I haven’t mentioned to my husband that I am trying to sober up – not because he won’t be delighted (he hates me drinking. It has caused numerous arguments over the years and almost ended our marriage on several occasions), but because he doesn’t understand why I have a problem. As far as he is concerned, I choose to drink excessively because I want to. If I had a pound for every time he told me: “Why don’t you just have two glasses of wine like everyone else?”
‘Normal’ drinkers simply don’t get it. I can’t blame them for that – if you’ve never had a vice (and my husband hasn’t – never smoked, drinks very moderately) then I can’t expect him to understand that I don’t ‘choose’ to drink – but that alcohol has got me in shackles and chains and is dragging me upstream!
The majority of people simply don’t understand addiction. I had a debate with a friend the other day (who doesn’t know I have a drink problem) and was saying that people who drink excessively and end up in hospital should have to pay for their own treatment (here in the UK care is free on the NHS) and that smokers should have to pay for treatment if they get lung cancer – because they deliberately caused their illness. I argued that in that case, people who participate in sports and break bones should also have to pay as they chose to get into a rugby scrum.
I have never taken heroin (or any drugs other than alcohol), yet I have immense empathy with all drug addicts. There were lots of scathing comments about Peaches Geldoff who recently overdosed on Heroin – ‘how irresponsible of her to take drugs’. To me it is a tragedy. I imagine that she struggled to kick the habit and never dreamed that she would actually die from it. I wonder how many times she tried to give it up and planned that ‘next week’ she would stop. Just like millions of us alcoholics around the world keep hoping and dreaming that one day we will get a grip and put the alcoholic fuzz behind us.
I’ve been struggling with the addiction for years now and I know that it has to stop. It really is time for me to get a grip before it’s too late.
Yesterday wasn’t too bad. Day two today might be a little more challenging as I am meeting a friend for lunch, but am driving so won’t need to explain not drinking. My husband announced this morning that he has booked a table in our favourite restaurant tonight – so I need to plan how I’m going to turn down the usual bottle of Sauvignon in favour of a lime and soda!