I figured that as most of my drinking was done in secret, it would be a bit weird to shout about my new-found sobriety. So that’s why no one knows that I’ve stopped drinking yet. That is, apart from all of you wonderful people out there in the sober blogosphere.
On that note, I wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who has contacted me and offered advice, support and inspiration. I don’t want to go to any kind of AA group, not at the moment anyway. But I’ve realised I do need to talk about what’s been going on. My drinking has been such a big secret, a big burden. It’s felt very isolating at times, but not any more.
Anyway, back to life away from here – part of me is proud of what I’m doing and wants to tell everyone, in a hey! Please be happy for me! type of way. But a much bigger part of me is very worried about telling people. Because that would mean admitting there was a problem in the first place.
Over the years I have put a lot of effort into hiding the extent of my drinking. My friends think I drink like they do: a bit of wine with dinner, cocktails out with the girls. Getting silly and a bit tipsy but never fall down, black out drunk. They all grew out of that at uni. What my friends don’t realise is that when we go out, unless we get really smashed, I will need to drink more when I get home. Because, you know, it’s hard work pretending to drink like a normal person all night.
Of course, there have been a few slip ups. There was the time a colleague asked me if I thought the lift we’d just got out of had smelt of stale alcohol? There’s the time my sister came round to watch a DVD but I drank so much I passed out and she couldn’t wake me. She’s younger than me and I know this scared her. Then there’s the time I had to explain to a housemate why a night in front of the TV had led to me getting so drunk I’d been sick everywhere. And who can forget last year’s Christmas party, when I pulled a friend of a friend and we did a LOT of snogging in front of a room full of pretty sober colleagues – and my boss. I still cringe at that.
There are countless other embarrassing memories but I won’t go into them now. What I was going to ask was – what are your experiences of telling people you were no longer drinking? I’d appreciate your thoughts.