To Drink or Not to Drink

In my last post about the Shakespeare Half, I said I started drinking again.  That I did.  And I’m still drinking.  Not right now, obviously – I usually write these in my office at work during lunch! 

This post is a moan.  To myself.  About myself.  It is very self-absorbed, but I need to stop hurting myself, and stop hurting others. Which is what is happening.

So Friday 5th May I started drinking again.  JB and I arrived at our hotel in Stratford-Upon-Avon and we went down to the bar for a snack and a drink.  I sat and said “I’m going to have a glass of wine.”  And I did.  I had two glasses of red.  They weren’t great which was disappointing.  And that was that.  Saturday I had a drink with dinner and Sunday afternoon was spent the two of us sitting in the sunshine in Stratford, drinking cocktails quite merrily.  All fine. 

Fast forward a week and we were in Edinburgh for JB’s 40th birthday.  All a surprise trip for him to celebrate the big 4-0.  Amazing place.  I’d been as a teenager, but not JB.  He loves to go to different places.  Doesn’t like to go to the same place twice!  We were there for a few days. A couple of friends joined us.  It was full of beer, wine, and good times.  Still fine.

The last two weekends have been a bit more.  I'd had some bad news in the week or so leading up to them.   And they were not fine.  I won’t go into much detail, because I can’t.   There were shots.  A lot of shots.  No memory.  I’ve sprained my ankle and I don’t know how.  This is stupid.  This could become dangerous. 

I am on anti-depressants right now, as I’ve said before.  Escitalopram.  I’m writing this down as whenever I tell someone I’m on them, I never remember the name/can’t say the name. Escitalopram.   These had been helping me a lot with how I’m feeling and I have fewer “episodes” as my doctor so nicely calls them.  I am calm, I’m thinking slightly clearer, I’m less stressed.  However, if I miss a couple…which I often do…then it’s surprising how quickly I can become unfocused and agitated.  They then make me feel ill and I put off taking the next one knowing I’ll feel worse, even for a day, but then the longer I put it off, the worse I will feel.

This last week I missed most of the tablets.  I started using an app – Medisafe – to track when I take them.  I’ve told it when I should be taking them and how often.  The app reminds me.  I tell the app when I’ve taken it.  The app also has a snooze feature which I use more often than I should.  I use it to get rid of the notification from my phone as my tablets are in my bag and I’m busy doing something else.  Then I just don’t take the tablet.  I don’t want to take the tablet in the evening as I then have trouble sleeping.  So I miss it. 

Forgetting to take the medication and upping my drinking – or having many many shots - appears to have been a recipe for disaster.  I have no explanation as to why I behave the way I do.  I went 68 days without alcohol and it appears I have learnt nothing from the experience and immediately reverted to how I was before.   I’m being a fool and I’m upsetting people. Upsetting JB. This isn’t right.  He shouldn’t have to put up with this.

I know I have to change.  I know what I need to do.  In my head it’s like I have a drinking plan.  I said to myself “May and June I’ll drink again for the birthdays and then I’ll just stop again in July for my training - that will be fine.”  I think I’ve even said that to people.  Is this doable?  Should I just stop now?  Well I know that’s not going to happen.  It is my birthday this week.  I’m going for a late lunch.  I’m going to have prosecco.  This will happen.  And this is ok....isn't it?

Perhaps I can stop after my birthday.  June is full of events.  I have a race every weekend which means I cannot be drinking shots before.  Perhaps a celebratory pint afterwards.  Perhaps.

I need to get to a place where I can still have a drink, and enjoy that drink, but not get myself in such a state that I don’t know what I’m doing.  Even when I receive news or something happens that affects me negatively, I shouldn't suddenly reach for the bottle.  The quote I used in a post previously. 

“My relationship with wine is not a test of willpower, like seeing how long you can hold your breath underwater. This is a complete rewiring of my brain to make different choices when I walk into a pub, to make different decisions when I feel stressed or sad or hurt.

This is what I want.  This is what I need to achieve.  I don’t know how.  But I’m going to continue to try.  Stick with me.  Please.


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