My last big drinking session was in June and was almost ceremonious. I didn’t know for sure at the time that it was going to be my last big one, but for some time I had been gearing up to stop drinking. And as I got closer to making an actual change, I started to drink more. A few for the road I guess.
So that last time was a 40th birthday party of someone I didn’t know well that well. And that was just fine.
I made such an effort with my outfit. It looked great. I had some really fun earrings on too. I didn’t even really make an effort to talk to people. It was just me and my wine. Glass after glass, everything else was circumstantial.
I don’t remember getting home in the taxi.
The next day I woke up and looked in the mirror and I did not recognise the person looking back. She looked the total opposite to the beautifully dressed pretend person from the night before. And this version was the real deal.
And I was hardly there.
No sparkle, just foggy eyes, and puffy ashen skin.
I was a fading ghost of myself. Slowly but surely I had become a shadow of who I once was and who I wanted to be. I clung on to the hope that I didn’t have a problem. There is always someone worse right? And I had rules. I was operational. I never drank in the mornings. Barely touched spirits. I was never as bad as my dad.
But that’s the funny thing about benchmarks. We can see whatever we want to see. And the stigma around addiction and how normal drinking is. Yes I didn’t always love the boozy reputation I held amongst my friends but I got good feedback as the fun one, the one adding a lot of laughter to a party. I wasn’t a messy drunk, but I WAS A MESS.
Denial is a big thing. Because drinking is everywhere. It is so common and expected. It became my only hobby. Now I think of that dark progression and I do feel sad that it happened, it feels like lost time, walking down a long path, only to arrive in a ghost town. But more than anything I’m just so glad I’m not there now.
So if you are reading this and recently woke up and didn’t recognise or saw of a shadow of yourself in the mirror, you aren’t alone and most importantly you don’t have to stay there. I was blind to how much alcohol was controlling me. Now I’m not blind and I’m in the drivers seat. (and it’s really awesome). A lot of that is down to finding Boom. And embracing new things like yoga and ballet. And taking it slow.
Just don’t drink and the rest will follow. Xx
The Spirit is not in the Bottle it’s in You …
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Don’t let the shame of the stigma keep you from saying
“I think I have a problem with drinking”
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― Caroline Knapp, Drinking: A Love Story