I wanted to stop drinking for nearly 3 years before I actually committed to the decision. It took me that long to find the will power to do so.
It was the same deal after every night out. I’d wake up with debilitating hangover, crippling angst, a racing heart and say: “I am never drinking again…I just can’t do it anymore”. Fast forward to the following weekend, and there I am in the early hours of Sunday morning, propped up at the bar, drink in hand, swaying from side-to-side without a care in the world.
The truth is, having recently suffered some pretty tragic personal loss, I did have a care in the world, I had many. I believe that is why I was drinking so much, just to block it out and numb the pain. In reality, I was falling deeper and deeper into a very dark hole. My nights out had gone from a carefree party, to an opportunity to blame my anger on something and drown out the noise of my mind. I’d be defensive, rude to strangers, and nine times out of ten would wake up the next day and feel like I’d have to apologise for myself. There were instances where I was told what I’d done or said, and it would haunt me for months. Paranoia became my worst enemy.
When I was younger, I really enjoyed drinking.
The warm buzz my Vodka and Cranberry would give me, made made me feel like anything was possible,that I was invincible. Going out at the weekend and getting ‘wasted’ with the best of them became something I really looked forward to – I was always the last one standing, brandishing my debit card, demanding round after round of black Sambucca “because its worse”. For years I had fun with it, I felt like I’d never grow tired of the dance floor and the drinks.
I’m actually ashamed to think about all the money I must have spent, the volume of toxicity I drank, the ridiculous things I’ve said and done, all in the name of having a good time. I would go so far as to say that I was the typical binge drinker. Not touching a drop during the week, and then come Saturday night, I’d consume until I was passed out. God help me if I was ever faced with Gillian McHeath – showing me exactly how much I’ve consumed over the last ten or so years would be enough to send me to an early grave. Quite literally I should think!
It all spectacularly came to a head last September when my mental state was at an all time low. I came to terms with the fact that my way of thinking, combined with drinking was a match made in hell. I had to break up with Vodka and Cranberry, Cider, Champagne, and black Sambuca. We were no longer in love, or working together.
So here I am, 10 months in to my life without alcohol. Here’s what I’ve learnt:
I am so much happier.
I have a much better time on nights out.
I feel better on the inside, about my health and about myself.
I am still last one standing on the dance floor.
There is such a thing of being two-pints up on life.
You are not a boring person for not drinking.
Society, although a little confused by your decision, does not shun you.
I miss Champagne, and am desperate to find a suitable alternative for celebrations. As soon as I do, you’ll be the first to know.
I’m looking forward to learning more as my journey progresses. I hope to share with you all my thoughts, feelings, lessons etc… and I would love to hear about you, so don’t be shy.