The official deffinition of an alcoholic is “a man or a woman who suffers from alcoholism – they have a distinct physical desire to consume alcohol beyond their capacity to control it, regardless of all rules of common sense”. Now like most people who have spent time at Uni (especially living in halls) alcohol played an enormous part of my social life wheather it be a Pre Drinks, a night at the SU or a quiet night in that turns into a house party. Needless to say there was a lot of alcohol consumption, but it was only during my third year that things started to change and take on a somewhat darker turn.
The quiet nights in that used to consist of a couple of beers became a couple of beers and half a bottle of wine, then that became a four pack of beer and a full bottle of wine which eventually turned into two full bottles of red. Nights out became a challenge to try and get as equally drunk as everyone else yet consuming at least double the amount of alcohol before I even felt “tipsy”, I was eventally nicknemed the love child of Oliver Reed and Helena-Bonham Carter… I was never drunk during the day and in my head back then that made it perfectly accetable, but as soon as I would get in I would crack open a beer whilst doing Uni work or a have a glass of wine whilst making dinner. All of which is fine, if it stopped at just one glass. Because the drink didn’t seemed to “chill me out” or affect me like it used to I would simply keep on drinking until it did.
This continued all throuout my last year of being at University and any problem I thought I had I would just put down to the student lifestyle, it was only when I returned home that something clicked in the back of my mind and sent warning bells screaming. When I wasn’t at work it would get to midday and I found myself constantly checking the time to see if was “ok” to crack open the beer (my drink of choice being Cobra to start followed by either red wine or vodka). Usually I would find myself answering yes it was ok to have a drink and more than happily have one. If I knew I didn’t have to be at work the next day my first thought was “Oh I can get drunk tonight” and with that I would stick something in the fridge for later.
One weekend I found that I had the house to myself and a day off work…I was drunk by three o’clock and throwing up in the kitchen sink by five.
I wasn’t drinking to try and numb anything, to try and block out some horrific event in my past (I can fully understand why people do) I was drinking because it had become a normal thing to do, an everyday occurrence, I was used to having alcohol in me and I wanted to enjoy it like I used to. I didn’t, but I wanted to. Thankfully the personal embarrasment of the kitchen sink hit me like a slap in the face, I stopped drinking everyday.
I was strong enough to realise this was becoming serious, and was able to control it before it became something I couldn’t deal with myself.
I give you a definition of being an alcoholic again…
“An alcoholic is a man or a woman who suffers from alcoholism – they have a distinct physical desire to consume alcohol beyond their capacity to control it, regardless of all rules of common sense.”
At no point would I ever have called myself an alcoholic, yes I had the desire to consume it, but not physically. Mentally I had become used to it and it was mentally that I found myself wanting it. I physically didn’t need it, physically I could function without it.
I will say this as a last thought, I can understand why people do rely and turn to alcohol. I will never forget the invulnerablity and confidence I felt when I first got drunk, and how much I wanted to feel that everytime I opened a bottle. The nights I did want to be drunk so I could forget something and how well it made me sleep, the little buzzing feeling it gave me in the tips of my fingers like a hundred tiny bees trying to escape. When I was drunk, I was invincible…