Why vodka and I are no longer BFFs

Almost 18 months ago I made the decision to cut back on my drinking.  I didn’t want to give up completely, but I did want to cut back.  Vodka and I had been best friends forever (BFF) for a long time, but it got to the point where I knew that something had to give.  The relationship wasn’t working anymore, it had become toxic.shot-1487332_640

I haven’t really talked about this decision with too many people.  I didn’t want the self enforced guilt of feeling like I was doing the wrong thing when having a drink.  I’d been down that road before and it wasn’t a place I wanted to go again.

In the 12 or so months leading up to my decision, my drinking had steadily gotten worse.  I went from having a few drinks on a Friday night to polishing off 5-6 drinks every single night, sometimes a lot more.  My anxiety had kicked into overdrive, and I thought that I could squash the feelings with vodka.

Like many before me, I told myself that it wasn’t a big deal at the time.  I was having fun, kicking arse and getting shit done…sort of.  I completely wrote myself off on a regular basis and would spend days recovering.  I played with fire and regularly got burnt.

Slowly I began to realise that the anxiety wasn’t going away with the drinking.  In fact the more I drank, the longer the anxiety stuck around.  I berated myself for days after a binge session for the things that I might have said or done.  Even though I was surrounded by friends or family, still I berated myself.

Things changed and I became a snarky, depressed drunk.  I wasn’t having fun anymore.  I was nasty, blanketing my anxiety underneath anger.  The drinking made me want to escape, I just wanted to leave.

The turning point for me, and I’d had opportunities before but none of them had the slap in the face this one did, was when I listened and I just walked away.  Paul and Mr 6 were asleep in the house.  I’d had a bad day and I wanted to drink on my own.  I got two blocks away before I realised the impact of what I was doing and I turned around.

It was the next morning that I decided that enough was enough.  I needed to stop using vodka as a crutch when I knew it was making things so much worse.  I didn’t completely swear off alcohol, but I knew that I didn’t want to be in that position again.  I realised that I was using alcohol to harm myself.

Today, 18 months later I still enjoy the company of vodka but we are no longer best friends.  I know the toxic nature that it can create in me so I know that we can longer be more than acquaintances.  We still party occasionally, but I can also stop at 1.  I won’t let it have that kind of hold over me.

Have you struggled with alcohol dependence?

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