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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Back to Square One

In Alcohol, Drink, Drinking, health, mental health, sober, Sobriety on August 10, 2015 at 1:23 pm

My heart aches and my body is burning hot.

Yesterday I woke up in a panic. What did I do last night?

My friend came in to laugh at me and tell me what a mess I am. I told her my hearts stuggling to beat and I cant breathe. She told me to have a cold shower and that I will be fine.

I sat in a cold shower for about half an hour, gasping for air. So dehydrated and numb and possibly still drunk, I was beyond crying.

A fun night out with the girls turned into debauchery so bad I don’t even remember being in the night club.

Apparently I was handing out drinks, buying champagne, kissing random men….the list goes on.

In June of this year I had been sober for 11 months, and then I decided I was being too hard on myself and I needed to loosen up a bit.

‘You’re not an alcoholic’ is the constant message I got from friends and family, and then I started to tell myself that message and finally I started believing it. ‘Lets just drink in moderation, if I can go 11 months without a drink, I can learn to moderate’.

But it didn’t happen and it will never happen.

I want to lie in a black hole until I have recovered and healed. I have been in this situation hundreds of times. Self hatred, self loathing so deep I’m choking on it.

If I disappeared every time I felt ashamed of myself I would have spend a serious amount of the past 10 years in hiding and that is not what living is about.

To accept I am helpless, I am ill and I need to recover and forgive is the only way I can carry on.

I need help, I need support and I need change.

Day one has been worse that I remember ever feeling.

Things can only get better…

The truth vs The temptations

In Alcohol, Drink, Drinking, health, mental health, sober, Sobriety on May 29, 2015 at 11:21 am

10 months and 2 days sober.

A small milestone, but one I am proud of. Ever edging closer to one year but always moving further from my last drink.

I feel very good most of the time, but that’s not to say it is easy or that it has got  easier since when I first got sober.

When you first give up drinking everything is raw; memories are fresh and there are a lot more ups and downs. Sometimes it gets harder the longer you go on, because you can become over confident and forget the grief that got you to being sober in the first place.

The good and bad feelings pass over in waves, and sometimes I am drowning in an ocean full of temptation. My friends sometimes don’t realise that by saying ‘we wont judge you if you fall off the wagon’ are not helping.

I don’t mind being judged. I am my harshest critic. Everything anyone has ever thought about me or said about me, Ive thought worse about myself.

But so far I’ve kept swimming, kept my head above the waves and I don’t listen to those who don’t fully understand my circumstances. Including my family.

I don’t know if it is a rare occurrence, or if it is quite common, but most people don’t want to believe or accept my problem. Especially those closest to me. Maybe it is a bad reflection on them? Or maybe they don’t understand that an alcoholic doesn’t have to look or act a certain way in order to suffer with the illness.

I still have an over whelming desire to confess my sins and perhaps this is my calling to attend AA meetings, where I will meet like minded and open individuals.

The only meeting I have ever been to I cried the whole way through. I cried because I knew I had a problem but saying it out loud would make it real. All those people in that room understood me and yet I still didn’t want to be pigeon holed. I still thought there was a way I could remain ‘normal’.

I hope further down the line the temptations become easier to ignore, or maybe peers will become more used to me as a non drinker.

Whenever I do feel tempted to drink, I try to remind myself of how much better everything is now I don’t drink, of how I can still have fun and how I don’t need to rely on alcohol any more.

I remind myself of why I said ‘I never want to drink again.’ The memories are painful but sometimes you need to rehash them in order to get over that complacent feeling of being in control and thinking ‘well if I can stay sober, surely one night of drink may not harm me’.

Alcohol is my kryptonite. I may have been able to occasionally drink and things didn’t always go wrong, but alcohol is also the reason for some of my lowest points in my life. Is it worth the risk? No. Is being called boring tolerable if I have a much better outlook on life? Hell yeah.

One day at a time.

Hyper Sensitivity

In Alcohol, Drinking, health, mental health, sober, Sobriety on October 2, 2014 at 7:32 pm

I am not sure if this is a medical condition.

I am not sure if I am overly hormonal, tired and stressed.

Every feeling, I feel.

All the pain, unhappiness, sadness.

I reflect on the past so much, and the future makes me anxious. So many decisions to make, so much time to wait, yesterday was so much easier, I was a better person back then.

I want so much. I need things to fill in this emptiness.

I want money so I can enjoy life more but when I get it I only want more things, and the unhappier I become.

I am generous and when I have money I buy things for people.

I am overly generous with people I love.

I give people too much of myself and I shut down who I really am to try and please those people.

This causes me to resent myself and wonder why my relationships don’t last.

I am exhausted, hormonal and stressed.

I think too much about everything.

I am almost 10 weeks sober but it isn’t enough. How much will ever be enough?

I want a dog, tattoo’s, travel the world, fall in love, have a job I love, be sober forever, make new friends, eat good food, feel secure and happy. I don’t know how to balance all of these things.

Everyday I wake up and my mind has changed.

John Mayer once wrote a song with the lyrics ‘she’s just like a maze where all of her walls all continually change’. It couldn’t be more on point.

I start getting along with people, only to be knocked down.

I start being okay and then I’m not.

Everything is trivial and happiness is a journey not a destination.

One day this will all be over.

I am on my way to making changes and having everything happen all at once isn’t how life works.

Suffering makes you stronger.

Those that try to take everything from me are weaker than I am, they just don’t realise it yet.

I am underestimated. I am undiscovered. I feel different.

Perhaps one day life might start clicking into place.

Until now, I will carry on.

I can’t wait to reach 3 months sober.

I am proud of myself for getting this far.

New Kind of Sober

In Alcohol, Drink, Drinking, health, mental health, sober, Sobriety on September 15, 2014 at 8:47 pm

Seven weeks sober yesterday and I am starting to feel like I am getting somewhere. Each day brings new levels of loneliness and empowerment.

I feel a different kind of sober; I feel calm and controlled about things that scared me before.

I feel like a permanent change has been made from somewhere deep within me. I no longer associate with alcohol or people who live to get drunk. I can’t even hold any alcohol in my hands without feeling weird.

I don’t miss nights out or how they used to feel. I especially don’t miss the hangovers, the major highs and lows, the mistakes and regrets.

I have changed and ultimately its for the better. Some people do not have a clue that I am sober and others still don’t understand why it has happened. I am starting to no longer care about those trivial aspects of socialising, I have switched to focussing peoples attention back on themselves. I feel a new wave of maturity has set in but at the same time a new lease of life which will allow me to have childlike excitement.

I no longer want to deny myself of good feelings, I no longer want to suffer in silence because I think that is what I deserve. My drinking brain would tell myself how disgusting I was and that I brought on everything bad myself.

My sober brain now understands and acknowledges that alcoholism is a sickness and that I am actually a kind, reasonable person who doesn’t have to settle for feeling shit all the time.

I can’t wait to make more progress and hopefully the loneliness of sobriety will fade as I become more used to my adjusted lifestyle.

One day at a time.

Craving forgiveness

In Alcohol, Drink, Drinking, health, mental health, Sobriety on August 31, 2014 at 9:01 pm

5 weeks today and I feel like sobriety is going well, no temptations so far. I have focussed on family and myself and although its boring and frustrating, I am getting there. I haven’t had to deal with the lows of hangovers or any shame or fear.

Recently though, I have been feeling cravings for something else. A deep desire to explain my side of the story.

I want to confess, I want to clean my slate, I want other people to forgive me and I want to forgive myself.

I want to relive my drunken misery out loud; things I have never spoke of. I want and need to make sense of it all, even if it is just once.

I woke up this morning and started to think about admitting to someone exactly what I had done under the influence of alcohol and what it would be like and how I would describe it.

I can’t tell my family everything because its too personal and I feel as if my therapist shouldn’t hear this stuff as he is male.

Is this a common urge; to want to confess everything?

I also want to hear what other people have done and how they felt.

My grandma let slip that my grand dad used to feel huge amounts of remorse after heavy drinking and for some reason that helped me, because I knew that I wasn’t alone and in some ways I could see where my behaviour stems from.

Perhaps this is a sign I should be brave and go back to an AA Meeting.

A letter to my future self

In Alcohol, Drink, Drinking, health, mental health, Sobriety on July 28, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Dear Abi, my future self,

The one who will probably be up for drinking again because peer pressure is getting too much. The one who has forgotten how you are feeling right now.

As of Saturday 26th July 2014, you haven’t drank. So currently thats two days. And these last two days have been hell.

I have suffered a very bad hangover; physically and mentally. I am currently sat in my pyjama’s having taken a day off work with a urinary infection that won’t budge. I’m coughing, my face hurts and I feel drained.

Why? Alcohol, of course.

Yes, your friend who has fucked you over more times than you can remember and you are probably choosing to forget this.

Before you drink remember the shame, the sickness, the guilt, the despair that alcohol brings. Sure, sometimes alcohol doesn’t fuck you over, but thats always a gamble. You have so much to lose; your health, your responsibilities, your happiness.

At this point in time the thought of never drinking again scares me, as it always will. But the thought of drinking scares me even more. It scares me enough to know I cannot lead a normal life. I don’t drink normally and never will be able to. I need to change and if that means being unsociable or boring then thats what it will have to be.

No one will understand your decision or pat you on the back. But you will be happier, healthier and there will be no risk of fucking up your life with no memory of how you did it.

It will take more than two months to feel a difference, but stick with it. If you are thinking of giving up re-read all the depressing shit you ever wrote with a hangover. Remember how a hangover makes you think that sometimes life isn’t worth living.

But life is worth living, even if you dread social events in a sober state. Embrace awkwardness and learn to laugh at them and yourself. Embrace other people challenging you and your decisions. Embrace moments like watching the sun set, being with your family and listening to loud music in your car, singing along like an idiot.

There is no reason to drink. If you had the same reaction to coffee as you did alcohol, you would cut out coffee. There is nothing to be gained from getting drunk and thats something you have to swallow.

Anyway, I am rambling. I hope that you remain strong and remember how rubbish this day felt, because right now I am not feeling too clever.

Love

Abi, Present self.
28.7.14

Wild Woman

In Alcohol, Drink, Drinking, health, mental health, Sobriety on July 27, 2014 at 8:48 pm

‘I’m trying to contain her but she’s slipping through the net. There’s a wild woman living inside of me’

Its been a while since my last update and since I last considered sobriety or even attempted it.

The wild woman is back in control and hungry for destruction.

Since May when my drinking relapsed I have binged several times.

I have also started a sort of relationship with someone (not official..yet)

Since May I have slid down stairs and banged my head off a wall, sent embarrassing text messages, been physically removed from a nightclub, ignored the boy I’m dated and chose to dance alone in my kitchen in just my knickers, I’ve had hooked up without remembering and I’ve experienced my worst hangover to date.

Worse things have happened to me, but in amongst the drinking, I have been making some very important life decisions and I am started to differentiate between the feelings produced by drinking and hangovers and how I actually feel.

A hangover can make me feel so bad I actually cannot see the point in living. It is physically damaging and mentally damaging in equal amounts.

Last week it took me until Wednesday to get back to normal after a hangover, and yet I still went out and drank heavily last night.

I am currently in counselling with an amazing man who understands me and my addictive nature because he has struggled with himself too.

He understands that no matter how much I want to change and improve or moderate, I can’t. If it involves a substance or a rush, I am helpless, weak and I want more.

The chemicals react with my brain and transform me into a monster. The monster leaves and a vulnerable, shameful, sick girl is left to pick up the pieces.

Sometimes picking up the pieces means lying in the dark, no food or water or clothes or sounds and clearing my head. Sleeping as long as possible so I don’t have to deal with consciousness.

I want more than anything to be able to drink normally, to be able to hold down a relationship, to change, to improve but my body won’t let me. Something has to give.

My counsellor used to work in prisons and met guys who when drunk hurt loved ones, or caused criminal damage. When they woke, they were in a cell and had no memory of doing the offences. They had to live with the fact that alcohol had changed their life for 7 – 10 years.

I said to my counsellor that the way I react to alcohol means that this circumstance could happen to me too. In fact when I drink, anything can happen.

I don’t know how to control it, but thinking about all these facts and in my new frame of mind to change, I need to formulate a plan. And the question to keep asking myself is ‘is drinking to be social actually worth it?’

Right now, it doesn’t feel like it.

Weakness

In Alcohol, Drink, Drinking, health, mental health, Sobriety, Uncategorized on May 4, 2014 at 8:09 pm

Well, this weekend I caved in, in so many ways.

I havent drank to excess, but I have drank.

Now that I have ‘relapsed’ my brain isn’t sure what to do because it didn’t go wrong…this time.

Im getting the same ideas about continuing to drink but limiting myself to weaker drinks or just three drinks in one go. I have a big social event next Saturday and I know there will be so much pressure to drink. How or why will I say no?

I am confused as to how to repair myself or in which way I should continue to live my life?

The reason I caved was this; an old old friend was drunk and decided to get in contact at 1am. We used to be very close but then he moved away and started a family. This weekend he came back and got drunk with some other people. He rang me at 1am for me to pick him up because he didn’t want to stay at our other friends house, he wanted to see me and chat.

I was wide awake and decided to see him. 

He got to my house and asked me for a drink; i had amaretto for baking in my baking cupboard. He poured a couple of glasses and asked me to drink with him. He told me about his troubles and we chatted for four hours.

I had work the next day and I felt horrendously tired all day. 

He also flicked his cigarettes into the next doors garden which burnt a whole in their trampoline. I feel very guilty.

I tried to help him, but I put him before me; seems to be a common theme. I end up paying for it too.

I wish I could assert myself all the time but I worry about the wrong peoples feelings instead of my own.

I have no idea why I should continue drinking but in the back of my head I think I would only drink to please others which is crazy but other people have that power over me.

I need to pull it together but I am struggling with my own weakness.

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.