I thought I was superwoman. And everyone helped perpetuate the myth too. "How do you do it?!" "You are amazing! You can go out all night AND always make it to work the next day!" I can honestly tell you that there are no super powers involved, just plain old will power. And two years ago today I used that same will power in a more productive way - I cut alcohol out of my life completely. Yes, that means I haven't had a drop of alcohol in exactly two years. If you are extremely bored you can read this entire blog, go back to where I started it in 2007, and you can see the spiral down, and then the long road back up again. Spiraling was easy with hindsight, and a lot of fun at times, climbing out of there was a lot harder, and ultimately a strain on a lot of things (my mental health, friendships, my inspiration).
NYE 2008 was a lot of fun. I still remember every bit of it, maybe because for the first night in a while I didn't black out, didn't cry, didn't feel like I wanted to jump off a bridge. The next night was the complete opposite, I still only remember blurry moments. Crying in Motorcity bathroom, yelling at Eric about something or other he had done to upset me, wanting to jump out of the window at Michelle's house. Waking up in the morning on my couch, asking Meg where my phone was (hidden in the cutlery drawer so that I wouldn't break it).
That wasn't me anymore.
There is nothing wrong with going out and having fun. There is nothing wrong with getting drunk, with dancing on a barstool, with having a slight hangover the next day. There is something wrong when you drink glass after glass of straight Stoli, just hoping that the next one will bring some kind of oblivion until the next day. It stopped being fun the night I decided that I needed 15 Tylenol PM to knock me out. I should have known at that moment, but I guess I decided to drag it out a bit longer. But as someone who had known me very well at that time said a few months ago "You knew what you were doing. You were just pushing yourself to the bottom to see how far you could go, knowing full well you would make it back up to the top again". I think he's right - I just wish I had been able to restrain myself from such an unnecessary experience.
Over the past few years I have learnt to love myself again, to handle the mental ups and downs while remaining sober, to believe in myself a lot more, and to be more confident.
I don't judge - my decision to stop drinking was a decision for myself. Alcohol is no longer a big deal in my life, but I still see some of my friends ruin themselves with it. The below is the only thing I am going to say right now, and then I will keep my mouth closed again. I am not superior to anyone, sober or not sober, I just decided to face my issues instead of hiding behind them.
If you need a drink to feel normal then that's a problem.
If you need a drink to be able to hold a conversation with someone then that's a problem.
If you can't go out without having a drink, then that's a problem.
And if you drink and drive then that's a problem.
I wouldn't have been able to get through this all without my Mum, sister, brother and closest friends. I love you <3