Skip to main content

Some kind of weirdo

So I've decided I need to change my life. I've been deciding this very slowly over the last few months. I drink too much. I am constantly conscious of it. And I'm as scared of quitting as I am of not quitting.

I lost a good friend to alcoholism last year. We'd lost touch because I found her too heavy to hold up. One of those friendships that you really want to maintain but know are going to be all consuming and I didn't feel like I had the time or energy. I feel like an absolute shitbag to be honest. Could I have hauled her out of her self-pitying alcohol soaked hole? Probably not. But I wish I'd tried harder.
Years past we'd drunk together. Wine nights while the kids played, camping trips made better with a can or 4 of Stella. But even in those moments where I thought her drinking was a level up from mine, I NEVER thought it would KILL her. Sure things got bad towards the end, but for most of the time I knew her it was weeknight evenings wine o'clock and weekend benders. Not a lot different to me. Or most of my friends. And therein lies the problem. 

My friend's death shook me. I want to put the brakes on before I slide into an inescapable haze and eventual demise. But isn't that just weird? Isn't stopping drinking like admitting to being an alcoholic? If I quit smoking I'd be congratulated. Even if I didn't smoke THAT much. But if I quit drink it makes me 

a) weird
b) melodramatic
c) an alcoholic
d) judgemental
e) boring 

So despite the fact that I've spent the day feeling crappy, grumpy and stressed due to the whole bottle of red I accidentally drank last night, and the fact that I've spent the day reading a book about quitting drink, and even bought in alcohol free beer, I'm off to drink prosecco with my lovely neighbour. Because what kind of weirdo says "no" to a sociable drink?
This is going to be more levels of tricky than I'd originally considered.

Comments

  1. Look at your reasons for wanting to stop drinking. Do you think that drinking wouldn't kill you as it did your friend? Is your drinking a coping strategy or are you hiding behind the bottle rather than tackling the issue? To truly be able to stop drinking, you have to be in the right head space.
    Take the time to look at yourself objectively and look at the pro's and cons of stopping drinking.
    Not drinking doesn't make you any of the things that you mentioned above. It makes you who you are. There are lots of non drinkers and they are not boring or anything else. They just choose to have their fun a different way. Good luck with your decision . x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm not sure if drink is a coping mechanism, boredom, habit or something else. Perhaps that will become clear over the days/weeks. Lots of people can take or leave it. I don't seem to find that easy so perhaps leaving it is the safer option. There aren't really any 'good' reasons to drink. We just make excuses because it takes the edge off and it's easier than not. We'll see how it's received but I'm feeling strong today.

      Delete
    2. You have to question why you are drinking and why you feel it is a problem. If you ARE drinking to take the edge of then I see that as a problem. If you ARE drinking to be more sociable/relax on a night out then I see that as a problem. You are using alcohol as a crutch to help you through life's problems and that is a problem. If you enjoy a glass of beer when you get home from work like you would enjoy a cup of tea when you get home from work and you gain the same satisfaction as a cup of tea then I don't see a problem. It's when you start needing something to get by that it becomes a dependency on that, be it drink, drugs etc.
      Can't argue with the perception that you are somehow strange if you don't drink though. That is a big issue in our society which promotes a "go out on a Friday, throw 10 pints down your neck in 3 hours with the aim of getting as drunk as possible" attitude. We need a culture change to sitting and enjoying a half of a decent tasting quality beer over a meal or chat with friends over a longer period than the binge drink lager culture. For every brand of beer pump on a bar, it should be compulsory to put a non-alcoholic version of the same thing next to it. That would help people who want to stop do so in our society.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Wobble in Whitley Bay

We're officially half way through the month. And I have a confession. I had a wobbly weekend. To be completely honest I knew before I started that this weekend was going to be the most likely point to fall off the wagon. I was staying with my dear friend Kate (t'other Kate) in Whitley Bay. We've been drinking together for close to 20 years (sorry mum!) and although we see each other pretty infrequently I adore her. Whenever we're together it's like we've never been apart.  I was so excited to spend time with her and her beautiful family. And yes, we should be able to hang out without the social lubricant of alcohol, and of course we can and do. But kicking back for the evening with your best friend is just a little incomplete without a glass of wine in hand. Not drinking felt like I was putting an expectation on Kate not to drink either, or to feel bad if she did. And when it's the last time we'll see each other this year, well to be honest, in the moment …

Getting Started

So here we are. I've managed to sign myself up for a month off the booze. It's gonna be a LONG month! I've spoken to 2 kinds of people about this. The "Oh my word, no chance that's crazy" types and the "I don't drink that much anyway" ones; a few of whom will say "if it's that difficult to go a month, maybe you have a problem" but I'm sure there are more that think it! I've fallen into the habit of drinking little and often. And sometimes lots and often... So this is definitely going to be a challenge! This morning, after a quiet night in with Les and Netflix I woke groggy. Eyes heavy, head light. Muscles aching for inexplicable reasons. I heard Sophie and her friend making pancakes (and a mess) downstairs. I should probably have gone to investigate and supervise. Instead I hunkered down in the hope that another hour of sleep would help, but was not surprised when it didn't. I've had a feeling for a while I nee…

First weekend - Done!

As expected the first weekend of Sober October has been HARD!

Friday night Matthew was out at a party and needed picking up at 10pm. It was a bit annoying not to be able to get settled for the evening but at least I wasn't hanging on waiting to pour my first Friday night wine.

I was proper morngy though. Les is definitely going to have had enough of me by the end of the month. I think it's partly because I know I'm not allowed it. Like if I was giving up chocolate I'd be craving it all the time, regardless of how much I normally eat.

So my rock and roll Friday night in looked like this...

Turns out Erdinger is pretty good. I mean it's no Pinot Grigio, but it is isotonic and vitamin rich! 
I can't believe how embedded alcohol is in so many areas of our lives, and I've only really noticed since I'm not allowed it. My favourite radio station is sponsored by Strongbow, Facebook is full of people out drinking or in drinking, TV, podcasts, films, adverts, all ful…