How bad was my drinking really? I didn’t crash any cars or end up in hospital or jail. I didn’t lose any jobs or destroy any relationships. My organs didn’t fail, I never got uncontrollable shakes or drank myself into a coma.
But are these the only markers of an alcoholic? No. Alcoholics like me can look very together and appear to be holding down ‘normal’ lives. They can stay on top of their responsibilities and meet all their obligations. They can look quite groomed and smile readily when you meet them. This was me.
High functioning to the max but dying inside. Awash with booze, crippled by guilt and regret, constantly operating at less than 100%, hungover often and always consumed by thoughts around drinking.
Don’t judge someone’s insides by their outsides.
When I was deep in my drinking days I was utterly miserable, my self esteem and self belief were being chipped away at by addiction. It was terrifyingly intense to admit to myself that I couldn’t control alcohol and unbelievably massive learning how to live without it.
Was I really that bad? Yes. Does it really matter? No. What other people think of me is none of my business.
Labels don’t matter. Outward markers don’t matter. What matters is what I know to be the truth. The drinker knows. I knew. I fronted up to myself and admitted the truth, and then took step after step to turn my life around. Inch by inch I turned my life around.
And what matters now is that I continue to make the best choice for myself every single day – to stay sober, awake, alert, raw, real.
That’s what matters.
Love, Mrs D xxx