My marriage and eventual divorce with alcohol
I was not an alcoholic. I never was. I only ever considered myself an alcoholic in the last 3 years of my addiction to alcohol when I researched what the term “alcoholic” meant.
An alcoholic is defined as someone who has a problem with drink. Did I have a problem? Not sure if you could call it a problem. I drank every day. However, I would drink no more than other people I knew and I would still be able to do everything that was expected of me and more. So no problem as far as I could see.
The term alcoholic to me seemed to be too defining. If you were an alcoholic, then you needed help. If you were not, then everything was okay and you did not need help. So as long as you did not define yourself as an alcoholic then everything is okay.
I wanted to move away from this labelling. Who cares if you think you are an alcoholic or not! There are people who drink 40+ units a day who consider themselves alcoholics and others who do not. The key point is they drink 40+ units a day!
In my situation I was drinking more than I wanted to. This was the crux of my problem. Not whether I thought I was an alcoholic or the fact that my partner labelled me an alcoholic or that I was heading towards becoming an alcoholic.
My problem that I faced every morning when I woke up after an evening of drinking was that I wished I had not drunk the night before. Other than that I felt fine. I would not really have a hang over, I could do pretty much everything I perceived I wanted to do it was just I wish I did not drink what I did the night before. But for some reason I wanted to stop drinking the way I was drinking.
My quandary back then was:
Get blasted for £1 or go to the cinema for £5?
Easy answer for me. Get blasted! At the start one can of special brew (4.5 units) was enough for me and I had the most fun. You could delve in to the depths of trying to work out what you would like to do to relax other than drinking or…..drink! 2 mins to the local shop, hand over £1, let the fun begin!
At the time I was earning £80 per day. I reckoned because I only spent 1/80th of my daily wages on alcohol I could not have a problem. I had worked out that if you had a problem you would need to be spending all your wages on alcohol. So I had a long way to go before I deemed to myself that I have a problem as I still had 79/80ths of my wages left! The foolery we tell ourselves when we want to justify something can be quite astounding.
Over 20+ years I had a great relationship with alcohol. My alcohol intake went up over the years and I cannot lie I had a lot of fun however all great things had to come to an end. I knew that and you probably know that as well. I just had to bring it to an end.
It was like a relationship you are in with a girl that you once loved but loved no more. It had to end and it was either going to go out with a bang or wither away. The withering was not happening so I had to “create” the bang. It was time to file for divorce! This lover of mine, who loved me so dearly, was actually deceiving me and actually killing me. I only know this because I went to the doctor.
So, my fellow drinker let me tell you about me and my relationship with alcohol, from the very, very start……