I really don't think I'm an alcoholic today because of my drinking back then. I never drank a drop of alcohol until I was 21. I was always really proud of that but looking back now I realize at no time did I ever learn to social drink. Drinking, like everything else in my life, was done with focus of purpose and that purpose was to get drunk. For the longest time I had a really good system in place where I would start drinking early and then always quit early, like at 10pm or so, and coast on what I had in me so I was sobered up by the time I got home. This eliminated hangovers and allowed me to really mess with everyone who hadn't quit drinking like I did.
Somewhere along the line I completely forgot how to quit drinking. I started drinking earlier and earlier and then didn't stop. The past year or so got really, really bad. Lots of black out moments and fights or conversations I don't remember at all. I would drink alone in the middle of the day. I'd hide bottles in the house.
Since August I've been trying really, really hard to stay sober and, for the most part I have. My job puts me in a situation where I'm forced into bars quite a bit and that can be difficult, but fortunately now all of my co-workers and close friends in the Hills know I can't drink anymore and really do a lot to help me out.
Last night, however, I dropped the ball and had a couple of drinks. I made it home ok and wasn't crazy out of control or anything like that, but I still failed completely and now it's almost 3 in the morning and I'm awake and typing because it's all I can think about. Drinking, I mean. Not in the crazy-craving it sense, but on how to make sure I never, ever drink again. Maybe I'm over thinking things. Maybe I should be able to say it's no big deal, you had a couple of drinks, don't do it again and move on. But I choose to think about it differently. If I was with another woman and we kissed, would my wife be ok with that? Hell no! Yeah, I didn't get drunk but I drank. I cheated. And it's eating me up right now, so much in fact that I can't sleep.
I think, for me, as dramatic and stupid as it sounds, I need some sense of accountability. Logic doesn't come in to play like it should for me on this. That's frustrating. In my mind, I should be able to just say “Stop” and then stop, but I can't. So I'm hoping by putting this out there for the world to see, including close friends and family, I'll be backed against a wall and no longer be able to “sneak just a drink or two” ever again.
The sure fire sign to tell when I was drinking, or am drinking again, is my lack of ability to control my emotion. Good or bad, everything for me is extreme when I'm drinking. Now, that's not to say if I'm laughing too hard or angry at something that happened during the day means I'm drinking. For the most part, and it's not a good thing either I know, I keep my emotions really bottled up. I'm working on that too.
If you get odd or random texts from me, I've been drinking. If I don't remember conversations or appointments, I've been drinking. If I'm awake at 3am after sleeping for a couple of hours prior, I've been drinking.
This opens me up to all sorts of problems now, I know. Any random hello text may result in me getting a response back asking if I've been drinking. Any lapse in memory whatsoever will result in someone asking me if I've been drinking. Any time I just can't sleep because of having too much on my mind will result in someone asking me if I've been drinking. I think that's the price I have to pay, though. I don't want to drink anymore. I keep telling myself I can handle the situation but I can't, plain and simple. I am hoping that people who are close to me will not be afraid to ask if I'm ok and I'll be able to honestly say that I am.
I have a friend who recently publicly quit drinking and smoking and he says it's tough but he just keeps himself busy and takes a day at a time. I've tried that and can go, apparently, months at a time, but then start thinking I'll be ok and I can have a drink. Truth is, I can't. I'm nervous that I'm going to drink tomorrow and am extremely fortunate that I have too much scheduled throughout the day so I know that drinking won't happen. But that doesn't mean I don't want a drink. And that's the hump I want to get over. I want to not think about it at all. Cause so far, even with the weeks or months of sobriety at a time, I still -think- about it and I want that to stop somehow. I don't want to be angry or stressed and have my first thought be “man, I was I had a drink right now”. I want that stupid little voice in my head telling me that “just one” is ok to completely go away.
I'm smart enough to know stuff. I know that eventually this will all be a thing of the past. I know that eventually I'll be in control again and will be back to the mindset I had before I was 21 and when someone asked me if I wanted a drink I could say without hesitation, “No Thanks” and be completely fine with that. I just hope that moment comes sooner than later.