It’s hard to say exactly when it all went so wrong. Like most people, I was aware of alcohol at a young age. My parents and their friends drank; we were allowed a sip of beer or wine on special occasions.
As a teenager, it was always drink to excess. I think we all started on the cheap stuff .. raspberry 20/20 (weirdly coloured blue), Brody cider (under the guise that if we drank 200 bottles, we got a free bottle opener) and who can forget White Lightning? And throwing up on it.
My taste in wine was abysmal to start with. My favourite was sweet German Hock or Liebfraumilch. Shudder. But luckily (or unluckily), my tastes then matured to drier wines such as Sauvignon or Pinot. In my early twenties, I was nearly always sick the next day after drinking, and this became the norm, accepted as a consequence of a good night, in or out. I was also known to have a good cry on most occasions. Even though I generally had absolutely nothing to cry about. Friends used to joke that after 5 glasses, the tears would start. And this was before we left the house.
By now, I was also binge smoking too. The two, for me, go hand in hand. I wasn’t someone who smoked in the morning and could go for a whole week without either drinking or smoking. But let me loose on a Friday night, and boom, I consumed everything in sight. Then, after spending all day Saturday in a coma, vomiting regularly, I’d then have a takeaway to make myself feel better. Writing it down, it actually sounds like a form of Bulimia, definitely a form of self harm.
Into my thirties and forties, the pattern didn’t really change. Most of my female friends were getting pregnant, which at least gave them 9 months off the sauce. But I just carried on. Buying and consuming more and more and more. And still smoking like a chimney. And putting on weight. And hating myself.
Something had to give. I was sick of being sick. I was sick of being fat. I was sick of the smell of smoke in my hair and on my clothes. I was sick of being a slave to something that was damaging me far more than I realised. And so I stopped. All of it. And now I’m getting slimmer. And I don’t smell rank. And I haven’t cried. Repeatedly. About nothing. And I’m filling my lovely, clever body full of good stuff, to say sorry for the nightmare I’ve put it through. And I don’t intend to stop. #day77