I spent years quietly worrying about my drinking. It was a secret, shameful problem that I couldn't bring myself to tell anyone else about.
I felt so stuck and confused. I was tired of feeling hungover and fed up of the constant battle with myself over when I'd next drink. But the idea of actually giving up alcohol seemed unthinkable. My social life revolved around cocktails and boozy nights out. At home, I always had a bottle of wine chilling in the fridge. Drinking was normal, right? It was what everyone did and it was my favourite way to relax and switch off.
Alcohol occupied a lot of brain space. I always seemed to be thinking about booze and trying to decide whether things were really 'bad enough' for me to have to quit. (I realise now that if you're constantly wondering if you're drinking too much then you probably are.) Back then, googling questions like "am I an alcoholic?" was practically a hobby.
I'd sit at my laptop, glass of wine in hand, hunting for information. But what I was really doing was looking for things that proved my drinking wasn't that bad. I'd read stories about other people's rock-bottom moments: getting fired from jobs, swigging vodka in the morning or getting arrested for drinking-driving in the middle of the day.
Source: Kate Bee, Irish Independent, 4th February 2019