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.
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.