As told on Pretty52
“Since the first time I got drunk when I was 14, binge drinking at the weekend was always an expected pastime amongst my group of friends.
“My late teens and early twenties were a blur of boozy nights out and terrible hangovers. I never questioned that what I was doing wasn’t the norm. Everyone enjoys a night out don’t they?
“My friends all drank in a similar way. At least I thought they did. The reality is that the party extended into the week for me. I began to buy boxes of wine instead of bottles and it wasn’t uncommon for me to hit the vodka after a hard Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday. I would often lie about how much I was drinking, knowing deep down that things had gotten out of control.
“Fortunately for me, I had a few quieter years after falling pregnant with my first child and 17 months later giving birth to my second.
It was after the breakup with their father in 2015 that the drinking began to creep in again.
“The loneliness I experienced along with grieving the loss of the life I had hoped to have hit me very hard. I was struggling to juggle the stress of two small children with no family support and a very tense and strained relationship with my ex-husband.
“It got to the stage where I couldn’t remember the last time I had gone a day without drinking wine. I would feel panicky if there wasn’t any wine in the house and I always had to have reserves in case I didn’t have just enough to take the edge off. My focus in the evening was getting the kids to bed and cracking open the wine to relax.
“It was after the breakup of a relationship and my dad being in a near fatal drowning incident that my drinking really began to spiral.”
I was an emotional mess, constantly stressed and anxious and I was definitely not the happy, present mother that I wanted to be. I felt utterly alone and ashamed. Embarrassed at my inability to cope. To moderate. To be ‘normal’.
“It took me a number of attempts at moderating before I finally managed to ditch the booze. Initially, it was very difficult but the online community I found helped to keep me motivated and moving forward.
“The advantages of going sober have been life changing.
The main reason I drank was to help unwind at the end of the day but what I have learned during this time is that having a few glasses of wine in the evening was really having a much larger effect than I thought.
“Feeling tired and low was making my problems feel larger than they were, and I was wasting a lot of time worrying. My anxiety had been at an all-time high and I wasn’t able to handle life’s challenges in the best way.
“My hope is that others reading my story will feel less alone and feel like perhaps they too could give up alcohol for good.”