And here I am.. on day 27 of the no drinking lark. To be honest, I am absolutely fecking flabbergasted that I am here. No alcohol (de nada, niente, rien) has passed my lips since the 30th of September. I won’t deny that I took an exceptionally long inhale (x 3) of some red wine on Tuesday night as some friends and I sat round the table, chewing the cud. I also won’t deny that it has taken some equally exceptional willpower and mental strength not to throw my arms up dramatically into the air and scream ‘fuck iiiiiiiiiiit’, whilst galloping on my pretend steed (another story for another time) to the local Co-Op, making use of my student discount to buy a bottle of said red. But I haven’t given in (yet, there is another 4 days to go after all) and that is partly thanks to… drum roll please….introducing my new friend……Beck’s Blue..
Apparently it’s shite in comparison to the Nanny State beer (which is being purchased as we speak by Mr P).. I’ll consume and let you know.
So despite hating Fridays as there is a severe lack of punctuation marking the end of the working week, there have been some might good points to this sobriety lark. For ease of vision, they are set out below:
- Weight loss – yup.. combined with some better eating since July, have in total lost a stone. Not a huge amount but enough to be noticed and to spur me on further with it.
- Better skin.. my face has got less defined wrinkles… Fact.
- Nicer person (well, within reason, let’s not make this account unbelievable) – my stroppiness is a bit better and more silliness has come to the fore.. much to the delight of the kids.
- Memory and cognition seem sharper – to be fair it was so crap, any improvement is miraculous.
- I carry less guilt which on it’s own makes me feel lighter, less self-flagellating going on = less pain
- I’d say more money but that’s a load of rubbish.. having just spent any savings on fixing the car and buying myself stuff simply because I wasn’t spending it on booze..
Will I continue with it? – well, I need to get past this Saturday night first as Mr P and I are going out out and I have the option of buying a Golden Ticket (basically you donate £15 to your own fund to have the night ‘off’ from being sober so that you can have a drink) and therefore I am torn. I have found though that I get the placebo effect from drinking alcohol free/shit beer and in fact even sound a bit pissed when I have had a couple. I also LOVE not having hangovers or the horrors the next morning. Will that be enough to keep me away in future? Can I just drink at weekends or at occasions? I’d like to think so but this is a difficult one to play.. if I act all stern and tell myself that I will never drink again.. well I might as well just open a pub… buuuut.. if I try and remain nonchalant about it.. I might just trick myself into being sensible. Might.
I have done 9 days without the tiniest sip of anything alcoholic. This is quite big news in the Land of the Petit’s. Not gunna lie, I have struggled. Teetotalism seems to happen something like this..
Day 1 to 5 you wake up feeling great. No gasping for water at any point during the night, no camels scratching around in your mouth in the morning… and you wake up in the morning, not in the early hours, feeling like shite. You hop, skippity skip to wherever you need to be, trying to drop your saintliness into every possible void in a conversation..”oh yes, I don’t drink you see.. I am a Bhuddist now.. Enlightenment is really only just round the corner.. Oooh I thnk I see it!”and off you levitate to catch up with it.
Day 6 – 9 appears to go somewhat differently. One could say, a little bit more angrily. There is a definite tetchiness in the air. Especially when you have had a bit of a tête a tête with a new lecturer and who you now detest with every fibre in your body. A body that now hurts rather a lot. No not withdrawal, more muscle strains and ligament pulls because you have either run or yoga’d your body into submission because by god, if there is anything that is going to be come out of this self-induced hell of red wine deprivation every fecking evening, then it will be a body of supermodel standards!! (Failing that, a bit thinner than it currently is).
It’s the sinking into the sofa with glass in hand that I miss. The ‘ahhh…’ moment as the kids dissolve into their beds and the evening becomes mine.. armed with needles, or hooks and Benders on the tele.
The remaining 21 days are stretching gloomily in front of me. I mean half-term is in 2 weeks.. what do I do then? And going through counselling weekly is really not the best time to give up your mental crutch… as you start to see the patterns in your behaviour amongst your new peers at uni and how you behaved at school which relates to life from birth which probably has something to do with how your Mum and Grandmother were treated by their parents who didn’t know how to communicate either because of something that happened to them in the first World War… you get the drift. I cried to and from uni on Friday – reeling from the wounds that were scratched open the night before.. listening to a song that let me drown in it’s sadness.
It’s ok.. I have kind of half pulled myself together. I do love the fact that I feel so much bouncier.. and I am slowly losing weight.. and I don’t have blood sugar crashes as often and I won’t deny it, Yoga with Adriene is definitely helping although she does say ‘baby’ a little too often for my liking.. (she does say other things that are quite funny and I love all the different practices she does.. anything from yoga for anxiety to anger to sore legs to hangovers to weightloss). And running is great, even if my right hamstring is in denial. Managed 29:12 minutes for my last Parkrun… snot bad…
So as some may know I am attempting 31 days of sobriety with a view to raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support – this is no mean feat for the likes of me. I drink most evenings, be it red wine, prosecco or a G&T. I see 6pm as wine o’clock.. earlier on the weekends. It is my de-stressor.. If my children were snakes.. wine would be my anti-venom.
However, I saw the Go Sober advert and thought.. “hmmm.. can you do it Chloe? You have tried and failed before..” (I think I managed 10 days once about 3 years ago which was a minor miracle in itself). But this time I have a few tactics in my arsenal..1) I am trying to lose weight and have started running and doing yoga regularly; 2) I have also started uni and thought that being a student nurse without liver failure might be a plus; and 3),my piece de resistance, is that I have decided to actually get sponsored! This means I have guilt on my side. If I fuck up, I then owe money and as I don’t have any money (tactic number 4), this is a no go.
Getting people to sponsor me might be a bit tricky though, even my best friend’s husband asked if he could sponsor me pro-rata ..or just wait til the end. Cheeky git.
Day 1 – I won’t lie, it’s half 8 in the evening and I am tetchy. This could be because we have spent most of the day in Brighton celebrating the MO’s birthday, negotiating the usual “it’s not fair”s because we didn’t buy ‘this’ despite buying a lot of ‘that’. It would appear that EVERYONE was enjoying a tipple, even at 11.30 on the train and most definitely at 5.30 on the train.Plus, we have also had to rescue our chicken Betty, literally out of the fox’s mouth. A lot of her feathers strewn around the garden – she actually let me hold her while she sat, shocked, in my arms and when I set her back on the ground she scuttled up to her nesting box, refusing the grapes offered by a very distraught MO. I hope she survives the shock.
So yes a glass of wine would not go amiss right now. Instead here I am, tapping away and desperately needing the toilet as I have drunk sooooo much tea that my bladder is due to erupt like a burst pipe. However, I want to do this and I know that when I wake up tomorrow morning, I am going to feel so bloody virtuous.. and at least I will feel like building the fortress needed to keep Mr Fox away from our chickens!