Rock Bottom

In Alcohol, Drink, Drinking, health, mental health, Sobriety, Uncategorized on May 1, 2014 at 6:53 pm

I think most people reading this blog with some understanding of problematic drinking will have reached a place called ‘Rock Bottom’.

Rock Bottom is not the trip of a life time and it’s not somewhere you want to hurry back to.

Although, if you are anything like me and you have issues with drinking, drugs etc. you have been there several times (probably about twenty!)

‘Never again’

‘I’m too old for this shit’

‘I’m gonna die’

‘Don’t tell me what I did, I don’t want to know’

Over and over again until that turns into;

‘I hate myself’

‘what the fuck happened to me’

‘I’m disgusting’

‘I cant do this anymore’

‘I think I have a problem’

You get to a point when you realise that your trips to Rock Bottom are running out. How many times can you go there and come back again? How long will it be until you eliminate the possibility of going there again?

How many things have to go wrong before you stop? How lonely do you have to become? How bad can you physically feel?

Day 11 of no drinking and I am still feeling strong. I have finally retired from sliding down the slippery slope.

For some strange reason though, I feel sort of a compulsion to share my experiences of rock bottom. I want to relive, through writing, the experiences that have lead me to deciding to quit.

I have done my fair share of research on binge drinking and alcoholism, but I crave to read peoples actual experiences and feelings. How does everyone else feel in these situations? Does anyone else long to be anyone else but themselves at their lowest points? Does anyone else wonder why a chemical that makes other people foot loose and fancy free can turn them into a ticking time bomb ready to explode into a violent bombshell or a sexual deviant? How can alcohol have the power to make me a completely different person?

I want to write a post that will be an in depth account of how it is when I drink. I don’t even need to ask the question anymore ‘is it a problem?’ I 100% know I have a problem, and perhaps by exposing my truth, people who also have problems but may not know or have accepted that yet, perhaps it could help them or make them feel less alone?

I think half of my problem was that I was ready to accept I had a problem from the age of 19 but my family and peers weren’t. I think that is the case with a lot of young people with a problem; there is a taboo factor and also because its normal for young people to get fucked up.

From the age of 14, when I first tried vodka, the pattern was this and still is this; I am always the most drunk person at that party, that bar, that club. I am always the person who kissed the wrong guy, danced provocatively, punched someone, ran away, injured somebody, embarrassed themselves, got kicked out, thought I was somewhere else, forgot who I was, lost all their belongings and upset people. That pattern of destruction is hard to ignore and eventually you wind up in Rock Bottom with nobody but yourself to deal with.

  1. OK – if that helps you then let’s do it.

    My drinking was always competitive. I’m the same with sport and exercise, I have to be faster than everyone else or I’m not interested. I’m still like that.

    So I was outpacing everyone and of course, getting more shitfaced because the people I was drinking with were half a foot taller, 1½ times my weight and crucially could handle their drink.

    By the time the damage is done and I’ve done something dick-ish, the alcohol acts as a censor, erasing all memory of the incident. So I never learnt from any mistakes because I couldn’t remember them.

    I only remembered the pre 3-drink stage, when everything was fun and I was just beginning to loosen up.

    I told myself that I wasn’t really as bad as people made out. Surely if I’d done anything really bad I’d remember it?

    I thought my friends accepted me just as I was for being “a bit of a character”. At uni I got a reputation for drinking. A friend said “she only has to walk in to the bar and she’s drunk on the alcohol fumes”. I would sleep in flower beds because I was having an existential hangover. Potential boyfriends were warded off by people telling them I was “trouble”.

    But I loved it. I thought it gave me infamy and a personality. It didn’t. People secretly despised and pitied me. I disrespected myself. For years, I let my drinking define who I was because I couldn’t be bothered to cultivate any real passions.

    I have done all of those things you mention, “kissed the wrong guy, danced provocatively, punched someone, ran away, injured somebody, embarrassed themselves, got kicked out, thought I was somewhere else, forgot who I was, lost all their belongings and upset people”. Some of them painfully recently and I have marks on my face as a reminder.

    I have been at Rock Bottom a few times and seriously thought, oh shit, my life is over.

    But today is a new day. With the inconvenient realisation that alcohol is not compatible with me (for whatever reason, I’m not going to try and understand what that reason is), comes the only logical solution – give it up and develop other interests to fill the void that it leaves behind.

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