I haven’t always been sober.
In fact, throughout my 20s I was drunk far more than I was not. I honestly didn’t see a problem with my drinking at the time and it was my body that decided I needed to stop long before my brain caught up with the idea and understood why.
Watch: Your Body After 1 Year Without Alcohol. Post continues below.
I was a binge drinker, and I somehow thought that this was okay because everyone was doing it.
Drinking alcohol was very much a part of the social scene I was in and no one questioned how much you drank.
I thought because I only drank at night in pubs and clubs (predominantly) that meant I didn’t have a drinking problem.
My drinking days started early. It was 1987; I was in Year 11 at a new school and I was only 15 years old (I turned 16 in Year 11).
I was absolutely desperate to fit in and just have some friends. All the cool kids were having parties and drinking on Saturday nights so if I got an invite to any of these parties that is what I did. I drank to fit in.
This pattern continued throughout my HSC year as well.
During stu-vac, I should have been studying but I spent most of the time drinking cocktails, sitting in the sun working on my tan and well, not studying. And the day of my first HSC exam I went to the local RSL after the exam for a Melbourne Cup lunch to have a few more drinks.
It was easy to get into pubs and clubs, even though I was only 17. As soon as my friends had all turned 18 we got copies of their birth certificates from births, deaths and marriages or got re-prints of their driver’s licence.