My real name is Dawn. My nickname is Fish. You may think it’s because I drank like one. You wouldn’t be far wrong.
My inspiration to ‘go sober’ for a year came from this article
10+ Before-And-After Pics Show What Happens When You Stop Drinking
I was amazed at how much better the people looked after a year off the sauce. It got me thinking about my own drinking habit and how I wanted to look as fresh and happy as the people in the article.
For most of my adult life, I was the ultimate party animal. But recently, I had become bored of endless partying, of sleepless nights, of being over-emotional, of having two day hangovers, of toxic relationships, of living in a fog and generally being miserable. I was overweight, my eczema was out of control and I was unhappy.
So I decided that, at midnight on 31 December 2016, I would take my last sip of Prosecco. My friends would then take a photo and this would be my ‘before’ photo on the blog I was going to write about my sober year.
Despite my best laid plans, my tired body had other ideas. Struck down by the flu in November 2016, I decided that I may as well start my year early and I actually slurped my last alcoholic drink on 27 November 2016. Before pouring the rest of it down the sink.
This week, I will celebrate being 10 months sober. My life has changed beyond belief & I’ve written about it every step of the way.
Please take a look at my page or my website & hopefully I can inspire some of you along the way 🙋🏻🐟
https://m.facebook.com/soberfishie or www.soberfish.co.uk
… is a sweary alcohol recovery blog that is written by mid-thirties ex-drinker Jon Tetsuo. Born and raised in West Yorkshire, England, Jon’s drinking career began at around age 15, and continued well into his 30s. An active musician, Jon spends many a weekend recording and gigging with his comedy techno-punk band Petrol Bastard – and it was the party lifestyle that came with this touring which pushed Jon to a point where alcohol stopped being fun, and started causing problems with work, relationships, and general health. Jon made the decision to quit drinking in September 2015, and has replaced this vice with running, climbing, and writing. He relocated to Milton Keynes that December, to be with his fiancee Emma. Soberpunks.co.uk was launched in September 2016, to mark Jon’s first year of sobriety. Since it’s launch, Jon’s blog has received praise for it’s honesty, and it’s non-patronising approach to offering advice and support.
Please see Jon’s first post for a bit more info about the motivations and ideas behind this blog.
Eight Thousand Seven Hundred & Sixty
As most of you know, I’m looking for love. In fact, I’ve been looking for love for a long time but only appear to attract knights in tin foil (shamelessly stolen) instead of the Adonis I deserve.
Recently, I have felt brave enough to get back on the dating scene completely stone cold sober. This is a whole new concept in itself as previously I would turn up to dates half cut after smoking 10 Marlboro Lights (despite declaring myself a non smoker) & hope they wouldn’t notice.
The problem with being half cut before the date begins is that the beer goggles are firmly in place by drink 2 with said date & anything goes. I blame alcohol for most of the utterly unsuitable people I had the (dis) pleasure of meeting in the past. This time it will be different.
When I re-added my online profiles earlier this year, I was adamant that I wanted a totally sober suitor. The thought of dating someone who drank alcohol freaked me out. I was scared in case they got too drunk or if I was tempted to drink or if they smelt of alcohol. Basically overthinking everything as per usual.
But as time ticked on, I realised that I was probably being unreasonable in my demands. I mean, not everyone drinks to get hammered (like me) plus I had already proven I had an element of self-control & probably wouldn’t be tempted by most ‘manly’ drinks anyway.
So last week, I embarked on a date in an actual pub. Where they serve actual alcohol. With a date who was drinking beer. And, surprisingly, it wasn’t so bad. He didn’t get drunk & I didn’t feel tempted & I couldn’t smell it. In fact of all the things I’d unnecessarily worried about didn’t come true.
Following the successful first date, we decided to meet up again & I invited said date round for dinner. This was where it got interesting (not like that naughty people) because despite knowing I didn’t drink, he brought a bottle of my favourite red (Malbec) round for himself & a bottle of sparkling water for me. I have to admit that it was a bit of a shock. I hadn’t really thought about someone bringing alcohol into my flat or how I would feel about it. I also had forgotten the wine ‘ritual’ & about my dusty wine glasses & the whole thing felt very alien. But you know what, after the initial weirdness, it wasn’t so bad. I don’t drink & that’s a fact & that was enough for me.
Unfortunately, I fear this Strong Sober Sister was a little too much for said date & after date 4, I wearily climbed back onto my shelf & kickstarted the search for Mr Right. Again. Except this time I am happy if he likes a tipple or three as I know I’m more than happy on sparkling water.
A year ago tomorrow, I set off on my final drinking holiday ever. In one word, it (I) was carnage.
Of course, I didn’t know it was my last drinking holiday ever but it certainly contributed to my eventual abstinence of the poison ruining my life
The first part of the holiday was with 3 close girlfriends & started, as always, with a large glass of rose at the airport before 9am. Start as you mean to go on eh?! The thought now makes me shudder but at the time it was my own personal tradition & made me feel like the holiday had truly begun.
The hotel I stayed at in Majorca was a firm favourite. I’d been many times before as it’s selling points were that it was for adults only, served gin in a glass the size of a fishbowl & served Prosecco for breakfast. Not that I managed the Prosecco most mornings as was too hideously hungover, but the option was there nonetheless.
On day 2, I got totally into the ‘spirit’ of the holiday, ordering buckets of gin from the bar by the pool. My favourite gin was Hendricks, not a cheap option, and it was going down swimmingly. Too swimmingly in fact. I was proper drunk by late afternoon & handing over Euros like it was Monopoly money. In fact, that afternoon & evening, I handed over nearly all the money I’d exchanged in the U.K, approx 250 Euros, all on gin & a one lowly bowl of pasta, to line my stomach of course.
Unsurprisingly, the bowl of pasta didn’t stand a chance against the amount of gin I was knocking back & I was sick the next day. Proper sick to match my proper drunk. There’s nothing worse in the heat & I was conscious that I was wasting a day of my holiday in hangover hell. To combat the sickness, I drank fat coke & ate carbs & eventually it stopped. But it ruined a precious day, a day I had worked hard for, a day I would never get again.
But did I learn? No, of course I didn’t. A few days later I met my other friends & got way too overexcited. We mixed our drinks starting with homemade Pina Coladas & finished with, you’ve guessed it, gin.
The following day, I was hung over the toilet bowl (see what I did there) in the searing heat. The heat & dehydration were making me feel sicker but I couldn’t keep water down. I remember thinking I can’t keep doing this to myself & I don’t believe I drank gin ever again. My friends’ ingenious solution to making me better was to take me to nearby Magaluf & get me a McDonalds. It almost did the trick until we arrived at our destination beach for the day & I threw up again.
This year, I’ve decided not to return to Majorca, the scene of the crime. My holidays there have always been alcohol fuelled & as part of my transformation, I need to visit other places not associated with my past & do more than lie around a pool all day. I will miss it but I won’t miss the view of the bathroom or the wasted days feeling shocking.
I still think about this holiday, scarred by the hideous hangovers & the monster glasses of gin. Hopefully one day I can visit & change the memories into more happy, sober ones. One day.
9 months is a long time.
It takes a human female 9 months to grow a baby. One of the reasons it takes so long is to allow you to get yourself ready for the impending arrival both physically & mentally, and for the massive lifestyle change ahead. Soberdom is no different.
The last 9 months have been preparation for my new life. Solid structures need firm foundations. I’ve been getting to know myself without the cloak of alcohol. I’ve been ‘trying out’ what the new me likes & doesn’t like & learning to say no.
I’ve tried socialising and not socialising then socialising again. I’ve tried alcohol free wines but prefer good old Elderflower. I’ve developed a taste of things I didn’t like before such as feta & lentils & coffee & sparkling water. I’ve decided I don’t like Kombucha.
The new me can’t lie in. The new me also doesn’t like a late night. I love eating out but avoid pubs after dark. I’ve decluttered my flat & my wardrobe & noticed that the old me had a penchant for floral items to disguise the mess beneath. The new me is avoiding flowers like the plague & is proudly displaying the butterfly emerging.
I’ve decluttered my head.
I’ve discovered a love of walking & Magnums & skinny jeans. I’ve climbed back on the dating horse & surprised myself by buying things such as sportswear & a cagoule & more trainers than I’ve bought in a lifetime. I’ve made friends for life & inspired people to give Soberdom a try.
I’ve learnt that I am emotional .. what woman isn’t? But that I’m not the wreck I believed I was when I was drinking. I’m calmer & happier & far less stressed. I don’t cry anymore because I don’t have anything to cry about. I am lucky & I am loved.
Everything has changed. Literally everything. I am accepting that this is it, this is my life. I do not drink alcohol. My choice is a sober life of freedom from the one thing that was killing me slowly. I am free.