Well, where to begin? It’s been a while since I wrote anything. It’s been a rough time to say the least, and it continues to be. I am not going to talk about why in this blog. I don’t feel ready to unpack my thoughts on that just yet. The main reasons for doing this are primarily to see if it helps me feel the slightest bit better. Secondly, all my previous posts have been written from a place where I have felt in control and content with life. I wanted to write this one knowing that isn’t the case. I’m currently experiencing poor mental health. Which, in some ways is being fueled by a very unhealthy, unbalanced relationship with alcohol. Of course, for me they are intrinsically linked.

The previous posts in some cases have been offering advice based on my own life experiences and past mistakes. But at this current time, I am struggling.  I am writing this post nursing a really awful hangover. Something I have not done before. At the point of when I last wrote a blog, I was just over six months sober. On the 25th April, my resilience was broken. And since that moment I have not had many days away from alcohol. I have done everything I am not meant to. I turned to the one thing I had spent the last year banishing to my history. Writing many blogs saying that drinking was not the answer, it would bring me no comfort. And yet, here we are. I’m disappointed in myself for doing this and yet at the same time, sitting here I don’t know what else to do. I thought by now just over five months on I would have got things back under control. I had managed to have two sober days this week. Both Monday and Tuesday, but last night I got caught up in the moment of being at the football, and afforded myself a few beers. The problem has always been for me that it is very rarely a few beers. I don’t have an off switch. My threshold for booze has risen back to the heights it once had, and I am able to drink like I used to. That is a problem, for so many reasons.

I feel I have lost control of something that I was very much in control of. Sobriety had been working. I was physically and mentally in a much better space and, genuinely thought I had mastered this. But then I was smashed into tiny pieces by something so traumatic, I don’t believe I will ever be the same again, I fell back into habits that I thought I had left behind. Going to the pub on my own for a couple of hours then coming home to continue the drinking, on my own. There is a pub at the top of the street where I live which I have been frequenting quite a bit recently. One night, a very nice chap came up to me asking if I was ok. He said that he had seen me in the pub a few times, drinking on my own and wondered why. We had a chat, and it was nice to converse with someone who had been recently going through some issues himself. Usually however, I am a solitary drinker and feel more comfortable that way. The effects of these last few months have taken their toll on me physically and mentally. I have put on weight through the booze, poor diet and not going to the gym. Mentally, I feel this is one of my lowest points. Not quite at the point of not wanting to be here, but very much on the precipice.

Of course, I know that drinking is not helping me long term. It is a short term high with many downsides. So many, as I have outlined in numerous previous posts. I have continued with therapy despite drinking and returned to the alcohol support team I had used previously. I have had support from those around me, but nothing seems to make me want to stop. When I had stopped previously, I felt I had a good enough reason to. This time feels different. I don’t have that same desire to end the thing I know is making me feel worse long term. I have dug myself into a crater sized hole where there appears to be no ladder or way out. I’m in the vicious cycle I have spoken about before. I know that some would read this and think, well why not just stop? He is not drinking all day, every day so surely, he can just stop. I can some days. Then others I can drink so much I pass out at home waking up in the early hours crashed out on the sofa or on top of my bed. I have pain rooted deep inside of me that I look to escape from, and at the moment the only way I feel I can achieve this is by drinking. For large chunks of my time, I can feel completely numb, unable to feel anything. I feel nothing. Empty, and at times completely lost and detached from daily existence. Some days I am ok, I can function and do what I need to. They have usually come after nights of no drinking. Then something will trigger me to go and buy some booze that evening or have a few pints in the pub, sometimes both. Previously, I had been stronger not to cave into any cravings. Now, I don’t think twice about it and fantasise about how nice the booze is going to taste knowing full well what lies in store for me tomorrow and the hangover I will have to endure.

As I said from the outset, I wanted to write a piece from a position of not looking back, but addressing where I am now. Alcohol seems to have its talons locked around me once more.

Nick Denton

Sobering Thoughts