I need to be careful with alcohol

I was wondering how to make the high-quality whiskey palatable. Maybe I could add some soft drink. No, we were out of soft drink.

I felt like some alcohol, and our pantry was bare of my preferred gin and cider.

And then I realized, “Oh oh, red flag alert”.

Wanting a drink so much that I was prepared to drink something that I didn’t like, is a big warning sign.

So I’ll be laying off the alcohol for a while.

Some years ago I had an ex with alcohol issues. Lets call him ‘B’.

At the time, I hardly drank. He was the one drinking the alcohol he didn’t like.

In fact that’s how I first became aware B had a drinking problem. To normalize his own drinking he encouraged me to drink more. He didn’t like my preferred drink of G & T, but as I didn’t like his preferred drink of wine & beer, he bought me a bottle of gin to keep at his place.

One day I went to get myself a gin, and the bottle was gone. I asked B where it was. He sheepishly pulled it out from behind the sofa.

He said he didn’t want me to see how much gin he’d drunk since I was last there.

I probably wouldn’t have noticed if he’d made a large dent in the gin bottle, but I definitely noticed him hiding the bottle behind the couch.

Ironically, like me, B drank next to no alcohol for years. But, prone to anxiety, once he started drinking, he found it “took the edge off’. He had a lot of edges.

I have this theory that you can tell a persons ‘true’ personality from their drunk behavior. I have a friend who is a delightful drunk. She’s all “I loooove you guys”. Conversely I have a friend who is all sober sweetness and light, but alcohol liberates her repressed anger.

To be fair, I just asked Gorgeous Man what type of drunk I was. He said I was a horny drunk. I said ha ha, but if he was forced to choose between me being a mean drunk or a happy drunk, which would he choose. He said, if he was forced to choose, I was a happy drunk.

B was a nasty drunk. And he could be a nasty sober. Yes yes, I know. What was I doing with him!? That’s a yet-to-be-written blog post. Although the post I wanted a trophy boyfriend will give you some clues.

And two points in B’s defense:

  1. people are only nasty for sad reasons – and lets just say I’ve met his mother
  2. despite being a raging control-freak himself, he could (and did) justifiably claim that I was controlling.

After B & I broke up, I started drinking a lot more. I think it was reverse-psychology. While B & I were together I stubbornly resisted his pressure to drink more than my self-prescribed ‘one nip a day’. It was partly to not enable his drinking, but mostly just bloody mindedness on my part.

While, I permitted myself a nip a day, there was one day I very deliberately didn’t have ‘my drink’. And that was because I was craving it. I know giving in to cravings is one way down the slippery slope.

I’ve always remembered a former colleague saying he always used to have a whiskey when he got home from work. But then he felt he was starting to look forward to that drink just a little bit too much, so he stopped drinking completely. So I pay attention when I shift from “Sure, a drink would be quite nice”, to “I really want a drink”.

As it’s not my area of expertise, I’m not going to get into the nature versus nurture theories of alcoholism – or rather alcohol dependence and binge-drinking. But there’s enough addiction and poor mental health in my family for me to be very wary of substances and behaviors that ‘take the edge off’.

I’ve spent a lot of time in psychiatric units. It can be a fine line between psychiatric patient and visitor. To date I’ve just been visiting. I’d like to keep it that way.

Right now, I would rather like a cider or G & T. But I expect, based on prior experience, with a few more days of abstinence, alcohol won’t even cross my mind.

Alcohol’s an expensive neurotoxin anyway.

In the meantime I’ve remembered I have this heavenly, aromatic recipe for whiskey cake. The alcohol evaporates away during cooking. Delicious.

Comment below:
Many many people have problems with alcohol – which is why I’m talking about my experiences with it. I love you to leave some comments about your experiences – what makes it worse and what helps.

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