Before we start, here’s the boring bit.
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Please remember that anything written in my post is purely relating to me and my experience. It is not intended to upset anyone and it is not aimed at other people, whether they drink alcohol or not. This is my story and hopefully you can read it in the light-hearted way it was written.
I wasn’t going to release this post, but its something I feel I need to do. If it helps someone else in a similar situation, I’m happy.
I just want to be real with you here, being sober isn’t a perfect solution for a perfect life. Online you only see the good bits, here I want you to read the reality. Plus I have some books to give away so I have space to buy new ones 🙂 Keep reading for that later in the post!
Right, that’s that done. A bit about me:
On the 26th July 2020, 135 days ago, I decided to have my last alcoholic drink. It was one of my favourites, red wine. At the time I didn’t realise it was going to be my last but 135 days later and I still don’t want to drink. I’ve done Sober for October, reduced my drinking and all the other stuff you do when you think you are drinking too much. This time something different has happened, my mindset towards drinking has changed.
For those that know me, you know how much I love a drink and you probably also know that I don’t have an off switch. I say love and not loved, because even though I have quit and I don’t want to drink, I still think about it and love the idea of it. Unfortunately the reality isn’t quite something to love, I drink too much, my mind does funny things and I become a dickhead. I no longer get anything out of drinking alcohol.
For those thinking, “why doesn’t she just limit her drinking” or for those that want to compare their drinking habits to mine. Please don’t- they are not similar in any way and it doesn’t help anyone.
Anyway, here are the things I’ve experienced along the way:
1. The Days Become The Longest Ever
In my drinking days, on average, I’d open a bottle around 6pm. This was the time I thought acceptable, though sometimes it would be a bit earlier. I would continue to drink until around 10-12pm. This would average between 3-7 days a week. Add up all those hours and I suddenly had a lot of time on my hands. Include the time spent hungover and not very alive, you can imagine how much time of my life I was wasting. Include the hours during the day that I thought about opening that bottle around 6pm. It was A LOT of hours spent thinking about drinking.
I’ve filled my new found time with hobbies such as reading, writing a load of shit on here, learning new things and helping others- as well as being more present and focused in my work and personal life.
2. You Feel Every Feeling There Is
This one makes me laugh. I’m quite an emotional person anyway- I feel everything that everyone goes through and I just want to help everyone and save the world. Unfortunately, I can only do so much and I struggle knowing this. I take others problems on as my own and when you have enough of your own anyway, it becomes draining.
Add the alcohol and I become even more of an emotional idiot. These emotions range from being fucking angry to not being able to stop crying like a baby, emotions that are ten times worse than the ones I feel when I’m not drinking. I also cant control these feelings when I have a drink.
Take away the alcohol and I have all those same emotions but to a lesser extent and I’m more capable of controlling them. The only problem this time is the problems of life are still there and I’m not blocking them out through drinking. I’m having to face them problems and face my feelings. Something I’ve not had to do before in the last twenty years. This makes me quite emotional, as I learn new skills to allow me to become resilient and solve the problems rather than ignore them.
These new emotions are good ones, I’m able to feel more strongly, love more deeply and have an intense feeling of happiness.
3. Your Relationships May Change
I’ve been a big drinker most of my adult life, I don’t really have any relationships from before this time. When you change your lifestyle, its inevitable that you will change as a person and this changes the world around you.
People form opinions of none drinkers, they think they are boring and unsocial, they stop inviting you out. Sorry to tell you this but this hasn’t changed for me, I was boring and unsocial before and I’m still boring and unsocial now. Yes I probably did things to entertain others and may have been a laugh on nights out, however, I have no idea what conversations we were having as I never remembered them. I just know I probably had a good night out as I remember the celebrations we had before that dreaded one drink too many that tipped me over.
In happier news, now I don’t drink, I can remember the good times we have. Our conversations are more meaningful and you don’t need to worry about me getting home. I’m more likely to go to events that I will enjoy- so if I come to one of your events its because I want to be there and not because the drink is persuading me to. I’m so much happier and this means I’m better company.
Some of my relationships have been a struggle, as people have lost their drinking buddy or they feel nervous about inviting me out. This only makes them stronger as people become open and honest about things. Some of my relationships have deepened as I realise I have more in common with people than I knew before. Both are absolutely fine and mainly people are happy that I’m happy.
4. You May Have The Worst Nightmares Ever
This has been scary and quite an eye opener! I did a funny, sleep….eye opener, oh well never mind!
I’ve died, I’ve seen dead people- sometimes famous ones (David Bowie was an absolute C***), I’ve witnessed murders (in Rotherham, so.. you know) and been murdered, I’ve been pregnant and had a baby. I’ve been in a plane crash, I’ve witnessed a plane crash and then ran to the scene to help people. I’ve won the lottery, I’ve travelled the world, I’ve worked in various countries doing various jobs. I was a Princess in a foreign land with the most beautiful dresses and hair I’ve ever seen, (apart from my sisters hair which is the most beautiful in the world). I toured with the Spice Girls and was in a Steps band. I actually was in a Steps band not THE Steps band, in real life. I have pictures to prove it! 🙂
So yeah, been there done that. None of it was real though, they were all dreams or nightmares! Most of the time I woke up crying and others I was sobbing, sobbing and couldn’t stop! Like silent crying, that shit is absolutely scary!
I’m no doctor, but I understand the vivid nightmares are down to the changes in your sleep patterns when you’re not full of chemicals. Rapid eye movement levels, etc. When you drink you don’t have great sleep, its less deep sleep and more going in and out of different levels of sleep. When you don’t drink, after a few weeks you have more natural sleep, its deeper for longer. The electrical brain waves are different in heavy drinkers to those who don’t drink and that causes the vivid dreams and ability to remember them. Or some shit like that, you get my drift.
5. The Natural High Is Addictive
This has been the most enlightening experience yet. When I drank, it was to get that buzz of the first glass of wine. The one that you get the satisfying pop of the cork, then the comforting glug glug as it goes in the glass. You drink it and it gives you that warm familiar feeling. The second glass was kind of the same but didn’t quite have as good a buzz as the first. I drank more glasses to try and feel that feeling but it never happened, I just became more drugged and less aware of things.
Now I don’t drink, I regularly get an intense euphoric feeling and its more intense than any other feeling I’ve had before- apart from that one you naughty buggers! Dirty minds eh. I feel so addicted to this blissful, delirious satisfied feeling that I get from little things in life, it can be the perfect sunrise or sunset, it can be a perfect coffee I’ve drank, it can be a song that comes on that touches me, it can be a chapter of a book that made me feel strongly about something, it can be something that someone has done or said something that you didn’t expect. It can literally be anything that makes me perfectly happy that gives me this sense of enjoyment and happiness.
I’ve never had that feeling before and its one that I want everyone to experience at some point. You may have a similar feeling when your children do something you absolutely love. Though this feeling I’m talking about is more about when something happens when you least expected it.
There we go, the bits that nobody tells you about. You have the longest days of feeling fucking emotional, feeling the loneliness you’ve ever felt with the shittest nightmares, with a ridiculous feeling of euphoria. You question who you are and why you are here. You miss the stupid things like who you were before and your drunken nights out and your beer shits. You miss the different bottles of wine and the flavoured gins and the port at Christmas. You have FOMO and JOMO all in one evening! You even miss chatting to Ralph down the big white telephone- wonder how he is doing these days. You miss feeling sorry for yourself the morning after and you miss the PPD- post party depression.
But would I go back to all of that? No, no siree I wouldn’t! Not for all the money in the world.
Now then, THE GIVEAWAY!
If you or someone you know, would make the most of these books- keep reading.
My ‘quit lit’ that has helped me on my journey:
This Naked Mind by Annie Grace was a turning point in my alcohol free journey, it was the book that made my mind up for me. If you read this book you can be assured that you may stop drinking. The Unexpected Joy of being sober by Catherine Gray was a good real life read about the reality behind drinking and quitting. The Sober Survival Guide is another real life read of Simon Chapple‘s own experiences. None of these books are classed as self help or tell you what to do, they simply give you facts and experiences to allow you to make your own decisions. They may also give you ideas of how you can support those people around you, that may be struggling. I hope these go to a good home and help someone else.
TO WIN, you can either:
- Comment below on this blog post
- Follow me on Twitter @winebooksand and comment, like or RT the new post
- Follow me on Instagram @linz_broganblogs and like or comment on the new post
T&C’s- Each action above counts as one entry, you may enter more than once. All entries from all countries will be counted. Winner will be notified on Tuesday 15th December 2020– you will need to provide your postal address.
The WINNER has been notified, please check your emails or message me with your address at email@example.com
If winner doesn’t contact me by the end of this week another winner will be chosen.
Please note this post or giveaway is not linked to any organisations or any of the authors.
This is my story, written by me, for my blog only.
Disclaimer: I have not been compensated in any way for this post. These books were ordered by me and paid for out of my own money and all opinions are my own. I only recommend products and services I trust.