Going Alcohol Free!!

Why?

On 19th September 2022, I woke up feeling really crappy! Couldn’t remember getting home and wondered why my back hurt when I tried to get out of bed! I also had a big bump on my head and a huge bruise on my leg! What on earth happened? I remember I was at a party the day before. Did I have a good time? Who knows? All I know is once again I have blacked out whilst drinking too much and had a nasty fall!

This wasn’t the first time, back in November 2019, I fell down the stairs at home, drunk again, no recollection until I tried to get out of the bed early hours of the morning to have a wee and fell in a heap in immense agony! How did I even get into bed, well apparently I screamed at my husband to carry me to bed! Hubby called an ambulance and I was taken to A&E where after an X-Ray I was told I had fractured my hip and it was so bad I would have to have a full hip replacement! At my age!

I had also got into a bad habit of having one or two glasses of red wine during the week, whilst cooking dinner and whilst eating dinner and if I got into the groove, I would have more! This was ok, I would make myself a nice healthful juice in the morning and all will be good – right? and anyway, everyone was doing it! Wasn’t they?

I have no idea when I started having these ‘blackouts’. Was it to do with the menopause or just getting older and less tolerant of alcohol? All I know is that It has to stop – I have to stop drinking! So, I made the decision to stop and used ‘Go Sober in October’ as an incentive.

The ‘Sober October’ team would send out regular emails of support and incentives and ideas of how to stop drinking. I found this really helpful and donated money I saved to their cause. I also liked getting the reward badges that I could share on my social media.

Other People or Social Unacceptance!

It’s not until you decide not to drink, that you find out who your true friends are. Even when it comes down to family, it can get ‘awkward’! Fortunately, hubby and my children are very supportive and all agreed that it would do me good to go alcohol free, especially so that I remained in one piece! Although, I have had “Not drinking, how boring” from one who shall remain anonymous – that person who can give up tomorrow, if that person wanted too! Mmmmm!!!

I was at a charity event and one woman, who was going to the bar said to me “Oh, I was going to ask if you want a drink, but you are going sober, Ha! that won’t last”! Well, I would just like to thank that woman, because what she said was like a red rag to a bull to me and I thought “Yeah! I’ll show you b***h”!

Happily, I have many friends who have been very supportive and tell me that they are really proud of me and that I am an inspiration. They’re the friends that you want around you. And a big shout out to hubby too, who has been really supportive and has got my back when it comes to all those naysayers! It’s like when I went Vegan all over again – having to deal with the conversations – some negative and some positive!

Breaking The Habit!

The first thing I needed to do was to break the habit of having a drink of an evening. I realised it was sort of a ritual for me, getting out a wine glass and pouring myself a nice glass of red, or sometimes, especially in the summer, getting out a champagne glass and pouring myself a glass of prosecco! Then I would put on some chill out music and sip away whilst creating a culinary masterpiece (well something edible anyway)!

I didn’t want to stop the ritual all together, so I decided to make it special by using a crystal champagne glass ( a lovely wedding anniversary present) and fill it with kombucha or fever tree ginger ale. Job done!

I carry on this ritual when I go out out! I have ginger ale tonic and ask for it in a champagne glass or wine glass. I have noticed, especially during this month for Dry January, there are more alcohol free options and even mocktails to choose from (although I do find these to be a bit sweet). Or, were they available all this time, but I didn’t notice – or really care! Mmmmmm!

The not so Hidden Benefits!

It’s so obvious that not drinking will benefit your health. But drinking has been perceived as being the norm! You are brought up with it being the norm. Celebrations are all centered around drinking! Wet the babies head, Hen and Stag nights, weddings, funerals etc. etc….

Well it’s time to create the new norm! And the benefits will be a healthier you.

Your liver for a start, will thank you, your skin will will look better, you will have more energy and for me, the horrible feeling of ‘CBA’ (can’t be arsed) when I wake up in the morning (after my ritual drinking) has gone. I also lost the belly fat that had started to build up around my waist that was causing a lot of my clothes to become a tad too tight! Win Win!

I’m only telling you all how I feel, I used to love a drink, or did I? I can’t remember most of the time!

Another win, is I have saved so much money. Not just from the alcohol, but no need for taxis any more as I can drive!

And finally, the biggest win of them all, is that I can now remember the good times I have after I have been out and I get home in one piece!

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