I have a drinking problem.
This is a realization I have had for quite sometime, but I’ve been in denial about it for years. I’ve made excuses for myself, and justified my behaviour for too long and it ends now.
My true issue is impulse control. I seem to have none. And when I drink, the good feeling I get is hard to ignore and it makes me want to drink more and more. I don’t have a limit, I just seem to drink until I want to go home or its too late to continue. I am a very social drinker and love nothing more than going out with friends or meeting new friends and sharing a few drinks. But I don’t know my limits.
I’ve spent too much money on this addiction and its been the reason for some of my financial difficulties. When I drink it helps me de-stress by helping me ignore things that are important and require my organization. It was an escape from reality.
I spent a few extra years in university than most people and lived the student life longer than many. Drinking to excess on a weekday was normal operating procedure for me. I enjoyed socializing and enjoyed how quickly it calmed me down when things were hectic.
When I finished university, I still drank socially, but again, I didn’t know my limits. While friends of mine would cut themselves off after two or three drinks, I would suck back pints like it was water. I had a need to constantly be drinking something and it would result in a drunken night and a hard at work the next day.
It never really got in the way of anything, so I was never accountable to it. However, looking back, there are a lot of times where I drank too much and avoided responsibilities or made bad decisions as a result. But again, these consequences were never severe enough to hold me truly accountable or make me feel like there was a problem. One of the biggest red flags that I still ignored, was when I was at a Christmas party with her and her friends. I consumed a lot and very quickly and ended up putting myself to bed before midnight. I’m sure she was embarrassed, she was certainly mad at me for it. And I stopped drinking for a bit after that as a result. But eventually I’d start drinking again.
When everything fell apart, I started drinking a lot more. I justified it to myself that it was helping me deal with the stress and that it allowed me to think honestly, however it was just distracting me from the true issues and helped me escape the weight of reality for while.
I finally decided to stop drinking for a while. Partly because I needed a clear head to figure my life out, and partly because I couldn’t afford it. About two weeks of being sober, I started feeling a craving to get a drink. I felt a strong urge for a drink. This was a new feeling to me. I’ve never really experienced a craving like that before and it scared me. I didn’t succumb to my urge and pushed through. It was then that I realized I might actually have a problem.
I use alcohol as a crutch to help me get through difficult or stressful times. Because I can’t control myself, I almost always go too far and drink too much. I’ve never gotten violent or done stupid things while drinking, but it still caused damage to some relationships I hold dear.
As things in my life have started to come back together, I’ve tried to re-introduce alcohol back into my lifestyle. I’ve always enjoyed sharing a glass of wine when talking with a friend, and as things started to settle, I figured there would be no harm. When I started talking with her again, I reluctantly started sharing glasses of wine. But I never over indulged, I had a high of level of self control around her and was able to fight off impulses to drink quickly and in large amounts.
But I have had my slips. During St. Patrick’s Day I went out with the intention of just having one or two pints with a friend. It was Sunday, and we didn’t go out until 11pm anyway so I didn’t see any real harm. St. Patrick’s Day had always been our day. We ended up staying out until the bar closed and stumbling home drunk. Both of us had work the next morning and I regretted my decision.
I stopped again for the week. That next weekend I was delighted to be visiting her and we shared bottle of wine while we talked all night. I had no problem again with self control and was happy for that.
But a few days later, I went out with another friend to a local music show and ended up drinking way too much beer to the point where I was useless the next day. I was ashamed at myself for slipping again and not realizing it.
It seems that it depends on my company on how I consume alcohol. I have a much higher level of self control and maturity when I am with her, than when I am with anyone else. But the fact of the matter remains, I feel like I have a drinking problem.
I am starting to understand how to control it rather than letting it control me, but it is hard. It is very hard. But When I am sober for an extended period of time, I feel more motivated and clear headed. And I’d like to continue with that feeling.
This is my confession. This is my declaration that I can over come this.
I can do this.