Posted in Manchester Life

Booze Free Musings: One year on and 8 reasons to keep at it.

It’s been a year since I gave up le booze. Here’s a summary:

Nights out are super cheap. Like £10 and under cheap. There is however only so much fizzy stuff you can drink before you bloat up like a puffer fish, but then again you don’t have the thirst you get when you’re chugging back the ale. You don’t get into taxis you can’t afford in misjudged error and then spend the rest of the week eating beans on toast until payday either. Plus I’m totally a cheap date these days, good news for my better half.

I am much fitter (boom!). This isn’t necessarily because I stopped drinking alcohol and “the weight just dropped off/my skin was so much clearer” as you regularly hear people say. It’s to do with the fact I can be arsed to exercise and don’t skip days because I’m hungover/wrapped in the invisible but very heavy blanket of shame and I don’t want to stuff my face with dirt burgers on my way home.

People will judge you. Not everyone but some people will. They take it as a reflection on them that you aren’t drinking. I decided it was bad for me, and my sanity and on occasion my safety. I don’t give a hoot if people imbibe. If you can drink sensibly and walk away, good for you. Unfortunately I don’t have that built into my brain. Think twice before you call someone “boring” for not drinking or say “you’re not fun anymore”. Even if it is meant as a bit of a ribbing, it can be really hurtful and if you’re a true friend you’ll support them in their decision.

No regrets. I haven’t forgotten anything (including my address – yup that happened) for a year now. No deep and meaningfuls which I’ve instantly forgotten about then had to pretend that I remembered. I haven’t said anything stupid, or that I don’t mean – whether for good or bad.

Fuck you anxiety. And the horse you rode in on. Every morning after a night out now is like floating on a cloud. I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing it is not to live with the impending sense of doom that goes beyond regular beer fear and leads to a week’s worth of panic and anxiety. Anxiety ridden people shouldn’t drink. I didn’t even know about the links between alcohol and anxiety until I gave it up. Not having this regular burst of anxiety splitting up my weeks/months means that I don’t have to live with it any more than I need to. Having it constantly hanging around like a bad friend, there to remind you how shit you are, really isn’t good for your mental health. I have felt free for a whole continuous year and it feels excellent.

I find your photos of booze ridiculous. If it a fancy cocktail that looks like it’s been squeezed out of a Disney villain’s butt with half a forest in it – HURRAH – I am sure I will enjoy looking at it. If it’s a glass of wine on a table – BIG WOW – it could be Casini for all I know.  It becomes very weird when you don’t drink to see these often posted pics – maybe it’s because I was a culprit myself. A pint of cider with the sun gleaming off it? gorgeous – I’d think. Now I just think I let it define me for too long.  Just don’t snap chat it to me. Why would you do this when you know I don’t drink and you know how much I’ve struggled with it? WHY (jokes – expect a photo of a pint of squash back every day until it bores you to death).

I don’t look like a nob in photos. No more tongue lolling out of my gob. No more thumbs up (my drunken go to) just me with a smile on my face and not dead behind the eyes. or passed out. Below: me at 10pm after works christmas do 2013 (passed out) and after the 2014 one (posing in my home made dress for my sewing blog)

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A year of firsts. First holiday, wedding, hen do, birthday, anniversary, new job all celebrated without a drop. It actually seems insane that the culture around celebrating milestones and success is defined as getting off your tits on booze as much as humanely possible. I’m not trashed?! I’m a failure at celebrating my success. Bollocks to that.

So there you have it. That’s what it’s been like. Do I miss it? No. Am I happier? Yes, a million times yes. Third best decision ever made in my life. (1 = marrying Tim, 2 = the awesome star wars sleeve I have).