I stopped drinking 18 days ago. For me drinking had become an addiction. There was no way I could pretend that I was in control of the beast anymore. I hadn’t been in denial for a long time. Probably years. I knew it was out of control and I knew I would stop. The actual act of stopping was far harder than it sounded. Every couple of months I would decide that I wasn’t going to drink that week, that I would allow myself a bottle in the weekends (wine was my poison). Inevitably I would white knuckle it through one day, maybe two. Teeth gritting with discomfort the whole way. Then it was back on. A bottle a day, every day. Sometimes on the weekend I would allow myself a bottle of cider as well. I would wake up with a heavy head, energy sapped, joints aching. Limping my way through work and family life.
I was tired physically and mentally. For my last few months of drinking there was a voice in my head telling me every time I opened a bottle “this isn’t working, it doesn’t work anymore”. And it didn’t. A whole bottle of wine didn’t even take the edge off. Although all my emotions were dulled I had stopped getting that light relief or high that alcohol had given me. My brain wanted more to get that same feeling. I knew I was standing on a cliff. Either I could turn back and embrace my family, my career and myself or I could jump off and drown in the alcohol. I chose to back away from the cliff. It’s early days. This could go either way. I feel ecstatic that I am on this path but I know I need to work at it. This blog is part of my toolbox. I am finding feelings and memories emerging and I want to process them so that I don’t attempt to drown them in booze. I also want to be able to refer back to these early days in case I get complacent. So here goes.