Daily Archives: 12/01/2014

What kept me drinking?

As I grew older drinking established itself as my favourite leisure activity plus at that time the ‘ladette‘ culture exploded here in the UK giving a perceived legitimacy to my behaviour.  As well as being a social thing that I did out in the pubs, bars and clubs it became something that you did at home – house parties, dinner parties, friends round for drinks but I also began to drink alone.  Mostly I did it because it had become a regular habit but also because I felt it helped reduce stress and aided relaxation and became my ‘go to’ coping strategy.  It became my best friend when I was lonely.  Whole days or evenings could be whiled away drinking so boredom was managed.  It became my emotional regulator, heightening a celebration or soothing a loss.  I became less able to manage every day life without the ‘reward’ or treat of a drink, or five, at the end of the day or the end of the week.

I met my husband and he was also a drinker so that just made it easier as now I had a regular drinking buddy.  Life seemed good and the party kept going.  It was during this time that I worked on a ward where, amongst other patients, I cared for alcoholics.  Now there was no denying the physical and psychological impact and effects that alcohol had and I saw first hand how deadly this supposedly ‘benign’ substance could be and was.  But many of my colleagues drank like me and none of them seemed to worry so I didn’t.  Plus it was just me and hubby so it didn’t seem to be impacting on our life or lifestyle and ironically you felt you’d earned a drink after a shift on this ward.

But we began to want different things from life and the questioning began ……