So this is it. I finished my last alcoholic drink at about two minutes to twelve last night. I still feel a bit jittery from yesterday’s excesses (I thought I should go out with a bang) but the persistent, squeezing headache I’ve had all day has almost gone away.
I’ve been planning this day for a while. In exactly six months time I will turn 30. Thirty. It sounds… so much more grown up than I feel. One thing I’m sure of is that I absolutely cannot let my problem drinking creep into my thirties. So I’ve vowed to get a grip on this now. I want to reach my 30th feeling like I’m back in control, living my life and experiencing every second of it, rather than reaching for a drink (or five) everytime things get tough. Or I’m bored. Or there’s something to celebrate. Or I’m lonely. You get the idea.
I’ve never written a blog before, but I was so inspired by some of the other sober blogs around that I thought I’d try and document my journey too. It was reading some of the other blogs that made me realise I really had to stop drinking.
For ages I’d told myself my drinking wasn’t that much of a problem. I hold down a good job, I don’t drink everyday and I certainly don’t feel the need to pour vodka on my cornflakes. But I binge drink. Sometimes out with friends, at parties. But more often, I drink alone, in my flat. I drink until I pass out and wake up on the sofa in the early hours. For years I was able to confine these binges to two nights a week. But recently two has become more like three or sometimes four. Whereas I used to plan my binges (picking times when I knew it wouldn’t matter if I was hungover the next day) I’ve started to drink whenever the urge takes me, even if that means getting up for work with a stinking hangover. Sometimes I drink heavily for several nights in a row, needing more and more to get that buzz and flick the off switch in my brain.
It’s taken me a very long time to realise I needed to stop completely. I’d always thought you had to hit rock bottom before you gave up the booze for good. I haven’t reached rock bottom – yet. But I know I’m on that road. Rock bottom is looming ahead, like a nasty car crash on a motorway. At the moment, it’s still several miles away and I can avoid it; I have options. I could bury my head in the sand, and ignore the warning signs whizzing by. Or, I could wake up, get my shit together and chose a different route before it’s too late.
I know what I’m going to do.