29 November 2020
It’s scary to come to realise you've become reliant on something. It's often the way that once you realise or at least begin to wonder if you're dependent, that it's almost a bit late. I don't mean that in a doom and gloom way, just in a it's hard to unpick and sort yourself out sort of way.
Any form of dependency is hard to overcome but it can be even harder when your reliance is a socially acceptable one like drinking wine. Then, rather than just overcoming something you feel like you're swimming upstream against the tide. It can make you feel you're wrong for wanting to try to change. It can make you feel different and undermine your resolve and self confidence.
I see a lot of jokes online about drinking. I get it, it can be a funny subject, but sometimes for a lot of us, it can also be a little bit too close for comfort. It can feel like we're being laughed at, or worse that we're wrong for being the way we are. It can make us feel we’re maybe over-reacting about our problems. Worst of all, it can perhaps make us feel we're missing out by not drinking.
God knows, I didn't need or want any help in having a reason to drink, but it's almost impossible to miss those triggers when they're everywhere we look. Please don’t think I’m saying people that drink should temper their behaviour for me, because I’m not. However, I do feel something needs to change. I don't like the fact that drinking is advertised as a prime way to relax or to enjoy yourself. It makes it harder for people like me with no off switch to feel like we're part of things. I don't like the whole ‘Mum’ culture of wine either. Again, I know a lot of people, mothers included, enjoy a drink in the evening, but it shouldn't be pushed as a way to soothe the troubles of the day. Otherwise, before long we're drinking more than is good for us, too often and perhaps are beginning to lose touch with our thoughts and emotions and that’s a slippery slope. I know, because I speak from experience.
Once wine, or any other form of alcohol has infiltrated your life and planted it's feet firmly under the table it can be hard to learn to live without it, to cope without it. We begin to rely on the glass of something to help us take the edge off. That's where the trouble really begins. It doesn't happen overnight, it’s slower and cleverer than that. It creeps up on you, one sip at a time so you don't see it coming. Until of course one day you do, and when you do, you have much harder work to find your way back to that peaceful state of equilibrium. But you can. You can learn to live alcohol free without the reliance or something external to keep you calm. I know because I did. Not on the first go or the second and it was hard, don’t get me wrong, but now I can safely say I'm not missing out. I have a clear mind and I know tomorrow I'll remember the things I've said. I won't have to check my phone in a panic to see if I've posted anything that might be embarrassing. I won't wake up with a hangover either. I won't need to make an excuse to go to the shops to buy more wine even though what I had already bought should have lasted me days.
There are so many positives that it can be hard to remember them all at once, I suppose for me the biggest thing is that once I looked on a life without wine as dull and boring. Instead now I see it for what it really is. Freedom.
Take care and thank you as always for reading.
Stories are made to be told. It doesn't matter if they're told by word of mouth, in books, if they’re new or old, each has a reason, a lesson to teach us or something for us to gain.
Even the simplest stories have a reason, a purpose if you will. Seldom is a story told for simple enjoyment, although of course that features too.
They're a way of passing our knowledge, experiences and understanding down to others
While we can't learn from the experiences of others or expect people to learn from ours, we can try to take on board this additional information and use it to our advantage.
I share my stories with you for the same reason. I learn about myself through writing.
I unpick and work out things I hadn't considered before and by sharing it, I hope it helps others.
I’ve learned a lot from the experiences of others too. Of course they couldn't fix things for me, but they made me feel less alone and more understood. Of course, at the end of it all, it showed me that there was hope.
Stories connect us, they help us find like minded people, in my case, a sober tribe of warriors who have challenged not only their own demons but also the expectations of society. Not only that but they're found a better happier way to live too.
It’s tricky trying something new, working yourself out and finding out where you fit in the world when it hasn't changed, but you have. Connecting helps. It doesn't always have to be in person, the written word can be powerful and is a great tool for recovery.
So share your stories. Listen to others and learn. Who knows what you might find out?