This Post is for YOU
This post is for anyone experiencing or considering day one of freedom from alcohol (or the early days at least).
When I say day one, what I really mean is your millionth day one (or at least it feels like your millionth and probably is your 100th at least). This post is for those of us who want to leave behind nightly interrupted sleep, leave behind waking up in the morning to feel just guilt and remorse for drinking what may have been just a glass or so the prior evening, those of us who still get up for work and carry on as normal, who go shopping for groceries, collect kids from school, lead ostensibly ‘normal’ lives, but for whom something isn’t quite right.
This is for those of us who already know that an ‘alcoholic’ isn’t necessarily a tramp on a park bench or a celebrity checking into rehab, those of us who even question the term ‘alcoholic’, those of us who wouldn’t dream of cracking open the wine before 6pm, who have never lost a job over booze, never pee’d in public, driven under the influence, had a drunken fist fight, stolen the Christmas club money to pay for sherry, punched a cat or (knowingly) had a threesome when drunk. This is for those of us who can do wild and mad things when drunk – and we do get drunk – but who turn those escapades into anecdotes to retell our friends, because that’s just who we are, who we’ve always been, what we do, the way we roll.
This is aimed at those of us who may have done a booze free stint before, are educated in what is required. Those of us who know who the sobriety world ‘celebs’ are and have read the ‘set texts’, who are so familiar with the works of Annie Grace, Allen Carr and Jason Vale that we could tackle it as our specialist subject on Mastermind.
We may even have been to an AA meeting before but we felt like a fraud as we are nowhere near ‘that bad’ (whatever ‘that bad’ is) and who upon hearing the tales of true desperation and hardship from world weary alcoholics, notched another chink in our armour of “that’s not me.” Those of us for whom the world of AA is a million miles from our public lives, who can’t go to meetings as we’ve jobs with irregular hours, partners who won’t entertain we have a problem, kids needing help with homework – oh, and a pandemic to contend with. Those of us for whom sharing our battle with the booze, sitting at home, on a video exchange, exposed to the ears of our loved ones, would leave us so desperate to drown in our own pool of cringe and embarrassment that it’s not even an option. It’s for those of us who quite possibly aren’t ever going to be ready to admit our problem “out loud” as things on the outside just don’t seem that bad and our family and friends would if anything, be a bit bemused by our decision to quit drinking.
This post is for those of us who understand that we are not physically addicted to our poison of choice but that for whatever reason, we still have a psychological affiliation.
If you’ve ever made a “Drinking Charter” that looks something like this:
- Don’t Drink on a work night
- Don’t drink to get drunk
- No more than two drinks in any session
- Don’t drink before 5pm
- Don’t drink alone
If you’ve ever made deals with yourself that look that this, then this post is for you, because let’s face it, if you were setting rules around consuming anything other than alcohol in that way – let’s say bananas for example, you’d question your banana relationship (and possibly check yourself into banana counselling).
If you have spent the last days, weeks, months, years even, thinking about your relationship with booze, have the shelves full of sobriety reads, have the sober contacts collecting like Pokemon in your phone, have the anecdotes, have the sleepless nights, have the slow, dawning realisation that time is slipping away and the youth that you thought would shield you from danger and give you time is ebbing away, have the missed opportunities and the stagnant career, the inertia to change your life and soul-destroying constant theme tune of danger of a wasted life playing endlessly in your mind….this post is for you.
Let me make something clear, I am not on day one or even week or month one (to clarify, I’m a couple of months in) but I am still all of the above. I am not an expert in addiction, just someone who has experienced the discomfort of using alcohol inappropriately. After reading something today and getting a ton of feedback I see that there are lots of us in this situation: carrying on the battle each day, reading the literature and seeing how it can work – but possibly not actually doing the work. What I intend to do over the next few weeks is share my own work and if that helps – then those posts will be for you.