Why do you drink so much?
It’s a fair question and one I was asked more than a few times, back when I used to drink. I always laughed it off, and more importantly, I always had a good reason. Here’s a few of some of the many reasons I used to use, there were more, but these are the first ones that came to mind.
- The sun is shining.
- I want to relax.
- It’s been a hard day.
- It’s the weekend.
- It’s a holiday.
- We’re going out.
- We are out.
- We’ve been out.
- We’ve got friends coming round.
- It’s nice to have a few drinks with dinner.
- It’s nice to have a few drinks after dinner/with a film/in the garden.
- I want a glass of wine to ‘relax’ with in my bath.
You see, no matter what, I had a reason. The thing is, that these reasons merged together and rolled into one, so it became more about getting a drink in the end, rather than needing a reason to have one. Everything began to revolve around wine, so slowly at first that I didn’t see the addiction creeping up on me. Not until it was too late. Fun times meant a drink, but so did sad times, or busy times, or relaxing times, in fact, it became that there wasn’t a time without a drink in the evening. It was then that I realised I was relying on it, that I no longer wanted it, but needed it, but by then, I didn’t know how I was going to live without it.
When I think back to why I even started drinking in the first place, I think there an element in the beginning, or when I was younger, that I wanted to fit in, and to be cool. I don’t know any of those people now that I wanted to fit in with then, so that was a waste of time!
The thought of trying to live life without wine was a strange concept to me. It seemed like something impossible. I just couldn’t imagine a life completely without it, but cutting down just didn’t work, however many times I tried. I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to have fun or relax, and I’d lost touch in a lot of ways with myself. I remember watching an episode of Grand Designs when I was on one of my attempts at giving up, and I was astounded by the house. It was beautiful, and I for a moment dreamed of living somewhere like it. The problem was, when I envisaged a life in a home like that, cooking dinner involved having wine in my hand, and the moment I couldn’t see that, the dream fizzled away.
Replacing something that has such a hold on you and plays such a leading role in your life is difficult and I found the easiest way to quit was to do it one day at a time. I didn’t want to think about the bigger picture, because I just couldn’t see it. So instead, I just took it slowly and tried not to rush and gradually I got there. But it was like reinventing myself.
I like being responsible for my actions now. I mean, I know I was before, but now, I can’t blame alcohol for a comment I’ve made, and neither can anyone else. I’m more measured in my actions and my reactions and a lot more laid back. Little things don’t escalate in the same way they did before, and I can take a step back and evaluate before rushing in head first and then regretting it. It’s not been an easy road by any means, but it is amazing to think I am coming out the other side of it now, and that things finally are becoming easier.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect, I still get anxious and I still get a little bit of wine glass envy from time to time, but that is all it is now. Soon I remember the need for more, the fuzziness, the headaches, the pretending I was okay when I wasn’t, and all the rest of it and I know that I am in a far better place now.
If you’re on the same path, good luck to you and take care. Remember, things do get easier in the end.