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.