Last night I was asked if I didn’t drink. ‘Don’t be stupid’ I retorted to myself ‘I’m not a bloody cactus!’ Realising that was a bit of a prickly response ( see what I did there) I replied with, ‘ Yes. I don’t drink alcohol’. Saints preserve us! I don’t drink alcohol!! I never thought I’d ever say that and actually feel it was the most normal thing in the world. It’s interesting the amount of people that tell me they stopped for x amount of time but either got bored, fed up or thought what’s the point and started again. I’m sure many people can “just stop” but when you have to make a conscious decision when waking not to drink that day your drinking habits are at or certainly on their way to another level. It is important to have good people round you. Every single one of my family and friends ( I’ll come to my dear mum in a mo) have been supportive and even drink soft drinks with me a lot of the time. Hopefully they realise it’s good to spend time with like minded people sober. If you are friends, like each others company, have feeling and compassion for each other do you need to be three sheets to the wind to enjoy that? Of course not. If you do then maybe the friendship is not a healthy one. If someone was trying to persuade me to drink and making me feel like I’m missing out then that to me says more about them. It got me thinking to whether I am missing out on anything. Let’s take a look at the things alcohol gave me that I was addicted to:
• Euphoria – That warm buzzy tingly feeling when I first started to drink. The excitement and expectation of what the session may bring.
• Abandonment – The couldn’t care less feeling. Throwing caution to the wind and my cash card to the nearest ATM. I always got a touch of the Scarlet O’Hara’s too with ‘ I won’t think about that today, I’ll think about that tomorrow’.
• Confidence – Feeling that I could take on the world. Feeling less inhibited and yes singing “I Will Survive” on the karaoke after a skinful was a really great idea – NOT!
When I look at these bullet points written down I cannot see the appeal of being drunk because that was what drinking really meant to me. Not savouring the delicate bouquet of the Merlot or the fine sugar plum after tones of the Shiraz, no it was mainly about the effect of the alcohol. I used to scoff at my Mum when she produced a bottle of wine from her secret stash. I would always despair when she would hold the bottle up and say ‘Now it’s a good wine Laverne. It’s 14%!’ Now my Mum isn’t a drinker, my Dad neither. Christmas she might have an Snowball and my Dad the odd beer but other than that nothing although they have this well stocked drinks cupboard. I’m talking 6 red, 6 white, a dozen or so cans of lager, Vodka, Gin, Whisky, Rum, Martini, Advocaat, mixers of all varieties I think there has been even Bacardi and Sherry on occasion. Her reasoning for this alcoholics dream was ‘You never know when you might have a visitor’. Bloody hell! Whatever happened to ‘Would you like a cuppa?’
My Mum (bless her) is the alcohol version of a feeder. She sees it as a sign of a good hostess if she can offer any guest copious amounts of alcohol. Sadly I think my Mum feels if she can get them tipsy and of course then they are so far gone they don’t care whats going on and have that drunk “I must have had a great time” blurry feeling then she has achieved her good hostess role. Again it’s this conception that to have a good time you must be drinking alcohol and lots of it. It is also a sign of her possible insecurities in being liked and accepted which she is but maybe she can’t see it. Hmmm…. Nana strikes again!
Looking at my addictive bullet points it all seems like a quick fix to life which I suppose it can be for most. We all need to lose ourselves from time to time and feel carefree but the truth is real life is just around the corner on Hangover Bend. For most their internal sat nav continues to keep them on the right road but for me I was beginning to require a map upgrade. The intricate map that is our life is already full of euphoric moments, fun filled care free times and endless every day life achievements; big and small, that should have us brimming with confidence. We sometimes just can’t see them.
I knew for me it was time to reset my journey and for however long I am still on it I want to make it the best natural trip it can be.
Nighty Night x
ps 98 days