Drinking: a confession

I drink too much.  I have done for quite some time.  I'm certain I'm not an alcoholic.  I don't have an overwhelming desire to drink.  I don't need to start the day with a drink, and I don't generally drink during the day.  I don't drink every day, either.  I function well, and manage to keep very fit.  I eat well.  But in the evenings (mainly over the weekend period), when I sit to watch a film, I'll have a drink.  Then another.  And so on it goes, until I go to bed drunk.  As I did last night.  And then I wake up in the morning - as I did this morning - and realise I've done damage in some way.  Not just to my health, but to other people.  I'll look at my previous day's internet history and realise there are comments I've made - on here, on social media - that are rude at best, downright offensive at worst.  I keep upsetting people.  I don't know why I do it.  In vino veritas goes the old saying.  Yet it isn't the truth I'm using.  The drink turns me into this nasty, spiteful person I don't especially like - and I'm sure others don't, either.  Having said that... this person is seductive.  There's a big part of Mr Hyde that will always appeal to me.

I think it's all to do with years and years of keeping it all inside - never being confident enough to speak up, because generally when I did, I was shouted down and ridiculed.  And suddenly, I found a way to loosen all of that up.  I didn't start to drink in any way that you would call 'problematic' until I was in my 40s, and what kicked it off then was feeling trapped in an unhappy marriage and a job I hated.  Drink became an escape as well as a form of relaxation.  It also numbed the anxiety that is pretty much a default condition for me, and always has been.  It was all very selfish.  It shut me off from others and made me indifferent to the effect that my drinking was having on them.  It has cost me a lot since then.  I've lost a wife, a home, the trust of friends and relatives.  It's isolated me more and more.

I've been to AA.  I've been to therapy groups.  I've tried meditation, spirituality, etc.  I know the ins and outs of it.  I've heard all the horror stories, and told a few myself.  I'm away from everything now, really, that previously would have been a trigger to get drunk.  But I still do it.  Frankly, I can't ever imagine giving it up entirely.  Because I enjoy it.  I enjoy the feeling of all my cares and woes slipping away.  I enjoy getting light-headed.  It's pure selfishness.  I admit it.  It'll probably get me in the end, in one way or another.  I know that.  The only times I've ever attempted to end my life are when I've been drunk.  It facilitates so many things, and most of them aren't good.

I'm not posting this for advice, really.  I know what I ought to do.  But maybe others have similar experiences with some form of drug.  And maybe discussing these issues openly can help in some way.

Parents
  • Hello Tom,

    Your post resonates with me in some ways. I can appreciate that a drug such as alcohol offers deliverance from the anxiety and agitation of moving through life at an obtuse angle compared to the prevailing perpendicular. I used to smoke dope for many years for the same reasons. Unlike you, I think my drug stopped me from committing suicide. Five years after giving up, I attempted to take my own life, and I’m left wondering if not allowing myself the occasional opportunity to unbutton the straitjacket of inquietude, did me more harm than good.

    These days my only drugs are of the prescribed variety, but I do yearn for a brief relief from the ungraciousness of a sometimes bewildering world.

Reply
  • Hello Tom,

    Your post resonates with me in some ways. I can appreciate that a drug such as alcohol offers deliverance from the anxiety and agitation of moving through life at an obtuse angle compared to the prevailing perpendicular. I used to smoke dope for many years for the same reasons. Unlike you, I think my drug stopped me from committing suicide. Five years after giving up, I attempted to take my own life, and I’m left wondering if not allowing myself the occasional opportunity to unbutton the straitjacket of inquietude, did me more harm than good.

    These days my only drugs are of the prescribed variety, but I do yearn for a brief relief from the ungraciousness of a sometimes bewildering world.

Children