It's been a week since I decided not to drink alcohol again (I wonder if it is intentional that I wrote 'not' rather than 'never' in that first sentence...). And I am gradually coming to terms with the fact that I have had a problem with alcohol. I mean: I knew that I had a problem with alcohol in the sense that I got more and more depressed and anxious each time I had had too much to drink. But I am slowly realising that it is not just something that I have been imagening as a problem. In recent years when I have been thinking about my relationship to alcohol, I have never been able to figure out whether it was an actual problem or just something that I made it to be. But it is probably a real problem. Something that I have to deal with. And I guess I am doing that now.
For example, I use alcohol as a reward. If there is one thing I have learned from all the websites about alcoholism that I have browsed through it is that using alcohol as a reward is a clear indicator that something is off. And if I am at a party, I don’t know how to stop drinking. Also a bad sign.
Today is Friday and I have had an insanely intense work week. When I got home, I was tense and tired with thoughts returning to the last days of work: Have I fulfilled people’s expectations of me? Did I disappoint anyone? Even though I really do believe that I did a good job, it is not the quality of the work I think about at the end of an intense process such as the one I have just been going through. Instead, I apparently think about whether I managed to make people like me or if I pushed them away. And so I feel like I have earned the right to drink alcohol. That is my reward for the hard work and the incessant worries.
But it has been a week now and that is something to celebrate, I guess! I have been thinking about this project quite a bit since then. Already after a few days, it became apparent to me that this project will be crucial for maintaining focus and not inventing excuses or elaborate explanations for why I should quit quitting alcohol. Fortunately, my low self-esteem and constant longing for recognition helps me out: I really try to make the posts as honest and precise as I can. Because that is what I am now supposed to do.