I’ve been told that I’m going through a grieving process and I’m really starting to believe what they say. Alcohol is like a dangerous ex partner of mine, who haunts me every time I go out and walk past the pubs and clubs I used to go to; but I miss my ex most of the time. I miss that relaxing feeling as the drug seeps through my system and makes the night a bit warmer. To begin with, alcohol used to cuddle me in its strong arms and I loved that because I wasn’t used to being cuddled so freely. Then towards the end the inebriation would usually smack me in the face and take me to dangerous, unknown places that I hadn’t been to before. All without me knowing. I had no control over it in the end. This thing that I thought was keeping me safe was exposing me to more harm than I could possibly deal with.
Yesterday I went out to a big street event in Central London which happens every year, where music plays loudly through speakers all over the place and people dance in the street with plastic cups full of beer in their hands. At first I didn’t want the beer, I just wanted to dance. I’d missed dancing so much, I thought. I didn’t just use to go out for the drinking, I’d go out for the party atmosphere and the music which I loved so much. Of course in my drinking days I could never be completely sober when I was out dancing. It never occured to me to try sober dancing before. Yesterday I weirdly found myself dancing in the street with thousands of other people to music that I barely recognised. I can’t say it was fun, exactly. I could smell beer everywhere, and I wasn’t with a big group of friends, so as the day wore on I began to feel increasingly uncomfortable and panicky.
I’d gone there thinking I was looking forward to my first big social outing all month, but by 8 o’clock I just wanted to get home. I didn’t feel safe any more. I experienced my biggest alcohol craving in five weeks, and all the loud noise and overbearingness of the crowd was getting to me. I suddenly remembered that before I started drinking I never used to like noisy, crowded places. Yesterday I felt like a scared little child, lost in the crowd, and I couldn’t bear it.
So I went home thinking I never wanted to go to any bars or street parties again. The injustice in my inability to enjoy such things any more was apparent, but I had to look after myself. I’m pleased with myself for managing to last nine hours at the event without touching a single alcoholic drink. Maybe in the future when friends want to go to bars and parties with me I’ll stay a couple of hours and no more. I haven’t had much of a social life in the last five weeks and it would be nice to start doing non-AA related things again.
The other night I had another drinking dream, in which I lay in the middle of the road, unable to move because I was so drunk. I woke up petrified, convinced for several minutes that I’d really thrown away five weeks of sobriety. I know these dreams are a warning to me. I plan to take them seriously because if I ever drink again, it will be a disaster for me and everyone I know.