Anomymously sumbitted by a south-east Queensland rural professional.
(Curated by Shanna Whan - Founder, Sober in the Country.)
I would call myself a pretty typical party-loving ‘’bush chick’’ and one of those 'all-or-nothing' kinds of people.
I am 37 now. Since I was about 20, I’ve had half a dozen stints of off the booze. This isn't my first, but maybe it will be my last?? I have considered that.
I am currently 162 days alcohol-free.
It feels funny to me even saying that because honestly, I didn't have a problem that was uncontrollable. I just liked a drink and loved to party.
However I began to see recently how close to home the genetic pre-disposition to alcoholism was ... and the education and information on this forum made me think, a lot. I found it confronting at times. Then, I found it necessary and helpful.
While there are many motivators for this current break from alcohol, the main reason is my sister. She is my idol, and my bestie.
She also has a serious problem with booze and has done for many years.
I used to think she was the best: the best chick, the best drinker, the best mum, just the bomb in every single way. But about 5 years ago I really noticed a change. I am not too sure if something in her changed or if I changed? Maybe I had finally just settled down and started slowing down myself?
Either way it is heartbreaking to see the destruction her drinking is bringing - and how it is ruining all her relationships. It is also incredibly frustrating to see her claim that everythig is always someone else fault. She is angry, aggressive and critical - and constantly points out the faults of others and acts as though she is immune. (Ironically, when she’s sober, I regard her as pretty close to being perfect).
Recently I spent some time with her and we got through without a blue. But I feel like we all walk on egg shells the whole time. We all love her so much and she is so beautiful, so caring … but it’s all being ruined by alcohol.
We just want her to get help. She has two beautiful kids and I feel like her relationship (with her eldest) is on tenterhooks because of the drinking. She is otherwise such a great mum.
I see what is does to our own Mum who also had to live with an alcoholic mother, father and husband. And now she has to watch her daughter "killing herself."
I have come to the devastating realisation I can’t help my sister until she is ready. And it sucks. In the last 5 years we have had some big arguments about her drinking and it leaves me so sad.
All I wish is to see her healthy and happy and sober - but unfortunately I can't do it for her.
Over the course of my own twenty year ‘’professional drinking career’’ I remember always joking with her and others about owning shares in the pubs. I'd brag about my ‘back-up’ ability - especially when I partied with older people and could go for up to four days straight.
Looking back I do believe that I was lonely and there was very little else to 'do' on offer. Since I'm not really the type to join the lcoal sewing circle, I joined the crowd that was on offer. Everyone drank to excess, and so I did, too.
During my half-dozen stints of sobriety the only downside has been my mate’s reactions and also how their own excessive drinking was suddenly constantly justified and thrown at me.
There was so much peer pressure, which at our age seems completely ridiculous.
This time around I am learning from that, and honestly, I am just steering clear from those people. But in saying that I am not ‘hiding out’. I will just do this on my terms.
The positives this time are that my mind feels clearer, my head and body actually feel awake and alert, my skin is good, and my eyes are clear. I am also noticing that I'm so happy with my one-and-only now, as well.
I've got regrets about the things I wish I could forget about that I did when I was drinking to excess, and I worry about the things I have done and can't remember, and will probably never know about. But as I said - this time has been good for me. I have a few motivators to change my life for the better - including not only my sister but my own health (and fertility) and being a great role model to the young people around me.
So I guess for now I am just keeping on keeping on - and I am very thankful for the support on pages like this and knowing there is others out there.
Please keep helping each other out.