Yesterday I had lunch with two of my oldest friends. We live in different parts of the country, all have busy lives, but we try to meet 2 -3 times a year for lunch. In the past these lunches has been boozy affairs, at times very boozy. Inevitably I would stagger out from the restaurant in the early evening, later than I had promised.I would struggle home, and breeze in, trying to appear sober(ish) – a charade that usually lasted about 30 minutes before I escaped upstairs to my bed. The next day – yes, hangover from hell, tired (poor quality sleep) irritable (guilt mostly) – another ‘bad day’.
When I stopped drinking in 2013/14 I did tell my friends what I had done, although we did not really discuss why I felt it was necessary. Obviously I lapsed back into drinking alcohol, which was noted but not discussed further.
Yesterday I made an excuse why I didn’t want any wine. I have really not told anyone. I wonder why ?
Is it shame ? I am ashamed that I have drunk so much in the past, I am ashamed of many things I have done. I am probably ashamed that I cant ‘moderate’; but I am NOT ashamed of my decision to be abstinent… so I don’t think it is shame that kept me quiet.
Is is denial ? That if I don’t tell people it might just be a ‘phase’ that I am going through. That somehow one day I will wake up and on THIS day I will be able to be a moderate drinker, and if I tell people I’m not drinking now, they wont believe me or understand when I say, in the future, that its all ok now… ? That’s bonkers thinking – and I know it.
Is it fear that I will fail again and I don’t want anyone else to know? Different from the above – I fail and start drinking again despite the knowledge that this is a very BAD IDEA. Then I have to face pity (and disapproval)
Actually I think the main issue is that I actually just don’t want to talk about it. I don’t want to discuss why I know I must not drink any more, and whilst I know these friend would respect that wish, I don’t want people thinking my alcohol problem is either worse than it was, or paradoxically that I’m overreacting.
I have realised that drawing attention to myself and my own problems is not something I feel comfortable with. Asking for help, IRL, is really hard for me – although I will be the first in the queue to offer it. One possible interpretation of ‘just not wanting to talk about it’ might be that I no longer want my relationship with alcohol to be a defining part of my life – and whilst that is true- for the moment it sadly is – hence this blog ! One day I hope that I will not drink as naturally as I don’t take drugs – but we are not there yet!
In one way I have reached out for help from the wider community by writing this blog, and by joining various sober websites, in another I am keeping my ‘battle’ completely private.. I am not sure that’s a good thing from the wider perspective.
What do others think ? To share – or not ?