An entry from my blog on my fight with alcohol.
This week it has been pretty easy to not drink, but it always is at this stage. Saying that, it’s only been a few days since I really stopped. It was last Tuesday that I saw the consultant, but that was off the back of a nasty binge. In the 5 days previously, I had drink 2 bottles of vodka, 9 bottles of wine and 12 cans of strong cider at least. What a lot of people don’t realise is that is very dangerous to stop drinking straight away after a binge like that. You run the risk of an alcoholic seizure and horrific physical withdrawals.
So for 2 days, I brought myself down slowly, having some swigs when I started to feel the physical effects kick in. For these 2 days I was a physical mess. I could not eat, had the shakes, was hot then cold, ached all over and was generally in a mess. The mental side was awful as well. I only got snatches of sleep, was full of guilt, fear and remorse, its a horrible time.. When I did sleep my dreams were vivid and unpleasant, and I remembered every moment when I woke up. I finally took my last swig at 11pm on the Thursday night.
On Thursday afternoon I was starting to feel better but ached all over. I was volunteering that afternoon, so was kept busy, which is always a help. Friday I had a meeting with local alcohol services, which again was helpful and I could go through everything that had happened. This is always the stage where it is easy to say “never again” and mean it at the time. However as the weekend went on, normally a trigger when I am on my own, Monday passed attending a group workshop on changing thought processes, I actually believe a different mindset was in place. I set off for more volunteering today feeling happy and healthy, with a fresh haircut and actually taking care of my appearance for the fist time in a long time, and people were commenting on my different demeanour. So why is it different this time?
- The meeting with the liver consultant. It really did scare me like nothing had before. I knew I was killing myself but having a professional put a timeframe on it was literally sobering. It’s now or never.
- My medication. I’ll talk through this in another post but I am lucky to be on some drugs that are not widely available. They are actually muscle relaxants and antispasmodics, but have proven to be effective for people with my pattern of addiction. They effectively remove my physical cravings, along with some of the mental baggage, so help me make better decisions.
- Family and friends. A lot of people have been really supportive, which is a huge help. Plus I need to be there for them. I need to be there for my boys too. It is my birthday tomorrow which is a nailed on trigger, but not this year. I am seeing different members of my family through the day tomorrow, and have zero intention of having a drink tonight.
- The professional help I have had. The most important. I cannot stress how important all the help I have had over the years has been. Again, I’ll talk in another post about exactly who has helped and how, but the people helping me at the moment are tremendous. Turning this around was described to me years ago as turning round a container ship. It can take a long time to make that full turn, and all of the help and tools I have been given has led to this point. It is not a case of this change in attitude just happening, it has been a long time coming.
So that’s where I stand today. I feel healthier. I’m certainly happier and looking to face the future, which is a scary prospect. I will report in next week with where I am up to and start talking about the past.
As I write this it is 5 days and 17 hours since I last had a drink.