Recently I have made what could be considered a Big Life Decision. I have decided that I am no longer going to consume alcohol. As of last Thursday I have been sober and indeed to remain so for the foreseeable future.
The decision happened upon me somewhat all of a sudden. I’ve always enjoyed a drink, from a very young age and I’ve always been able to handle my drink too. However it occurred to me this past week that although I don’t drink every day, when I do I find it very hard to stop. In fact, I find it impossible.
I’ve always drunk at social gatherings in order to ease my intense anxieties. However I always find myself drinking until I physically cannot drink any more. Luckily my behaviour when under the influence has never been an issue, I’ve never been the type to become rude or aggressive or overly emotional. The biggest issue is the next day.
When I was younger, and I have been drinking since I was around 12 years old, I never suffered from hangovers. Unfortunately, 10 years later and my hangovers have me recovering for at least 24 hours.
Last Friday, after planning to only have one or two the night before I had to call in sick to work. Sitting up, looking at my phone screen and talking to my boss was an ordeal. I then spent the rest of the day laying in bed, in the only position I could, with a pile of clothes over my eyes because even the slithers of daylight that slipped through the blinds were enough to cause searing pain in my head and turn my stomach. I couldn’t even handle the sound of my kitten purring next to me. I couldn’t move and I couldn’t speak. I’ve never known pain like it, and I’ve experienced my fair share of pain.
My partner informed me I’d been sick in the Uber and, worst of all, I’d said some quite unkind things to him on our journey home. When he told me this I felt the blood drain from my face. I always experience intense anxiety after a night of drinking, I’m always terrified I’ve done or said something I’d regret. Luckily, this had never been the case – up until now. Honestly, my partner was fine and brushed it off, telling me it wasn’t that bad. I was just “a bit of a dick”. I asked my friend about my behaviour at he party and he said I was fine and he’d have stopped before I did anything embarrassing. That was at least a slight bit of relief. But I still felt awful for being rude to my partner.
After I recovered enough to be able to think I wondered, as we all do, why do I do this to myself? Sure, I had a nice night but it was not worth losing out on a days worth of pay and it certainly wasn’t worth the hangover from hell.
And that’s when I decided, I’m just not going to put myself through this anymore. I’ve become comfortable enough with my friends that I don’t need to drink to have fun in social situations anyway. My bank account definitely doesn’t like it, and if that’s how drinking makes me feel, what the fuck is it doing to my insides?
And so I have decided, enough is enough. I don’t want this to become a problem, I’m taking control now before it gets out of hand. Perhaps I’ll reassess how I feel in 6 months or a years time.
But for now, I am sober.