So this week I wanted to talk a little bit about substance abuse, and by substance I mean alcohol. And by abuse, I mean my self inflicting abuse… of alcohol… on me…
Yes, we are 30 weeks into this grand experiment and I have yet to master the use of alcohol. Being a 20 something one would imagine that I would have conquered this incredible feat, yet victory does still elude me.
I think every week this year I have vowed to give up booze, and every week I have failed. Whilst my alcohol consumption has dropped from what it was 18 months ago (mostly due to financial woes), my intake is still far from idyllic. We all know the maxim, “Alcohol and depression don’t mix.” It’s not made up. Some idiot didn’t just make it up as more penance for sufferers of depression, no. Depression is heightened by alcohol. Sure, the effects at first are pretty fun, but you pay for it days later. I’ve had hangovers so incredibly invasive I’ve planned to kill myself because of them, because they persuade me I don’t deserve to live any more, I shouldn’t live anymore, and ultimately I just wanted the little niggling voices to stop. So every time I drink I spend the next 2 – 4 days talking to myself (seriously, if you were a fly on a wall you’d catch little snippets of conversation – crazy right?), trying to talk myself down (or is that up?) from the depression.
So why do I do it? There’s a quote circling the internet these days from Albert Einstein, which says, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.” So am I expecting a different outcome each time I drink? I don’t think so. On the last 3 occasions I got drunk, I got drunk because I was feeling alone, depressed, and isolated. I wanted to escape. Which I think is crazy. Which is ridiculous. But it isn’t… Hmmm
With depression you tend to lose a lot of who you are/were. I remember an IAPT psychiatrist/counselor/person saying during the Mindfulness course this year that the great thing about depression is, that unlike most regular people, we have the ability to rebuild ourselves in whatever way we want/need. I’ve moaned a lot about having lost a lot of confidence and self esteem over the last 18 months. I’ve felt that my social life has changed as a result, so now when I go out and socialise and drink I feel there are different results. I think I’ve always suffered from having a “down day” after a heavy night, but now when I recall nights I don’t recall them with much fondness. In fact, I recall a person who I don’t like. I think he’s rude, a little obnoxious, and very selfish. I think that these are facets of my personality manifesting in a way that isn’t so nuanced.
So I want to change that. I want to control that. So how do I control that? I have to quit drinking. I retake control. But somehow I still can’t take my own advice. This is what’s ridiculous about all of this. Even with college just around the corner now, I’m still drinking myself into oblivion at least once a week. I was supposed to be in shape by now, ready to tackle whatever was going to throw itself at me academically. With 4 weeks to go, I’m still far from prepared. I think this month I need to really throw the gauntlet down on myself, if I don’t quit this month I don’t do college. I just can’t justify it. If I’m still a raging drunk at college there will be no point being at college. I know my brain function diminishes everytime I go out. I know my productivity drops every time I go out. I destroy a little part of what I’ve been working towards all year every time I go out. So this needs to stop. I need to stop dicking around and grow the fuck up. I’m not a teenager or someone in their early twenties. This is why my life is so arrested in so many ways. I need to prove to myself that I can grow up, that I can make something of myself. All this going out and getting shitfaced is doing is embarrassing me, and ultimately my own family and friends. So I must stop drinking!