Drunk on Life

#Vomitgate

Two months ago I vomited on myself.  It was 10pm on the Cronulla line train after a night out in Sydney CBD.  I got off the train after only 2 stops in a place I had never been before feeling frightened, mortified and so paralytic I could barely think.  I then vomited all over my clothes and shoes, got in an uber which I barley remember and paid $80 to get home.  I was lucky, anything could have happened to me.  This incident wasn’t a one off.  My drink of choice, prosecco.

Will I ever learn?

This one felt different than all the other similar nights I’d had but not until I woke up the next day luckily in my bed, vomit in my hair, headache from hell with the worst beer fear.  Do I have my purse, how the hell did I get home, please tell me I have my phone?!  I get up and find a trail of clothes over the house absolutely stinking from the sick, the front door unlocked but luckily closed.  I feel dreadful.

I have a flash back to the train, what the hell must people think?  The embarrassing part is that I am a 38 year old, mum of 1, professional job, married with a very normal life.  It’s not like I am a 16 year old girl who got carried away at my first party drinking cider, why am I still doing this to myself?  Is it worth it? Of course not!  Will I do it again?  Probably!

For some reason it really affected me, it shook me up.  Thinking what if I had got into another car, what if I didn’t remember my address, what if I’d lost my bag!

A week later we were having a free drinks party at work with unlimited bubbles, it always gets messy.  I am always the first there and the last to leave, I love a party.

This time I choose not to go, I have a fear about being drunk even before the event.  No one can understand why I am not going, free booze and food and you are not coming, very unlike me.  Somethings changed in me.

Did I mention my 3 day hangover?  I am so over hangovers.  I never ever want one again.  They get worse and longer every time.

I need to start by saying I am not a writer, I’ve never even seen a blog never mind written one. 

I also feel the need to say that I’m not even sure if I am alcohol dependant, however if I don’t quit now I know I will be 5-10 years down the line!  I drink probably 4 times a week, sometime 5 depending on social events.  I drink wine at home and bubbles when with friends.  I can sink a bottle of sauvion blanc at home easily just on a quiet night in.  I get excited when Thursday comes as I have convinced myself its ok to drink as it’s nearly weekend.  Me and my husband egg each other on.   Do I crave it?  Yes I do!  Do I need it?  Yes I feel like I do.  It relaxing me, chills me out and I become more me when I drink.  Again, that’s what I have convinced myself off.

The book that fell into my lap – a sign surely?

I wasn’t seriously considering quitting alcohol until I came across this book.  The unexpected joy of being sober by Catherine Grey.  I was drawn to the title of the book as I had only ever been filled with dread at the thought of quitting so to hear there could be joy in it intrigued me.

Basically Catherine was me in my 20’s, she was all my friends too.  I highly recommend the book, I connected with it and it rang a bell on so many truths it really made me think. 

Here are some facts I took from the book, things that I didn’t know but think everyone should.

Scary facts that hit home

  • If you drink alcohol you are 15 times more likely to get breast cancer (not great if you have it in your family already)
  • Alcohol is a poison – we are literally killing ourselves, think how bad hangovers are, that’s because we have poisoned ourselves
  • Alcohol dependant women can reduce their life expectancy by up to 20 years
  • Alcohol is the cause of 8 different cancers

Harsh truth eh!

Funny though, as harsh as these are they are not the only reasons that helped me make the decision to quit, I made a pro’s and cons list. 

The pro’s

  • Save money – bottle of wine averages $20, $80 bottles of week (min) so save $320 per month plus all the taxi’s from nights out, the drink you buy in bars and the food on the way home!
  • No more hangovers – hangovers for over 30’s last 3 days and then some.
  • Better sleep – more sleep – more recovery sleep
  • Overall optimal health
  • Better life expectancy
  • Fresh and productive mornings
  • A better role model for my daughter and even a better parent
  • Less irritable
  • More energy
  • Strength gains in the gym – I’ve been plateauing for ages
  • You tan better apparently – it said in the book J
  • Brighter fresher skin
  • Thicker hair
  • Better memory
  • More productive at work and with study
  • No more brain fog – clearer mind
  • Stronger immune system – I’ve been sick 3 times in 1 month
  • No more fear and anxiousness after a night out
  • No more fear about the upcoming night out – hangover fear
  • Feeling free – not tied down to wine o clock
  • No more dependency on alcohol on days of stress
  • No more slurring my words and repeating myself

Here is the list of why I feel apprehensive about quitting drinking

  • Fear of people thinking I’m boring
  • Fear of losing friends
  • Fear that I can’t have fun without alcohol – what if I actually am boring?
  • Fear of it changing my marriage in a negative way
  • Fear of being judgemental

Making the pro’s and con’s list above made me think I would be stupid if I didn’t try.  I finished the book genuinely wanting to quit and being excited about it.

I finished the book whilst on holiday with my family in Bali.  I was contemplating having my 3rd bintang at 4pm in the afternoon and thinking how ironic it was that I was thinking of quitting drinking whilst drinking.

One of my worries was how would my husband take the news.  We are couple initially build on socialising, crazy nights out, meals and wine drinking.  Even once we married and had a daughter nothing really changed. I was worried he would think he’d lost his drinking buddy.  He knew I was reading the book as every 5 minutes I’d pop my head up and tell him another reason why we should reduce the amount we drink so it wasn’t a shock when I said I’m going to completely quit.  He was actually great about it and his first reaction was great you can drive everywhere now!  He also shown interest in cutting back too and if I’m not drinking he’ll be unlikely to drink alone.  So that’s one con off my list.

I don’t feel like I can just do it like now, I feel I need to plan, prepare my mind, convince myself even further to really cement my decision.  I have a wine tour booked in for my husband’s birthday, I can’t go on a wine tour and not drink wine so I decide on the day after that, the 23rd of September.  In 2 weeks.

I’m going to write it all down in a blog as I think that’s the best way I organise my thoughts, I have so much to say.  If I help one person like the book helped me then that’s pretty amazing!  I would love my daughter to read it one day and it was also make me accountable.  I plan to be honest, I am so honest!  Catherine recommends to quit for 3 months so you can really feel the benefits, I am going to commit to that initially but I really think I want to quit for good.

I think I am relatable to so many.  I say that as I am most of my friends.  We all talk about how much we drink, we hate the hangover, we hate the junk food we eat because of it and the weight gain we have because it, the fear the next day after a big night out.  Never ever has any of said we have a problem with alcohol though, if I am thinking it are they too??  Do they secretly want to quit too but they have the same fears as me?

Like I said early, I am not a writer.  I write as I think my thoughts, usually questions followed by my answer then I question my answer.  Expect spelling mistakes and grammar errors, I’m hoping this just makes it even more real so please forgive me!

Con 2 scrubbed off the list – 1 weeks before I quit

I was going to quit drinking silently, I wasn’t going to announce it to everyone.  I was only going to say anything if I was asked.

We get back from Bali and I was struck down with bloody Bali belly!!  I felt awful all week.  I started to feel better on day 5 and realised by day 7 I had not drunk a drop of alcohol for a whole week.  About 2 years ago I quit drinking for a month, I hated it.  So this is this longest I had gone without drinking since then.   I realise I don’t even want to drink.  I’m hoping it’s because I actually don’t want to rather than still feeling a little ill but I’m rolling with it.

Our best friends invited us round to watch the footie, bring a 6 pack they say. Hubby gets excited. I’m like, urgh! Not urgh I don’t want to see them, I love them but urgh these are the nights that get messy and me and My friend end up sinking 2 bottles each and you wake up the next day wanting to die from the awful hangover! I make an instant decision to say I’m not drinking because I’m on anti-biotics, they immediately ask if I’m pregnant! After an hour of chatting with me still hugging my cup of tea the husband tells them what I’ve decided. I was totally not ready.

We have the best nights with them, so many have been messy and drunken, we have parties in there pool where we drink beer at 9am, our friendships so far has really been based on booze.  Or so I think in my head. 

So I tell them, I’m thinking for quitting drinking for 3 months but hopefully forever.  Silence.

The first reaction was well good for you I wish I could do it. I immediately wanted to spill out everything I had learnt and convince him to jump on the wagon with me too but I don’t want to be a pushy non-drinker! He then went onto say as long as you don’t judge me and become one of them wankers, ha-ha, now that’s what I expected him to say.

My friends reaction was nice. She was totally on board with it, I told her my fears about how I’m worried my friends will think I am super boring and she said well then they are not your friends. She is right. We joked about fun bobby in friends.

I then realise our friendship is not based on boozy nights and drunken convo’s.  We both love the same stuff and have so much in common, we love cheesy shows and have many a time acted out sister act and pitch perfect, I mean I would do that sober.  We loves friends and sex in the city.  She is my cinema buddy.  She’s a mum like me. She just gets me. We don’t have all that when we are drunk, we have that sober.

Fear dissolved!

So that leaves these fears

  • Fear of people thinking I’m boring
    • Fear of losing friends – dissolved, I know my real friends will be there
    • Fear of it changing my marriage in a negative way – husband supporting me
    • Fear of being judgemental
    • Fear of failure

Fear of people thinking I’m boring

I’m not sure how to deal with this one, I suppose only time will tell.  The biggest factor I think about is dancing however I think I have got around it.  I love to dance.  I am well known with my friends to be the queen of pop.  I love all pop music, spice girls, Beyoncé, ABBA! I am the first on the dance floor.  I have this fear that I can only dance when I have had a drink.

I recently held a party at my house.  A Christmas in July (although we did it in August), if you don’t know it’s something the ex-pats do here in Australia as July is the coldest month.  Me and my two friends were dancing on the balcony until 2.30am.  One of my friend’s boyfriend filmed the whole thing, we were dancing to baby got back.  Let’s just say I will happily not dance drunk again and think I would do a much better job sober.  I am going to keep the video as a reminder.

Yesterday I was dancing in the kitchen with my 8 year old daughter (sober) to a million dreams off the greatest showman soundtrack, she doesn’t think I am boring so that’s enough for me.  Fear dissolved.

Fear of being judgemental

When I told Our friends about me quitting alcohol and his first reaction as for me not to judge them when I drink I immediately thought, Oh is that what they think of me? It made me sad but the more I think about it the more I imagine it’s quite easy to judge. I judge people a little all the time, usually in my head and usually aimed towards smelly people on the train or people who swear at their kids in the street, really drunk people on the train (literally me)! So how will I stop myself being judgemental with this?

I don’t know.  Again only time will tell but I am determined not to be that ex drinker who makes people feel uncomfortable drinking, that way I really will lose friends!

Fears I have left

  • Fear of people thinking I’m boring – their problem
    • Fear of losing friends – dissolved, I know my real friends will be there
    • Fear of it changing my marriage in a negative way – husband supporting me
    • Fear of being judgemental – it’s just not going to happen
    • Fear of failure

Fear of Failure – a big one

I mean don’t we have this fear with every aspect of life.  I am going to use that fear to spur me on, keep me motivated.  If I do fail, so what!  I will just get back on the wagon.

Fears I have left.

None.

No excuses now, I’m doing it.  I just keep looking at my pro’s list, I am expected major changes ha-ha I hope I’m not disappointed.

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