Since I have decided that my drinking days are over I have confided in only a few people. Last time I stopped drinking I told a few more – and a common response was surprise that I should feel the need to stop drinking completely. I guess I hid the full extent of my consumption quite well. But surprise, and suggestions that I could ‘just have one’ or ‘keep or to the weekends’, just remind me that whilst I may appear to others to be successful and in control, the reality was somewhat different.
In my line of work I have seen many people who drink too much. For the last 20 years or so, I have comforted myself with the thought that I am ‘not as bad as them’ ; Now I add “yet” on to the end of that sentence.
‘Not as bad as others.. Yet’ .. I have not been in trouble with the law, have not lost my job, children or relationships through alcohol YET; my health has not broken down, YET…
But I saw how close the line was between NOW when things were ok, and one small error – when the whole house of cards could come tumbling down.
I had ‘only’ been drinking 60 -70 units a week. That’s quite light compared with some – and I have fooled / deluded myself with that knowledge ….
In reality – ONLY ??? what the fuck – that is 5 x the recommended limits – and it WAS impacting negatively on MY life. I had missed work due to drinking in the last year – ok, only once – but countless more days I had been below standard, irritable and performed poorly because I have been hungover …. The impact on family time has been more nebulous, and is the subject of an alternative blog post I think.
It was time to stop. While I am my family are still intact.
I have told only my partner that I intend never to drink again. I don’t know why I am reticent – it may be predominantly that I am ashamed to admit my alcohol dependence. It maybe because normal people – you know those who don’t drink because they don’t like the taste – don’t really talk about it. It may be because it’s personal, and the decision is private… I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s because once you tell people there us no way back … You can’t exactly say one day ” ok I’ve stopped drinking because I recognised I had a problem ” , and then be seen waving a bottle of sav blanc the next can you !
So for today I am thankful I have been granted the strength to quit before it was too late…” Not as bad as others yet” – and hopefully now, never.