My relationship with alcohol is the story of an on again-off again, highly dysfunctional love affair. Booze has been my buddy throughout most of my adult life – my partying friend, my shoulder to cry on and a supporter when I was feeling stressed.
Or so I thought. Alcohol was more like an abusive partner reeling me in with false beliefs about what it was giving me yet undermining me in ever so subtle ways. It would take me out for wild nights of fun but over the course of the night it would drain my wallet of money, damage my health and mess with my mind.
By the next morning I’d be swearing that I would end the relationship. I knew it was no good for me. I was a strong woman; I didn’t need such a toxic relationship in my life. But of course I always went back for more.
Over the years the relationship ebbed and flowed. For many years, I would barely think about my feckless friend alcohol, then at other times that so-called buddy was central to my lifestyle.
I tried to distance myself from the lure of this dangerous liaison, but I would always return somehow remembering the good times and conveniently forgetting the bad times.
Until the day when enough was enough. I knew that keeping this particular relationship in my life was not serving me well and having alcohol in my life was only prolonging the pain.
So I ditched the deadbeat relationship and haven’t looked back.
Like breaking up with a partner who has caused you more pain than joy, it took a lot of time and soul searching to make the break.
And when I did finally realise that the booze had to go, I frequently questioned the decision.
“Was the relationship really that bad?” Yes.
“Maybe it will be better if we try again.” No it won’t.
“Can I really live without it in my life.” Oh yes you can.
“Will anyone/anything replace this?” Hell yes and in a much better, healthier, truer way than you think now.
“But what about all the good times?” You’ll have plenty of good times but without the downsides that resulted from a boozy night.
So, despite the angst that went into deciding to control my relationship with alcohol, when I finally did put down the bottle it was one of the best decisions I’d ever made.