The story of last night: How I ended up drinking

So, I contemplated deleting my blog because I was so ashamed of myself for drinking. But I felt a deep sadness and disappointment in myself when I got home last night and I couldn’t sleep for hours. I wrote a blog post the minute I got in, because I needed to relieve my guilt and get it off my chest. I feel like I have let you guys and myself down. I feel ashamed. But on the other hand I feel hopeful because I am so upset with myself and regret drinking so much that it has shown me how much I want NOT to drink. It showed me how much I wasn’t missing. It made it more clear to me that I was in fact on the right path. So, while I am pretty devastated to have done it, maybe I really can put it down to a learning experience.

This is what happened:
My company had a summer BBQ last night. When I got there, my boss took me aside and gave me some great news; my company wanted to offer me a permanent contract and a leadership position. I didn’t see it coming. I was overwhelmed. Soon the word spread and my colleagues were delighted for me. People kept buying me drinks. They said that their job now was to get me hammered. I refused the drinks for a while. Then a friend said ‘surely you will have a few drinks tonight, of all nights. You should be hammered’. I had a fuck it moment. I didn’t take myself out of the situation and go over things in my head. My guard was down because I was so happy. I didn’t really give it a second thought once I had made up my mind.

We went to a nightclub after the BBQ. It was pretty late. It wasn’t until then that I had my first drink. I had 6 shorts and mixers over the course of about 4 hours. It was a ’rounds’ situation but fortunately we weren’t drinking very fast. I felt the effects of the first drink quickly. That lovely glow that I thought I missed so much was shit. I was paranoid of coming across as stupid, and was afraid that I would say the wrong thing, slur my words or appear drunk. I felt a little anxious. Exactly the feelings that I had previously thought alcohol was an antidote to. Well I am glad to have uncovered that as a big fat lie.

I drank enough to feel pretty tipsy but I didn’t cross the line into full on drunkenness. Maybe that would have been different if I had started drinking earlier. Maybe I was still thinking somewhat by not allowing myself to drink earlier in the night. I was definitely the most sober person there. But what does that matter really? I had a fun time and had good conversation and danced a lot. I did nothing that I wouldn’t have done sober. I can do anything I want sober. I am not short of confidence, and I can have fun without alcohol.

As soon as I was on my own, in the cab on the way home, an overwhelming feeling of sadness clutched at me. I thought to myself ‘what have I gained from tonight?’ and the answer honestly was nothing. I just felt guilt and I felt like a failure.

Now that another day has dawned, I feel disappointed in myself. Disgusted at myself really. I have a mild headache and feel dehydrated. I don’t have a huge hangover but I don’t feel myself. I didn’t miss this feeling. I just want it gone. But, strangely, every now and then I feel a giddy rush of excitement. I know now how much I don’t want to drink. I know now that there is nothing to miss. I know now that my sober life is a happy one. I have never felt so upset about falling off the wagon before. I’m listening to myself and know that there is a good reason why I feel this sad about it. So maybe it was a good thing that I drank because I now feel more determined than ever not to drink. I really, truly see it for what a waster of time, money and energy it is. A total confidence trick that I can’t believe had trapped so many people. And whenever I have a fuck it moment, I think the memory of this experience will be the greatest tool I have.

Thanks for listening.

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18 thoughts on “The story of last night: How I ended up drinking

  1. Congratulations on your job promotion. I note that the promotion came after three months of not drinking. Do you think that the promotion might be related to your performance when not drinking?

    I strongly encourage you not to feel that you have let anyone down. You put together 90 plus days of sobriety. I enjoyed reading how during that time you spoke about how you were able to enjoy yourself sober and begin to have some of the benefits of sobriety. I encourage you to review some of your earlier blog posts. Truly, if sobriety is not better than drinking, then there is no reason not to drink alcohol. However, from everything that I have read that you have written over the last period, sobriety worked well for you.

    You seem to be struggling with the same thing that I feared very early on – not living up to other folks expectations of what it meant to have a good time. I actually found that when I came clean so to speak – that I simply did not want to drink today – that I seemed to have developed an allergy and was having a very bad reaction, or even just being very forthright about why I was not drinking, the reaction was always much more receptive than I would have imagined. Fact is, looking quite a few years into the past for me, I cannot think of any friendship I lost because I stopped drinking, except those friendships that were simply based on getting drunk!

    On my blog (http://processnotevent.wordpress.com/) I posted yesterday about some of the issues I have with doing things sober for the first time.

    Best wishes as you go about your important work of living!

    Robert

    • Hi Robert,

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. I think the promotion was definitely related to my not drinking, yeah. I never showed up to work hungover and therefore thought that my drinking affected my work, but the extra energy, motivation and zest for life that I got from my newfound lifestyle must have had a bigger impact than I realised πŸ™‚

      I have decided to just tell people that I’m not drinking anymore due to a variety of health reasons. It’s too exhausting trying to make up excuses all the time. You are right about the living up to others’ expectations thing. The desire to actually drink had hugely dissappated for me. It’s the wanting to fit in and not seem like a bore that is a trigger for me. (Not so) deep down I know that I would actually have a much better, more meaningful, REAL time sober. Based on the way I am feeling today makes me wonder how on earth I did this to myself on a much larger scale every single weekend for years.

      I’m popping over to your blog now. I thought I had subscribed – I must have unclicked by accident!!!

      Thanks again for your support, I am so grateful.

  2. Congratulations on your promotion! Don’t be too hard on yourself for choosing to celebrate in the old, familiar way. It takes time for the new stuff to take root. You’re doing great.

    • Hi Dragonfly Wanders,

      Thanks so much for your message. I really appreciate it. I feel a lot better today, kinda like I’ve had a bit of a breakthrough! I appreciate your support, so much, thank you πŸ™‚

  3. Don’t be hard on yourself. Just glad you are back and didn’t think “oh well going back to my old ways is easier than starting over.” I am so glad you are going to try sobriety again. I never used to understand why sober people praised others when they decided to quit until now. You really have seen that you can live a good life sober.

    And I think you need to be upfront with people that you are not drinking. Tell them it is due to health reasons, liver enzymes, cholesterol, insulin issues, or whatever. I now find it funny and sort of sad that people feel “you must get hammered”. People do not know how to celebrate any other way. I heard it at a party last night. A girl said she didnt feel drunk yet and her friend said “we need to get you trashed! Add extra tequila to your drink!” I thought “and extra ibuprofen for the morning.” I do not want to develop an attitude that I am better than others for not drinking, but I don’t know why (anymore) people think they are better off for drinking.

    Anyway, congratulations on your promotion. Glad yoy are giving sobriety another try. It sometimes takes more than one try. πŸ™‚

  4. Congrats on the promotions! And I am so glad that you didn’t delete your blog! Thank you!

    I think many of us need a few tries before sobriety sticks and we get it; I sure did! I also believe that we usually get ready for the bad things in life to be drinking triggers, like a bad day, shifty boss, stress situations, dysfunctional the family, etc. We don’t seem to get prepared when good this ha happen in life and they can be triggers for drinking as well! Maybe that’s because we don’t expect good things for ourselves.

    I was about 6 months sober, and I vividly remember, walking out of the courtroom when my case was closed and all I could think about was celebrating by drinking. I just didn’t know any other way to celebrate. So in sobriety this was another thing I had to learn – I had o learn how to celebrate without drinking.

    I am really glad that you are here and back and that’s really important, and veryhting that happens is a learning experience.

    Sending many hugs!

    • Hi Maggie!!!

      Thank you so much for commenting, I am so happy you did. You have given me so much support already and I value it a lot. I am so glad that I didn’t delete my blog. That would have been the worst thing I could have done, as this blog is such a good resource for me πŸ™‚

      Good things are the trigger for me, which I suppose isn’t the worst case, but it would be nice to be able to disassociate drinking and good news. My disappointment in myself for drinking overshadowed my good news. I was too busy being regretful to really enjoy and relish it. But at least I’ve learned something. Onwards and upwards, I guess. Thanks again, Maggie xx

  5. Hi 365 πŸ™‚ thanks for your comment, it made me think a lot. I have a lot of stress about telling my colleagues that I don’t drink, because they’re always talking about how much they’d hate to go out and not drink and all this other nonsense. I shouldn’t let it bother me but the idiot in me just wants to fit in. I am being sent on a project and working with another team for the next 2-3 months so I am going to use it as a way to reinvent myself as a sober person to both groups. I will return to the new group in a few months with a health issue that will not allow me to drink. I feel guilty for lying but in this instance I think a little white lie is harmless since it is only being told for good.

    I had my last night out with them a few days ago, and managed to fool them into thinking that I was drinking – it worked perfectly and I had a great time. But I won’t always be able to do that so things do have to change.

    I hope things are good with you – I always look forward to your posts, and check your blog regularly! So I know you are very busy at the moment so thanks so much for commenting!!!

  6. soberscott says:

    Hiya! It can be tough, especially when there is peer pressure and promotions to deal with! (Well done!). You have to ask yourself the question before feeling too guilty – “Why did I stop drinking in the first place?” – If it was because you felt you were drinking too much, too often then hey, a celebration night isn’t going to put too big a chink in your armour, so say. If it was a personal challenge, then you get straight back up, dust yourself and keep on going again!
    Life’s challenges are there to teach us. Let’s face it, if none of us ever failed we would never learn from our mistakes and we’d all be in a right mess! You have done better than that. You have recognised this and are willing to get back on the wagon and that, to me, is the sign of being truly in control and understanding yourself.
    Keep going! You’re doing great.

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