When I wake up tomorrow, I will have broken a new personal record. The only other time since the tender age of 17 where I’ve gone without alcohol for a sustained period was for 27 days, last July. (Note: apart from my two pregnancies which don’t count. It’s freakishly easy to give up booze when someone elses life depends on it, rather than just your own).
I hadn’t actually set out to stop drinking completely that time; it was more of an experiment. I’d woken up on a Sunday morning, after a trip to the Magic Rock brewery tap the previous afternoon with a group of friends. It was a glorious thing; our favorite brewery where you could literally sample the entire range of their craft beers all in one place. And sample, we did. It started out lots of fun, but ended in the usual melange of rambling incoherent conversations, friends demonstrating martial arts techniques on other friends and nearly killing them, you know, the usual shizzle. Mr Red and I ducked out fairly early (for us) and came home to drink wine and pass out in front of some film or other. I distinctly remember getting quite snippy about Rachel Weisz’s performance in said film, due to Mr Red being rather partial to her, and me being a green eyed monster when pissed. (I do cultivate a healthy liking for Mr Daniel Craig, purely as a form of retaliation, obviously).
Needless to say, the next day was grim. I felt as if my heart was trying to vacate my body. My tongue was three times its usual size, and I was rather worryingly aware of the precise location of my liver, due to all the throbbing, and the ick feeling.
I found it fairly easy to make it though the next 27 days, and then spectacularly slipped straight back into my bad habits on 28th as I’d built up that false sense of security that “I was fine, yeah, I don’t have a problem, cos look how easy that was!”. Ha. Ha. Ha.
Fast forward through a blurry 5 months later. This time hasn’t been as easy. But I think that’s because it feels more permanent, and I’m still stupidly going through an idiotic grieving process, just like you would after breaking up with some numpty boyfriend who’d treated you like dirt. So in theory, I should have a moment of revelation soon, where I realise that “Mr Drink” was an utter dickhead, and I suddenly feel an overwhelming relief to be out of such a crappy relationship, whilst simultaneously being tempted to track said ex-person down and lamp them one round the head.
The revelatory moment hasn’t happened yet, but today has definitely been better. I’ve had what I think is a tension headache on a daily basis for over a week; happily this was much less severe today. I’ve also cut down on caffeine this week, and in an uncharacteristic fit of self-care, I’ve booked in to the chiropractor tomorrow, to try and address my chronic back problem and the headaches too. It’s amazing me how much of my drinking must have been self medication really. And how I couldn’t afford the chiropractor, but I could afford about 10 bottles of wine per week..
I managed today’s stresses and strains with a bit more spirit, handled the post-school and bedtime chaos single handed without losing my temper, despite claims from my youngest son that he couldn’t finish his tea because it would “give him a headache”. I’m now sat relaxing with a chai latte, and a plate of fruit. (Yes, fear not for your sanity, you read that correctly). Reese and his pieces will undoubtedly be jealous, but hey, too much of a good thing, and Red will begin to resemble Jabba the Hutt. And I say bollocks to that – I’m aiming for Leia in the gold bikini now.
Here’s to uncharted territory tomorrow on day 29, and on to Monday for my first month sober. And to all of you out there breaking (or attempting to break) your own personal records.. you’re all awesome.