‘I have always had a problem with alcohol’. It has taken me about 10 years and an amazing person to finally admit that to myself.
One of the first pieces of advice the doctor gave me was not to drink to excess, as hangovers cause chemical-level depression and anxiety. Although I knew this to be true and every time I had a hangover my anxiety, thoughts and OCD were significantly worsened, it has never stopped me.
When I say that I ‘have a problem with alcohol’, it is not that I drink often, but when I do it is to0 extreme excess. ‘Excess’ meaning that 9 times out of 10, I wake up scared because I do not remember anything of the night before. This might prompt the question then, why do I drink so much? The only and honest answer to that is, I cannot control myself. That is why I am sat here for the second day in a row with my head in a mess after waking up on the floor in a pool of my own vomit. Where had I been? A dinner party…
Why can’t I control myself?
- My mentality – I don’t drink beer for the taste and quite frankly, if I was just going to have 1 or 2 then I wouldn’t bother for the sake of saving the extra inches going on my belly. The horrible truth is that I go out with the mind of an 18-year-old, telling myself I am going to get ‘fucked up’.
- I do not know my limits anymore – I remember the days when I could sink 4 pints and not feel a thing, but now, depending on the conditions, 4 pints is enough to floor me sometimes, especially since I began taking Paroxetine and Opipramol on a daily basis. The fact is, I just don’t know when to stop.
- It gets better before it gets worse – when I drink, it does alleviate my problems (but only in the moment).
The negative effects that it has on my life
- Hangovers – every time I have a hangover, I am at war with my mind. Work becomes a nightmare, my mood is terrible and my OCD is rife.
- It’s embarrassing – most people have been too drunk at some point in their lives and have lost control. My problem is that it is always me and I now have a reputation for always being too drunk, which I think speaks for itself.
- My relationships – it is not fun to go out with someone that is getting kicked out of bars, throwing up on you and can’t even walk. My friends don’t like it and for certain my partner absolutely hates it.
- My health – it is not only my mental health that is affected and I would not like to think what my liver goes through every time I do this to myself.
- It’s scary – waking up not knowing where you are and not remembering anything of the night before and then being told stories of how drunk you were…it’s extremely scary, especially when paired with the unstable state of a hangover. I feel lucky to be alive.
So what am I going to do?
For now, I am going to give up alcohol altogether. It has such a negative impact on my life and until I can learn to control it, I will just have to lose it. My partner is the biggest inspiration in my life to better myself. They have always cared for me and tried their best to understand me, which is not easy. I have made promises before to control the amount that I drink and have succeeded for short periods, but inevitably I have always fallen back into bad habits and I know deep down that I have to do better. It is kind of sad that I can’t be motivated to do this for myself, but I will do it for my partner.
If you can relate, or know somebody that might, please share this to help others feel less alone.