Philia Daniel Farò – Death To Stock
Sobriety: Should I break Dry January?
Is sobriety beyond ‘Dry January’ the answer this year?
One in six adults in the UK who drink alcohol plans to partake in Dry January. But some may consider ending their unhealthy relationship with alcohol completely this year.
In the UK, drinking alcohol isn’t necessarily reserved for special occasions or a tipple to accompany a lavish dinner. In 2022, the soccer’s world governing body FIFA confirmed a ban of alcoholic beverages at the eight stadiums hosting the World Cup in Qatar. While alcohol is not as readily available in Qatar, some soccer fans who travelled from other countries to support their beloved teams were up in arms following the decision.
We’re surrounded by alcohol and even encouraged to drink in social situations and places of work. Is it time to change our perceptions of alcohol to support those who need to kick the habit?
Katie shares her recovery from alcoholism story below, previously shared on kikiblahblah.com.
I write about my recovery and share my story, not for praise or recognition but to help anyone suffering from addiction or the torture of watching someone close to you suffer.
I started as a ‘normal’ drinker, going out with friends as a teenager, only drinking at weekends, but I was always the one who got too drunk; I never just had a couple. Then I got my first job in Central London, and booze was part of the culture. It was a stressful career choice, and it wasn’t uncommon to have a couple of drinks at lunchtime and then return to the office.
Although, I would rarely go back. I was, again, the one who took it too far. Drinks after work always ended with me blacked out. Goodness knows how I got home half the time. The next day I would come in hungover and feeling ridiculously anxious. What did I do? What did I say? My weekends would be consumed by the fear of the Friday drinking session with work, but I had found the cure for the anxious thoughts– hair of the dog. A drink in the morning.
I would have a few pre-mixed cans on my way to work, not the branded ones, though they were only one shot. I would go to M&S; those bad boys had 2 shots in each can. I would drink enough to keep the shakes away and to let my brain breathe. Then drink again in the evening. The cycle continued.
I remember when I was first asked if I had an issue with alcohol at work, I was horrified. After a particularly blurry night, I had apparently called someone a massive C*** (not a word I would ever usually use). My boss came to speak to me about it after.
Philia Daniel Farò – Death To Stock
No one grows up wanting to be an alcoholic, but this illness doesn’t discriminate; it doesn’t only affect those that look a certain way.” – Katie, Stylishly Sober
Fast forward a couple of years, and I ended up losing a job due to my alcohol use, you would think that would be enough to stop me, but it wasn’t. That’s the thing about addiction. It’s not a choice; you can’t just stop.
My next job started well, and I was good at it, but my drinking had increased. I knew I had an issue, and I wanted to stop. I went to doctors, I went to meetings, I went to counselling, but I was in a vicious cycle. I couldn’t stop for fear of how bad the withdrawals would be and how awful the anxiety was.
I contemplated suicide regularly, but I couldn’t do that to my family and the friends I had left. I was lucky enough to get a place in a residential rehabilitation facility through my health insurance. I was open with work, and they were supportive. I was incredibly fortunate. In rehab, we learnt that addiction is an illness (it is classed as a disease by the American Medical Association).
In those 28 days, we learned how to live with the illness. Where it comes from, how it starts and how to help treat it. There are many theories about Alcoholism and Addiction, but one thing I do know is that it is not a choice. I didn’t choose to drink so much that I could no longer control my bodily functions. I didn’t decide to make myself so physically sick but still have a bottle of wine in my hand, forcing it down me whilst crouched over the toilet bowl to make myself ‘better’, alone in my flat at 8 am. I did not choose those things. It is more significant than that.
I haven’t had a drink since I left that rehab over two years ago, and for someone who was, in the end, utterly dependent on alcohol, it’s a miracle. I rarely think about booze (only when I am writing or talking about it to try and help someone), but that freedom doesn’t come quickly. I do certain things every day to keep myself sober. But the work I put in is nothing compared to the joy I get from life today.
If you are suffering, I hope my words help you. If you give up alcohol (whether you are an Alcoholic or not), your life doesn’t need to end. I didn’t get sober to have a boring life; I got sober to live.
Getting sober was the start of a wonderful life I can control and build. I will always get told I don’t look like an Alcoholic because people don’t understand.
I believe that the more we talk about addiction, the more awareness we will raise, which will give us a chance to erase the stigma of Alcoholism and Addiction. If we stop the stigma, more of those living in the misery of addiction will feel able to ask for help, and with more of us educated about addiction through openly talking about it, the more able we are to help those who need it.
*Originally published in 2018 on KikiBlahBlah.com.
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