I can’t go another blog post without talking about one of my life’s greatest loves; champagne, also known as sparking wine, bubbles or prosecco. I have had a funny ever changing relationship with this fine drop over countless years but I am now nearly at a point in my life where I can fully and guiltlessly embrace it.
It’s hard to know where to begin as the details of the start of this love affair is some what blurred, most likely due to my dabbling with many other relationships in my younger days, including West Coast Coolers in my teen years, my dark Cointreau and Tequila Slammer days, followed by Midori Illusions, Vodka and Raspberries, Black Russians and many a cocktail. I think it’s fair to say I was very much an Aussie stereotype; typical drunken yobbo with a tinge of boganism. I certainly wasn’t alone in this culture, fully surrounded by like minded friends, all out to get wasted on weekly binge drinking sessions.
I have no regrets of this time, with so many memories and I still see all these mates, although now we are all fully fledged middle aged adults. These days though I do like to think we are all slightly more mature and perhaps a little bit more cultured in our drink choices. The difference for me, however, is that unlike many of my friends who stopped this blatant abuse of alcohol when they began families I had no need to stop and continued on my merry way for quite some time. In fact, truth be told I have never really fully stopped. I have always found people to over drink with, sometimes I haven’t had to stray too far from family with both sides genetically inclined to the bottle.
Watching my peers develop more sensible drinking habits never really deterred me over the years as I continued to use my level of drunkeness as the measure stick of a good time. In earlier blog posts I have touched on the mask that alcohol helped play in hiding some of my real inner demons, my true hatred of myself, but it was never as clear cut as that. Hating myself was not the only reason why I enjoyed a drink, but it sure did help in not feeling the weight of my fear and self-loathing. With this part of me now almost fully healed I get to enjoy drinking in a new way, still with some abandon but with a level of peace and a far greater ease at stopping when I have simply had enough. These days my drinking habits simply have no ties attached, no real purpose except to socialise and I find myself slowing down.
When I first sought help from a psychologist I said it was because I was worried that I may have been an alcoholic. The reason for this is because at the time the only real happiness I could seem to find was when I was blind drunk. It was in those moments that the weight of everything was lifted. I was concerned because I was on regular benders beyond normal fun nights out, but most significantly was the blues that followed the next day.
Ironically my biggest fear of going to see someone about my drinking was that they were going to say that my drinking was my problem. I felt I could deal with anything but that. By now you know of course, if you have been following my blog for long enough, that by no means was drinking my problem, just a common side effect. The relief at uncovering this was by far a wonderful byproduct of healing. Now I could drink to my heart’s content! The absolute need to do this, however, is just no longer there. Instead I find myself in a real life ‘happy hour’. A time in my life where I can enjoy a drink for the sake of enjoying a drink, still sometimes over excessively, but for no other reason than socialising and having a good time before heading home, earlier and earlier it seems, to my real happy place.