I’ve always considered myself a drinker. I drink socially, at parties, at pubs, after work, at home with family, at home alone and as much as I hate to admit it, sometimes I even drink in bed. So when last week, the doctor told me that I could not drink for an entire week, I was slightly scared. She asked me when the last time I went a whole week without a drink was and I honestly couldn’t tell her. Do I drink every day? No. Maybe. I don’t know! Stop asking me questions Dr Nicole! Don’t judge me!
The human brain is so weird. As soon as someone tells us that we cannot have something, we want it even more, like people’s boyfriends or cocaine! So it consumed me, until all I could think about was the soft and subtle aromas of a nice big glass of Merlot. Here are some things I realised during my time as a changed sober woman (Yes I do realise that 7 days is not a long time but god, by day 6, it felt like I was waiting out the ice age).
1 – Alcohol is totally ingrained in my social life
Maybe it’s an Australian thing, but basically every person I know drinks almost every weekend. Excessively. When I knew I couldn’t drink last weekend, I had to remove myself from all situations that alcohol would be involved in (which is super hard because I am a bartender). I was meant to celebrate a friends 21st, which I did not go to because I knew it would be way too hard for me to look at my friends drinking passionfruit martinis and say ‘No, I do not want that delicious sweet yet sour cocktail that is going to make everything just a little bit better. I will just have water, thank you.’ I just couldn’t do it. So I missed out on having a social life all together.
2 – I need a new coping mechanism
People always say that to change your bad habits, you should distract yourself with a new one. I assume they mean healthy habits, not lighting a cigarette every time I felt like a drink (and I felt like a drink A LOT). My coping mechanism is drinking. Something slightly inconvenient happens? I automatically reach for a bottle of crisp, sweet, beautiful cider. Something tragic happens? I reach for the large bottle of vodka that I have on hand, ready to go, at all times and drink myself into oblivion. And its going to be hard to change those patterns. Alcohol just makes everything seem a little less crappy. During my time in sobriety, I realised that I have way too much time to think when I’m not drunk. I should never stop drinking again. That shit was scary.
3 – Alcohol is expensive
I’m basically rich now. If I didn’t spend all my money on vodka lime sodas at the local pub, imagine how much I could save. Just imagine. I’m pretty sure that 40% of the money I took to Europe was spent on alcohol. And in theory, quitting drinking and saving money sounds like a great, mature thing to do. But am I going to do it? Hell no.
4 – I may have a slight drinking problem
I remember waking up a few weeks ago on a Sunday morning (okay it was 1pm) with mi goreng noodles stuck to my tshirt and realised that I had hit yet another low. As I sat up, I saw a half eaten cup of noodles spilled onto my white carpet. I thought, how on earth did I get to this point and Is it bad that this is actually the third time this has happened?
During this week, I craved alcohol more than a starving kid in Peru craves half a cup of rice. I felt it in every part of my body. I probably would have killed a starving kid in Peru for my treasured glass of Merlot. Do I have a problem?
5 – I suck
I literally am the worst. I have a confession. I didn’t even make it a whole week. I caved at day 6 and finally had a sip of wine. I encourage everyone to do better than me and see how long you can go without a drink. And find a better replacement habit than smoking cigarettes. Maybe start running or take up knitting? I don’t know, you really should not be taking advice from me. Being sober is way too hard. Im going to keep drinking. Sorry Dr Nicole, my liver isn’t going to get better any time soon.
Disclaimer – I do not encourage binge drinking. I swear.
Note to my mother – Please do not try and discuss my drinking habits or this blog post with me. And do not try to make me go to rehab. I say no, no, no and I won’t go, go go. RIP Amy Winehouse. Also, please do not tell Dr Nicole about my true drinking habits.