A large proportion of my drinking was spurred on by emotion. Whether it was happiness, sadness, excitement or feeling down, every time I drank I was hoping to either enhance the happiness or take away the sadness. It was an endless cycle that always gave a reason to drink.
In the past I would drink to make myself feel better about who I was. I had made myself believe that nobody could or would like me if I wasn’t drinking. I firmly believed that booze made me a better dancer, a better comedian and believe it or not, more intelligent. This is definitely not the case (particularly with the dancing) – I still don’t think I’ve had a sober dance yet. The comedian and the master debater was just the utter garbage that was going on in my head. Today, I can be myself and if I am funny or win a good old debate then it’s because I am me and not talking through drink and I can’t tell you what a nice validation that is for the person that I am now.
I always knew that if I was feeling nervous or uptight about anything in life then a drink would take it all away. If we were in debt (which we regularly were because of my drinking) after around two pints it was forgotten about and by the end of my third pint, I would start to work out how much money I had for more. My currency would change from pounds to pints so I wouldn’t have £2.80 in my pocket I had a pint in my pocket, this became obsessive to the point that I would even come up the road to see If I had any loose change to make it to the next pint. Even if I had enough for another 4 pints but was 25p short for the fifth I would head up the road to empty cupboards to find the 25p. Looking at it now, it’s absolute madness but at the time if I found the 25p it was like winning the lottery, it was very much my own warped normality.
On the golf course I started to drink as again it combatted the nerves. It started off with a can in the toilets before I started my round but progressed to two bottles of rose wine on my way around. I would tee off at 6.30 in the morning, usually still feeling the effects of the night before and by the time I reached the first hole I was so excited about getting that first slug of wine. I should also mention that I actually hated rose wine, but when it’s poured into a volvic bottle it looks convincingly like blackcurrant and water and made it very hard for anyone to suspect anything (or so I thought). Having asked the people I still play golf with today if they suspected, most of them said that they knew I was drinking (as I would start talking utter crap around the ninth hole).
Today my emotions are the biggest trigger for thinking about alcohol and the thing which might surprise people is that it’s happiness that causes the most problems. I think this is because when you’re sad you’re fully aware of why you’re sad and know that it’s a dangerous time, the ‘f**k it button is at fingers length away. Therefore, when I feel sad I’m super protective and will not do anything daft like head to a ‘wet place’ (pub) as I know for sure that a drink will solve everything. Happiness on the other hand is what I and I’m sure all of us want. However, in the past when I would feel elated about something, often the thought that popped into my head was ‘it would be magic to have a pint to celebrate’. The difference now is that I know that’s a lot of sh*t and that if I could have just one pint I would not be writing a blog called ‘undrunk’. Recently I had to get some help with dealing with happiness (how mad does that sound) as it was beginning to frighten me, and instead of embracing the feeling of joy I was suppressing it. I am glad to say that this has been rectified, but I will always be wary that happiness is in fact one of my biggest weaknesses.
I have so much going on just now which is all happy stuff so I am getting plenty of practice at it. I’ve had a big promotion in work and a have just bought a new house, but more about that soon.
Have a happy week