As we close 2021 I thought I should finally return to the blog with what has been the lead reason for my most recent breakdowns.
I began trauma therapy a month ago, I was struggling to get through an experience without help and thus was ruining my chances of happiness. I chose to bare all and go in with the genuine hope of getting through my feelings and one day being able to explain my story, my experience and why it won’t define me. It does however currently run my life; every second of paranoia, every breakdown over being touched and every thought is about what happened to me.
Early 2021 I spoke quite bluntly and honestly about my alcohol addiction, I admitted the problem was big and where I’d believed I was drinking in social occasions I’d centered my whole personality around my ability to drink. I was sober for almost four months, I sat through countless social occasions sipping Pepsi Max thinking I’d cheated the system- that I’d cured my addiction.
I promised myself things would be different and they were, I had a mini slip where I wasn’t even sure I wanted to continue living and I dealt with that the only way I knew how to. I didn’t binge drink though, I was lonely and would take the occasional gin and lemonade to calm my anxiety and stop me rethinking my big move to Scotland.
The first time I binged I felt gross, I woke up realizing and knowing the reality of what I’d just done and promised myself I wasn’t to do that again. I passed out unconscious with no memory of getting back or being safe, though I was with my friends, this was a terribly triggering event for me and will never be repeated.
I always thought getting rid of the physicality of an alcohol addiction would cure me, it feels stupid to think that I genuinely believed that considering my history with mental health and body issues but I did. I think it’s easy to pretend things are okay, or at least will be but the reality is so much harder.
I’m not cured of my addiction.
Yes, I don’t drink as much and especially over this festive period I’ve realized many of the occasions I previously yearned for prosecco were the result of feeling inadequate and anxious at family events. The truth is I’ve never been the star child, I’ve never been the most interesting person in a room- I guess the only thing I’ve really had going for me is my plethora of mental health problems and diagnoses.
My addiction could’ve been to anything, and in many ways I’m very lucky it was just drink. My addiction was the result of my self-belief, in its weakest and poorest state. I was looking for anything that would make me liked, and it’s very irregular for people to dislike the one always willing for a drink.
Maybe that’s the damaging nature of uni culture in the U.K., how drinking has become competitive rather than for social occasions – but that’s a topic for another day.
I despise the woman I was, I blame myself wholeheartedly for every single bad thing that happened at university even those at the hands of other individuals. In 2019 I hit rock bottom and my biggest take from the year was my alcoholism ruined the lives around me.
My therapist sat listening to me with tears in their eyes, not for the first time as well, and for some reason I can’t get that image out of my head. Still after ‘beating’ my addiction it has power over me- I’m 22 years old and I’m a recovering alcoholic. I’m never going to be recovered because I’m never going to forgive myself for what happened to both me and those around me when I was drunk.
This isn’t a cheery post and it doesn’t have a happy ending, many good things came out of this year but unfortunately this wasn’t one of them. I need to forgive myself for a lot that happened, I’ll never truly love myself without it. 2022 I want to explore my addiction, I want to forgive myself for what happened and I want to move the blame to those who deserve it.
I went from drinking two bottles of wine a day in the closing months of 2020, to being sober for almost four months and now to drinking only socially and in much smaller amounts. I’m still growing and I’m learning more and more about myself everyday, and I hope that never stops.
To conclude this strange but needed return I’d just like to promise a 2021 recap is coming prior to NYE and also addiction isn’t something to be embarrassed about- I still find myself hating the fact it’s part of my story but unfortunately I can’t change the fact it happened to me. Please however get help, I went cold turkey and got help with the mental side to the smallest of extents and found it incredibly difficult. You aren’t alone, I’m always here.
See you all very soon