I went out on Christmas Eve.
I was quite excited, my friends go every year, but I had never been.
They always say it is the best night of the year.
I had planned on not drinking too much.
The 55 units I had consumed the week before, had made me think that perhaps I should cut down.
Besides, I didn’t want a hangover on Christmas day.
So I went out at 6, a bit earlier than usual, and got a ginger beer. I good low percentage drink that I could drag out over a long period of time. Then I get told that we are moving onto the next pub, so I have to drink it straight away! Not such a good start. Even a low percentage drink can hit you, if you drink it quickly!
Then I moved onto wine. We were sharing bottles, so it seemed like the only sensible option.
We move onto the take away, again being sensible, I think if I eat something I won’t get as drunk.
I am doing so well. What a sensible person I am!
Then we get to our final destination!
More wine? Yes, Please.
Still sharing so it won’t be much.
I’ll get the next bottle in.
Oh, you only want a little? That’s okay, I haven’t had much yet tonight, so I’ll just finish the bottle. After all I’m practically sober, having only been drinking for 4 hours.
One of my friends left. On her way out she warns me that there is a broken glass on the floor. Be careful not to tread on it.
Next thing I know I’m dancing with a group of friends.
The glass is everywhere.
I just want a piece.
I bend down to get some.
My friend tells me to put it down.
I must come up with a plan.
I will drop my bag onto the glass, then pick it up together. No one will notice – my slightly drunken self tells me!
I slide it into my bag. That feels better.
My memory is more hazy from here.
I assume I decided I wanted to scratch myself. I don’t know why.
I excuse myself to go to the toilet. One of my friends wants to come with me. We go in the same cubicle. I am sat on the toilet, she is facing the wall. I get my glass out a lightly scratch my arm, nothing serious. I look up and she is staring at me.
I drop it, make a joke, laugh, promise it won’t happen again (possibly, like I said my memory is hazy).
We go back out to dance.
I don’t know what happens next. I can’t remember how long we were there. I am confused.
Then another of my friends is asking me why I picked up the glass.
She thought I didn’t do that anymore.
I tell her I don’t – because I don’t.
She looks upset, we go to talk.
She tells me she blames herself for my self harm, all those years ago.
She wishes she had helped me more.
I try to explain, it was no ones fault. She did help me, more than she’ll ever know.
She tells me I drink too much.
She suggests I replaced the self harm with drinking.
This hits a nerve.
I cry, I tell her not to say that.
I have heard it before.
It is not true.
We go back to her house to talk some more.
I don’t want her to blame herself.
I want to explain.
I want her to understand.
“So if you have stopped, why did you pick up the glass?”
I try to explain the even though I have stopped, when I see something, like glass, it still triggers something within me. I don’t want to do it. It’s just the possibility.
I think she’s finding it difficult to grasp the concept.
“Imagine someone has been smoking for years. It is difficult for them to give it up, but they do. Then even when the don’t smoke, they’ll still have days when they want to, even though most days they don’t. If they saw a cigarette, they might not want to smoke it, but it would still be a cigarette, still something that they could smoke if they wanted”.
“So you are saying it is an addiction.”