I am probably an alcoholic

Throughout my life, I have had many experiences with alcohol. Since I was about ten there was a glass of Buck’s Fizz at Christmas dinner and another shortly after at Hogmanay. I didn’t get whisky until I had a toothache at 15 and my dad was high on painkillers and told me to. I actually used whisky to get through a recent bout of tonsillitis. However, until I was about 15 my booze was limited to Christmas and Hogmanay and only a little glass here and there. When I was 16 I went to college and I would go drinking with friends. Nothing major, a beer here and there in the few pubs that forgot to ask for ID after they’d IDed everyone else. When I came to France I had neither means nor motivation to get drunk so I forgot about it. I really do mean I forgot, I didn’t think of alcohol at all. When I started making friends who drank I’d have the social pint or three.

When the rape happened that all changed. I knew while living in the UK I could drink to numb physical pain and forget emotional pain. So while living with my rapist the drinking alone started. I don’t think it was conscious and knowing what I do about psychology I know the brain craves endorphins that are released by alcohol consumption. I can see where it came from and how it happened. The only positive thing I had in that shared house was the booze, and maybe the Camembert a friend from church gave me on a semi-regular basis. If I detach myself from my case and look at it from a professional point of view it’s not surprising. Then when I finally got out of the shared house into my own flat I was free to do what I liked and I was in little to no danger. To start with I didn’t drink much. I guess I was happy to be free so I wasn’t thinking about what had happened. It didn’t last long though, I started drinking a half bottle of off-brand martini a day, then a whole bottle on the condition that I wasn’t working the following morning. That meant four days a week I could drink in excess. Working part-time in the afternoons was good. I liked church so much I wouldn’t have risked missing it because of alcohol. This carried on through various Tinder flings and is still ongoing. The psychologist I saw after the rape said I shouldn’t stop drinking suddenly. I did two days to prove I could, now I’m back to my regular schedule of two or three whiskys before bed. Only this time I have a martini. Is 1am too early for a throwback Thursday?

I am drunk while typing this. My relationship with alcohol got worse after I was raped before then I was a social drinker who only drinking from time to time. Now my partner as to see me drink most days because it’s what I do. He doesn’t know I have this blog, he thinks I am playing the Sims 4. I’ve also been battling the urge to self-harm for the last couple of weeks. I miss it. I don’t know how to explain it but I miss seeing the blade cut through my skin and the moment before the drops of blood appear. The divide was strangely satisfying and watching the blood drip was calming. As depressed as I was in 2010 sometimes I wish I could go back because things were so simple compared to now. Smartphones were barely a thing, you could have a video open on YouTube and cut the WiFi and play it 57 times over. The Sims 3 had two expansions and they were easy to pirate. The future seemed hopeful.

I am okay, I couldn’t risk it now because of work and my partner, it would not be fair to put him through that and everything else he has suffered with me.

15 thoughts on “I am probably an alcoholic

  1. sumofmyparts618125270 says:

    Your post hit close to home for me. Because I am in denial. I started drinking in 2007 after I found out my husband was having an affair. I have stopped several times for several months, but I am actively doing it again since my marriage went downhill (again) AND I am hiding it. It is my own personal shame that I have never EVER admitted to a single soul until right now. I think I am admitting this because I want you to know you are not alone. Maybe we can help each other?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. drcolleen says:

    To both of you lovely people: please don’t beat yourself up for using alcohol to self-medicate. It happens. I have used it several times in my life when I couldn’t cope. That being said, I hope you can both find a way to talk through the things that have created the need to take the edge off. I know you have mentioned a therapist, Andrea. Is this something you can/do address in therapy? In addition to my blog, I’m trying to work through all the crap in therapy. It’s hard but we have to try I think. Stay hopeful. My daughter and I got tattoos with feathers to remember this:
    Hope is the thing with feathers
    That perches in the soul,
    And sings the tune without the words,
    And never stops at all (Emily Dickinson)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. drcolleen says:

    I don’t know how things might work in terms of accessing a therapist where you live, but I think that is an important step. I have watched a lot of content from a therapist on YouTube. This is her video about finding a therapist: https://youtu.be/dfex5wnWZXI

    I am researching online peer mental health support and will share what I find.

    As for quitting drinking, getting some supports lined up is a key step. I live in Canada so have access to a number of free options as part of universal health care. What countries are you from? If I know of something helpful or can find a lead, I’m happy to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andrea B. MacIntyre says:

      In France they’re commonly expesnvie because they aren’t on the health care system. I can see a free psychologist but she cancelled my first appointment so I don’t know when that will happen.

      I think I can do it on motivation, I’ve done it before. It’s just since losing my job I’ve lost the will to stay sober. I’m bored and that’s my worst problem.

      Liked by 1 person

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