Quitting drinking lifted me out of Crapsville. When I drank, I would often ponder why other people’s lives seemed to be so much more productive and together than my own messy, unsatisfying and occasionally frightening existence. I am writing about this today because I noted earlier just how content I am these days, and how long it’s been since I experienced anything or anyone who scared me, threatened me, dragged me down or showed me the darker side of life.
Alcohol brought out so much negativity in both the people I knocked about with, and me. Morals slipped, thoughtlessness abounded, and self-respect vanished all too readily with the same ease it took to withdraw a cork from a bottle.
I found myself caught up in pub brawls, illicit affairs and, on the lesser end of the scale, frequently demonstrating disappointing behaviour that manifested itself in cancelling on people at the last minute, or becoming so out of it that friends would find themselves forced to get me home, sabotaging their own night out in the process.
There was bad karma. I let people down, I hung out with people who had serious drug and alcohol problems and who consequently also let friends down. I prioritised booze above friends. I wasn’t a very nice person to know. And thus, I found myself caught up in the darkness, unable to even recognise that life could be better for me; that it didn’t need to be that way. My expectations dropped so dramatically that I became drawn to violent and dangerous people like a moth to a flame. Niceties bored me rigid. I wanted the dark side. And I got it.
As time has gone on, and with the removal of all mind-altering substances from my life, those unhappy years have receded further and further until I’ve reached a point where, when I cast my mind back to all that madness, it seems to have happened to someone else. I’ve changed, and time has healed much of the pain of the past. Who was that girl who got thrown roughly out of a club on her twenty-first birthday for being so drunk? Who was the person who spent the night crying outside a police station inside which her boyfriend was locked up for drunken fighting? Who was the woman who passed out on the settee night after night with way too much wine in her system?
Today the sun is shining, and I have people in my life who I love and who love me back. I have two gorgeous children who I adore spending time with. I’m healthy and fit. I have my mental faculties. I’m not ill. I’ve been up since 6.30 am, busy and productive, without an ounce of shame or regret eating away at my soul. Without alcohol, I have allowed the real me to surface. And this me attracts positivity, and happiness and only the good stuff.