Helping you get through tough times

Life cannot be fixed with a shot of vodka

It gave me confidence, it made me popular, I become emotionless; it provided a barrier from the outside world. Alcohol became my best and worst friend. It led to self-destruction; it became my coping mechanism to get through many tough times.

Alcohol to avoid

Growing up with an alcoholic grandfather who you cannot ever remember smelling like beer; you always swore to yourself that you would never drink because you have lived through the pain of watching your grandmother receive one too many hits to the face. My grandfather abused alcohol so he didn’t have to face his problems. Even though I swore that I would never turn out like him; to some extent I did. I abused alcohol to avoid what was going on in my life.

Festive drinks

The first time I ever experienced drinking alcohol was on New Year’s Eve. I was easily encouraged by friends and family to have a few drinks to celebrate the New Year. You ask yourself ‘what harm can a few drinks do?’ It was the greatest feeling sinking one drink after the next- I was finally starting to feel accepted and being noticed. I was on top of the world. It was great; I couldn’t walk straight and my speech was slurred; I thought I was hilarious and so untouchable. I was off my face as you could call it. There was this guy that I thought was gorgeous and I never would have even spoken to him if I was sober. I remember sitting at the park waiting for midnight to arrive and he joined me. That was the first time I had sex. I lost my virginity to a guy I had met at a party and I was drunk.

I was thirteen at the time. Looking back at the situation I could say that would have never happened. I was young and stupid but it seems that I still didn’t learn my lesson.

Unusual home life

You could say my home life was not the best. It was always filled with people using drugs, numerous men walking in and out the doors and alcohol was drank all day long. You know it’s not normal; you are constantly comparing your life to other peoples and forever wishing it was just a dream. But it was not a dream it was reality and in this reality alcohol became my new best friend so I didn’t have to face the loneliness and emptiness of my life on my own.

I could write a novel about my experiences with alcohol.

But if I had to write a summary this is how I used and abused my new best friend.

I drank at parties so I could be someone else.

I drank to escape the nightmares of being sexually abused by your mother’s boyfriend.

I drank to reassure myself that it’s ok to stay in an abusive relationship.

I drank to cope with death and loss.

I drank in the hope that one day my life would be better.

I drank because I didn’t know what else to do.

Poor choices

You could say that drinking alcohol was ingrained in my life. It has played a huge part in my life and it was a mechanism to cope with my life. I admit that I have not had the best start to life. A lot of things have happened that were out of my control but I have also made some poor life choices as well. Looking back over my teenage years I realise how detrimental alcohol can be. It can provide a temporary fix to deep down problems but by no means is it a solution. One correct decision I have made in my life is that I did eventually seek help. I did come to the realisation that alcohol cannot be my best friend forever and that I do have to change my life.

Better way to move on

I can proudly say that I have just done that. I have logged on to Reach Out! when life sucked; I have taken away many tools and resources that I now apply to my everyday life; I no longer feel alone and scared. I have spent many agonising hours in counsellors and psychologists offices exposing my life and myself. I have gone through many boxes of tissues and felt emotions that have always been foreign to me. I bared my soul basically; exposing issues and situations I have been through and always been scared and ashamed about. I have come along way from that thirteen year old in the park and for once in my life I am not ashamed of the person who I am today. Today I still face problems; I still deal with demons from my past but I have found a better way to get through them and move on. I can gladly say that alcohol has no part in this.

Asking for help

Today the pressures of drinking alcohol are more dominant, it seems to be ingrained in our culture and our social lives. One thing I now know is that with drinking alcohol along comes responsibility. It is fine to have a few drinks but what is important is to know when to stop. If you find that you are becoming increasingly dependent on alcohol to get through situations- seek help. There is no shame in asking for help because ultimately its going to allow you to lead a better and happier life. Life cannot be fixed with a shot of vodka or a cheap cask of wine.

By a 20-year-old woman

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