The time has come (the walrus said…) to talk about alcohol and mental health.
Not something I thought I would touch on, but this week I decided I am going to call time on my relationship with alcohol.
Alcohol has been in my life, all my life. It is not something that has ever had a positive effect on my life. Ever since I watched (and hid from) it’s charming effects at 9 years old.
Alcohol and me
When I was very young my mum started to drink heavily. Then, ‘heavily’ became an understatement. She was not a nice drunk.
At 14 I started to go out and drink cider on the street with my friends. (Anyone remember White Lightning? Tasted like cat pee, but only £2 for 2 litres. Bargain).
I also messed up in a huge way as a teenager thanks to alcohol and had to go and live with my dad for a while to let the dust settle.
In college years I skipped class to go to the pub next door. I actually remember sitting on the step outside the pub door waiting for it to open. I got a U in A level Philosophy so I just tell everyone I did an AS level instead.. (life lesson: don’t drink and learn).
As an adult, I go through phases of drinking far too much when something bad happens to me. For example, when my mum changed the locks on me, I was drunk for pretty much a solid 2 months.
Alcohol and mental health
Alcohol is a depressant.
Aside from BPD I have depression.
Not an awesome combination.
When I wake up after drinking alcohol, I feel so much worse about everything. No wonder the antidepressants don’t help on days like this when I am literally drinking a depressant.
Alcohol also amps up whatever mood you’re feeling (so I’ve heard).
Now, with BPD, who knows what version of me will get revved up today! Drunk me could be the me that finds everything funny, makes lots of jokes, has all the energy of a Duracell bunny. Or, it could be the quiet me, subdued me, sitting in the corner with nothing to say. Worst case scenario: angry me. Total irrational rage me.
It’s a gamble.
Something I have recently discovered as well, is that although I am technically able to drink on my meds, I can’t handle alcohol in the same way.
Time to say goodbye …
So, my mental health and my meds are all sending me signals to get off my alcohol train before it becomes a horrific, unsalvageable wreck.
This is not going to be an easy one. I know this.
I mean, what do sober people do with their weekends? What am I meant to drink with my dinner?! (Not even joking, see why I need to quit)
Anyway! Keep your fingers and toes crossed for me, and if anyone has a similar experience please share.
Further information on alcohol and mental health:
- Mental Health Foundation – Alcohol and mental health
- Drinkaware – Alcohol and mental health
- Royal College of Psychiatrists – Alcohol and depression
- Drinkaware – How to stop drinking alcohol completely
- Drinkaware – What to expect when you stop drinking