Giving up alcohol: A year of progress
On the afternoon of 26th March 2019, I was waiting for a train in a bar, already drunk. It had started the evening before after a 3 Month break from Alcohol and as I was away from home on a management course, I thought I would test myself with regards to moderating. Yet why stop at the shop for bottles of wine if I was moderating? Obviously, this was an excuse and deep down of course I knew I was going to drink, and I wanted more than enough whilst I had the chance!
After a day on the course I was on my way to London for a business function and as many times before it didn’t concern me about drinking prior to arriving, in fact I always did it so I could relax and not worry about the multitude of people I was going to meet, some for the first time.
The problem was, I had woken that morning in the hotel room still half cut and when offered a glass of wine at lunch time, rather than saying no thanks I have an engagement this evening I chose to take it, and this led to more. I made sure of a taxi knowing full well I intended to indulge but also wrongly thinking I could hide it until I left the engagement, before continuing the binge on the train back to the hotel.
I had booked first class on the train and took full advantage of the wine and can vaguely remember being on the phone trying to explain to my wife that I wasn’t in fact drunk and I “was just tired”. Sure! Who was I kidding? Answer: no one.
The next part of the evening is not my memory but has been pieced together from sources I would rather have not had to witness it, for these were colleagues. I rocked up at the engagement as boiled as an owl and a lady on the door noticed that I was drunk and had suggested that I better not come in but of course I insisted I was fine.
The presentations had started as I made my way into the foyer and stood at a table banging into it and rattling the empty glasses, whilst standing red faced with my tie looking half as crocked as I did.
Apparently, people looked but nothing was made of it and they carried on assuming it was a simple accident. However, my boss, unbeknown to me had been summoned across by the unfortunate lady and another guy I know also came across and between them decided to get me out of there before any more harm was done to either, mine, theirs or the company reputation. They poured me in a taxi, booked me an earlier train and that was it. Of this I have no recollection and only remember being sat in the train on the way back opposite a couple smooching and wondering to myself, what the hell had just happened.
The next day, back on the course I didn’t sober up until lunch time and had this feeling of dread which was confirmed by my boss and also my wife, who had been privy to the drunken apologetic texts I had sent to the colleagues via my iPad which was left pinging at home. When I spoke to my wife it hit me, and I could not stop crying because I had let her down and myself down again. When will I stop this? Turns out it was then!
To be honest it is difficult to explain but, rather than thoughts of I have to quit, or need to, or I must quit… I wanted to quit alcohol with every inch of my being. I don’t know where it came from, but I really saw myself in the future having given up alcohol and a much better person with a happy family, although first I had to prove myself.
Also, unlike other occasions when I had stopped, I wasn’t beating myself up and I saw it as the last learning curve. The light bulb moment was that I sincerely wanted to give up booze for the rest of my life. Not just a few months, or because I knew it would calm my life down for a while, or even because I had been caught making an almighty mistake. I had a vision to be in the minority.
Its hard to believe that this was a whole year ago and if I fast forward to now the change in myself and my family unit is remarkable. Indeed, the first Month was horrendous, I thought my marriage could be over, I had a Cancer scare, the sugar cravings were through the roof and I was like a bear with a sore head, but I kept going with the various tools I had picked up along the way and new ones I would learn.
I have written many posts and pages of my experiences, advice and tips to demonstrate how I did it and even a category scale. I feel blessed to have taken this journey, to have had the courage to own it, to deal with the aftermath of quitting and to give my family the life they deserve.
Cutting alcohol out of my life is the best thing and I will encourage and help anyone to follow suit because as the cliché says, it does get easier and I have found contentment in my life.
This is me content, happy, looking to the future. This is me grateful for life. This is me, 1 year sober.
Love to all…. Dazza T