*T.W alcohol abuse and mention of vomit* *small disclaimer here, I am in no way glamourising drinking, binge drinking or alcohol. I am purely writing from my own experience, and there is nothing glamorous about waking up fully clothed with a McDonald’s chip hanging out of your mouth*
In a recent post, Mark briefly touched on the fact that we’d cut down on the amount of alcohol we’d be drinking recently. For Mark a large part of this was for the health benefits, for me it was definitely the health benefits, but a bigger part of why I’ve cut down is due to my relationship with alcohol.
Like most kids, I’d probably tried a sip of a parents beer or an alcopop while growing up. It’s like a right of passage for a lot of kids, when their parents go “you can try it, but you won’t like it” (and we never do, but obviously have to make out it’s not that bad). However, growing up in a small town with not much to do and having a lot of issues that I wouldn’t understand until much older, meant that I began binge drinking a lot earlier than most.
A month or so after my 13th birthday, I had my first vodka and lemonade. It was an awful taste, one that did make me vomit not long after, but at the same time I loved how it made me feel. It made me feel invincible, it made me feel happy.
From then on, I was hooked.
After that weekend, my closest friends and I would be drinking in secret every single weekend without fail. We’d get a bottle of vodka and mix less and less spirits each weekend, until we were finally drinking it neat. We’d stay up talking and walking until the earlier hours, it made whatever problems we were experiencing at the time seem not so bad. This carried on until just before my GCSE’s, I wanted to do the best that I could for my family and I had a boyfriend that I wanted to spend time with and so the binge drinking stopped for a while.
When I started sixth form, my relationship with drinking was much healthier as I wasn’t doing it to block things out. I was drinking at parties to have fun (although I was still very much a go hard or go home drinker). When I got into a relationship in my last year of sixth form and things started to turn sour, I turned back to drinking in the hopes that we would forget our problem. We didn’t.
We split up, and later that year I went to Magaluf. I drank to forget the boy that had broken my heart, the grades that I’d flunked and the friendships I knew were over. When I got back to the UK I threw myself into finding a job, which once I found one meant that I got heavily involved in the drinking culture again because I was 18 and could finally go out clubbing.
Getting into a healthy relationship and having a baby definitely changed my relationship with alcohol for the better as I wasn’t abusing it anymore. I did still find when I was drinking, I was still drinking more than I needed to, because I felt like I had to.
I have been for a long time, a binge drinker. I think it’s a very British thing, and it was a coping mechanism for me for a long time. Since entering a loving relationship, the need to binge drink had lessened and because of that the alcohol doesn’t have the same affect anymore.
The hangovers are worse, the feelings of anxiety and paranoia are heightened and in all honesty I just don’t enjoy it as much anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not giving up alcohol completely, because I love sitting with Mark after Grayson has gone to bed and watching a film with a glass of wine. However, I no longer need the alcohol to forget, because I don’t want to forget. And really, there is nothing worse than looking after a toddler with a crippling hangover is there?
This isn’t me saying saying I’m not going to still end up very drunk on occasions dancing and enjoying myself, because I definitely will. It’s more me saying, that I refuse to let me relationship with alcohol be negative anymore.