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Why do you drink?

Reposting this one of mine from September 2017.  It scares the shit out of me how much time has passed and how little has changed booze-wise in my life….

01/09/2017

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 : )

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Day 11 and I just can’t be bothered

Sorry for the miserable title, but it’s true. I’m into double figures and I should be feeling pretty great about that…..but for some reason I’m just not. The speed at which my body recovers from daily drinking amazes me each time. I know I’ve been fortunate in this respect so far, and there’s every chance I’m only a drink away from serious health issues. But I still don’t really care.

Maybe I’m bored? We’ve had a productive couple of weeks since laying the sauce to rest for a while, but I can’t honestly say we’ve had any hardcore fun.

Maybe I’m tired? There’s no maybe about this. I am dog tired. Genuinely eyes half shut all the time kind of tired.

Maybe I don’t have a “target”? This is a biggy for me – I’ve stopped saying “31”, “60”, “100” days, because all that means is I count down my sober days until I hit my target and then drink my body weight in booze again.

Maybe it’s cos it’s Friday? I must admit, I was convinced I’d drink yesterday. We finished my dad’s house, handed back the keys and then went to the cemetery to see the graves of the 3 parents I’ve lost in 13 months. I had a true case of the “fuck its” whilst driving home and knew I’d get wine if we stopped at a shop. Ironically, I got pulled over by the police as we neared home. It was a straight forward insurance mistake (on their part) and they sent me on my way. But those of you who have read my blog will know about my absolute terror of police cars when I’ve been drinking the day before. Had I drank the night before yesterday I would have literally had a nervous breakdown when pulled over by an unmarked police car with flashing lights. As it happened, I happily opened my door, smiled at the officer and asked what was up. As I sat in the back of the car whilst he checked my insurance I actually considered asking him to breathalyse me just for the fun of it. Normal!

Anyway, I digress. So I didn’t drink yesterday after all and told myself that I would drink tonight. It’s Friday, we’ve had a tough week, I “deserve” to let my hair down and all that jazz. Then when we went out today we just didn’t stop at the shop.

So I’m not drinking. But I wish I was – I really do. I currently feel that it would be fun to get a bit hammered, listen to some music and then nurse my only hangover in 12 days tomorrow morning, safe in the knowledge that I don’t have work etc etc to get up for.

My wife is also off the booze, and consequently largely off the fags. After years of genuine, often heartbreaking, struggles with hormonal symptoms, we are both amazed at how much better she is. She doesn’t drink like me – she’s more of a “normal” drinker, whatever that means. But she still drinks more (than she ordinarily would) when I’m getting tanked up all the time. Seeing her health improve, even if only for a week or 2 (anybody remotely peri or menopausal will understand how precious a number of days feeling “good-ish” is), makes me want to continue this quiet and non chaotic lifestyle of work/dinner/box sets and bed, as opposed to wine/skip dinner/cigarettes/music and hangovers. I know which one is better for me, for both of us really, but I’m missing the second one tonight.

I know I’ll hit Day 12 tomorrow, simply because we don’t have booze in the house (not enough anyway) so I won’t bother.

I’ll be honest though – I’m starting to talk myself into a genuine attempt at moderation – something I’ve never tried before.

Sorry for the non-inspiring read! I write a bit differently to most bloggers – I probably sound a bit rough around the edges and a bit of a potty mouth!! (Neither of which are entirely untrue 😉). I’m off to watch Man vs Food before more reruns of Dexter and then bed. Rock on Friday night 😜

Anxiety/Booze/Booze/Anxiety? – that is the question

Just a quick note to self……

You haven’t had that awful, gut wrenching anxiety for 8 days. Nothing has changed in your life apart from you’ve removed booze. You still have all of the same issues going on and you’re still in the thick of immense grief. You remain surrounded by funeral bills, hospital complaints and inquests.

And yet….

You haven’t woken up in the early hours with your heart pounding out of your chest for no apparent reason. Why is that?

Granted, you aren’t sleeping through the night but you also aren’t waking up with a mouth like a dry garbage pile. Why is that?

You haven’t cried like an absolute overreacting baby. You haven’t had those “piss holes in the snow” eyes in the morning. Why is that?

You haven’t almost hyperventilated upon seeing a cop car when you’re driving. Why is that?

Above all, you haven’t taken an anti anxiety pill for 8 days, when you were taking about 3 a day before January 1.

WHY IS THAT?

Oh yeah – you haven’t had any stinking fucking booze for 8 days.

Must be a coincidence hey? Surely it’s not the booze exacerbating, or even causing, your crippling anxiety………

…….is it?

🍷🖕

It took less than 24 hours to crave the crap

Seriously – less than a day later and here I am, thinking how much “fun” it would be to have some booze tonight. For fuck’s sake. It’s like I have 2 brains.

I have no physical cravings for the stuff, and neither have I “suffered” any physical withdrawal symptoms this time (yet). But my brain is telling me that it’ll be a right old laugh, and really relaxing, to sink a load of wine tonight. My wife wants us to pop out for a bit in the car but I’m avoiding it, just in case I can’t stop myself going to the shop and buying booze. W. T. A. F.

This blog should be renamed “split personality blog” or something equally reflective of just how different I feel right now compared to this time yesterday. I would love to be a yoga loving, rainbow pooping unicorn but that just ain’t me. Yet. Who knows?!

I blinked and day 6 is almost over

God knows how that happened. Seems like yesterday I was downing wine and then pink gin before midnight on New Year’s Eve hit and I “had” to stop the booze for at least January. Ordinarily I feel like hell for days 1-3 and then become stark craving mad from day 4 onwards. This time I’ve barely thought about booze. I also don’t have the acne ridden face of a teenager that I usually develop around day 4.

So, instead of drinking this week, I have spent my time extremely productively, having achieved the following:

– I’ve eaten KFC in bed

– I’ve hoovered down midget gems and eaten rice cakes and soft cheese like they’re going out of fashion

– I’ve officially become obsessed with the programme My 600lb Life – which is a good job, given that I’m going to be starring on it soon

– I’ve driven my car without shitting myself about seeing a cop car

– I’ve gone to a morning work appointment (all appointments are usually post midday to allow me to have a chance at being under the limit)

– I’ve spent next to nothing in the shops (rice cakes and sweets are cheap)

– I’ve finished GoT for the third time

– I have been 6 days without an anti anxiety pill

– I have been 6 days without a mouth like a brewery and/or ashtray

– I’ve finished clearing out my dad’s house after he died. Nothing to be gained from trying to do that whilst hungover hey

Part of me just knows that this won’t last – not being negative, but I could easily just “bottle it” (ha ha) and drink tomorrow. I know myself and I know that’s not only a possibility but a probability. For the moment I don’t want it and I don’t miss it IN THE SLIGHTEST.

By the way – where the hell are all of the “New Year sober peeps” I was expecting on WordPress? Is everyone on bloody social media these days?

I’m off to waddle to the fridge. Happy Sunday everyone 👍

Is anybody at or near the beginning of sobriety, or simply struggling to maintain?

Don’t get me wrong – I love reading blogs from people who are months/years down the line and loving sober life. I’d just also like to see if there are any blogs out there where people are struggling to get a day/week/month under their belt? 

Because I keep “failing” so spectacularly I think I’d really benefit from reading similar stories. Or perhaps the early days of any particular blog where the writer has gone on to truly flip the bird to booze…….any tips guys? 

Read this later you weak-willed moron

I don’t know how to get a bloody grip of myself. It’s insane how I have so “easily” done months off the sauce before, and felt so much better, and yet now I’m struggling to get more than 2 days under my ever expanding belt.

My dad died on Monday, making me an official orphan at the ripe old age of 36. He was 63. My mum died last year, aged 53. Her husband, my step-dad, then committed suicide 7 months later because he just couldn’t live without her.

3 deaths in 13 months and I’m officially on the edge. The booze is not fucking helping and I really now need to knock it on the head, even if only for a while, so I can arrange my dad’s funeral and clear his house.

Both of my parents died suddenly and unexpectedly of heart attacks. Both had diabetes. Mum was a heavy smoker and dad had a history of alcohol abuse (HELLO, Adult Child of an Alcoholic 👋). I obviously have followed in dad’s footsteps more in terms of addiction but I also smoke when I drink. And given how often I drink, the fags are picking up (God, even writing that makes me want to puke). I’m also pretty overweight. To summarise, I am basically a heart attack waiting to happen. Yet still I drink and smoke. It’s INSANE!! I guess I just don’t care? I dunno. Maybe I’m just not as intelligent as I’ve always considered myself to be.

I’m not posting this because I’m feeling sorry for myself or on a pity seeking mission – I just need to write it down so I can remind myself just how demented I must be to continue to drink when I am literally wracked with anxiety and I need to step up and be responsible for a while – even if only a few weeks – what is THE MATTER WITH YOU – booze makes things so much worse. It’s also really bloody expensive – you are paying to give yourself anxiety. Wtf?

10:47 a.m on Sunday as I write. At the minute I can think of nothing worse than hot hoofing it to Tesco later to get a(nother) box of Chardonnay. If it gets to this afternoon and I’ve managed to convince myself that doing exactly that is a good idea (you have to drive 3 hours to meet the funeral director and register dad’s death tomorrow, by the way), at least I have written this down.

I hate booze.

At the moment, anyway.