is the pits for everyone, and believe me, I have had some cracking laughs and done some crazy things that will stay with me forever (some which I may print one day… some I may not!).
Sobriety isn’t for everyone and I would be the last person to turn my nose up to those who enjoy a tipple, but for me, I have realised that I have everything I need, and alcohol is not my friend anymore.
To be continued…