Does Booze Free Mean Boring?........
I used to think so. I mean come on, how dull would life be if were never allowed to drink again? I used to say this all the time until I hit my limit. I pushed it to far and used booze as a bad coping mechanism as many of us do. Some of us do it from time to time and others like me get sucked in by the vile wine witch and end up feeling trapped by it.
10 months ago I had reached a turning point. I had a decision to make and it was me or the booze.
I have ways loved a drink. I discovered alcohol and the confidence boosting effects of it when I was in my teens. I loved it!!!
We would grab cider, Bacardi or special brew and just drink to get drunk. I'm my 20's I was a typical weekend drinker although I would always be the one that drank too much. Fast forward to my 30's and with more work events where boozy work doo's were a right of passage (and free) and my drinking started to escalate. I found my self drinking at lunchtimes and at the weekends (an activity just for people with a drink problem, or so I thought back in my 20's). I worked long weekends hosting customers at events and I drank solidly day and night. Don't get me wrong I had fun but all the time there is this sneaky dependency creeping in very slowly but surely.
Fast forward to my 40's and motherhood. Jeez! What a shock that was. Looking back (or so my other half tells me) I was hit with post baby blues. I felt out of my depth but didn't recognise the signs. I never went to a Doctor. Instead I turned to my standard coping mechanism - wine. Add to the mix going back to work and trying to be wonder woman the cracks soon started to appear. I was consuming more and more. My partner and I were having a rough time together and on top of that his mum died and his dad moved in with us. 2. 5 years later and he is still here and that for me has been my breaking point. The final nail in the coffin of my drinking career. and to be fair there was always going to be something that would force me to make a choice. If that choice was using booze as my coping mechanism then that meant drinking 24/7 was my next destination.
I was stressed and anxious all the time. I was awake at 3am every morning without fail with all the booze oozing out of my pores. I thought I was menopausal. No Sheila, those were not hot flushes they were booze flushes! I was horribly irritable, I had no patience and in general I was an overall bitch. I was unhappy and tired of feeling so bad all of the time. I wanted my life back.
I couldn't tell you the magic ingredients of how I stopped, I just did.
After waking up with yet another hangover after a row about my father in law something snapped. I had tried to moderate my intake before and every time I tried it got worse. on this particular day though I had simply had enough.
That was 1st September 2018. The day I got my life back. I had loads of plans that weekend. Saturday night with friends at the tapas. Sunday afternoon bike ride and a trip to the pub. There is never a good time to give up. There will always be a party, a night out, dinner, a wedding or some other reason to put it off. I just know for me that I couldn't do it anymore and it just had to stop there and then.
I went on Facebook and found support in a group for women who want to change their relationship with alcohol and I read lot a of sober lit starting with The Sober Diaries by Claire Pooley.
It's been an amazing 10 months. I still do everything I did before but now I truly enjoy every moment. I can remember nights out, concerts and conversations. I have replaced wine with alcohol free beer so when I fancy a cold beer on a sunny day I can have one. I don’t feel left out on a night out and don’t get quizzed on not drinking as I am holding a beer and friends and family have been amazingly supportive.
I used to love chasing the buzz from a glass of red wine. That moment when you feel all warm and fuzzy and sedated. Not now. How weird is it that the very buzz I used to chase is the exact same thing that stops me from picking up a glass of wine today? Never again do I want to feel out of control and zombified.
Will I ever drink again? Who knows? What I do know is that life is better for me on the other side of alcohol. I look better, gone is the grey complexion , the black panda eyes and the bloated body.
I feel excited about my future and I haven't felt like that in a long time! I am looking forward with a clear head. I feel like a get a piece of me back every day I don't drink and the best thing of all is that bizarrely I don’t miss it one bit!
So if you are questioning how much you drink and want to change your relationship with alcohol my advice to you would be just do it.
It isn’t boring, it isn’t the end of the world but the start of a new one. Yes it takes time but eventually you will start to feel clear headed and energetic.
If you need support with alcohol then you can contact me directly and I can put you in touch with the people that supported me.