There’s a pink box with a combination lock on it hidden at the back of my wardrobe. I bought it years ago to make sure a few valuables and private documents stayed safe. These days it’s home to a rather odd collection of bits and pieces. I was having a tidy up yesterday and tried to sort through it all.
I decided a burglar would be pretty disappointed with the contents. And I’d be mortified if anyone saw inside.
I found several revealing pages from a diary I decided to shred. There’s a half-naked picture of a much younger me, taken for a boyfriend I think. There’s a (fully clothed) picture of me drinking with friends after my last exam at uni. There’s a nice note from my Mum, scrawled on an old post-it. There’s a note I wrote to myself that says “people who aren’t alcoholics do not lie in bed wondering if they’re alcoholics”. By far the weirdest thing in there is a topless picture of Magnús Scheving (the guy who plays Sportacus in the kids tv show LazyTown). How did that get in there? Maybe I realised it was the kind of crush you shouldn’t tell other people about ….
Also in the box is a book called “Overcoming Problem Drinking – A self-help guide using cognitive behavioural techniques”. Seeing this makes me feel a bit sad. I can clearly remember buying it. It took me so long to get the courage to go to the till, the security guard started following me around. That must have been in 2009. Or was it 2008? I’d started a new job in a different part of the country and I was really struggling to make friends. I was lonely at the weekends. To kill time, I would drink myself into black out every Friday night. When I woke up at 3am I’d carry on drinking. I’d spend the rest of the weekend sleeping, recovering and feeling sorry for myself, and in no time at all it’d be Monday morning again. I was also bingeing once or twice during the week, even though I had to be at work at 5am.
It suddenly struck me that I bought that book FOUR years ago. So I’ve been worried about my drinking for four, maybe five years. I’d not really thought about that before. Why has this gone on for so long? Why didn’t I stop sooner? If the last four years had been full of carefree, boozy benders then that would be one thing. At least I would have enjoyed them. But it wasn’t like that. I spent those years drinking and worrying. Drinking and feeling guilty. Drinking and filling out “Am I an alcoholic?” quizzes. All that time, wasted. Wasted.
I want to scream with frustration sometimes.
But at least I’m doing something about it now, I suppose that’s what matters. Getting angry isn’t going to change the past. I want to end this slightly ranty post on a positive note – I am three weeks and one day sober! This last week has gone by very quickly indeed.