I’m spending the day at work in a state of exhaustion after all the last few weeks of on off drinking. When I’m honest with myself, I know that between my very boozy holiday, my 4 days off and then 5 days on, 2 days off, 5 days on, I’ve consumed hundreds of units. If I drink at least 10 units a time, which I do, then that is a terrifying amount.
I spend a lot of time thinking about the mental break I need from drinking, but forget about my body, because I can still run and work and laugh and maintain nice skin while drinking like a crazy. But this weekend I actually felt my liver tremble. I was drinking to get over my horrible hangover (*drunk logic alert!*) and I felt it twitch. I got up, poured the mug of beer down the sink (I was drinking beer from a mug, so I could drink it while watching TV with my house mate, like any normal person would do, right?!) and that was my last drink.
My biggest biggest fear is that one day something dramatic will happen from drinking- my liver will have severe problems or I’ll somehow die in my sleep while drunk. That would be shame enough, but then what if anyone I knew found this blog. Or looked at my google search history “How do you reverse liver damage” “Is a twitchy liver dangerous?” and all the sober blogs I seek out.
There’s something very useful about putting everything down in black and white about my drinking, but if I’m perfectly honest, I feel so detached from it. That can’t be me, drinking warm beer from a mug on a Sunday afternoon. Or having to take out a black bin bag that I’ve been stashing bottles in my room so my house mate doesn’t see. That just doesn’t fit with the image of myself that I have. It doesn’t fit with my naturally conservative, preoccupied with health, high achieving self. But it’s the truth.
I start with great resolve and then think I don’t have a problem and start drinking again. If I look back through this blog, I’ve been wanting to quite since January. I first emailed Belle from Tired of Drinking on 30th July this year. Before I started writing this blog, I’d purchased and read Jason Vale, Alan Carr and other sober bibles in October last year. In June of the same year, I’d been to see my Occupational Health officer at work about my depression being compounded by a bullying boss, and tried to tell her about how worried I was about the creeping up of my drinking habits, but chickened out. When I was having CBT therapy the year before, my therapist asked whether I had a drinking problem and I said no. What would have happened if I had recognised then what I know now and said yes? How much heartbreak would I have saved myself? I’ve probably wasted 2 years drinking, but I am young, and I’m taking action. If I stop drinking now I can save myself decades of heart ache.
It’s all so exhausting. Despite loving living sober when I’m actually doing it, I’ve been there before but never for more than 3 weeks, but I know it makes me feel great. So why not at the end of a crappy year give myself a Christmas present. A feeling and a goal to focus on.
It’s exactly 50 days until 1st January 2014. Imagine if I focus on that goal and reach the dawn of the new year sober, having navigated the horrors of December socialising, work Chirstmas parties, the traditional Christmas Eve reunion at the pub I drank at when I was a teenager, the Boxing Day knees up with my friends, a boozy trip to France where friends are already planning the wine they’ll bring. If I can keep my sober car moving through all of that, taking one day at a time, it will feel a pretty awesome way to start the new year eh? And then, maybe just maybe, I could think about 2014 as a sober year. But for now, I just need to drag myself through the next week.
Here’s my plan of action to keep busy in the evenings:
- Tonight I’m going to the gym with a friend if I can muster the energy. If I can’t, my back up plan is to watch 28 days- the Sandra Bullock film about rehab, on Netflix. I don’t usually watch films at home, so will make this feel special with my favourite Pukka herbal ‘love’ tea and some Turkish delight chocolate.
- Tuesday– is running club night. I get home so late there’s no way I can drink.
- Wednesday– I’m either going to go to the cinema, or go on a gym session with my friend.
- Thursday– I have asked a sober friend if she could meet, if not, I need to find a plan B
- Friday– I have a cosy night in planned with my best friend, who knows I’m not drinking
- Saturday– I’m going to visit a tee total friend and stay over at her house.
Keeping busy is key this week.