I’ve always been a red wine and beer type of girl, the legal drinking age in my country is 18 and I was drinking long before that. I’m also from a drinking family so it wasn’t something outlandish, I think the only person that doesn’t excessively drink alcohol is my maternal grandmother but she has the occasional soft beer every now and then.
For me, I enjoyed the feeling liquor gave me but it wasn’t a feeling I was obsessed with or needed to have in order to survive the day or go to sleep at nights until around July-ish when that feeling changed. The lines between recreational drinking and coping mechanism started to blur and unknowingly I was drinking with the aim of getting drunk and a break from reality.
I remember someone telling me to be careful because this could turn into an addiction if I continued and I rolled my eyes, again I wasn’t self-aware of it due to the external stress that was going on around me. July ended, August began and I was still drinking, I needed a glass of wine everyday after work and beers on the weekend just to relax.
I was scrolling through Instagram one night when I saw Jack Harlow’s post about his reasons behind quitting drinking and in that moment I realize that I did have a problem but I was in the early stages where I could choose to stop so I decided when September began, I would stop drinking for a month then turn a month into the rest of the year.
It’s been 13 days and I haven’t had any liquor, just been drinking water and juice, sometimes a lot of chocolate milk that makes my lactose intolerance act up but nothing alcoholic and I’m really proud. My neighbours’ anniversary party was yesterday and they had ice coolers of free liquor, beer and wine but I didn’t have the urge to ruin myself with it.
I think the pandemic was really hitting hard for me, more time at home was giving my brain more time to evaluate how far behind I am in life and it was so easy to turn to a bottle and even working temporarily in that environment wasn’t helping me. For other people it might be sex, weed, hard drugs or something else that’s “helping” them escape from the harsh reality of life.
I plan on sticking it out for the rest of the year and the only time I want to drink next year is if I’m comfortable, ready and it’s for recreational reasons and not a coping mechanism. I want to say to anyone reading this who might be able to relate, I know it’s really hard right now but it won’t last forever, even though it damn near feels like it. You’ll be okay and you don’t need any alcohol, drug or anything else of that sort to help you “escape”.
I highly recommend journaling, reading books (This Close to Okay and Leap of Faith are ones I’m liking right now), seeking professional help (if you can afford it) or maybe your country has a mental health hotline (please take advantage of it). Also talk to trusted close friends and family who will be able to understand and sympathize/empathize with you and the situation you are going through. Take some time for yourself and go outside don’t stay in the house hiding away, the fresh air will do you some good, maybe plug up your headphones and listen to some albums, it’s something I do, link me for music recommendations lol!
This is for anyone struggling in the pandemic, it doesn’t matter your situation, it could be a relationship break up, friendship ending, failing college classes because you can’t handle online learning, unemployment, toxic work environment, toxic relationship, toxic friendships or family members, sexual orientation struggles. Like I said, it doesn’t matter as long as you are struggling with something this is for you.
Sending light in the dark places, healing, comfort and love to everyone! Enjoy the rest of your week.