It’s the peak of summer. COVID restrictions are lifting. The pubs are reopening and Everyone seems keen for me to go. i don’t want to be a drunk anymore. It’s not fun. That life doesn’t work for me anymore but I can’t escape it.

when I broke up with ex I was a functional alcoholic. I don’t like the word functional because it implies I knew what I was doing, I definitely didn’t. I drank a lot to mask the pain but it didn’t interfere with my work life. My work colleagues were completely unaware. I briefly toyed with a healthier lifestyle but after doing that for a few months the addiction snuck up on me. It said you’ve proved you don’t need alcohol to function, so why not have a drink? It’ll be fun. It was a lie. And before I knew it I was back to square one. I can’t have just one beer. I can’t control myself. I need to have none.

lockdown has been hard because there’s no reason to say no. If you’re not doing anything tomorrow, why not get smashed today?

Now my brother has asked for a phone call before a potential meet-up next weekend. It’s been 18 months since I’ve seen any of my family. I haven’t missed them. We were never close. But in the 42 years he’s been alive he’s never asked me for a phone call. He’s had his own family and hasn’t paid much attention to me since I was 15. Whatever he wants it can’t be good. It makes me want to run straight to the alcohol isle at the supermarket. I never realised until tonight how big a trigger my brother is.  He has no idea about my issues. He’s completely unaware of anything or anyone in my life.

my brother, my trigger.

 

1 Comment
  1. brettlea94 2 months ago

    Do not be so hard on yourself. Everyone has issues in life and seeks ways to cope. However, those coping strategies need to lead to positive/ healthy ends. It seems you understand that you do not need to drink every time you have a problem, but that you end up drinking anyway. It seems you might try to ignore or rationalize the problem away. Instead, maybe find new hobbies/ interests to change your response to problems in life. Understand that this unhealthy response could be a habit that you unconsciously act upon. Instead of saying I need to drink when problems arise, think I need to go for a walk or exercise. At first, this might be challenging. Not because walking or exercising it hard, but because it is hard to initiate new habitual responses in thoughts, feelings, and actions. However, these unhealthy (automatic) responses can be unlearned and you can re-train yourself to respond in healthier ways. The ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus once said that pleasure is not always instant. In some cases it is delayed. He said that “what is pleasurable, ends in pleasure.” (not pain) Thus, maybe create new habits that lead you to a more lasting sense and experience of pleasure. Have a great day friend.

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