I guess until everything fell apart and I was face down on my front room carpet facing the reality of where my drinking had brought me, I never thought that I had a problem with the drink, I liked to drink, I could have a night off drinking if I wanted to, but I didn’t think I really had a problem.
If you were a fan of the sitcom Friends, you may remember Monica’s boyfriend in the earlier series was called Bobby, he drank a lot and was the life and soul of the party, everybody had fun when Bobby was around, they all called him Fun Bobby.
Later in the series Bobby returned, by this time he had given up drinking, he was sober. The Friends were expecting him to be the life and soul of the party, but it was the opposite he was depressed and anything but the life and soul, they nicknamed him “Ridiculously Dull Bobby”.
I’m not saying I was the life and soul of the party for one minute, I wasn’t really one for partying or going out to get blasted, I would drink mainly at home in my own company, but I was more relaxed and easy to be around. I remember one night after having a stressful day at work (one of the few days work I had at that time), I had no drink in the house and no money to buy any, I was foul, I couldn’t deal with anybody or anything, everything was a problem, it was nasty. My partner was a massive Friends fan, that night she called me “Fun Bobby”, she even gave me money to go round the corner to the shop to get my fix of alcohol, even she couldn’t face me sober.
We are the heirs to every throne
We wander far from what we’ve known
We wait for love to call us home
We are the heirs
We wander far
We wait for love
We wait for more
(Heaven And Hell by The Classic Crime)
When I wanted company and not shutting myself off from everyone, I was I guess easier to be around when I was drinking, I was relaxed, I never really got drunk or out of it, but when I wasn’t drinking I completely lost the ability to deal with anything stressful. When I look back now, I remember thinking at the time being called Fun Bobby was a bit of laugh, but now I realise I should have recognised then I had a problem, that I needed alcohol to get through anything remotely stressful, that it was seriously affecting my relationships with the people around me, that loved me and that I was starting to push them away.
Yesterday it was 32 weeks since I last tasted alcohol, that night 29th March 2012, as I have written about previously I finally exercised self control over my problem. In the early weeks that followed, I wasn’t that easy to be around, especially when the withdrawals kicked in and I was in a world of pain, but things got better and I am definitely better now.
Granted I still have my moments, there are still times when I can’t deal with things, but I don’t need my fix anymore, I just step away from it, go somewhere quiet and think it through, coming back later with a clearer head to deal with it all.
The great thing now is I am not in a permanent hang over anymore, no more constant feelings of lethargy, my morning walks set me up for some great days, any day I resist the temptation of my former self, is a fantastic day.
As I travel along the path with the Lord’s guiding hand firmly on my shoulder, each day gets better, each day get easier, each day takes me further away from the darkness that I lost myself within.