Why am I doing this?

So recently I caught up with one of my nursing friends who was present at one of my last drunks.  We hadn’t seen each other or spoken since then what with lots going on in both of our lives.  And to be honest I’ve been ashamed and embarrassed to discuss my stopping drinking with many of my old friends – partly because I have to acknowledge there was a problem and secondly because many of my friends are drinkers and so I don’t want them to think I’m some born again teetotal preacher.  She was supportive and kind but I felt shame as I spoke – I’m learning that my armpits tingle when the feeling is upon me!

But it reminded me of another drinking event around the same time of the one where she was present that also was a pivotal moment in the run up to me stopping.  I was at a 40th/Halloween party in my old spiritual home of Brighton.  I was carousing with all my old alcoholic liver disease ward nursing buddies and it was a party night of drugs, alcohol and fags.  It was in a private room of a pub just off the seafront so going outside for a fag was a blowy and cold affair.

I remember going outside to have a fag and was wired from lines of coke and fuzzy from copious g&t’s.  And the thought struck me ‘why am I doing this?’.  I wasn’t feeling any pleasure from it and it all felt pretty pointless.  I’d had my first alcoholic drink when I was sixteen, dropped my first pill at 21 and here I was at 44 still doing the same thing.  Over half of my lifetime spent chasing the high of drugs and booze and something needed to change ……

So here I am over 18 months in to the recovery journey and the memory of this thought came back to me tonight.  Why it took me so long to figure out that change was needed is beyond me but there is no point lamenting the past as I am where I am.  I don’t regret any of it as it made me who am I and I stopped when I was ready to stop.  Maybe you’re reading this and this is your moment to stop?  As I said to my friend earlier, this is the best decision I’ve ever made.  Maybe it will be your best decision too 🙂



22 thoughts on “Why am I doing this?

  1. Love this. It’s curious how we can effect a positive change in our lives yet feel somehow awkward about it when it reunites with our past. Your pivotal moment was so powerful; questioning why we do things becomes the catalyst for reinvention. Rather than continuing to act in Pavlovian patterns, we can cogently choose how to go forward. And just look at you now! Fab! X

    1. Thanks Bea! You’re right it is awkward – it jars almost like it was a different lifetime. And that’s how it feels too now …… 🙂 xx

  2. Thanks for sharing L. I have my own “similar but different” memory towards the end, but mine was sat at home “treating myself” to a bottle of wine. Except this bottle was the cheapest bottle of awful wine imaginable – the only bottle available to me as I’d sprinted to the local shop with the children asleep so that I could “relax with a glass”. It tasted like vinegar, but I was drinking it. Why? Congrats on your 18 months 🙂 I love reading your blog X

    1. Thanks TMSN! It’s funny I rarely had the 3am wakenings but boy oh boy did I ride my own arse the next day for overdoing it – again ….. So happy to be out of that cycle 🙂

  3. I think it’s when the things we’ve done to feel good don’t feel good anymore, that we decide we must make a change. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made, too 🙂 I remember reading the post you refer to above when I was bumbling along in the early days of my journey. It was helpful to me then and I know today’s post will help others who are struggling. xx

    1. Thanks Lori 🙂 It reminds me of the The Verve track ‘The Drugs Don’t Work’ – one of my favourites xx

  4. I hear you. I had many of those sudden realizations that I was on road to nowhere and it was no longer fun. I’m glad I got off.

    I like that – tingling armpits. That shame pokes its head up when I fear someone is going to judge me. Telling someone you have quit drinking seems to give them a free pass to say -yeah you were a mess. None of us need that. It is people’s defence mechanism to try to convince themselves we are worse than they are.

    Whatever. Us sober people know we have made the right choice. Yay for 18 months. Time marches on, even if it is one day at a time!


    1. That’s exactly it isn’t it Anne! The shame trigger was that I was fearful that I was going to be judged – thank you 🙂

  5. those prickles of shame are perhaps less frequent now (hurrah!) and maybe have their own difficulty in handling as a result?

    and hurrah too for making best decisions! xx

    1. Yes that’s a good point Prim – less often so more jarring when it occurs? Indeed for best decisions! 🙂 xx

  6. Hi Lucy!
    After another crying jag, and drunk calling people, finally woke up!
    SO glad I did, because now, I have discovered crackers!! (Multi-grain of course!)
    I am in a silly mood today!
    Funny though, before I read your post, I was talking to my brother and felt shame from a night a long time ago where we both had been drinking and argued.
    Neither one of us is drinking today!

    1. Silly is good Wendy and so happy to hear that you and your brother are now sober buddies 🙂

  7. Snap! Great post. I don’t write about pills and coke and pot much but yep.. been there done that got the T-shirt. Hooray for sobriety that’s all I can say! Had enough of that brain bending bollocks. Sending hugs xxx

    1. Snap indeed Mrs D 😉 Bloody right – hooray for sobriety and no more ‘brain bending bollocks’! 😀 Hugs back missus xx

  8. This could be me – 44, a nurse, years of drinking, pills & recreational drugs which ceased to give me any buzz a long time ago. With that an increasing self loathing of the person I was. My low? I called in sick for an AM shift after a huge drinking afternoon/evening then woke in the night and set my alarm and went off to work. Asked the supervisor why my name was crossed off. The sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when she said she thought it was me who called in, she couldn’t really understand what the person was saying. I have no recollection of the phone call at all. I worked that morning but was shaky and sick and shamed.

    1. Hey Jo Thank you for reading, commenting and reaching out on my blog 🙂 You say it was your low – does that mean that you’ve stopped drinking and taking drugs now? If you have congratulations and I hope you are feeling less shame. If you haven’t then maybe this is your turning point – your moment to decide to do it different? Please let me know how you’re doing and know that if I can do this – you can do this xx

      1. I have stopped – 5 days now. I am resolved that this will be something I beat! Thank you for your reply. Jo x

      2. Congrats Jo and thank you for letting me know! 5 days is awesome and if I can help you in any way – just ask 🙂 PS Try boosting your health by talking Vit C, B Vits, folic acid and glutamine to reduce cravings and remember you’re detoxing so it’s rough in the early days xx

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