Choosing a relationship with alcohol or me
My relationship with alcohol started when I was very young. My first taste of alcohol was when my father made up a concoction of rum, lemon juice, ginger, honey and hot water when I was ill as a child which tasted vile, but I was told it was good for me, so I did as I was told and drank it.
Alcohol was a big part of my childhood; there was always a celebration when relatives came to visit, so it was quite normal for me to relate good times with drinking.
I had a very emotional experience when I was fifteen where I had disappointed both my parents and I was made to feel ashamed of what I had done. I fell pregnant and my parents organised a termination with no consultation with me, which was very scary and traumatic for me and it was never mentioned again. I could feel their disappointment and it made me feel very alone, as I had no one to talk to about it.
At my first work Christmas party that year I drank myself silly and enjoyed not being able to feel, and to not have a care in the world. It did not end well that night with me becoming very ill and my family just laughing at me the next day and I was told: ‘serves you right!’ There was no support given or any lecture on the pitfalls of drinking.
I didn’t realise that this was the beginning of my relationship with an alcoholic; it was the beginning of me losing myself to alcohol.
I started going out to parties and nightclubs as a weekend social event and slowly the drinking increased and I was drinking more regularly. I soon realised that alcohol had become my new best friend – it took away any pain, any hurts, it numbed me, it helped me to fit in, I was cool and I was not alone.
I would wake most times after a big night vowing never to drink again, only to get back up the next day to complete the cycle or merry-go-round that I was constantly on.
I loved being part of the crowd; alcohol gave me confidence so I became a fool, making people laugh and being recognised as the so-called ‘life of the party’. There were many times I could not remember a thing that had happened… I was totally abusing and punishing my body through the amount of alcohol I drank, waking up with hangovers and then pushing myself to go to work to be seen as the responsible human being that I believed I was.
My relationship with an alcoholic – that is, my relationship with myself and my relationship with others – was always accompanied by a bottle of something, and I rarely sat down to engage with people without alcohol. The moment I walked in the door from work I would pour myself a drink to reward myself for working so hard. It became a real habit and some nights it might be one glass of wine or a bottle, and maybe a couple of ‘scotch on the rocks’ just to top it off. I thought it relaxed and de-stressed me from my day, but it had the opposite effect as my days were filled with dramas, I was constantly stressed and I was caught in a vicious cycle.
I met all my partners while out drinking, so my relationships were always about drinking, covering up the true me so there was never any intimacy or connection, and they were mostly based on need.
Getting drunk was easy as it meant I did not have to connect and in truth I liked this as I thought I could hide. I never spoke up as I was in fear of their reaction and I always blamed them or outside influences for the breakdown of all my relationships, when I was always a contributor to the breakdown because there was no true relationship with me.
I woke up one morning after getting quite drunk the night before and realised that my body had had enough; I was drinking too much and I was in an unhappy relationship and something had to change.
Not long after, I attended a healing session and met Serge Benhayon and everything he talked about made absolute sense. He explained why we make some of the choices we do and the missing link was the connection to ourselves. I realised I did not know who I was, and that was the beginning for me to start developing a relationship with myself. It was clear that to have relationships with others there must be a relationship with self, a concept that was very foreign for me.
Over time, with the help of these understandings and some simple tools for living such as the Gentle Breath Meditation, I stopped drinking, and it was completely life changing: I broke the cycle of needing a drink every night and I was faced with someone whom I had forgotten existed. I felt awkward, strange even; I was not the life of the party anymore, and I had to connect with people in a completely different way and yet there was something deeply settling and very familiar that I was able to connect to – and it was me!
My friends and family noticed that I had changed but what had really happened was I had discarded the changes I started making when I was fifteen years old that took me away from my natural state of being – the sweet, fragile girl that I was.
I have had to be totally honest and strip back and expose the behaviours I have run with for most of my life: having to be in control, having a need to be recognised, being in competition and comparing myself with others, and driving myself physically to succeed.
I have looked at how I react, playing it small in relationships, wanting to please or fix partners to be a certain way to fit my pictures of how they should be. I have seen how I armed myself with alcohol as a protection from the hurts I had carried through my life.
What has unfolded is that I have built a relationship with myself that has revealed the qualities of a being whom I now care for deeply and I have learned to honour my body when it sends me messages loud and clear. I never thought I would stop drinking alcohol because it was such a big part of my life, but now I know how poisonous it is physically and emotionally; it gives us a false sense of who we truly are.
Now that I have this amazing relationship with myself, and have divorced myself from my relationship with alcohol, it has opened me up to connect with others and has deepened all of my relationships to be much more open, honest and more loving… just by being me.