I would have loved a warning like this

So, we’re in another lockdown. That means more time and working at home. Last time a lot of people used lockdown to stop drinking, or to at least cut down. Which is amazing.

But according to Alcohol Change UK, a lot of people’s drinking increased. And a lot of people were drinking more regularly.

It’s a stressful time for everyone and I don’t want to tell anyone what to do.

However, I do want to warn people. Because I would have really appreciated a warning myself 10 years ago.

I can see a recipe for disaster because I’m the chef who wrote the cook book.

I can see thousands of people going down the same route I did. I can see thousands of people with liver disease in 5 years’ time. Like I had.

Me with liver disease in 2015

So, the best way for me to warn people, is to explain how I fell into a world of alcoholism.

Drinking became part of my daily routine. It’s almost that simple.

At the age of 20, I allowed alcohol to become a fixed part of my evening routine. It became a ritual for me to have at least one bottle of vodka each night after a day of work or uni.

I started drinking the odd night in the week, and soon it became every night.

I would drink by myself, and I loved it. I thought, “I’m young, this is what young people do….I can stop whenever I want”.

It wasn’t long before I was wishing the day away. I couldn’t wait to get to the evening so I could down a bottle of vodka and return to the drunk state I felt most comfortable in.

(Now, I already know there are some people reading this and thinking “hang on a minute…I’ve been doing something like that recently”. If that’s you, then you really do need to read on.)

Nobody knew I was doing this every night. I didn’t want people to know, even though “it was normal”, as I kept telling myself. Now that’s a pretty big flashing warning light right there – but I didn’t see it.

Some day’s I would struggle to get a bottle of vodka because I was a skint 20-year-old. Now, if that happened, I would get anxious, angry and really start to panic. That was the next huge flashing warning light.

But still, “I didn’t have a problem”.

By this point my life completely revolved around drinking vodka every night. It was all I cared about. I was an alcoholic, but I didn’t want to accept it.

Soon I realised I could drink in the morning and get away with it.

As you can imagine, I felt like a bus had hit me every time I woke up. So, one day I thought, just for today, I’m going to drink as soon as I get up and take a short cut out of this hangover.

After all, ‘everything was better when I was drunk’.

Then I did it again the next day. And the next. And everyday after that until I was not just mentally dependant on alcohol, but physically too.

Then before I knew it, 5 years had passed.

In that 5 years I had been to rehab twice. Had several seizures. Lost my mind a number of times through alcohol withdrawal. Probably had 20+ detox’s in hospital. I had broken the hearts of my family again and again. And I had liver disease. Not to mention zero hope.

My life was in absolute bits. And it all started from allowing alcohol to become a fixed part my evening routine.

I let alcohol become a crutch. And soon it became the centre of my world.

The point I’m trying to make is, If you’re drinking more because of Corona, or for any reason for that matter, please recognise the signs of addiction.

Addiction can sneak up on you. It preys on your emotions and offers a way out of your head in stressful times. But it can easily lead to nothing but destruction.

If you can relate to anything I have said, please ask for help. Tell someone about it and do something about it. Don’t allow yourself to get in the situation I did.

It’s so easy to fall into the trap, but incredibly hard to get out.

Thanks for reading.

Toby

2 thoughts on “I would have loved a warning like this

    1. Thanks David, really appreciate the comment. And thanks for all your help all those years ago and sorry for any grief I caused you. I’m sure I caused some although I can’t remember a lot. I hope everything is good with you 🙂

      Like

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