Only a single step from becoming an alcoholic…

Dear Mum

Sorry I haven’t written in a while. There has been much going on. Very busy with work and family. It is all good, and everybody is well.

I hope you’re well.

I’ve been spending a lot of time at the gym when I can. Can’t believe how fit I’m getting and I’ve shed a few pounds to boot. Mentally too, I’m feeling sharper, more on the ball. The extra energy is great and it makes me more atuned to doing activities with the children. I love it. So do they. I think.

It has brought into sharper focus an issue though, Mum. Alcohol.

Drinking was always a big part of my life in terms of the group of mates I had; going out on Friday and Saturday nights, and sometimes Sunday’s as well. This isn’t unusual, I know. So many young men and women do it. As theirs, ours, mine – it was always to excess. Unfortunately for me I’ve never grown out of it; or, perhaps more accurately, my personality is such that habit and compulsion in this case cause a sort of propensity toward self destruction.

I was thinking about it this morning. Alcohol. Drinking to excess. It was natural to think about it, as I’d had a heavy night; two bottles of red wine and two cans of lager. I don’t often get hangovers and today was no different; its just sort of an empty bodily feeling, whilst at the same time being consumed with guilt and shame. The abuse. The unnessesary. The need. I think.

Now, this quantity of alcohol wouldn’t normally bother me, Mum. Our occasional evenings at friends houses, when the lads get ‘on it’. It’s normal. But we weren’t with friends. I was at home. On my own. I’ve done this before on more than one occasion. Sally was away on a hen do, the children at their Mothers. So, I go out and buy food for supper and snacks; and alcohol.

When I have these occasions, I think I do it in some completely childish way; meaning, I know I otherwise wouldn’t be allowed to consume so much alcohol if anybody else was around. That is sad. I think.

It seems I am only one step away from being an alcoholic. If I was on my own with no family, for instance. It is as if they are the only ones that prevent me from going further and more often. Just their presence. My work too. I have to get up and go to work. I can’t not, as I need to work to support the family.

That seems to be the way Mum. It is the fact I have societal responsibility beyond the self, which is the only thing that keeps me from drinking more. As soon as I am on my own, I revert to being…I don’t know. What do I revert to being? Something else, someone else. I think.

Maybe you and Dad is where the credit rests. My upbringing; instilled in me the need to look after and support my family. I can only see it as this that protects me from myself. It does not and cannot protect me from that propensity to seek ways of justifying other occasional drinking; almost even more so, now that I am so much fitter and healthier from going to the gym.

Oh, Mum. This letter actually finds me now far from being okay. Why does pen on paper open up channels of thoughts, colliding and exploding their way to revelation? I am saddened. Desperate. Hollow. I think.

Is there a way out of this, Mum?

But, Mum. Don’t worry. I understand my failings. I recognise them. It’s just the summoning of the Will I need to tend to. I think.

All my love. As always.

Your Son,

Thomas

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