The term Alcoholic and the definition of Alcoholic or Alcoholism is annoyingly loose.
Alcoholism, also known as alcohol use disorder, is, broadly, any drinking of alcohol that results in mental or physical health problems.
If you should ask any member of my family if the amount that I drink makes me an ‘Alcoholic’ you would receive a firm NO.
If you should ask my doctor if the amount I drink makes me an ‘Alcoholic’ you would receive a firm YES.
But for me it is no specific amount nor style or type that defines my Alcoholism but simply the way it makes me feel and the effect it had taken over my life and choices.
Knowing in myself that the cause of my demise was the very same thing I was using to ‘fix’ my problems. But feeling helpless and unsure/unable to stop myself.
So it was until 5 months ago when I finally started my sobriety – seriously this time.
There are multiple new factors in my life making this turn to sobriety serious. And 5 months into this journey I have been given a surprisingly helpful resource, or perhaps sense of closure is best to describe it..
Last week I walked out of my doctor’s office, with a document diagnosing my Anxiety and my Alcohol Dependency.
Now this may sound crazy but I felt like I had won an eternal battle. I finally could label that jar inside my head filled with guilt, shame, anger and confusion. I finally felt that my sneaky suspicions that I was out of control if not on the outside then certianly on the inside were justified and true.
Now I could call it something. Now I could understand it. Now I can separate myself from it. Now it is not part of me.
In saying this I still have a long way to go. I still look into the future and see myself enjoying a drink. I see myself sitting happily, laughing with friends, enjoying the atmosphere, getting my buzz. How I wish this was my reality. It’s an awful trick my mind does play. The reality of this image is a much more grim and stinky outcome with a spiteful slur and a half shut right eyelid.
One night two weeks ago I had the biggest struggle yet. My partner was out of town which in past times meant I could freely sit on my back varanda, chain smoke durries and skull as much damn beer as I wanted without anyone to judge or kill my buzz. I could freely get as fucked up as I always wanted to, resentment free (never the case but pre-binge always think it will be) So he was out, my baby was asleep and that night would be the first episode of a particularly trashy reality TV show I secretly love. In my mind, I thought it would be such a treat to sit there and sip wine in my jammies while enjoying the trashy frivolity on TV. I could do that, it is innocent enough. Of course I could sneak a few smokes in too, its my life after all! The physical ache for the feeling of cold beer bubbling down my throat was extremely overwhelming. The hot burn of sickly sweet menthol cigarettes burning my nostrils, gross but i loved it. I wanted it bad and new I could easily do it. Also I could do it and nobody would ever know.
Thank god I couldn’t bare facing my fiance afterward if I had. My own shame and guilt would have sent me to destruction however I knew there was no way I could keep that from him, and once he knew how upset he would be. For me, this would mean months of agonising anxiety and guilt, repeating it over and over and surely would severely and irrevocably damage our relationship. So. Not. Worth. It.
Luckily I choose to fight off this demon with a big ass bowl of pasta and a tub of ice cream. And I tell ya what – I was proud as punch sitting up on the lounge in a little nest I made for myself with my family tub of ice cream wrapped in a tea towel and a spoon. I felt like Queen of the world and damn proud of myself.
The real peach was after my show, I messaged my dear fiance and told him how close I came and he sweetly supported me and loved me more. The absolute best outcome of the choice I made.
I chose life, I chose him, I chose me.