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Why drink like that?

My mum texted me this once. 

Our relationship was largely based on piss taking, humour and being good mates. All of this was coupled with a casual trepidation around expressing how much we loved each other. 

I won’t bore you with the details of my childhood, save to say I didn’t spend a lot of it with my mum. 

But BOOZE. This is significant here. 

My mum grew up with alcoholic parents, and at the age of 12, was groomed by an alcoholic 21 year old who she later went on to marry and who became my father. He drank throughout their “relationship”, and when she gave birth to me, he was too drunk to be allowed into the hospital to see me (as were my grandparents – my mum’s parents).

Long story short – mum became tired of dad’s boozing and abuse and left. Her parents later died. And guess what?

She didn’t take a fucking drink! 

After ALL of that alcohol in her life, she never liked to touch the stuff. At “worst”, she would have one Malibu and coke and she hated it. She genuinely didn’t see the point in drinking.  She didn’t hate booze – she  simply and literally couldn’t see the point of it. I could never understand why – especially knowing what I know now about alcohol, and how ingrained in her life alcohol always was.

This brings me to my heading “why drink like that?”. As I’ve said, we always took the piss, had a joke and would text/FB:what’s app about ANYTHING (other than serious mother/daughter relationship stuff). My partner and I were in Spain on holiday a few years ago and I sent my mum a message detailing how we’d gotten so hammered we’d taken part in evening entertainment, stand-up etc, before puking “our rings up” (a phrase she loved). 

I thought she’d reply with something like, “you fucking twat”. (A common text from her to me, booze related or not). 

Instead, she replied with:

“Why drink like that?”. 

I will never forget that message. 

She never told me she thought I drank too much. 

She never said anything about me boozing at all. 

But if she can go through a life like that, and not even have a single desire to “dive bomb into a vat of booze”, why the fuck should I use this drug to dull my feelings of loss. Her current husband (not my drunken abusive father) was with her for 17 years. He drank daily until they got together. He stopped just like that – she didn’t even ask him to (she was that indifferent toward booze) – but he stopped because he was happy, and because she was enough for him. 

I thought he would pour himself a bottle of whiskey when she died. It’s been 6 days and he hasn’t touched a drop. 

I need to be present to arrange her funeral. She wouldn’t drink if I had died, so why the fuck should I drink after she has died. 😘😘

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1 Ocsober 2017 – goodbye Gin and Cherryade

It has to be up there with the great all time lows, resorting to drinking a liquid that you genuinely detest, in order to get a “buzz”or a “numbing”, whatever the bloody reason.

I’ve referred to gin in my blog before because it reminds me of the nature of booze.  I can tell myself I like the taste of most spirits, but I genuinely do hate the taste of gin.  Yet when it’s the only option, I “brave it” (ha!), mix it with cherryade and hope for the best.   This is a sure sign of problem drinking and I know it.  I’ve also found myself moving more towards spirit drinking rather than the usual vino and cider.  As I write those words I feel literally sick at the thought of any of it, but I know that feeling is likely to turn into a mahoosive craving at any point – probably today in fact.

I don’t know what my aim is.  I don’t know if I’m even ready to knock the poison on the head.  But I do know that I am promising myself today that I will have a sober October.  We’re going to Italy in November and I’m going to put every penny that I would spend on booze into a pot for spending money (which I will likely then spend on booze in Italy – the irony).  Whatever the reason, here’s hoping that 31 days off it will clear my head enough to really address the drinking.   I always set myself these little challenges, and often fail, but if I put it “out there”, I’m hoping the shame of telling people I’ve broken it will be deterrent enough.

I will blog every day, even if it’s a load of cack.  If I don’t blog, chances are I’ve disappeared into the ether(nol) again – but I really don’t want to do that.

Anyway, I’m off to forage – back to being a stuffed piglet for a while rather than a saturated pisshead.

Happy Sunday everyone : )

 

 

 

My determination is palpable…..

…….at the minute, anyway.  I’m tired and completely fed up of thinking about boozing/not boozing all the god damn time.  It’s truly exhausting, and I’m occasionally drinking even though I absolutely don’t want to.  I have literally urged (sorry) as I’ve downed a glass of wine.  I’m blocking stuff out by boozing and it’s time for me to get a grip.

All this said, I’m writing this at 10.00 a.m.  By this evening I may well have gone full circle on myself and may drown myself in a couple bottles of wine and some vodka because, oh wait, it’s Saturday night!  Ha.  What a load of total cack.  The point of me writing this down now is so that it’s out there for me to read later if I decide to drink.  I am SO determined to remove alcohol from my life, for however long, just to get a clear head for a while.  (Note to self – if you drink tonight, it won’t be any different to any other bloody night, and your planned coastal walk and sea swim at 09:00 tomorrow will not be the same).

I looked at some photos of myself yesterday (just going through my phone, not “oooh look at me” vanity stuff!).  I look OLD.  I look haggard.  My skin is gross and my eyes are puffy.  I’m no oil painting at any time, honestly, but I remember when I had my longest ever stint off booze and I was practically glowing – bright eyes, clear skin, and I didn’t look twice my actual age.  I’m not a vain person by any stretch of the imagination and so “to look better” would never cut it as a reason to abstain from drinking for me.  But I have to acknowledge just how awful I look at the minute.

Something that I feel really terrible about is that my partner’s drinking has ramped up since I started again.  She can genuinely enjoy wine with a meal (I’ve tried to challenge the “I like the taste of it” but I sounded like a gobshite) and finish a bottle over the course of a long period of time.  When I’m drinking, this increases and with all of the hormonal issues going on at the minute (perimenopause), I really want for her to take better care of herself.  This should be incentive enough for me to cut it out – I know that ideally I should do it for myself but I don’t really care at the moment about the reason for stopping drinking – I just want to stop.

I’ve bought Drinking – A Love Story, by Caroline Knapp, and Sarah Heppola’s Blackout – Remembering Things I Drank to Forget.  The day the books arrived, I got stuck right in to Caroline’s book, with a GLASS OF FUCKING WINE IN MY HAND.  Not long after, the book became a coaster and I forgot about it.  Well I’m reading it today – in a minute in fact, as there is no way I would drink alcohol in the morning (oooohhhh, “you’re not that bad then”, ha ha).  Something has to stick.  I have to change what I’m doing.

Any inspiration out there?!  I’m at that “can’t be bothered to drink/can’t be bothered to not drink/can’t be bothered with any of it” stage.  I know the alcohol is more than likely causing this, and I know I would be more upbeat without it.  I’m just a bit blurgh today.  Nice uplifting post though hey!!!

On a lighter note, I just got chased by 3 geese.  Not pleasant at any point, but having a hangover made it much worse.  I should stay sober today just so I can be alert, “on it”, and plot to get the little bastards back!  (Disclaimer – I would never hurt them, obviously, but they really are menacing little sods).

Dare I say Day One?

 

Would I be doomed to be miserable when drinking and miserable when not drinking?

This is another line from Rachel Black’s book, Sober is the New Black.  It’s pretty accurate.  For me, anyway.

When drinking, I am largely completely miserable.  Thoughts of whether or not to drink dominate my mind during the day, ALL BLOODY DAY, and then if I choose to drink, I hate my decision the minute I buy the alcohol, let alone drink it.   I then hate myself (as well as my dry, stinking mouth) the next morning, and so it begins again.

When not drinking, I am pretty much counting down the days until I “can” drink again.  This only increases the feeling of deprivation and of missing out.  I believe (well, used to believe) I am doing something “really strong” by simply abstaining from alcohol.  I find the physical abstinence easy – often enjoyable in fact.  Yet the mental (in more ways than one) side of it is bloody hideous.  Do I count?  Not count?  Just abstain until the next “reason” to drink?  I clearly can’t commit to NEVER drinking again, so should I just try another measly little target I keep setting, only to end up having to start again?  It’s MISERABLE thinking like this.  I know that if I set myself a target, with some “public awareness”, like a Dryathlon to raise money etc, I will not drink.  But I also know that I definitely will drink when the fundraising period is over.  I have literally finished some of my Dryathlons before by having a bourbon and coke at 00:01 on the day after it finishes.

To quote another line from one of my favourite books, “nothing says addicted like trying to prove you’re not”.  My God.  I don’t think I’ve tried another public dryathlon since I read this line.  My friends and family have always been happy to sponsor me as they know how much I love booze, and how difficult I would find it to stay off it.  That makes me CRINGE now.  If I went “public” with another Drytahlon, I am now convinced that people would think (know) I have a “problem”.  Somebody I used to work with sponsored me 30 quid last year to stay off the booze for 60 days.  It was so much money for someone I hadn’t seen for ages, and didn’t even know massively well.  Yet she messaged me saying “I am so proud of you for doing this”.  She doesn’t even drink.  I of course did the 60 days, but ended them with a large percentage cider at midnight on my birthday.  Obviously.

I just want to not want to drink.  I want my mindset to change.  I am reading like an absolute demon this weekend, including horror stories over on the Reddit Stop Drinking thread (like scaring myself shitless is going to reverse years of psychological conditioning!).  Book wise, I’ve read the following:

  • Pour Me A Life by AA Gill (he writes intelligently but not enough booze related material in there for me – I imagined an entire book about booze but it’s actually his biography with a few boozing anecdotes mixed in)
  • This Naked Mind (I’ve read it before but not for ages, and it clearly didn’t work the first time)
  • Kick the Drink, Easily by Jason Vale (I didn’t actually finish this, as I wanted to get back to my boozing at the time)
  • The EasyWay to Control Alcohol by Allen Carr
  • The Girl on the Train (watched the film actually – didn’t read the book) – thought this was complete and utter rubbish

Any recommendations would be welcome : ) I don’t respond well to fluffy, supernatural or spiritual reading (obviously absolutely no offence to anybody who does – it really just isn’t my thing.  That said, I do currently have The Dalai Lama’s book The Art of  Happiness on the go……).  I like hardcore, down to earth, completely candid writing with hilarity inserted here and there.  I wouldn’t jump with joy at a recommendation to the Bible or the AA handbook, for example, but I would LOVE a recommendation to something like Suburban Betty’s blog (https://suburbanbettycleanandserene.wordpress.com/), which I received recently.  I would also really love to hear from anyone who has watched a good film or documentary about boozing, whether fictional or not.  I have seen the Louis Theroux and BBC documentaries, and have watched Smashed on Netflix (yet never whilst sober – go figure).

In short, I just need some motivation I guess.  : )

 

Why do you drink?

I read a great comment on No Wine I’m Fine’s (https://nowineimfine.wordpress.com/) blog the other day.  When asked “Why don’t you drink?”, she said she feels like replying, “Why do you drink?”.

I LOVE this.

It got me thinking about the reasons I drink.  They’re pretty much as follows:

  1. It can be a laugh.  This is often true for me, but only for about the first hour or two.  I read in Rachel Black’s “Sober is the New Black” book that she misses the “buzz” that the first hour of drinking brings, however she doesn’t miss out for the remaining 23 hours of the day.  As my drinking career has progressed over recent years, I’ve noticed that I don’t really have as much of a laugh as I used to when drinking.  Yet there are still some things I cannot imagine having fun doing sober.  For example, playing Cards Against Humanity.  I consider myself a relatively funny person, so why can’t I play a funny game without drinking poison?  Most of the laughs I’ve had with particular friends has been at work during the day, when I was completely sober.  I know I can have a laugh without booze, so why fucking drink it.  (Excuse the language).
  2. It eases my boredom.  I honestly find boredom a huge trigger.  During the day, I can wake up completely resolved to not boozing, and then by lunchtime I’ve convinced myself that getting tanked up in the evening is something fun to look forward to, and will “make” the night.  I also know (well, think) that I won’t be bored if I booze.  What utter cack.  Drinking doesn’t relieve boredom at all, and I know that.  It literally feels like I have two personalities when it comes to alcohol.
  3. It helps me forget.  This is a tricky one.   It’s also a hugely popular reason why many people drink.  There is stuff in my life that I really don’t want to think about, and getting hammered sometimes seems like the “solution”.   I gave evidence at Crown Court a couple of years ago and still vividly remember telling myself “don’t drink at all during the trial”.  I ended up drinking every evening, and vodka at that. I “celebrated” his conviction with boozing.  I “celebrated” his imprisonment with boozing.  I “made myself feel better” about everything by boozing.  My point is, I have historically used booze as a total crutch and escape, and I don’t want to do that anymore.  If something in my life is hideous, how do I think that poisoning myself is going to improve anything?
  4. It gives me confidence.  People who meet me often think I’m uber confident, outgoing, bolshy and a bit of a gobshite at times.  I can be forceful in how I talk to people and I often sound like I know what I’m talking about (even if I absolutely don’t).  This particularly applies in work.  Yet I can’t stand myself really.  I don’t want to go all psychological assessment on myself but I know there are some “issues” here shall we say.  When I booze, I forget about these issues.  I know that changing my body would massively help, which is why I’m signing myself up for a half marathon.  I also know that getting things like fags out of my life would help, which is why I’m going to try a “smoke free” September.  But I know that the physical changes are only the beginning.  My anxiety levels are enormous when I drink.  Whilst booze temporarily makes me feel better about myself (for ONE HOUR!), the subsequent self loathing is hideous.  We’ve all been there.
  5. Lifestyle.  When you drink all the time, it obviously becomes your lifestyle.  It is simply “what you do”.  What a fucking thing to say! “What do you do in the evenings?”.  “Oh, I cook tea, sort the animals out and then drink and watch The Inbetweeners”.  HA HA! Even writing that seems ridiculous.

Has anyone got any other reasons why they drink (or used to drink)?

Anyway, I best go and do some work.  Contrary to how I may sound, I am not under Section in a hospital – I am one of those “fully functioning” f***ers : )