A Sober Story
I started to document my sobriety journey in May 2018. When I made the decision to stop drinking in March 2018, I had found a lot of inspiration on Instagram and felt that starting my own sobriety account would keep me accountable.
I never was able to moderate my drinking. Since the first time I got drunk when I was 14, binge drinking at the weekend was always an expected past time amongst my group of friends. As I got older and inevitably had more money and the freedom of doing what I wanted living away from home, the volume and frequency of my drinking increased.
My late teens and early twenties were a blur of boozy nights out and terrible hangovers. I never questioned that what I was doing wasn’t the norm. Everyone enjoys a night out don’t they? My friends all drank in a similar way. At least I thought they did. The reality is that the party extended into the week for me. I began to buy boxes of wine instead of bottles and it wasn’t uncommon for me to hit the vodka after a hard Tuesday, or Wednesday or Thursday. I would often lie about how much I was drinking, knowing deep down that things had gotten out of control.
Fortunately for me, I had a few quieter years after falling pregnant with my first child and 17 months later giving birth to my second. It was after the breakup with their father in 2015 when the drinking began to creep in again. The loneliness I experienced along with grieving the loss of the life I had hoped to have hit me very hard. I was struggling to juggle the stress of two small children with no family support and a very tense and strained relationship with my ex-husband.
Along with evenings out with friends, I would numb myself to the world most nights with a nice bottle of white wine. I would tell myself it was ok because I was drinking expensive French wine, not the cheap box stuff. It got to the stage where I couldn’t remember the last time I had gone a day without drinking wine.
I would feel panicky if there wasn’t any wine in the house and I always had to have reserves in case I didn’t have just enough to take the edge off. My focus in the evening was getting the kids to bed and cracking open the wine to relax.
It was after the breakup of a relationship and my dad being in a near fatal drowning incident that my drinking really began to spiral. I was an emotional mess, constantly stressed and anxious and I was definitely not the happy, present mother that I wanted to be. I felt utterly alone and ashamed. Embarrassed at my inability to cope. To moderate. To be “normal”.
It took me a number of attempts at moderating before I finally managed to ditch the booze. Initially, it was very difficult but the online community I found helped to keep me motivated and moving forward.
I hadn’t planned on being open about my journey at the start and especially didn’t plan on so many people knowing about how bad things had gotten for me but I have found the more I share and the more people relate, the more it spurs me on. I don’t feel ashamed for having struggled with alcohol. I know I am just one person amongst thousands and thousands experiencing the same thing.
My hope is that others reading my story will feel less alone and feel like perhaps, they too could give up alcohol for good.
To follow more of Megan’s story check out her blog
Photography credit: @wandwstudio