This morning I feel like hibernating. It has turned cold and damp outside and it was ever so tempting to remain cocooned in my blankets. There was also Lorazepam in the equation. I took 2mg last night as I felt too anxious to sleep. This meant that eventually I had a beautiful night’s rest (unfortunately my wife didn’t as Lorazepam makes me snore) but it was so hard to wake up when the alarm went off.
I did, however, drag myself out of bed, and after a coffee and a smoke I started to feel almost human. These meds are supposed to help me avoid drinking. I’ve been told I am an alcoholic. When I first had my breakdown, I would medicate myself with drink whenever I got distressed or anxious. And it’s hard to dispute that alcohol is the most delicious medicine.
My drinking was never really much of an issue until I started to use it as an excuse to be reckless. I got to the point that I wasn’t drinking to medicate, I was drinking to take away the inhibition that held me back from doing something dangerous.
There are constantly two voices arguing in my head. I try to keep busy to avoid them, but as soon as I’m not focused on something, their discussions resurface. There’s the bigger, louder part of me that wants to cut or burn myself and tempts me to end my life. Then there is the small voice of reason, pushing back, calming down, reminding me of the possible consequences.
I know that when I get drunk, that tiny, rational part loses its voice. Alcohol silences it for a time and I feel all of the possibilities open up. Sat in the pub a few weeks ago after a difficult therapy session, I had a few pints. As I reached the bottom of the second one I started to feel the reason and the consequences melt away. In AA meetings, I am pressed to stay away from romanticising getting drunk. I can’t do that yet. When I am drunk I feel liberated from all the responsibility of being alive. I feel the ropes that tie me down begin to slacken and I can suddenly breathe freely again. I feel lighter, freer and more in control of my destiny. And in that moment it is utterly exhilarating.