You do not need to drink everyday to have a drink problem. You can drink once a week, once a month etc and still have an extremely unhealthy relationship with alcohol. I was not waking up and pouring vodka on my cornflakes or having a shot of vodka with my boiled eggs. I also wasn’t drinking every day.
The problem was, when I was drinking, which was mainly weekends I had no stop button. “Just one more” was pretty much my mantra but it should have been “Just six more”. I also didn’t hit the infamous rock bottom, but I saw the bottom of enough empty pint glasses to know it was time for a big change.
Most people will not wake up one day and say “oh golly gosh I do believe I’m drinking too much” and just stop. It’s a long process. Or at least it was for me. The tough part was being really honest with myself and admitting that it added absolutely nothing to my life. And then unpicking the lies I’d told myself about why I drank.
I did the abstinence thing, I did the moderation thing and I especially did the compare-myself-against-people-who-were-way-worse-than-me thing so I could be safe in the knowledge that I was okay and not as bad as them. Wrong. If you can’t control the amount you drink then you have a problem. And for me that problem was not going away.
I also listened and revelled in people saying “you’re not that bad” and “you’re such a laugh when you’re pissed” and “you’re not as bad as ______”. That’s not my friends fault. They probably didn’t realise how bad it was and also were usually drinking whilst telling me this. So again I took what I wanted out of that and ordered another round .
This is why alcohol is such a little twat. If it was any other drug and I said I was doing too much people would clamber to help me. But alcohol is still seen as a harmless pastime. The question is actually simple. “Am I drinking too much?”. If the answer is yes. Get help. Stop. And it’s that which is difficult but the best thing I have ever done.