When I started this blog, I never thought I would be readdressing my drinking.
I’d tried to quit before, many times, the first and longest stint was from Jan 2018 to March 2019. Everytime I fell back off the wagon I resigned myself to the fact that this was my life. I wasn’t a quitter – in regards to alcohol. I was going to have to bear this cross for the rest of my life. People who quit were just inherently better people than me. I didn’t have it in me to be better.
This isn’t true.
Sobriety isn’t going to be easy. I had a wonderful chat with a close friend last night, about our love/hate relationship with alcohol. I thought, yeah that’s it, love/hate relationship. I don’t need to go nuclear and pull the plug on this thing.
But I do. I’ve been doing lots and lots of reading the last 24hrs, around alcoholism. I tick all the boxes. Of course I do. I need to realise that this journey is about my relationship with alcohol. I can’t use other people’s relationship with the sauce to justify my problematic endeavours with it.
Did you know there are people who have never blacked out from drinking? Like, that’s not a normal thing. I can count on my fingers the times I haven’t blacked out from drinking; and that’s normally only because there wasn’t enough booze at my disposal.
Did you know waking up every morning with a deep sense of self-loathing and a plethora of damage control to tackle isn’t normal either? Huh. I mean, of course I knew. But did I really know. Or did I palm this off as what everyone’s hangover is like?
A brand-new fact for me: alcoholics tend to feel as old they were when they started drinking. I feel 14. I’m not even joking. I learnt this from Bryony Gordon’s book ‘Gloriously Rock Bottom.’ She was asked how old she felt, she said ’15, why, doesn’t everyone else still feel like a teenager?’ I agreed. Yeah, I still feel 14! (I’m 30) But…apparently not. Her therapist Peter informed her (and now me) that alcoholics tend to feel as old they were when they started drinking because we never emotionally matured past that age; it was how we dealt with life’s pains. We haven’t developed any coping mechanisms beyond alcohol or drugs. Any healthy coping mechanisms beyond alcohol or drugs that is.
So, yeah, I never thought I would be readdressing my drinking. Now that seems farcical to me. Both times I’ve been hospitalised for suicide attempts I was blackout drunk. The other times I was hospitalised for mental health crises I was blackout drunk. How can I think to further myself, better my mind, build a life that’s stronger without realising the detriment of my alcoholism?
I’m making a commitment to myself. A strong, hard, commitment. I am going to get sober. I am going to continue writing about it. I am going to commit to this blog, commit to the work I want to do around mental health. For me, this starts with excavating the shame I am inundated with. I need to resolve past traumas, as well as make peace with my past that’s riddle with shame, in order to look to the future.
I’ve got my first AA meeting at 5pm today. Wish me luck.