SoberMe

My Not So Secret Diary

Daily drinking

When I was drinking every day I thought I had everything under control. I thought that on the outside everything was fine. I knew that I was anxious, I knew that I panicked about things, but I thought if I put up a strong outer shell not one would see the vulnerabilities underneath. If I could just make it through each day, at the end I would be rewarded with that magical glass of wine. I relaxed the minute I poured it. I knew then that I could relax.

Throughout the day I was always on edge. It was like being on a state of high-alert all the time. It was exhausting. I’m not sure what I expected to happen, I just felt that something might. The more I felt like this, the more I put into place to control things. I created habits of things that needed to be done to make sure I felt in control. I couldn’t sit and relax, it was impossible for me. I felt like I had to be doing all the time, or people would thing I was lazy. It was almost physically uncomfortable for me to be still. Even on a Sunday afternoon, when there was nothing to do, I felt I should be doing something. It was hard, and as much as I know my behaviour could irritate, I just couldn’t do anything about it at the time.

In the daytime, I was busy too. I’d get up and hoover the house, I had to leave it clean before taking the kids to school and going to work. There’s nothing wrong with tidying, but I couldn’t even leave a glass on the side, the dishwasher had to be loaded and on. When I got home in the evenings it was homework, dinner and anything else that needed to be done as quickly as I could. I knew that once everything was done it would be ‘okay’ for me to have a drink. Not much got done after that you see, well it did in the early days, but as time went on, and my tolerance grew, I drank more, and then spent most of my evening on the sofa in front of the telly.

I had intentions of doing so much more, I often wanted to. I had plans for things I wanted to achieve, it was just that after I’d ticked off all the things on my list, the lure of the bottle became too strong and generally won. So much so that I didn’t like to go out in the evenings anymore. I didn’t like to do anything that could hinder my plans, which just involved getting the day done so I could be at home with a glass of wine.

The realisation of my reliance on wine was one of the reasons I wanted to stop drinking. The problem was, that I was terrified of admitting I had a problem. I knew that once I admitted to it, I’d have to stop drinking, and I had no idea how I would cope without it. It took the edge off and made things seem easier, until the end when I realised it was just making everything worse.

Removing alcohol was the best thing I’ve ever done, but it was challenging and made me face my fears and my anxiety head on. There was no buffer anymore, and unfortunately it made all the difference and my panic attacks got worse, and so frequent I’d avoid simple things, for fear that I wouldn’t cope. I put many avoidance strategies in place to cope, to try to get through without admitting how hard everything was. It has taken three years of hard work to get to where I am now, but I am so glad I chose this path. Difficult or not, it is so worth the fight.


As always, thank you for reading.


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