"Anxiety and alcohol?"

There are a few people I've met this year who have witnessed what happens when I've had a glass of wine...or three. A transformation takes place. I begin to talk comfortably (and endlessly).

Alcohol crushes my anxiety and I find myself able to laugh.

Now, though, I'm waiting to see if the Dr can provide answers as to why I collapsed recently. In the meantime, I've been given instructions not to drink, and to hold off on applying for my provisional licence. I can't decide which one annoys me more.

This month, I'm preparing to meet a few more new people. Generally, I can have a glass of wine to help me relax and engage in conversation. So, now, I'm going to have to learn how to overcome my anxiety without the aid of self-medication. I'm going to have to stop using alcohol as a crutch on which to lean when the weight of being engaging weighs heavily on my chest.

I'm going to have to learn how to swallow that lump of anxiety that resides in the bottom of my throat, without using wine to loosen it up first.

Am I looking forward to this? No. No, I'm not. However, do I think it's a good thing? Well...yes, I do.

I'm not foolish enough to kid myself that my behaviour recently has been healthy. I've slipped into a habit of using alcohol to counter anxiety, and it's damaging, both physically and mentally.

You see, not only is alcohol dreadful for your liver, but it's also a depressant. So in using it to counter my anxiety, I've also been feeding my depression. To put it another way, I've been rocking one gremlin to sleep whilst poking the other until it bites. And this year, my depression has most definitely bitten hard.

So yes, I'm going to spend a few months sobering up. I've done it before, I can do it again. If nothing else, it'll be an interesting exercise in learning how to manage my anxiety in a healthy manner.