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?

Harshy

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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…

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Harshy

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