I’ve been asked several times this week about my story, about why I’ve given up alcohol, about my ‘breaking point’ and about how I gave up.
I’ve touched on my story in some of my earlier blogs .. I’ve always had ‘an addictive personality’. This actually translates into ‘greedy piggy with no off switch’. Like many, I started experimenting with alcohol in my mid teens .. I distinctly remember downing awfulness like White Lightening cider and blue 20/20 and I also distinctly remember being sick the next day. One of my first memories of getting horribly drunk was about aged 16, at a house party and being sick into a bush from a balcony. And I’d had spaghetti for dinner.
In fact, I was nearly always sick the next day. To the extent that it became normalised. Go out, get drunk, come home, pass out. Next day, sick. Then we started drinking before we went out to ‘save pennies’. However, as the tolerance grew, I don’t think we saved any money, we just drank more. And more.
And basically that’s how I spent the next 20 years. In a vicious, self harming scenario of eat, drink, sick, repeat. Like some kind of slow, torturous death.
Alongside this self abuse, I was also getting myself into stupid relationships with men who were in even worse situations than me. They say you attract what you are and from where I am now, I can so see this is true.
The last person I was seeing was a totally damaged soul. I guess you could argue that I was too. And between us, we created more damage than either of us needed or could cope with. And it was this relationship that finally caused me to hit rock bottom. And ‘they’ say that until you hit rock bottom, you can’t start climbing back up. I knew that, for as long as I was drinking, he would continue to be a part of my life. And that had to stop.
So, in autumn last year, I decided I was going to give up alcohol for 2017. The plan was to stop drinking at midnight on 31 December 2016 and restart again on 1 January 2018. I would write a blog as an online diary, to record the highs and lows of an alcohol free life. If I’m honest, I expected far more lows than there has been and kind of imagined it would be a bit of a whinge fest! Luckily it couldn’t be further from this and instead, is one of the best decisions I ever made.
Then, out of the blue I got the opportunity to change my job after 11 years in the same company. Whilst it was the best thing to happen to me, I think subconsciously it stressed me out .. in addition, the ex was still playing me like a pawn in his game and then the flu literally floored me.
As you can see from my ‘before’ photo, I was sad, tired and ill. Drained by life. And so my year started early on 27 November 2016 at approximately 2am. My last drink, a large vodka, was ceremoniously poured down the sink before bed. And that was it. No more.
People ask whether I’m tempted to drink. The simple answer is no. I have too many embarrassing memories to think of that put me off ever picking up a drink again. Do I miss my old life? Of course I do but slowly, the craziness is becoming a distant memory. I do not want to be sad anymore, a pawn in someone else’s awful life. I want to be the Queen in my own life, happy and in control, and you know what, I think I’m well and truly on my way there 🙋🏻🐟