In the last year of my drinking there were two events that put the final nail in the coffin of my drinking career. I’m going to talk about them in two different posts because there are lessons to be learned from both for me and they both contributed in a different way. The final one I’ll talk about tomorrow.
The first one was in November 2012 and was a nursing re-union. It was a 20 year post training celebratory gathering of my old student nurse colleagues back in the city where I trained. I was on one of my moderation/quitting attempts back then and hadn’t had a drink for 6 weeks running up to it. It was an opportunity for me to have a week-end away from small children and catch up with other close nursing friends, not from my training colleagues, at the same time.
I had to drive 4 1/2 hours to get there and grabbed a late lunch at a service station on the way down, checked into my hotel and then headed straight out at 4pm to meet another nursing friend. She is one of my oldest and closest friends and we shared a strong drinking history together and so we started as we had left off with white wine and fags. The re-union was at 8pm and suffice it to say that by the time it was due to start I was already sh*tfaced. I had had nothing to eat so was drinking on an empty stomach after 6 weeks off. Recipe for disaster.
We arrived at the re-union but by now my memory was patchy. I remember I was very drunk, didn’t recognise people I should have done because of it, was slurring my words and really struggling to stay upright. Said friend looked out for me, and after me, and I think she realised from the sobbing drunken mess I had become what a bad state I was in and got me into a taxi and back to the hotel.
The next morning I came too, not knowing what had happened and how I had got back to the hotel. I texted said friend who said that I was ‘tired and emotional’ and not to worry. I texted one of the re-union members who was kind and focused on how at least I had made the effort to attend unlike some others who lived more locally.
But I was mortified. I hadn’t seen these people for 10-20 years. They didn’t know any of the context to my state – 6 weeks off the booze, difficult family stuff going on, meeting and drinking pre-event. All they had was how I presented and what a shambling drunken wreck at 8pm I must have seemed. My shame knew no bounds.
In a recent post, linked to my CBT, I have said that I wonder if I need to do more alcohol experimentation and whether I can moderate. This memory tells me what a joke that thought really is. Do I really need more evidence of how that isn’t possible for me? OK I may have worked through some of my emotional history, baggage and how it impacts on my thinking but would it really be any different? I think we all know the answer to that one don’t we ……..
PS This time next week I’ll have run the Nike 10K and am hoping to do it in sub 1hr. If you would like to sponsor me for this event and raise some money for Alcohol Concern then you can do so here ( http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/ahangoverfreelife). Donations can be made anonymously and thank you in advance 🙂