Over the past few days I have been thinking a lot about my drinking and how bad things became towards the end. For me, alcohol has always been a crutch when I have been struggling. I don’t think I have ever had a healthy relationship with alcohol. Even when I was 15 I was always the one who got the most drunk and did the most embarrassing things. That continued throughout my 20’s and 30’s. I cringe at the memories of all those weddings, parties and evenings out I spoilt by getting so drunk I passed out. Poor Mr So must have been so embarrassed when again and again I made a fool of myself. I also feel sad about all the invitations I declined because I couldn’t trust myself to drink in public.
It is often said that a problem drinker has to hit “rock bottom” before they finally get sober. For a while I used this as an excuse not to stop drinking. After all I was still way off from rock bottom so I didn’t really have a problem, I told myself over and over.
In my heart though, I knew I was heading there at breakneck speed. I had had periods of really excessive drinking in the past but this time was different. For me, the point at which everything changed is easy to pinpoint. I was working at home and I began to feel really anxious. I only had one diazepam left so I decided it would be a good idea to take that along with the half a bottle of wine in the fridge, to calm my nerves. That was the first time I had had a drink in the daytime and the only time I had a drink while at work. I knew that potentially I could lose my job.
After that followed some more drinking firsts. I started hiding bottles and going to endless lengths to dispose of them. As I was drinking at least a bottle of wine a night I must have been over the limit to drive the following morning. Driving drunk had always been an absolute no. But now even my fundamental values were being completely destroyed by drinking.
I knew I was sailing very close to the wind and it was only a matter of time before something terrible happened and rock bottom became reality.
That’s when I stopped. I slammed on the brakes at the very last minute. I am certain that if I hadn’t, I would be in a very different position today. When I think about that and how close I came I feel scared. But even more I feel proud I had the strength and wherewithal to see where I was heading and to stop. I might have left it a bit late but as the saying goes “better late than never”. Never doesn’t bear thinking about.