It wasn’t my actual drinking that was the problem

My issue was not really the amount of alcohol I was throwing down my throat. No, cos I was not falling around drunk, or drinking every day, or hiding my drinking or driving drunk or not being able to get up in the morning.

It was the MASSIVE EFFORT that I had to put in to keep my alcohol intake down to that dull roar; that was a big problem. The huge demands that NOT drinking as much as I really wanted to was making. I was being suffocated by it, I was being utterly exhausted by it. I knew very well that alcohol wanted to take me somewhere I did not want to go, it wanted me to follow my dad into appalling behaviour and an early grave… the effort to stop that happening was the killer, not the glasses of wine I poured down my neck. 

How I envied people who could just have the odd glass, or even a couple of glasses a couple of times a week. You are either like that or… you’re not. And there are loads of us who are not.

So, generally, I did not drink during the week, and at weekends generally not more than a half bottle at a time. When out with other people, especially my beloved pals who were drinkers, I would love to let rip and drink a heap more… I would look for those opportunities and might even manipulate to have them.

But then… the alcohol creep would start…. I would wake up in the mornings working out how many days it would be until I could have a drink. I would feel real physical cravings for alcohol int he middle of the afternoons. I would have to clench myself so hard, white knuckle it until I would allow myself to have a drink, or two or three or four. I had all sorts of cunning and conniving ways to stop myself drinking as much as I really wanted to.

This alcohol creep happened so many times… I would stop and start and stop and start, never for very long until I did have a whole year off in 2013… I could moderate and be healthy for a bit, especially if I was taking loads of exercise or spending lots of time outdoors. But sooner or later the mental obsession would return and I would be thinking about drinking in a way that totally wore me out.

It was the stopping myself that caused the most stress… but I am glad I did stop myself nonetheless! Eventually, after 25 years of trying to moderate and drink like a normal person, I saw that this was not for me, met other people who were just like me and then managed to totally let go. I finally accepted, and embraced, that my life would be far, far better if I never drink again… in the company of many other people just like me, I am now so clear that my alcohol and hangover days are over, but my socialising and drinking with friends days are not, I’m just drinking the hangover-free stuff these days.

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