Aloha! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? For a few months during lockdown, I have been coming to learn somethings about myself. One of those things is that I AM AN ALCOHOLIC. Dun, dun, dun.
Alcoholism has always been an issue in my family. And when I say issue I mean a REAL issue. It’s been the cause of many a heartbreak. On both sides in fact! But I had always been proud of the fact that it wasn’t a problem for me. Well, isn’t that how it starts for all people will an addictive personality, denying that they indulge in something that isn’t too good for them?
Drinking, especially in lockdown, initially was a way to “take the edge off.” But I can’t exactly blame lockdown as I have always drank a lot, excluding the few years I was sober.
What has always been a “one night at the weekend” thing started becoming a Friday, Saturday and Sunday thing. As you can imagine it went on and on until I was drinking more nights than I wasn’t.
Pretty soon, I had switched from champagne (thinking it would be better for me) to wine to spirits because the champers was getting too pricey. And even when lockdown was temporarily lifted I was wanting to drink every time I left the house.
No one cannot deny that that is clearly a slippery slope to having a drinking problem. Because it is.
THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT
Whilst watching The Queen’s Gambit I discovered that if I carried on drinking the way I was I would end up like Beth Harmon.
I won’t spoil the show for you if you’ve not seen it (I highly recommend you do). But at one stage she gets a reality check about how she was on the same slope as I had been heading towards.
At that point I looked at my fourth rum and coke (which I had pretended was just Coke to Paul). I started to cry and told Paul to pour away all of the alcohol in the house.
That night I took a long look in the mirror and didn’t like what I saw. I had put on weight, I looked tired, my skin was bad and I didn’t feel healthy. I knew I was making the right choice.
From the 10th November 2020, I haven’t touched a drop of alcohol. I have had moments where I felt as if I could do with a drink believe me.
Christmas time was pretty damn hard… Going around Marks and Spencer and seeing all the festive beverages made me doubt my choice as I have always drunk alcohol at Christmas time (other than when I was pregnant and sober). However, I persevered remembering I would regret it. That Christmas and… well, anything isn’t made more fun by what you drink but by who you are and who you’re with. And that’s what I remind myself every time I think “I can do it, I can have one.” Because I can’t.
That’s not how it works. You cannot tell someone who has an addiction problem that “it’s all balance”.
Here I am, sober as a judge. My head is clearer, I’m a better mother for it, I have more energy and I am finding a love for things I used to. Like this, writing again. Okay, it’s not Shakespeare but I love expressing thoughts and feelings which were so muted when I was drinking.