A year ago today tonight was the last time I drank alcohol.
I went into it with the intention of having fun and I was determined and positive that I could and would control myself under the influence of alcohol.
I was drinking Rosé wine with my boyfriend and I facetimed my mum at around 9pm all happy and giggly.
We then went to my house and played beer pong. I was still laughing by this point. We were ready to go to bed and by this time, I didn’t know what time it was. I went upstairs to the toilet and my boyfriend had just gotten into bed. My best friend called me whilst I was on the toilet and in all honesty that is the last thing I clearly remember.
The night suddenly turned into my worst nightmare and I feel I need to share it. People don’t understand why I don’t drink and I don’t need to justify my reasons why. However, when I tell people that I go crazy, they say “so does everyone” or “everyone has a night like that”, I want you to know that if you only ever have one awful night of drinking, that is a good enough reason for you to want to stop drinking. Don’t feel pressured by society to carry on because English culture is one of the biggest binge drinking cultures in the world.
Anyway, my memory is very vague by this point.
Just remember, I went upstairs happy. Giggly. Ready to come back and cuddle my boyfriend in bed.
I came downstairs and collapsed on the floor, crying and hyperventilating. I then proceeded to scream and hold my head. Mumbling about events I had repressed and also events I thought I had mentally dealt with. I don’t know what triggered this behaviour and that is what is so frightening.
I then became determined again but my determination had changed. It had gone from being determined to have a good night to now, being determined to harm myself.
I pretended to get a drink in the kitchen and took a knife to the bathroom where my boyfriend kicked the door in. I did this repeatedly with other sharp objects. I smashed glass cups, glass bottles and in the end, I smashed my wall mirror.
The strange thing about this is that I didn’t use my fist. I wanted to hurt myself but instead of punching the mirror, I grabbed my can of deodorant and repeatedly smashed the mirror. I then grabbed pieces of the broken glass, ran away and cut my arm.
Whilst this was going on, my boyfriend was trying to catch me, restrain me and calm me down but I only saw red. I knew what I wanted and I couldn’t stop myself. I didn’t care who I hurt in the process. I just needed to get what I wanted and in that moment in time, it was to hurt myself.
The next thing I remember is waking up in my boyfriend’s bed with a sore head. I sat bolt up right with the realisation of what had happened. I looked at my arm which my boyfriend had bandaged up and I felt so empty. I hadn’t been this out of control in 4 years. My boyfriend was fast asleep and I couldn’t even look at him. I couldn’t look at myself.
The feeling I felt whilst out of control drunk was a strangely comfortable feeling but it had to stop. It was dangerous. Every time I reached that level of drunk, I took it to the next step. I’ve never smashed a mirror before to hurt myself. I’d also never hurt myself to that extent before. What if next time I was so drunk that I ended my life. I didn’t want to die. I was just hurting.
The feeling I felt when I woke up that morning is one I will never forget and sometimes it haunts me. It’s not because I felt bad about what I did to myself. It’s because of what I put my boyfriend through. The responsibility of looking after me. Trying to control someone who was uncontrollable. Watching them self-destruct and being so determined to harm their body. I then remembered everyone else who had ever suffered in that position. My mum, my best friends, even people who weren’t that close with me but felt obliged to fix me at that moment in time.
I felt disgusted. The person who I became when I was drunk was so detached from who I was sober.
Sober, I would put 100% into my work and my studies. I would go to the gym. I would enjoy spending time with family and friends. I had goals, ambitions, dreams and I was determined to have an amazing life.
But as soon as alcohol entered my system, I was gone and this monster who hated herself came out. She would remind herself of ever traumatic experience she’d been through and make her relive the pain. She was self-destructive and dangerous. But most of all, she didn’t know or remember what exactly she was doing. It was like she had gone into auto-pilot.
Saying that my body and mind had gone into auto-pilot is not an excuse for my behaviour but it is exactly how I felt. My body would continue to act and behave in certain ways and I would have certain thoughts but I would lose my eyesight, my memory and my self-control.
This night was the last night I drank alcohol and I made the biggest and best decision of my life to stop drinking.
I wasn’t giving up something, I was freeing myself and allowing myself to be the best version of who I am.
It is important for me to write this, not only for other people to understand or to relate to and know it is okay to have a problem with substances but it is important to write this for myself.
It is really horrible to remember what I was like and what I did when I was drinking but it is so important. Reflection is incredibly important and it keeps me striving forwards with my sobriety and pushes me forwards to be the person I am and who I want to be.
Lastly, this is an apology. To anyone I hurt physically or mentally whilst I was under the influence of alcohol. You might remember horrible words I said or disgusting behaviour and the worst thing is, I probably don’t remember. So please, forgive me for who I was before I stopped drinking. I was suffering with my mental health and with substance misuse. There is no excuse for anything I ever did but know that I am truly sorry and I am not the person I once was.
Nearly 1 year sober.
Peace out xx