If there’s one thing that people talk to me about knowing I’m an alcoholic it’s usually their own drinking or someone they know who’s drinking too much. There are a lot of people out there who like a drink but are not alcoholics, they can go home after a night out and have a cup of tea or juice (I always found this bizarre) but still wake up with a stinker of a hangover. Importantly, however, they don’t crave another drink.
When I woke up with a hangover, my first thought was always ‘when is the pub open?’ and do I have enough money to sustain another day’s worth of drinking. There are also people who don’t drink during the week but as soon as the weekend starts, they can’t stop. In my experience you don’t have to drink every day to be an alcoholic, and that’s where a lot of people kid themselves. With me, as soon as I started the only way I was stopping was if I ran out of money or fell asleep.
The horrible thing about alcoholism is that generally you need to be on your arse or in a very bad way to reach out for help as help takes away the one thing that’s been making everything better. I used to celebrate drink staying down, that’s how bad things had got. Usually I would throw up very quickly but if it stayed down I knew I’d be getting drunk – happy days!
I also remember being drunk in anticipation of drinking, even today if I really pushed myself to think about drinking I know deep down there would be a lingering excitement hidden away somewhere. That may surprise some of you, but the truth is I didn’t just wake up one day and decide to stop drinking. There were years of self inflicted heartache and suicide attempts before I eventually stopped, so my point to people is always save yourself those years and get help as soon as possible. It’s so important to me that people learn from my mistakes.
I am often asked how I did it, but a more important question would be ‘why’ I did it. The answer is, I did it for me. The reason I did it for me, was not only to save my life but because if I did it for the family or Mrs W then I’d start to resent them when in truth they’re all I’ve ever needed. Life is very simple now, I don’t think too far ahead and I live each day as it comes. I’m very strict with certain areas of my life, it can be a little tedious at times but ultimately it keeps me on the straight and narrow. Food for example, no wine or whiskey sauces on it (which means a number of my favourite foods are out) – thankfully wine gums are okay!
Ultimately I live in a world where my sobriety comes before everything else and that includes Mrs W and the family as without my sobriety, they simply wouldn’t be in my life anymore. It’s okay to make mistakes, that’s how we grow, so long as they don’t involve alcohol and they aren’t repeated over and over again. I’ve learnt some really harsh lessons in my life but through blogging and helping others at least some positivity can be taken from.
Have a fantastic week ahead everyone.