After my operation last year, I took to drinking gin. That is to say: I started drinking twice as much as usual. Partly to help mask the pain, but also out of pure boredom. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in bed for weeks or even months on end.
The problem is, that it takes three weeks to form a habit – and once a habit forms, it’s a difficult one to break. Especially, I find, if the habit is bad. I’m far too good at forming bad habits, and all of my friends and family know this.
A few doubles is fine. But four gin shots in one glass clearly is not. Both my husband and Alex have been worrying about me, even though they know it was acute pain that drove me to start dumping so much gin into my glass.
I had a routine (for liver patients) ultrasound back in January – and the cirrhosis had returned. I didn’t really need an ultrasound to tell me this, as I know all of the symptoms from before. All the same, I decided to try and break this habit as soon as possible; I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but dammit – I stopped before and I know I can do it again. I just have to watch that I don’t cut down too fast, or stop abruptly, as doing that can potentially kill an epileptic (and it’s even killed non-epileptic persons). I don’t want to die in the process of trying to get my previously sober life back on track.
Last Sunday, after another day of feeling ill because I’d drunk far too much gin the night before, I didn’t drink a single drop. I even admitted to Dom that I felt that way because I drank too much, whereas he thought I might be coming down with something. I’m not using that excuse any more; not when I know the truth.
Last Monday, Dom was going to the off license, and said “I suppose you want some gin?” – but I didn’t. I think my answer surprised him:
“Actually, I really don’t. Could you get me some Ghost Ship instead?”
I’ve enjoyed Ghost Ship for a long time now. Smooth, light and exquisitely tasty. The only problem is that it literally sails off the shelves due to its popularity, and part of the reason I started on gin was that I stopped seeing Ghost Ship around for a long time due to aforementioned popularness.
So yes, I am still drinking. With that said, within 48 hours I made a huge leap into halving my consumption, and I already feel better for it. I’m sleeping better, I’m more alert, and I have fewer nightmares (being on opiates for the hip pain, my dreams are wacky enough without help, thanks very much). I’ve also downloaded some relaxation apps to my phone (Relax Rain, Relax Forest and Relax Ocean) and they really help me to go a little bit zen. I’m also getting back in to my cross-stitch.
My ultimate goal is to quit drinking for good, and to do it safely. Now I just need to remember the name of the author of the book that Soberpunks recommended, and get my husband to look it out. I’m sure it’s under the bed somewhere.