I Got it From My Mumma

Full disclosure this heading is in reference to the song lyric and applied as an innuendo that Alcoholism is hereditary.

That being said, I cannot confirm or deny this claim as both my parents are drinkers born from drinkers so there is no comparison in my bloodline.

It is true that I was brought up in a household were alcohol plays a daily part. I shared my lunch and dinner table and sometimes even my breakfast table with the ever warm company of the booze bottle.

In my family we drink to celebrate, we drink to grieve. We drink because we are happy, we drink when we are sad, we drink for no particular reason except that the beautiful summer sun is out or the cool evening fire becons.

We like to have ‘A bloody good time’. Our family and friends know us for it, and we glow in this image.

Growing up in this atmosphere means that developing a problem or an unhealthy relationship with alcohol goes completely under the radar.

This is because, well frankly the whole thing is a problem but no one can see it. When all parties concerned are under the same illusion then how can there be a problem?

I have felt for many years that my alcoholism was a problem for me. I was a heavy drinker from a young age and it brought out the worst in me. Though slipping unnoticed by my boozy family, them labelling me fondly, a little party animal, I soon realised my problem in the outside world by the social group and the predicaments I found myself to be in.

The time I lost my drivers licence for blowing a high range reading of my blood alcohol level (for the 2nd time). I knew something had to be done. I took a hiatus from alcohol and sort professional help.

This however was not met well with my family…

“Why dont you just have a few drinks instead of too many?’

“Why dont you just pace yourself, you don’t need to quit drinking?”

“Gorn just have a few its (whatever) occasion!”

These most unsupportive remarks made it extremely difficult to cold turkey my addiction however I am pleased to report I made 6 months! Before the ever bittersweet relapse.

I understand now, in that marvolous hindsight that the reason my family could not support me is because it exposed them.

If i wasn’t being The Queen of all Trash then who would drink with them? Who would enable them?

The difference from me to them is that I am not happy, alcohol makes me angry, depressed, and a general asshole. I have my heels dug firmly in the never ending cycle of depression then drinking or drinking then depression, the chicken or the egg? They go hand in hand. And it seems I am either the only one being honest about this struggle or the only one in my family struggling with it.

This has meant for me that since quitting for good, I have had to isolate myself from them, not fully as I love my family and that would be horrible but I have maintained a social distance, I also have not told them that I have quit alcohol. This way I do not have to field any well meaning unhelpful remarks.

Although it is absolutely shithouse that I have decided to take this step without them, it is the less stressful option for me. And I am ok with that.

Removing alcohol from my life is also removing that whole drinking scene from my life. It is the choice I have made and by George I am going to stick to it.

I have the support of my fiance, and once I am a boss at the sober life I will join my mad family gatherings once again and perhaps a little inspiration to others may be shared.

Until then I have you, my infinite world wide web xxx

How did it come to this? Am I an Alcoholic?

Quite often when you tell someone you are not drinking at the moment, the response will probably be ‘Why? What happened?’

You tell someone you are taking a break from alcohol and they immediatly assume that you must be an Alcoholic, that you have a problem with drinking.

It is a label slapped right on your forehead and you immediately hang your head and let them tut tut you. Rolling their critical assumptions all over you in waves of judgement.

When you tell someone you have quit smoking its all pats on the back and high fives all around, but alcohol, yet another legal drug is completely taboo. You must have done something baaaaad.

Well sometimes this maybe true, but I am here to say that when a person has acknowledged their own need to have a break from drinking, they are already their own worst enemy anyways, with self judgement and loathing to spare!

Me personally? I find myself in a very unflattering grey area of this ‘Alcoholic’ label.

Am I depended on Alcohol? Well yes and no.

Do I need a drink when I wake up to stop the shakes? Well no (although there have been shaky days I tell you now!)

But do I depend on alcohol? Well yes, I thought that I needed it to have fun, to de-stress, to celebrate, to grieve.

As it turns out I was not in fact depended on the drug, just the illusion that I needed it to reach those emotions. I had convinced myself that alcohol was the only way I could get that dopamine and feel those feels.

But even then, I think that is somewhat manageable, even to a degree, acceptable behaviour. It is in fact what most people who drink alcohol do so to feel the feels.

But no, my ‘grey area’ of alcoholism was the lack of an ‘off’ switch.

I am the type of drinker that once the sweet nectar hits these ever quivering white girl lips, my pupils dilate, I slick back my party hair do and it is on like donkey kong.

With all good intentions out the window along with my common sense and boundaries, I pull up my britches and get absolutely tanked.

Every. Single. Time.

I can swear black and blue and have full intentions to have a quite few, just a drink with dinner or only my allocation. But you can bet your bottom dolla that I will get wasted. Either by discretely (or so i thought) sneaking as much in as possible should it not be an occasion others were indulging OR come home and get myself next levelled in the dark by myself afterward.

Or more often then not, surround myself with other like minded ferals where we can all get blind rotten drunk with no judgement and sit around congratulating ourselves in our ignorance and convincing each other that it is everyone else with the problem.

Telling myself I’d had a hard day and deserved these two cans of cider. Whats a third, who is counting. Geez that feels good, I sculled that one, still not bed time I will have another. 10 cans down and work tomorrow. On repeat.

In my early twenties, I didn’t recognise this.

I had the ‘I am king and will drink everyone under the table’ hat on.

The ugly reality of this was that while I thought this hat would bring me friends and respect, all it did was close off opportunities and killed off brain cells.

However being in that age, around the ever popular party scene, these qualities are often mistaken for just a girl who likes to have a good time.

As life went on, the stronghold of these drinking behaviours started to show itself. The effect alcohol had over me was starting to manifest itself into actions. Into big problems.

I wish I could say that I learnt my lesson quickly, that I pulled by shit together and started to live a quality life. But it simply isnt true.

Alcohol has taken from me years of my life, relationships, careers, adventures, self love, dignity.

I have been fired from jobs, lost my drivers licence TWICE from Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, lost precious friendships, created unhealthy relationships, done a shit load of dangerous drugs, put myself in dangerous situations, been sexually abused – more times than I even know.

I write this and still feel the need to reiterate – I AM NOT A BAD PERSON.

I am frightened of your judgement, yet here I am, standing tall brave and SOBER.

Am I an Alcoholic? I really don’t know.

What I do know is that I am giving this sober life a red hot crack, here on this very public platform!!!

So next time someone tells you they are on hiatus from alcohol, tell them that they are fucking legendary.

Beer in bed? Yep that seems normal.

Oh shit, here we go….

Hey ho, here we gooooo.

Here goes the first step out into the blinding lights of the world wide web. I must be mad…

I can honestly say I am frightened to start this blog, I am exposing myself like fresh raw skin to a parching sun.

I may as well run outside in my fluffy mum dressing gown and flash the neighbours, which is something past me would have done in a heart beat while ‘having fun’ on a boozy bender.

Yet here I am, writing this blog to share my past, be mindful in my present and be visual about my future.

How did I get here? Well arn’t you in for a treat. I am fully prepared to share my trash tramp past, all of the highs and even more juicey, my all time lows.

However for now lets just say out of the lengthy list of reason why I have decided to quit alcohol, my main inspiriations are to:

  • Be the best, most wonderful mother I can be to my son
  • Stop being an unnecessary ass hole to my loved ones
  • Stop feeding the Anxiety Monster a buffet breakfast
  • Start learning how to be a badass GirlBoss
  • Stop letting alcohol dictate the type of person that I am.
  • Look and feel amazing as opposed to a haggard old rag

So I am basically going to use this blog to voice my emotions, the immediate and long term effects I experience and hopefully start discussions for like minded people so we can establish a support network for each other.

Now that you know why you are here and what you are reading I am going to end this short and sweet first post with a quote.

“I am not taking anything away from my life by quitting alcohol, I am actually giving myself a gift.” – James Swanwick, Entrepreneur