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10 weeks sober

In Alcohol, Drink, Uncategorized on November 14, 2016 at 8:31 am

I was 10 weeks sober yesterday. Just over 10 weeks ago I gave in to alcohol and had a gin and tonic after having been sober for just under a month.

The past 10 weeks have been a mix of really wanting to drink and also recognising how good it is to be sober again.

I had a break from AA meetings for just over a month and during that time I was struggling with my temptations the most.

I went back to AA a week ago and it felt good to be back. Listening to people pouring their heart out about being so drunk they smoked crack and soiled themselves is refreshing. One man explained that he is glad he has made these mistakes, that he can admit he isn’t perfect, because that is how he has met so many good people.

Deep down in my heart though, there is a part of me that just wishes to observe and not to really connect. I haven’t shared anything since my first meeting and I am have never said the words ‘I am an alcoholic’. Everyone at AA is much older than me and I think to myself ‘they are proper alcoholics’.

Perhaps I feel like a fraud?

One of the guys at AA said that it doesn’t matter how much you drink, how many times you drink or what you drink, you can be an alcoholic. And if you are an alcoholic that continues to drink it will never ever get better, it can and will get worse.

I hang onto this piece of advice when I experience temptation and hope that it will get me through that day without a drink.

On Friday night I went to my brothers house after a gym workout and a few people were there drinking beer and eating pizza. I met his new girlfriend too which was cool. They asked me to pick up some beer for them on the way over, which I didn’t mind doing.

They then suggested playing beer pong and the guys there all knew I wasn’t drinking, so when I played, someone else drank the beer for me.

I felt no need to join in with the drinking, which was great and refreshing. A little voice in my head occasionally rears its head and says ‘one small can of beer won’t hurt’ but the voice is getting so easy to ignore.

I just think of what alcohol does to and how I feel the next day;

Alcohol goes to my head and makes me needy. I want attention. I start feeling sorry for myself. I dance inappropriately, say offensive things, maybe even get aggressive. The worst part is that I have no idea to what extent because I blackout after not very many drinks. The loss of memory causes me to have a great deal of shame, anxiety and depression for the following days as well as experiencing a physical hangover (usually sickness).

The physical hangover usually also makes me buy junk food. So as well as consuming calories through alcohol, I am also eating more junk food.

Alcohol is also a poison which strips your body of hydration and nutrients which affects your immune system and your fitness (something I am currently working hard to improve).

When I am sat around everyone drinking I think to myself;

If I were to drink right now, I may do something silly.

If I stay sober, I can enjoy my night and not worry about embarrassing myself. I will be able to laugh at everyone else getting drunk.

One of the guys called me boring for not drinking and I said ‘How am I boring? I am staying up late with everyone, chatting to everyone and having a good time! The only difference is that I will be able to remember what I have done tomorrow, not feel like shit and I will be allot nicer than if I were to drink.’

I know he was joking but I wanted to make my point.

Too many people rely on alcohol as a social crutch. Too many people assume the only way to have fun is to be off your face but that just isn’t true.

Every time I hang out with people and have a very nice time and do a lot of laughing I remind myself that life is still fun without drink. I remind myself that I am not boring, I can be funny and enjoy myself. It just takes a while to adjust.

A lady at AA told me that AA is way more than just stopping drinking. At the moment, I am not sure what that means. Obviously it relates to the steps, but I haven’t experienced that shift in my mind. Maybe these past 10 weeks have been about acceptance. Perhaps I have finally accepted and now I am ready to tackle the things that follow sobriety.

Hopefully as time goes on, things will start making more sense.

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No Pink Cloud

In Uncategorized on September 2, 2016 at 4:50 pm

Last time I properly gave up drinking, I felt a radiant positivity about it.

I felt a sense of achievement about staying in on the weekend and waking up fresh.

This time, I don’t have that.

This time it feels like work. I am reminding myself constantly why I dont drink. I am re-reading old posts and focussing on the last time I drank allot.

I have been to an AA meeting and I am nearly three weeks sober.

I am going to have to get through my dad’s 50th party sober whilst everyone gets very drunk this weekend.

I rang a lady I met from AA last night for a chat to tell her this and she reminded me that nothing good comes from getting drunk.

I am bored, lonely and craving excitement. I don’t know how to achieve this at the moment.

I want the newly sober pink cloud feeling back. I want to feel healthy and positive and strong.

Perhaps its a good thing that I dont have the pink cloud though. Maybe if I struggle through, there will be no dip the other side.

I hope this gets easier.

For now, I just have to carry myself, sludge on and use all resources available to keep myself sober.

Drunk and Inappropriate

In Uncategorized on September 2, 2016 at 12:02 pm

I went to see a career coach yesterday.

She is a well educated lady with psychology degrees, a husband, a child, a nice house in a nice neighbourhood, with lots of nice friends.

When I go to see her, she spends a lot of time telling me about her life, which I find fascinating.

The village she lives in is a big one and it sounds like most people socialise together.

She was telling me about the parties they have and how some people get invited and others don’t.

She said she feels bad for people when they don’t get invited as she hates to think that people will feel upset about feeling left out.

However, she did mention one person who she does intentionally leave out; her neighbour who gets too drunk and behaves inappropriately at parties.

I sat their grimacing with her ‘oh no, she dooesnt, does she?’

But in my brain I was screaming ‘Oh shit, I am the drunk and inappropriate neighbour’

Yesterday at work, I was getting pressure from colleagues to drink this weekend at my dads 50th birthday.

Even though I know I shouldn’t drink, the pressure is sometimes hard to deal with.

Hearing about this ladies drunk and inappropriate neighbour being left out from parties was a wake up call that I needed.

Although I have a deep sadness for this ladies neighbour, it also made me realise that people don’t understand drinking problems and they will judge and ostracise you for having one. And that is part of learning you have a problem and wanting to do something about it.

I think part of the reason I am single is because of how I behave when I am drunk.

I can be angry, upset, happy, aggressive, aloof, unfriendly and promiscuous.

Who willingly wants to put up with a grown woman who cant handle themselves?

It isn’t in most peoples nature to deal with behaviours in others that they don’t agree with or cant understand.

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)

 

 

 

 

Love

In Uncategorized on February 25, 2016 at 10:24 pm

Love is a Netflix series in which Gillian Jacobs plays a lady with drug, alcohol and sex and love addiction.

I watched it thinking wow this lady is a messed up narcissist who needs to grow up.

Then I continued watching it and realised I recognised her in myself.

i have been drinking again and I have been blackout drunk within the last week.

i have also got in touch with my ex and have arranged to meet him.

i almost went to an AA meeting and then bottled it.

maybe my addictions run deeper than alcohol. Maybe I am scared of who I am and facing up to it.

maybe I am too open and set myself up to fail everytime I open my mouth.

maybe I should just deal with everything alone and hope it works.

i want someone to tell me I need help and to stop drinking or I will die during a blackout. I want someone to tell me that I am capable of never drinking again and that just because I have failed over ten times before, it’s okay to keep trying.

its okay that all my friends drinks and I no longer want to.

 

someone please tell me this.

It’s a new dawn, It’s a new day.

In Uncategorized on December 9, 2014 at 8:50 pm

I am in the midst of week 21 of sobriety and I am reflecting on how far I have come, not just in maintaining my sobriety, but as a person.

Typically, I have been to known to focus on wanting rather than to focus on what I have got.

I was desperate to reach the ‘one year sober’ milestone.

I wanted to reveal a big transformation as if I were some sort of celebrity.

I was of low self esteem and yet of high importance in my own mind.

Poor me. I don’t have this, I don’t have that.

I am not fully recovered of this infliction called self pity and self isolating but I am learning to recognise it and understand that it needs to change.

I am not sure how these changes have started to happen; is sobriety the main healer, could it be the therapy I go to, the boxing classes I have started taking or a combination of everything?

A year ago I was a scared girl. I knew I had to give up drinking but I knew it meant sacrificing my social life and separating from those I considered friends.

I wondered how I would ever find love or love myself.

I wanted and expected much more than I was getting from life.

A year on and I feel as a fog is starting to clear and I am starting to feel and see what is really happening. Cliche I know, but hear me out.

I am a fortunate person for many reasons; I have no financial problems, I have no major health worries and I do have people in my life who care about me.

I am also beginning to realise that alcoholism is also my blessing.

I see alcoholism or a form of it in most of my family members. Some work too hard, some surround themselves with material things and fake friends, some think nothing about anything except for themselves. I am all of those people and I am caring and kind and sensitive. The alcoholism is my destructive, out of control side which allows me to become a monster.

I see the monster in other people, but I know the difference between my monstrosities and theirs. I have told myself that I have a problem and accepted it, whole heartedly.

And when I admitted alcoholism I felt vulnerable, ashamed, guilty and afraid but I worked through it.

I still see so many people in denial and I desperately want to help.

Now that I am out of the painful, shameful part of sobriety, I feel alive.

Being alive is not always good, being alive is experiencing and feeling everything. And dealing with everything. There is no substance or self destructive activity to distract yourself with. But you cope and you get stronger each day you don’t rely on anything but yourself.

There have been times after some of my worst drinking binges; I lay naked, starving, dehydrated, depressed and ill. I lay for hours, sometimes days and I couldn’t move. I looked in the mirror and I saw nothing I liked. I went to work and thought everyone hated me. I thought my friends pitied me and my family despaired of me. Sometimes, I couldn’t see a way out or amy way in which life could improve. I desperately wanted someone to tell me I was an alcoholic but I knew I wouldn’t have accepted it from anyone other than someone who was an alcoholic.

All I can say to anyone who thinks they may have a drinking problem is that you probably do and the truth is the only thing that can set you free. Once you know and accept the truth and you live each day knowing you are sick and not a shameful person, that you are ill and not a bad person, things can and will get better.

You will struggle and you won’t feel the positives for a while. You will want everything to happen instantaneously, because its in an alcoholics nature to be impatient.

You will pity yourself and ask ‘why me?’

And then you will realise that despite having an illness you also have a unique opportunity to start again. To learn to live without crutches, to open yourself up to the world and all it has to offer, to try new things, to meet new people, to become a new person.

You will feel awakened.

self pity city

In Uncategorized on September 5, 2014 at 10:45 pm

The smiths are playing.

Empty meaningless tears are stinging my cheeks.

The only texts I got today were ones from a pizza company and from the guy I am seeing to tell me he no longer has time to commit to a relationship.

I am googling puppies because maybe a dog will fill this void.

I have my house on the market but I don’t know what I want after I have sold it.

Work feels stressful and pointless, but its the only constructive thing I have, the only real talking point in my life.

Friends are busy with boyfriends, and all but one of them live miles away, places I cannot afford to get to.

Everyone else socialises with a drink in their hand, something I excluded myself from in order to curb my dink problem, in order to stop sabotaging my social interactions with others.

Ironically by preventing social sabotage it means having to socially disconnect.

I know in the long run, this is the best course of action.

I am on the right path and everything happens for a reason.

There will always be pain involved, in everything.

The right thing will happen.

Or maybe I should just buy a cute little dog? I really want a dog.

And I do really love the smiths.

One day at a time.

(almost 6 weeks sober!!)

sobering or so boring?

In Uncategorized on August 17, 2014 at 9:01 am

3 weeks sober today!

Its a little mile stone but I am still feeling very positive and relaxed. I have got a long climb until I feel confident in my non drinking but I m ready to climb and commit.

Yesterday I went to see my counsellor and told him the good news; I have accepted I have a problem and I am doing something about it. And this time around I don’t feel a sense of anxiety, i feel determination.

His words of advice were that the first year of sobriety is the hardest. I should know because of the 5 times I have tried to quit prior to this, I have always failed around the two month mark.

He also said that the decision I have made is a life changing one and should be fully committed to. It’s okay to avoid situations where there are extreme amounts of pressure to drink, you may have to explore other avenues of entertaining yourself whilst sobriety is still new and avoiding any situations where big amounts of stress is involved.

He has worked in a lot of rehab centres and he said that when people first go sober they are advised not to be in a relationship for the first year and to put themselves first.

It suddenly dawned on me how seriously you have to take it.

In the past I have always attempted to make a change but tried to continue my normal social life; I won’t drink but I will still go clubbing, still go to the pub, still go to parties and be surrounded by drinking games.

I don’t know how I expected to quit; but maybe subconsciously, I never actually wanted to quit.

Since I haven’t drank this time around I haven’t had any cravings to drink. I have felt alive, fresh and in control of myself. I listen to a good tune in my car and feel the same ecstasy as if I were slightly intoxicated. I go to the gym and eat healthily and feel a sense of pride that I am making a positive change to my body.

Last night my brother threw a house warming party. I turned up and gave him a bottle of wine I wanted to get rid of. (I have decided to clear my house of alcohol…I won’t even use any for baking!)

On arrival everyone was playing drinking games. I stayed to chat to people for maybe 20 minutes and then somebody asked me to join in beer pong. I declined their offer and decided I had to make a plan.

The old me would not have wanted to miss out on a party, but the new, realistic me decided that this was a danger zone. I made my excuses and me and a friend went for a meal instead.

After the meal, I got invited back to the party. Again, a surge of temptation washed through me. SHould I go? It may be nice to see people, meet my brothers new girlfriend perhaps?

Then I remembered; they would all be drunk and I would be sober. They would all wonder why I wasn’t drinking. I didn’t want to unnecessarily put myself in that position. I was also messaging someone from the party who had asked me to return. I said ‘Im not drinking at the moment so perhaps it would be a little awkward for me to be around everyone who’s drunk’ and his response was ‘bore off’.

Thats all I needed. That little reminder.

When you don’t drink, you are viewed as boring. I understand this because I once was the pushy drinker who wanted everyone to get as drunk as me because thats all I knew as good fun.

I decided to stay at home and be ‘boring’.

But boring means that I didn’t do anything potentially life ruining, I haven’t woken up with a self inflicted illness or self inflicted anxiety or depression. I have had a nice cafetiere coffee, watched my baking programme and now I have a whole day to work on my house.

If thats boring, then I like being boring.

One day at a time.

A trip to remember

In Uncategorized on August 10, 2014 at 8:55 am

2 weeks sober.

This weekend saw my dad and I go on our first trip together.

Just as some background information to this; this is a big step. My dad and I don’t hang out much or have much to say to each other.

Recently I wrote him a very honest email (only way to contact him) and instead of making the email about our relationship, I made it about me and my flaws and why I behave the way I do. My dad has a lot of pride and can’t take any criticism, so if he got any hint of ‘you weren’t there for me as a father’ he wouldn’t have taken it in the way he did.

Since the email things have improved. I feel a whole lot calmer around him and I feel as though I have laid my flaws out so that they can no longer be held against me and I have vowed to start making small improvements.

Anyway, getting back to the trip. We drove to Germany in a group of car lovers to a race track. Most of the trip was spent travelling.

On the first day we ate at the most wonderful restaurant where they served champagne on arrival (successfully avoided it) and then wine with every course and the waiter poured mine without asking, which usually I would find charming but this made me slightly awkward.

My dad sat next to me and said ‘you have to try the wine, this is not wine that you find anywhere else, it is very special wine’

So I took one sip politely. And didn’t have anymore.

I feel as though I gave in, but admittedly it was very nice wine and I only had a sip.

At dinner I ordered sparkling water and the french lady asked me if I wanted ANYTHING else; espresso martini, gin and tonic, amaretto? whatever I wanted, she could get me. I politely declined and she assumed that it was because I was with my dad. I didn’t agree or disagree. Let people assume, it saves making up an excuse.

The man who sat with us was less assuming. He LOVED his red wine. Dad made me take a sip again, as once again it was very special wine. Even as a non drinker, I could appreciate the quality, but the thought of having more scared me. I looked around at everyone getting drunk. The conversation got more and more self indulgent as peoples confidence increased. I remained the same, and the fact that I wasn’t losing control of myself made me feel very calm and at ease (for once).

My dad stepped out for five minutes and left me and the heavy wine drinker alone.

‘You’re too sensible for a 24 year old, you’re too calm’

I laughed at him. If only he knew. It took me a while to reply because I knew this was a slight goad. The underlying message was either that he wanted me to relax onto his level or he was curious as to how a person could evert self control in this excessive, exuberant environment.

‘I didn’t used to be’ was my reply and I smiled a smile only someone who had made endless amounts of mistakes and was now making a change could smile.

We went on to discuss other things such as university and wild people. It was nice to be on a level with a commercial director of a luxury brand of cars. It was proof to me that everyone is human after all.

I told my dad the next day about my discussion with the man. It was a way to try and broach deeper subjects (mainly our email exchange), I threw him a conversational branch by saying ‘he thought I was calm, isn’t that funny? I remember a time when I was so irrational! If only he knew, eh?’

My dad didn’t find this so funny, and he didn’t take the bait in the way I wanted.

He just talked about how to change your life is to properly plan for everything and being in the right frame of mind. He was so vague and irritating.

He was almost lecturing me without acknowledgement of the fact that I hadn’t drank, that I had become a lot calmer and I was making these positive changes. In the mean time he proceeded to get terrible road rage, was speeding (which he tells me off for) and he drank too much the night before, despite having a full day planned the next day.

He was telling me how to live my life as he continued to make mistakes. He bases his measure of success on what car you drive, how much money you make and how well you continue through life without admitting to having problems. As far as he is concerned he doesn’t have any form of weakness.

And yet here he has a daughter who struggles to control her drink and his answer is ‘you don’t have a problem, just don’t drink shots.’

A daughter who admitted her character flaws and makes a big effort to improve and he tells her that in order to improve problems is to pre plan.

I don’t hold this against him anymore. I just accepted that we had our first trip away together and I have let go of wanting a normal dad and instead I will pat myself on the back and reap the rewards that I can give myself from making changes and not drinking.

One day at a time.