I Was an Angry Drunk and the Most Responsible Thing Left to Go Cold Turkey.

I couldn’t rein in the beast when alcohol set the rage free.. and it almost cost me a family, a career and who knows how much more?



Photo by Frans Van Heerden from Pexels

As with many people, I started drinking because it looked cool. It seemed a thing to do to be rebellious, to make new friends, be less scared of adult life. When I moved to Australia when I was 17, I was desperate not to look like a “fresh-off-the-boat ethnic” and part of building that new life I dreamt of was grabbing a beer.

So, we drank, quite often, quite a lot, through headaches, late afternoon hazes and falling over all over the place. I’d also be lying if I didn’t admit that it felt like a lot of Fun.

I am not the most self-aware type of person and so it came as something of a surprise when people close to me started to notice a little pattern.

The pattern was this: In my workday or at home with just the family, I was generally happy, helpful, collaborative and capable of talking my problems out. More often than not though, I would “let things go”, accepting many tiny problems, smoothing life over. When I’d have a drink though, I would pick arguments, bring things up, say mean things. If I’d been drinking a lot, and it was late, I would begin shouting matches and say some very mean things.

Photo by Colin Watts on Unsplash

I shrugged it all off, I mean, it was just me letting my hair down a bit. Also, it was the other people’s fault, who would willingly argue with a person who’d been drinking? Like, I deserved a break, for all the work I did, holding down a job and taking care of my kids and keeping my family together. SURELY, it was okay to have a drink now and then!

Looking back now, I can see how I wasn’t taking responsibility for my behaviour. Years passed, special days and celebrations would end badly in tears and be followed by evasion and more sober tears.

Everything came to a head when I got a new job. The kind of cool, glamourous job where there were lots of parties and networking…




Wrote in my youth for expression, Writing now for sanity. Read in my youth for escape, Reading now for grounding.