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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

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    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.

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