My dysfunctional relationship with alcohol

Now let me start off by saying I’m not an alcoholic but there has been times I’ve thought I could be if I carried on going the way I was going. To this day I still remember the first time I ever tried alcohol; I was on holiday in Scotland for New Years with my mum and brother visiting family friends, it was Jack Daniels and I ended up getting extremely drunk off like 1 glass…how embarrasing but I was only 12 and I remember my mum went mad!

Let’s go back to the very beginning, the days of drinking white cider in the park… 

At 13, I started hanging around with an older group, a lot of my year did actually. When I first went to secondary school, each year was so clearly defined; all the year seven people walked around nervous, with backpacks filled with lunchboxes, books, wearing perfectly ironed uniforms, whereas, people in the year above were roaming the halls with confidence. As soon as I hit year 8, I wanted to be part of that, they always seemed to be laughing. I became extremely loud, not taking anything too seriously and to be honest… a bit of a dick. You’d find me most nights drinking in the park or on the street, waiting outside shops asking people to go inside and buy us alcohol and cigarettes.

One particular story that comes to mind is the night I downed half a litre vodka whilst spinning around in a circle outside the swimming baths for a dare (anything to fit in!) the next thing I knew I woke up to everyone around me trying to get me up off the floor outside the kebab shop. I thought it was hilarious, even when I woke up surrounded by puke at the age of 13.

For years and years after that I ended up in some pretty dark places, not remembering moments from the night before and for some reason I was ok with this.

Then came the aggression…

My boyfriend of a year had just left me, so I decided to drink more, shave off the majority of my hair and care less. These were some of the worst years for me, I’d be out every weekend, sometimes weeknights with the biggest chip on my shoulder. I’d experience things throughout my teens that nobody should have to go through and for some reason as soon as I’d downed a few pints, I thought the world owed me something. The amount of fights I got in, the amount of threats I gave people. All it took was for one person to give one of my friends a dirty look and off I went, thinking I was some sort of WWE champion. There were many mornings I woke up expecting the police to be at my door and still I didn’t care. Still to this day I see an old Facebook status pop up from years ago bragging about my drunken antics the night before, swearing to my followers that I needed to stop being so aggressive and receiving comments from them laughing about what I did and how it was ‘typical Lauren’ and each time I read one of those I feel nothing but pure shame.

I slowly became somebody I didn’t recognise and most importantly didn’t want to be.

This is when I went off to uni. It took me some time to get my aggression under control but the excessive drinking remained but my excuse this time was freshers. I had quite a few friends in different social circles but my main girls were a small click of 5. We’d drink most evenings, go to the SU every week and regularly make stupid mistakes but they taught me things about myself I never, ever knew and that’s when…

Sadness began to take over…

Being away from home was extremely hard, no matter what happened I always had my mum fighting my corner but at uni, I had to learn to fend for myself. I didn’t want to constantly be the downer in the group but my depression and anxiety had peaked and I’d been running away from it for far too long. Soon I became one of those sad drunks, running off, settling down on a park bench crying my eyes out, hoping nobody would see me but at the same time wishing somebody would. I spent a lot of my days painting on a fake smile but as soon as the alcohol came out it’s like all gloves were off and I couldn’t hold it in any longer. By the time we came to graduate, I’d grown up a lot. I was in a steady relationship, had a roof over my head and a job paying the bills but there was a still a long way to go.

Attempting adulthood…

I’m not going to lie to you. Up until a few years ago, I was incredibly selfish. Even though my depression  and anxiety kept coming back I drank myself silly each and every week. My partner and friends around me began to see a pattern. Every Monday without fail I’d be silent and distant. They told me over and over ‘alcohol is not good for your mental health, just give it a break.’ But I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Every weekend, it felt like I needed it to have a good time. If everyone else was doing it, why couldn’t I? But they were right. I hit a brick wall and it felt as though I was a little kid again who needed to be looked after. It was affecting my relationships with family, friends and my partner, not to mention my ability to work day in and day out. There were so many times I’d sit and ask myself ‘am I an alcoholic? Why can’t I just say no.’ I knew I had to make a change and change the way I thought about alcohol.

Now…

Let’s get to the present. I no longer feel I need to drink to have a good time. I no longer wake up on Monday mornings feeling mopey with a sense of self-loathing, still trying to piece together Saturday night.

When I have a glass of wine now, I enjoy it and no longer feel like it’s key to solving any issues. I’m cutting down more and more because it’s something that I refuse to use to make me feel better about myself. It’s all about moderation and that’s what I had to learn the hard way.

If you find yourself questioning your relationship with alcohol, speak to somebody whether it be a family members, a friend or even your GP.

10 Comments

  1. July 8, 2018 / 3:17 pm

    This was obviously a very heartfelt and difficult post but amazing to read! Super happy and proud for you xxx

    • laurendepass
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 3:20 pm

      Thank you so much, that means so much ❤️ x

  2. July 8, 2018 / 4:54 pm

    I am so happy that you’ve gotten past of such an ”awful” part of your life. It takes strenght, for sure. I’m so very proud of you & I wish you nothing but the best for the future. xx

    • laurendepass
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 8:16 pm

      Thank you! ❤️❤️

  3. July 8, 2018 / 5:17 pm

    Well done for opening up and sharing your story, this is such a well written and honest post. I am so glad you are dealing with everything much better now, keep going! 🙂

    Kate | http://www.katelovesx.co.uk

    • laurendepass
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 8:17 pm

      Thank you babe! ? xx

  4. jazziepickles
    July 8, 2018 / 6:59 pm

    Very brave to share your story with us. I think these issues with alcohol are sadly quite common but atleast you was able to recognise it as a problem and move forward. Hats off to you lovely x

    • laurendepass
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 7:01 pm

      Thank you so much lovely! XX

  5. July 9, 2018 / 12:06 am

    I really relate to this (in fact I wrote a really similar blog post about it) – I started off drinking quite young and thought I was invincible but by the time I got to uni I was regularly ruining my own, and everyone I knew’s, nights out. I’m so glad you managed to get out of the dangerous habit, I barely drink any more and it’s made the world of difference. I hope you are a lot happier now!
    Beth x Adventure & Anxiety

    • laurendepass
      Author
      July 28, 2018 / 9:17 pm

      Ah I’ll have to check out your post on it. It’s so easy to get into bad habits isn’t it? But so glad you managed to get out of it too! And glad you’re feeling much happier xx

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