Monday, May 3, 2021

It Starts With The First Step

I found an old video on YouTube of a couple blokes down at the pub, on the phone, lying about where they were and why they were running so late. 
It was hilarious. And four years ago, I completely identified. 
That was me to à tee. 

Yet as hilarious as this still is, it's also incredibly alarming to think how easily and naturally we lie is situations like this.
It's funny, but also, is it really? 

In the year of COVID the United Kingdom reported an alcohol intake increase of 500%.

"Tips" to blow on your mug during Zoom meetings so it makes you look like you're drinking tea and not wine, or suggestions of filling your kid's sippy cup with wine in case you get pulled over whilst driving -
If someone can't stop drinking even whilst needing to get into a car to drive, is that really healthy?
Is it still funny when there's a child in the back seat and you swerve?

I know the funny bits of it; I promise I have experienced it. It's hilarious and preposterous to hear about, drunken stories are the best to listen to at parties. Until you don't hear about it because the person isn't there anymore to tell it.

I was (mostly) functional drunk. But if I couldn't imagine functioning without it, was I really, technically, functional at all?

There must be a reason we're telling these lies;
Drinking out of 750ml wine glass so we can say "I've only had one glass", having a White Russian that's more White than Russian so we can have 20 glasses instead, or saying "I'll be right, I'm only having Cider tonight" even though you've had a case.
We're lying because some part of us knows something is off before we can place it.
We're lying because some part of us is downright envious of the stranger at the party you spot nursing a Gin and Tonic the WHOLE NIGHT (and doesn't even finish it).
We're lying because some part of us thinks that if someone else knew how much we drink, like *really* knew, they might think we have a problem when obviously we don't.
We're lying because we think it'll be easier for us to look ourselves in the mirror the next morning, makeup smeared and wondering how we got here. 

Today, I am 17 months and 3 days sober.
And I got here only because I took the first step, even before I knew it was a step I could take. I got here because no matter how much I tried to run, I could never outrun myself.

I'm not talking about the occasional drinkers or the one glass a night people- because I'm not like them.

But before the one glass a night people end up becoming a few bottles an afternoon - type drinkers, I might suggest that we need to step back from normalising lying and normalising "hacks to make people think you're drinking something other than alcohol".

I might even suggest that perhaps it's time we start normalising, and I daresay, celebrating sobriety.
Normalise having the courage to deal with life on life's terms.

Celebrate being able to one day look yourself in the mirror, knowing exactly how you got there.

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