Diary Entry- Is this blog making things worse or have they always been this bad?

Since starting this blog it seems that I am thinking of little other than my drinking. In between entries I think of what the next post should be and I often do not post because there are so many potential posts that I end up writing nothing. In between posts I think about my drinking, I record what I am drinking, I contemplate future scenarios where I will be drinking – to be honest it’s enough to turn a man to drink! And that is a real worry- is my writing about, and focus on drinking actually making me drink more?  To be honest I think I know the answer-NO IT’S NOT!

I think the writing and obsessing about it is making me realise just how bad things have become.  Take the last few days. Since Friday I have had 4 days out of 5 where I have drunk at least 15 units of alcohol.  The UK guidelines are that a safe level of drinking is no more than 14 units in a week- that means that in less than one week I have consumed  a month’s worth. Before starting this blog and recording what I drink I would have gently reflected that I had had a few days of slightly excessive drinking and carried on. Now I see the amount in front of my eyes- 4 days out of 5 where I have exceeded a week’s safe drinking level. 68 units spread over 4 days.

Yesterday was supposed to be one of my first tests for moderation.  I’d set myself a reasonable target of a few drinks – maybe a very generous 6-8 units.So how did this test of my resolve and moderation go? Crap! That’s how. Yet priceless in what it has shown me.  Let me backtrack.  Last night I went for a meal with 7 women that I had trained with last year. We are all volunteers for a charity and occasionally we like to get together and do a bit of social catching up. We had planned to meet at a cheap and cheerful restaurant. Everyone drove there, except me.  This was a social occasion and I knew that meant I would have to drink. So one of the group kindly agreed to pick me up.  All day yesterday I was looking ahead and feeling anxious; would I be able to moderate?  Should I just drive and that way not drink at all? That seemed impossible. I knew if I did I would be sitting there all evening just thinking about the fact that I didn’t have a drink. As I contemplated this prior to going out, I felt depressed- is this what it has come to? A very ordinary get together on a Tuesday night has taken on massive proportions- all related to alcohol.  I ditched the idea of driving.

I had an hour before being picked up.  I knew most of the group would not be drinking and I dreaded both the prospect of drinking moderately (harder for me than not drinking at all) or drinking normally which would result in me being visibly the one with a drink problem. I didn’t want to go. It would be easier to stay home and not drink.  That was scary- I would choose not going out and meeting friends because I was worried that I couldn’t drink in a normal way.  I found a solution – an alcoholic solution.

I went to the fridge and poured a large glass of wine.  Genius Jim! Pre-load!  I ignored the sarcastic voice that was ringing in my ears.  I had cracked. A second and third glass quickly followed. So this is it.  The great plan?  Get pissed before going out so that I can appear not to drink much when I get to the restaurant.  I am guessing this is a common tactic for those who are alcohol dependent? Once the wine was flowing the voice stopped and I felt calm and relaxed and good.  I enjoyed the evening and probably no-one guessed that I had already drunk nearly a bottle of wine. I had a beer and a large glass of wine with the meal and felt satisfied that I’d appeared to drink reasonably whilst at the same time tanked up with alcohol from my pre-loading at home.

I got home and felt good but of course I’d spent 3 hours drinking very little so on arriving home I had two large gin and tonics. I was starting to feel disgusted with myself.  My first real test at moderation and I had ended up drinking nearly 20 units. The experience of yesterday shows me that my problem with alcohol is much bigger than I have previously admitted to myself and that the various factors that converge to make me feel compelled to drink are going to be difficult to overcome.  There is a wedding coming up this weekend and I am now dreading it. I should of course be looking forward to it but all I am thinking is, “Will I drink too much, how can I disguise it, will I embarrass my girlfriend, will I make a complete dick of myself?”  I dread these social occasions and that seems sad. I think I am slowly coming to the conclusion that if I cannot learn to moderate then I will have to consider giving up completely.  Let’s see how this weekend goes?

Jim x

 

About dealingwithalcoholdependency

Semi retired professional working in education and social work. Exploring how I became alcohol dependent and hoping I can find a way to moderate rather than abstain. It may be a losing battle but reluctant at this stage to lose this constant companion.
This entry was posted in Alcohol dependency, moderation, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Diary Entry- Is this blog making things worse or have they always been this bad?

  1. I recognise so much of what you’ve written here, I’ve been through so many of those thoughts myself too. Although writing the blog and examining your drinking is bringing up some uncomfortable realisations it is probably a good thing. When our problems remain unexamined then there is no way to move forward and consider possible options or solutions. Facing hard truths can feel like being smacked in the face though, I’m thinking of you. Wishing you a peaceful end to the week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks and yes I am realising that facing the truth is tough and also that relying on will power alone to reduce is not going to work. I guess this is my first phase, facing realities. Creating a plan that works short of having to go the full abstinence path will be the challenge. Thanks for your support, it does help.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. habitdone says:

    I think we all go through those feelings about blogging. Suddenly we get very tired doing nothing but thinking about drinking, it seems all consuming and that we were happier before…..but really we weren’t. You’re doing well to question how things will go at the wedding. You aren’t at a point of giving up drinking but want to drink differently. Maybe drink different at just the wedding. Just don’t drink that day and come up with a health reason for just that day. Migraine, whatever. Observe how you feel…do you feel not fun? Do you feel awkward? Or….do you feel the same and wonder why you need alcohol? What is it doing for you? Just make it one day of experiment and drink another day. You won’t get yourself into trouble that day and may learn something. It’s good to get just a few sober accomplishments from time to time to keep moving forward. Just a thought…

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    • That sounds so logical and a great idea but I could not envisage going to a wedding (and this one is in a field with everyone camping) at this stage and NOT having a drink. It’s almost too horrendous to contemplate which I guess says a lot. I do have a couple of friends coming for a meal on Friday and that seems doable so I shall try 3 days without alcohol including the Friday meal to give my poor old body a rest. Really appreciate your comments and support though.

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  3. Jim,
    One time I thought it would be a good idea to drink before hubs took me out to a fancy show and dinner.
    I drank so much that I feel over in the isle of the show and rolled down a little bit.
    That still didn’t stop me, and when we got to dinner, I drank more, and blacked out for most of it.
    I hope your weekend goes well.
    xo
    Wendy

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    • Hi Wendy, that sounds grim and I suppose I’m lucky (depending on your viewpoint) that I can usually hold my drink pretty well and usually avoid the worst excesses of drunkenness. The downside is that it disguises the problem. I can say to myself,”I’m not that bad, I’m not blacking out or ending up in hospital,” but the fact is I am drinking at unsafe levels and it does affect my physical and psychological wellbeing. I know there has to be change. Jim x

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