An invite to a friends 40th, they’re musicians and big drinkers. We’re talking regular 3 am sessions. A party at a club, then the after party at theirs
Since having kids, I’ve found I don’t have as much stamina to stay up late anymore.
I love my sleep; I get obsessed with getting a regular 8 hours every night, which is ironic because when you drink, sleeping turns to shit!
Drinking usually gives me energy on the night, and when I drink champagne and red bull I turn into a party animal, I forget about the consequences of a hangover and only 3 hours sleep. Other normal drinkers may experience hangovers differently to me; I hate the relentless depression and anxiety.
It was on Friday night and happened to be right at the start of a two-week break for school holidays. Normally I would say to myself ‘Friday night! Yes, you got the whole weekend to recover, and no school run Monday, no school lunches to make, you can have a big one’.
But this time was different. I didn’t want to experience mental anguish for the first week of the holidays, it just wouldn’t be fair to the kids, and I just knew, it could be my undoing.
The morning of the party I tearfully voiced my thoughts to my husband, he responded that he understood, and we’d give the after party a miss.
I usually start drinking when I am getting ready to go out. I’ll sip a beer or bubbles while I do my makeup, It gets me in the mood, and by the time we reach the function I’m usually nicely buzzed and feeling confident, not all shy and tongue-tied.
Usually, I don’t eat beforehand because ‘eatings cheating’ it kills the warm fuzzy buzz and suppresses my hunger, stupid really, this probably contributes to the blackouts I experience.
My plan of action:
No drinking while getting ready. I didn’t eat dinner, but I knew there would be food at the party, so I planned to feast later.
And that was my plan…..I honestly didn’t know how the night was going to end up!
My husband got me a beer to drink on the way to the bar. As I looked out the car window, I felt so weak like I was teetering right on the edge of a tall building, I could close my eyes and give up, leap off, or pull myself back.
I sipped that beer extra slowly while I sent out a silent plea
“Help me; I don’t know how I’ll get through tonight.”
Husband noticed I wasn’t drinking the beer, I think he realised I was serious about changing my habits and he started to pressure me a little
‘Come on have some fun.’
I was silent for a moment, and then out of the blue he apologised and said “You know what, I’m sorry, that was selfish of me.’
That in itself was a minor miracle!
I found the first initial moments of walking into the bar awkward; I was nervous. A small voice in my head was telling me that I needed to try to stay sober, give it a go, take the initial step, and things would work out, and the devil on my shoulder was saying, ‘go on, have a ber, lighten up, you’re thirsty, have a drink’.
We sat down; husband bought me a drink, I took one sip and stopped at that.
A couple we’d never met before came and sat beside us. We struck up a great conversation; I felt an instant connection with the woman, she was so mellow, interesting and funny.
She inspired me; 50yrs old and had gone back to uni to study. Proof that you can keep reinventing yourself.
As we chatted, my confidence grew, ‘See you can talk to people, and make connections without alcohol!” I told myself proudly.
The couple were drinking, but not once was I asked why I wasn’t.
It got easier and easier for me as the night went on, I started to envision the next morning, waking up happy, clear-headed and remembering everything, no shame shivers, no regrets!
I felt free, and…..happy! I made a new friend, and we kept in touch afterwards too, amazing!
The next morning I felt totally proud. They say working out your sober muscles gets better with time, like a workout at the gym. I’d like to log my first workout!