I think I have mentioned, quite possibly more than once, that a big part of my getting better was to stop drinking. In the past, alcohol has played a major part in my life and at times it's been too major for my own good. In my early twenties I gave up for a year and a half out of necessity ~ I was far too close to having a serious problem if I am honest. You know that person who's quite funny, very funny, and then a royal pain in the arse when they're drinking?? Yep, that was me.. Some may say that wasn't down to alcohol but I beg to differ. I needed that lovely warm glow to allow me to be the person people wanted to see.. I just didn't know when to stop. Anyway, glossing over the, um, finer details, suffice to say that abstention was the only option at the time.
So, fast forwarding more years than I care to admit, I was proud of the fact that I had got through some of the worst times in my life without falling back into a bottle.. Bereavement, marriage break ups, all of those without that reassuring warmth and lovely blurring of the edges that drink gave me. Sure I could drink socially, and the odd glass at home of an evening wasn't a problem; the trouble is that complacency is a dangerous thing and drinking crept up on me and my last serious relationship involved a vast amount of alcohol ~ the alcohol lasted longer than the relationship and getting drunk became quite normal.. Not hideously falling over drunk, just a happy blurring that I convinced myself helped me sleep at night.. well, if I could have slept of course!
Anyway earlier this year I realised that I needed to stop again and so I did.. Just like that and it wasn't hard.. in fact it was very easy. I didn't miss drinking, I didn't miss the hangovers and mostly I didn't miss the disappointment in my kids' faces. Granted my consumption of "Pointless Coke" (that's caffeine free Diet Coke) went through the roof, and my friends were staggered to find out I really do like Pepeprmint and Jasmine Teas, but that's no bad thing.
So now, I have cautiously re-introduced alcohol into my life. I currently have 2.6% strength French Lager (known as Rat's Wee) in my fridge and I enjoy drinking a cold beer on a warm evening but funnily enough one or two is more than enough.. I have no desire to reach the warm fuzzy place that had become so normal in my life. For anyone who knows the film "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" you'll know that Paul Newman's character talks about drinking until he hears a click in his head, and that click mean peace.. well, I've learnt that the click doesn't bring peace it brings a blurring of the edges that comes roaring back into sharp focus the next morning.
I'm not saying I'll never get drunk again, but I am saying that I can now enjoy it in moderation ~ it is no longer a means to an end it is simply one of life's small pleasures to be enjoyed in the same way as everything else.. within reason.