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Archive for August, 2016|Monthly archive page

The Wedding aka. The Last Binge

In Alcohol, Drink, Drinking, health, sober, Sobriety, Uncategorized on August 27, 2016 at 4:58 pm

The weekend before my last binge, I had been to my friends birthday in London and managed to drink responsibly.

I drank nice champagne and remained in control. I convinced myself that I would be fine to drink at this wedding because I had managed a night of good drinking.

The wedding weekend I was with a different set of friends; the old pub friends. The ones who liked a drink.

The fact that I was hanging out with big drinkers at the wedding put me on the back foot. Although, the real truth is that I will always be on the back foot with alcohol.

Drinking for me is like playing russian roulette. 5 out of 6 binges could be absolutely fine and dandy and the 6th binge could have massive consequences.

I knew allot of people at the wedding. Some I wished I didn’t know, some who I currently work with and socialise with.

In hindsight, this was a really bad event to get blind drunk at, because lots of people who know me would be there to witness to my behaviour.

Regardless of this, I proceeded to get smashed.

Before getting smashed, I tried to give myself a pep talk.

‘Let’s only drink good quality alcohol and drink lots of water in between drinks’

I was looking forward to drinking because weddings are fun, but sometimes a bit awkward. Everyone drinks lots at weddings too, which is fun. Drinking is fun, right? Weddings are fun.

So, the waiter comes to our table (at this point it was maybe 4pm and I had had two alcoholic drinks in me already) and he asks us if we want some free cheap wine for the table.

Free cheap wine? Yeah, go on then. It’s free so I cant say no to that. Plus I like wine.

Immediately my plan of drinking good quality alcohol gets chucked right out the window, along with my sensible drinking plan.

I had a couple of glasses of water, but the water soon ran out on the table and I never remember to order any more. Water is never the priority. Water doesn’t give you a buzz.

As well as my cheap wine, I start drinking prosecco.

SO now I’m mixing drinks, I’m chatting, I’m laughing, I’m watching everyone do the same. Weddings are fun. Everyone looks good and everyone is celebrating.

I always feel a form of magic when everyone is together, drinking together and dressed up together.

Rules go out the window when I drink. I can be whoever I want, do what I want, say what I want. Everything is fun, people are funny, the music is good. I just want more and more and more of it. I feel a buzz flowing through my body, like anything could happen and anything is possible. My anxious brain relaxes and I get absorbed into the moment.

Being sober requires more effort. I have to force myself to enjoy things. I have to be present at all times. That’s not fun.

After the wedding breakfast, we all sit outside in the foyer, drinking and chatting more.

Everyone is still behaving themselves at this point. Chatting, sipping and laughing.

The alcohol flows a bit more now, peoples purse strings loosen and making trips to the bar rescues struggling conversations and gives people a purpose.

Ran out of conversation? Lets go to the bar. Got no one to talk to? Go to the bar. Evening guests arrive….go to the bar.

After an hour of this, the doors open back into the wedding room and the music starts.

As soon as this happens, the real drunkenness sets in. I remember seeing the bride and grooms first dance. I remember chatting to colleagues and friends. I remember sipping some more….and then I don’t remember.

When you get blackout drunk, it is literally like being in a movie. There is nothing at the time and then the next day there are flashback scenes. Those scenes are not an accurate representation of what happened or how you were acting at the time. They are just still shots or two seconds of film time.

You don’t remember going into a blackout, it just happens. I don’t even remember feeling drunk anymore. I just go from being tipsy to waking up the next day. Its a bit like being anaesthetised, but after you blackout you can still function.

The person functioning in my body during a blackout is not me. It is some horrible, dark, sub conscious person that lurks within me. The worst possible version of me. My eyes glaze over. The lights are on, but only the devil is home. I wont listen to anyone, I will risk my life, I will do whatever I think it is that I want or need to do at that time.

My flash backs from the wedding include crying outside the wedding venue, being told off for being too drunk, being in a taxi and being in my colleagues bed.

Cut to the morning after the night before:

Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit.

Why am I in my colleagues bed?

What the fuck?

Where the hell are my clothes? My bag? My shoes?

Okay, Ive found my dress. There is my bag, but my shoes are nowhere to be found.

My colleague is asleep, so I sneak out.

The rest of that day was hell. I slept in my own room for a few hours before I had to get myself up and presentable enough to check out of the hotel.

I had drive myself home, which took three hours including a service station stop.

When I got out at the services, I was so dehydrated and hungry, I very nearly fainted. Right in the middle of the services. On my own.

When I got home, I went straight back to sleep.

I woke up at 8pm and went over to my parents for food. They knew I was hungover but didn’t make too much of a big deal about it.

I was absolutely dreading work the next day.

And it was absolute hell.

My colleagues were telling me what an embarrassment I had been; dancing like a hoe, smashing glasses on the bar, kissing people and the list goes on.

It turns out I lost my shoes at the wedding and I was wondering around bare foot.

The colleague I had slept with was very sweet though. He kept coming to check if I was okay and we both got lunch together as we normally d0.

We didn’t mention our behaviour at the wedding, we just carried on being friends as normal.

He has a reputation for being a player. I liked being his friend and talking to him about the women he had womanised.

But now I was one of those. And as fine as it is between us, I cant unsleep with him. I will never not be just one of his conquests.

The shame that drinking has caused me over the years, has made me want to disappear. It has affected my confidence, my self worth and my reputation.

Other people know it is a problem. Other people know I am loose when I drink.

I shouldn’t care what others think but I do.

I want to feel self respect. I want to be proud of myself. I want to love myself before I love anyone else or before anyone else can learn to love me.

Even though I will work on my sobriety one day at a time, that will be the last time I wake up feeling that way.

Waking up and wishing I hadn’t of woken up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AA Meeting

In Alcohol, Drink, Drinking, sober, Sobriety, Uncategorized on August 24, 2016 at 1:32 pm

Well, I finally did it. I went to my 2nd AA Meeting.

The meeting I have been meaning to get to for a few years now.

The meeting I have backed out of because I am always too busy (too scared and too in denial) to attend.

It took several things to get me to that meeting on Monday evening.

Firstly, since I told my grandma a few months ago that I was hospitalised due to alcohol (again), she has been very concerned about my drinking and has made sure I don’t forget it.

She has a friend in California who is 20 years sober and who once used to drink like me and had the same problems. My grandma spoke to her friend about my drinking and her friend responded with some words of wisdom.

After attending a friends wedding recently and getting very drunk (more of that later) I decided to personally contact my Grandma’s friend and get her up to speed on my current wishes to be sober.

Her advice (as I have heard many times before) is that AA meetings can be very useful, and that she goes to the meetings and they have helped her stay sober for 20 years.

When I read her email describing her experiences and advising me that drink problems never get better, I decided to go to a meeting that evening. I had no excuses left about why I shouldn’t go.

The meeting was in my home town and my first though was ‘what if I know someone there?’ which is silly, because the clue is in the name ‘Alcoholics Anonymous’.

I got to the road where the meeting was early and sat in my car for ten minutes. I had butterflies in my stomach and a heavy feeling in my head. An overwhelming heaviness.

As I walked down the road looking for the community centre, I could see people walking towards a building and I panicked, realising I had found it. It was my secret desire that I wouldn’t find it and I would have to go home and give up.

As I walked in the door, a friendly older man offered me some tea and said ‘Are you new?’

When someone heard me saying yes, another man came over, took my hands in his and said welcome.

He introduced me to another man, and they invited me to sit with them on the outside of the room.

I clasped my cup of tea like it was a life line. It was like the first day of school and I didn’t know whether I may embarrass myself and cry.

The heavy feeling in my head lingered, but I was more settled now I was sat down between two people who had made me feel welcome.

The secretary welcomed me as he begun the meeting, and then followed the formalities of reading the steps and some other extracts.

There was a main share; a man who lost everything to alcohol. It was a very sad story but he has made such huge changes since getting sober in 2008.

There were other shares; a lady who had been sober since 1978, a man who had drank a bottle of wine that day, a woman who had a very similar story to be but was 40, another lady in her 50’s who got dragged to AA by her sister and husband and the list goes on.

The stories were all quite sad but they all ended their shares with their new stories; repaired relationships, new careers, new relationships and new opportunities that they didn’t think they could ever have before they got sober.

I could see myself in all of these people. Which is a weird feeling.

I was asked if I wanted to speak at the end. I has gained strength from all those who had spoke before me, and had very kindly acknowledged my presence and had wished me well. I gained strength from know I wasn’t alone in my experiences and I no longer had to live my life in shame. I could be open and human with these people, as they had been to me.

I spoke with a wobble in my voice and I don’t know where the words came from, but they poured from me. I didn’t waffle on too much for fear of being the over zealous newbie but I expressed my gratitude for everyone’s shares and told them how it had taken me 7 years of knowing deep down that I was an alcoholic to get to this point.

A room full of people nodded knowingly at me as I spoke; people who are still and who have struggled with the same thing that I have. I cant describe that feeling.

One and a half hours later, I left the meeting having gained a few telephone numbers and a new perspective on alcoholism.

Alcoholism is the lonely disease, but by finally reaching out to others and accepting it myself, I am starting to feel like there is hope still.

(9 days sober)