Super Sparkly Sober Saturday

Super Sparkly Sober Saturday

Pre Soberdom, weekends were for one thing only and that was getting hammered. On Friday nights, the habit was real. There I was, like a bee to a honey pot, hurtling down the wine aisle to check out the offers. In summer, it was white or rose; in winter, heavy red. Two bottles (one was never enough) were slung unceremoniously in my basket followed by brief stop down the ready meal aisle and not forgetting a nice fresh pack of 20 from the cigarette kiosk. Boom, I was ready to launch.

Home. Bags dropped to the floor. Wine poured before anything else and slugged down in three. One fag out the window. Breathe (smoke). Another fag out the window. Glug. And breathe (smoke) once more. Happy weekend.

When I look back at this little ritual, I can still remember the panic. The excitement. The race. All to get home to slurp and smoke.

I attribute it to habit and relief and stress. In my former job, the weeks were long perpetuated by excruciating hangovers, shouty angry customers and a Hitler style management regime. It was a celebration to leave the workhouse each week and get home to safety. It was what I’d always done, rewarded myself for surviving another week on the planet. After all, I deserved it right?

Now, it seems such an alien concept to reward myself with poisons and toxins. In fact, it’s just plain bloody bizarre! Oh I know, I’ve had a hard week at work and I’m really tired, emotional and stressed so I’ll just fill my body up with stuff that generally makes me even more tired, emotional and stressed, resulting in a shit night’s sleep followed by vomming all day on my day off! Yeah, what an incredibly genius idea!

When you stop drinking alcohol, weekends morph from ‘over in the blink of an eye’ to ‘every minute becomes an hour’. It’s almost off putting at the start. One Saturday, I remember waking up, writing, eating, walking, cleaning and it was still 9am. I was thinking ‘how on Earth do I fill my day?’ and rather than being pleased, the prospect of so much sober time, was daunting. There was too much time to think about drinking.

Now, there is never enough time. There is always something to do. I write, I cook, I blog, I walk, I edit. I breathe fresh, clean air. I did none of those things before. Hangovers literally stole my joy. They stole my creativity. They stole my weekends.

If you want to be successful in sobriety, you will have to change your weekend routine and planning is key. Do activities that don’t involve drinking; get outside, go for a long walk, go to the cinema, drive somewhere you’ve never been before.

You have to train your brain to expect different things from a weekend. Your brain will expect to get bladdered if that’s what you’ve always done. You have to show it who’s boss and get it to look forward to something else! Chocolate, exercise, reading, sex. Do whatever it takes!

I’m not sure I’ll ever get over how fantastic Sober Saturday’s are. They are truly one of the best parts of sobriety. To feel alive and full of possibility is a very beautiful thing. Time is precious; don’t waste it.

#day595

Written by Sober Fish 2018

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Definition of an alcoholic

Definition of an alcoholic

It’s quite interesting what people think an alcoholic is. The age old description is someone who drinks in the morning or someone who ‘has the shakes’. Or someone who drinks out of a brown paper bag to hide their habit. I mean really? Even that would cost you an extra 5p these days! 

Everyone has a ‘vision’ of what an alcoholic is but it is unlikely to look like themselves. My personal definition is anyone who cannot control their intake of alcohol or drinks to excess, with negative consequences. I think your personal definition is dependant on your own alcohol intake. If you have a couple of glasses on a special occasion, then you’d consider me to be a raging alcoholic, however I didn’t drink in the morning, or out of a paper bag, so maybe I wasn’t after all?

I know that writing about my ‘habit’ has created some discussion about ‘my problem’. Some people have said ‘they didn’t know it was that bad’. But that’s dependant on your definition of bad isn’t it? I didn’t fit in with the stereotype but once I got started, there was no stopping me. And for me, that was a problem. Throwing up all the next day, that was a problem. Losing my free time at the weekend, eating rubbish, getting fat. That was a problem. But did I escape being an alcoholic because I didn’t sip out of a brown paper bag on a park bench at 8am? It’s questionable. 

It is also interesting that people feel there must be something sooooo wrong if you don’t want to drink alcohol. Why has it become so normalised to partake in ingesting poison? If you politely decline heroin, that doesn’t make you weird or boring? That makes you an intelligent human being so why is alcohol so different?! So acceptable??!

I prefer to categorise myself as the ultimate binge drinker. And eater. And smoker. Nothing could satisfy the beast. And the more I drank, the higher my tolerance became. I do think it is a problem to drink for 12 – 15 hours at a time, to drink a bottle of wine before leaving the house for a night out, to forget doing the things the night before. On a programme I saw, it described drunken black outs as your brain being physically unable to make memories. How sad is that? That I actually chose to do that to myself? It makes me shudder and I intend to never do that harm to myself again. #day91 🙋🏻🐟

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