Start over

by Shae on November 26, 2012

 

When I was out on the weekend I said something that I never thought I’d never say.

 

“No thanks, I don’t drink”

 

I blogged before about taking a break from the booze. My initial goal was to make it int the new year but now I can’t imagine why I would put myself back in a place that was clearly toxic for me.

 

The first months were HARD. Like, really hard. I was anxious before going to any place that people would be drinking. I was missing my “wind down drink(s)’ of an evening when I needed them. There were tears. There were cancelled plans. There was a moment I almost bailed on a one of my best friend’s engagement party because the thought of being somewhere that I couldn’t be knocking back wine made me feel sick.

It was also hard because I had no other choice but to take a good hard look at myself after drinking and I didn’t like it.

 

For most people you either have a couple of drinks or a lot of drinks or you don’t. For me I would have one and that was (mostly) OK. But after the 2nd or 3rd something in my brain just wanted to find a way to keep drinking. I would be thinking of accounts I could pull money from to buy more, ways I could get home without driving and people to look after the kids so I wasn’t needed at home until about lunch the next day. I would become desperate to become as drunk as I possibly could for the maximum amount of time.

I would fight with Luke. I would have blackouts and wake up the next day with no idea of what happened. I would make stupid decisions and put my safety at risk.

I cringed at memories of being so drunk last xmas when Luke drove us around to see the xmas lights. Of walking to the cab rank in the city alone at 4am. Of sending Luke home alone from parties so that I could stay & drink until sunrise. Of spending money tagged for bills on beer.

 

I had an epiphany recently that by not having any drinks I’d take all of the anxiety about how to get wasted out of the equation.

I wouldn’t need to formulate elaborate plans and budgets to drink myself into the ground. I wouldn’t put myself at unnecessary risk because I’d be better able to make decisions. I wouldn’t be an asshole to Luke. I wouldn’t have to endure constant reflux. I wouldn’t have to feel ashamed of myself because I couldn’t remember what happened the night before.

 

Australia has a massive binge drinking culture. You’re supposed to think all of this stuff is funny and normal.

I want a different kind of normal. I want to start over.

 

And I can’t imagine why I would make it hard for myself by having the first drink.

It’s actually kind of a relief.

 

I have no idea if this is how it will be forever.

But for now-I don’t drink.

 

 

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

julie November 26, 2012 at 1:42 pm

i just wanted to say ‘good on you’.

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Nathalie Brown November 26, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Huge amounts of love and strength on your new journey. I grew up in a big drinking culture especially my father, he was an alcoholic , he gave up cold turkey when I was 15, our lives changed it was hard but so much better in the long run. Nx

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BabyMacBeth November 26, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Good on you! I’ve been wondering about this…well done on making such positive changes to your own life and coming up with them all by yourself. Good luck with the next steps x

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Megan @ Writing Out Loud November 26, 2012 at 1:52 pm

I think it’s amazing that you made this decision – that you were able to look so clearly at your life and how you want it to be. x

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Mandy November 26, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Good on you Shae, I keep saying I want to not drink as much, but still drinking but not as much seems to be hard. Like you said, after one or two the the head space changes.
So now I am trying to not drink, and on the rare occasion that I will be drinking, I’m sticking to light beer, that way I’m in control, which given we’re grown ups is how it should be. I’m really happy for you Shae.

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tricia November 26, 2012 at 2:19 pm

You are an inspiration Shae. Your honesty rocks! :-)

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Trish November 26, 2012 at 2:20 pm

I just wanted to encourage you Shae , thank you for sharing your struggles . I wish you everything .
I gave up drinking for different reasons a few months back. It isn’t easy to say no and people do look at you as if to ask WHY ?

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Marita November 26, 2012 at 3:29 pm

The hard choice, but the right choice.

You’ve done good.

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Farmers Wifey November 26, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Shae, thank you for this post. And I send you good wishes to keep going!!! You sound so much like me! I think I am a binge drinker. I love a glass of wine, but I can’t stop at one, I have to drink a couple then I might have a mixed drink, then another!! I’m sick of it too. I am at the stage with a stressful job that I can’t wait for that glass of wine when the kids are in bed, I need it!! No wonder I’ve gained weight! I actually gave up for over 7 months two years ago, and I was so proud of myself, then I had a miscarriage and started drinking again because I “needed to”. But I am over it. I want to save money and not waste my time anymore, so maybe I’ll join you? And hey, I’ve seen you, you are the life of the party, so much fun, but I think we are both so awesome that we don’t need that drink to show it xxxx hugs.

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Jo @Countrylifeexperiment November 26, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Well done! Neither Country Boy or I drink. I think being in it together helps because there is someone else to ‘not drink’ with. To be honest, I don’t feel like anything is missing from our lives because we don’t. If anything we have a better life because the time, and money spent drinking can be used in other ways!

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Ash K November 26, 2012 at 5:46 pm

I stopped drinking 8 years ago, for reasons different to yours. I no longer miss it, except on a very hot summers day I feel like a G &T or a beer. So I have ONE! I’ve lost the taste for it and my life is far better for it.

Congratulations Shae, it is not easy to do – more power to you xx

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Rachael November 26, 2012 at 6:04 pm

You’ve done amazingly well with this.

I did read somewhere that it’s much easier when trying to cut back on something to just say ‘I don’t drink’ or ‘I don’t eat sugar’ or whatever it may be. I also heard something else yesterday is to break a habit first go to zero.

One day, if you want to, I’m sure you will be able to have a drink or two without it spiraling out of control – but you may find you don’t actually ever want to. X

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Stephanie November 26, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Your frank and hilarious approach to really difficult (and everyday) topics has always “grabbed” me. Thanks for being such a fucking voice of reason. Yay, you.

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Caroline November 26, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Good on you xx Loved meeting you xx

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Laney November 26, 2012 at 8:57 pm

So proud of your strength and respect for yourself. I grew up in a binge drinking culture and it teaches you very bad habits. I hate feeling like hell now and can’t function with a hangover. So much easier not to drink, or just to have one.

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Eucale November 26, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Beautiful post Shae. Good on you for making such a big life change, and for having the courage to share your journey. Xx

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Jessica November 26, 2012 at 9:34 pm

You are doing so well, its very hard to break an addiction and all you can do is take one day at a time.To have come this far and to actually see things so clearly you are doing an amazing job, just keep walking and taking each day as it comes, it gets easier. I have a friend who has thought addiction her whole adult life, each day is a little victory, and you are right we have a bad culture for it in australia, but there is a new normal out there:)

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Georgia November 27, 2012 at 1:56 am

Good on you Shae. I love your honesty. As the daughter of an alcoholic mother, I know what a huge step it is to admit that a lifestyle habit is doing more harm than good. To take action, and to publicly announce something like this, and to take responsibility for your choices is commendable and takes a lot of guts. xx

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Brenda November 27, 2012 at 10:51 am

Me too! I was so sick of wasting the next day (or 2 or 3) feeling like shite and embarrassed cos I opened my big mouth and offended people or something. I still have a coupla beers but now I can drive home with the kids and wake up bright and chirpy.

Sooo much wasted time and money in the booze and loss of sleep (and sometimes dignity) Good on you for kicking the booze, you’re right thou, we have to change the mindset of us Aussies. It’s taken me a while to be comfortable about going out and not drinking alot but by having a couple beers or 3 or 4 light beers, you still feel part of the party just a happy, healthy part of it! And no hangovers – FTW!

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Lynda M O November 27, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Good going, Shae, you can do it, I have faith in your abilities. Many have done it, many more will. i did, you will. I am a “got one, must have a million” black out/not remember anything drinker and when I quit it was by far the best decision of my life. And continues to be nearly 30 years later still the smartest thing I ever did. I wish I could have back the messed up years but the only direction open to us id Forward so that’s where we go.

Proud of you – good deal, Shae.

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Taryn November 27, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Ive got to say, at first I was shocked… Not what I expected (having not been following your blog for particularly long). But serious cudos to you for taking that amazing step towards a better life for both you and your family!!! Keep it up!

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Suz November 29, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Shae I thought you looked amazing when I saw you this week……I also think you are doing a great thing. I don’t drink much anymore, just the occasional cider or beer and for me that’s enough. love to you xo

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Dorothy @ Singular Insanity December 2, 2012 at 2:10 pm

That’s awesome, Shae. Seeing where you’ve been and how it has affected you must have been quite an awakening. Your decision about this months ago really put a spotlight on my own drinking and I’m constantly monitoring myself to see how much control I have over it. So far, it seems that I’m in charge.

Like Suz above said, you looked awesome when I saw you last week, so this is obviously the right thing for you.

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