Tuesday, 14 June 2011

I Have A Serious Drink Problem

I think it's time I addressed a fact of my life: I cannot handle booze any more. My apologies if anyone was expecting my usual attempts at humour or social observation, but now is not the time.

Firstly, I would like to take a moment to apologize to the people who matter to me for the behaviour they have had to endure when they have seen me at my drunken worst. I apologize most profusely, because at my worst it is often only them that can identify the behaviour. I have no recollection of it, and while I've seen evidence of it thanks to the age of phone cameras and so on, much of it's anecdotal, and there's been plenty over the years I've not liked the sound (or sight) of.

It's come to a head now. Drunken behaviour has isolated me from someone I really care about, and that's not who I've perceived myself to be. I've been the funny drunk, the passout drunk, the incoherent drunk. But lately it seems when I'm at that point where one of the aforementioned used to come out, it's a combination of the three that can only be classified as fucking idiot drunk. And the humour is only apparent to me. Because it's not funny.

The sad thing is, by "come to a head now" over the last couple of days I've gone back over time and realised that while these moments of fucking idiot drunk aren't that many in number they cover a good ten year period where I know that my actions and attitudes have genuinely offended, upset, or embarrassed people I care about. I like to tell myself I like to make people's lives easier and more fun. But the reality is that time and time again I've taken "fun" to a level where it's made situations at the least uneasy and at the worst volatile. That's not making anyone's life easier!

I've spent the last ten years kidding myself I can drink like I did in my twenties, but there's enough evidence to prove to me that now, at 40, that's just not the case at all anymore. I can't keep up with some people I think I can keep up with. Mixing beer or wine with spirits sends me on a downward spiral of drunkenness that can go from me being cheerfully coherent to passed-out-on-the-floor, either injured or drenched in piss, in a blink of the eye. This is not an easy statement to make, by the way. But I imagine quite a few of you who've taken the time to read this will know it to be true from first-hand evidence one way or the other.

Do I think I'm an alcoholic? Well some websites will tell you I am. But alcoholics I know will tell you otherwise: I'm just being a fucking idiot drunk. Well, it's time to stop. When it gets to the point where your actions start to have a directly negative effect on those around you, you have a problem. I've had problems before, and I've always beaten them. I intend that to continue.

To finish off, I hope that a good number of my friends and family have read this far, even though it might not be a nice thing to have to stick through. But if you have, it's because you're the people who've stuck with me through tough things before, or you're the people who've had some serious problems along similar lines, either directly or indirectly. Most of you I have at some point had to apologise to for something done while drunk. Those apologies seem rather hollow to me since I've repeated the actions time and again, so Gods know how they feel to you.

I am genuinely sorry for being a drunken fucking idiot. It's time to stop.
I love you, Jayney.