When I was lurching from one blackout night and miserable hangover to another, I did not fear the next time. In a remarkable similarity to childbirth, I forgot the pain almost instantly. I guess denial played a big part in that. If I could have recognised how much damage I was doing to myself, I would have had no choice but to stop. It wasn’t until that terrifying head injury (which still hurts a little when I reach up and touch the ridge where my skull cracked, 44 days later) that I was unable to deny it any longer.
In a complete reversal of the childbirth-like loss of memory of pain, I can now see what my life was like, stuck in that cycle, in excruciating detail. I can close my eyes and feel it. I am terrified of going back there. Every step I take away from the last three years is a step in the right direction.