I think it is about time for me to give you some insight into the madness of my drinking days, especially as my three year sobriety birthday is coming up. It helps me too to write about those awful days as it instils gratitude in me.
The following are some of the ways alcohol affected me…
I would often act or say things without considering the consequences. I would always begin my drinking session by setting myself a limit of x number of drinks, just enough so that I didn’t make the same mistakes that I did the last time. I would promise myself that this time would be different, this time I would behave. However, once I had begun drinking, usually after the last one that I had set my limit at, I would make the compulsive decision to have another, and then another, and another and so on until I was paralytic. I never considered the fact that I would lose all of my sense of morale, my manners and my rationality after more alcohol, I just insanely thought that this time it would be different. In fact, picking up the first drink in the first place was a compulsive decision in itself, with no regard for the consequences, for I never took into consideration the fact that, after one, I would not be able to stop at three or four.
As far as I can remember, my depression started before my drinking got serious, but my alcoholism has certainly worsened my depression by a hundred fold. I have attempted suicide three times in my drinking and had very disturbing, mad thoughts about harming myself. In withdrawal/hangover, I used to hear voices and get very paranoid. Still to this day I suffer from the paranoia that hasn’t quite left me yet.
My disease of drinking has meant that my emotions are always on the very surface. Many alcoholics have said to me that they were unable to feel in their drinking days. But, unless I was hung-over, I felt the opposite; I have become hyper-sensitive and cry all the time, even over the smallest amount of negativity. My emotions are a total rollercoaster. They are manic as I can be fine one minute and suicidal the next. I used alcohol to either enhance or supress my emotions.
By the end of 2010 I had already tried to stop drinking by myself about four or five times. My boyfriend broke up with me a week before Christmas and I saw that as an opportunity to give up any hope I had of stopping and go on a three week binge. Most of those three weeks were a black-out- I remember waking up with one of two men a few times, and then by the afternoon the drinking would start again. This carried on throughout my entire Christmas holiday, until my friend’s birthday party where I got dangerously drunk, even by my standards. All I know that happened is what people have told me, and I’ve seen a few photos too (much to my horror). The following morning when I woke up was the final straw, I couldn’t believe what I had become, I couldn’t believe the way people told me I’d behaved. I was so ashamed and felt helpless. As soon as I got back home I went to a meeting and my recovery started there.
I can never have one drink, when I don’t have a drink on my person or in my hand, I am thinking about the next time I will have one and how I will get it, I continuously make terrible mistakes when drunk, promise myself that I’ll never drink again, and then go out and do it all again two days later. The list goes on.
Writing these memories down now brings negative feelings and some guilt and shame, but the most important part is that I have turned my life around since then- three years ago on April 16th– I am an entirely new, improved person and I have a lot to be proud of. I think the amount of progress I have made since then must outweigh the damage I may have done during my drinking days.