Could I heck get to sleep last night. All night I kept having memory flashes from my awkward teenage years.
I grew up in a happy, working class family. After doing well at school and college, I got a part time job when I was 16. Basically, I did all the things you should do during your teenage years BUT I also discovered alcohol.
I was 14 when I had my first alcoholic drink and I loved it. It felt daring and exciting. I felt grown up but above all I loved that buzz you got from it.
It occurred to me last night in a thunder bolt of understanding and misery that all the decisions I made during my teenage years were influenced by alcohol. I’ll not go into details but there was some questionable behaviour, dubious relationships and regrettably, many friendships were lost.
I know most people have a hard time growing up and I’m not suggesting I had it any worse but what I realised last night is that my poor developing mind didn’t stand a chance with the weekly intake of alcohol I was consuming back then.
At that crucial moment in life when I should have been discovering the world, understanding all my complex emotions and learning how to behave as a young adult, I was drinking. As each memory came, I felt more sorry for my younger self and so sad. I was also very angry when I realised (for the first time) the part alcohol played in every bad decision I made.
I worried for my children and swore I’d not let them have the same experience I had. Crying quietly I thought gosh, is this what its like to feel your emotions? It sucks! I lay for ages with a thumping head, feeling miserable.
This morning, I feel lighter. I acknowledge that my teenage years were crap and alcohol played a big part in that. What I failed to appreciate last night was how amazing my life has been since entering my 20’s.
At twenty I finally grew up and started my career as a Civil Servant. I met some great people there and made some lifelong friends. It was also around this time I met Mr Mac. Admittedly I was out drinking when I met him.
I know I messed things up when I was a teenager by drinking and I guess I messed things up these past 5 years also; slowly getting addicted to alcohol BUT I am still so lucky because I found sobriety!
I managed to quit before it had too much of a negative impact on others. I’m pleased that it was just myself I hurt and not my loved ones. I cannot dwell on the ‘has been’s’ and ‘could have been’s’. I’ve miraculously got a good life and I’ve got so much more living to do now.
If that means facing my emotions, having a cry and getting over them, so be it. I obviously never did it when I was younger, so I will embrace it now and start living my life for real. x