Hi everyone, I hope you’re all well!
This is honestly a post I never thought I’d be writing. Ever. If I look back at when I started my blog, 7 years ago, this is the last post I would ever have imagined would be posted on here.
My journey and relationship with alcohol has been a long one. Back when I was a teenager, and drinking was forbidden, it was all I wanted to do. I’d wait until my mum and dad were out or using the bathroom and I’d take my dads whisky from the back of the cupboard and fill up a water bottle with a concoction of that, lemonade, orange juice, whatever I could find; some port or vodka thrown in for good measure, to sit drinking with my friends that night.
I can’t even remember ever getting hangovers back then. Perhaps the adrenaline and pure -5 degree temperatures whilst sitting in parks at 11pm in November assured me the alcohol would evaporate into thin air.
I got older, and my alcohol habits changed. I still wasn’t old enough to drink legally, but now I wanted to go out. I wanted to go clubbing and to bars and pubs and I wanted to pretend I was 23. So I begged and borrowed other peoples driving licences for a night out or a weekend, usually for the handsome fee of £20-£30 a time. Pretending I was an olive skinned, dark haired 28 year old when in actual fact, I have inherited 100% of my Irish grandmas skintone, complexion and colouring, and at the tender age of 16, that was a personal highlight.
When I finally reached 18, despite the fact I’d been going out for years and it had kind of lost it’s appeal on UK soil, I took it overseas. I passed out in Kavos, I partied in Ibiza, I drank myself silly in in Dubai, I staggered home at 6.30am barefoot in Tenerife; the list is endless. I made memories to last a lifetime, stories that me and my friends will laugh about till our dying days, but I no longer look back nostalgically to the point of desperation that I want to relive those moments, I want to be in that state of annihilation again – because I don’t.
Last April, I went to my boyfriends friends BBQ, and out of nerves of meeting new people for the first time, I drank two bottles of prosecco in quick succession, followed by shots and the next 48-72 hours were a complete write off. I didn’t move or speak for 2 days. I missed a family Easter meal, not even cancelling, just simply not turning up because I physically couldn’t even type a WhatsApp. I was covered in bruises from head to toe from falling over repeatedly, and in all honesty the physical and mental side effects of that hangover scarred me. It’s been 18 months and I have not even come close to getting in that state since.
With the start of my degree imminent, and my tolerance for alcohol lessening over the years, meaning my hangovers are like a full blown flu with an accompaniment of raging anxiety for the following 3 days, I realised I just couldn’t do it to myself any longer. I was giving up alcohol.
Reader, I am sure that at some point in the future; special birthdays, my wedding day, future Christmas’s, that I may drink alcohol again. May being the operative word. It’s not guaranteed, because I may decide I never want to drink again. What I do know is that I don’t want to drink whilst I study for my degree, and by that point, there’s a strong chance that I might have decided I never want alcohol again. And what I absolutely know for sure, is that never again do I want to drink the way I used to. Drinking to get obliterated, to get so blind drunk that I can’t look after myself.
In March 2018, I broke my wrist because I was so drunk. I literally clean broke my wrist, one of the most painful things I’ve ever done in my life, and something that will always affect me, because even 2 and a half years on I have a weakness in my wrist, and pain that flares up. It’s strange how that wasn’t even a ‘something needs to change’ moment in my life; being so drunk that I face planted and landed on my own wrist and shattered the bone. It’s crazy that I was so drunk I didn’t even go to hospital; I went and got a kebab. I then went home, and woke up screaming in agony. And I still didn’t go to hospital; it was Mothers Day and I took my mum for Afternoon Tea. It was only halfway through a scone when I was nearly passing out with the pain that I realised it was more than just a drunken tumble, and I’d done some real damage. It’s insane to me now that ending up in a plaster cast didn’t deter me and I carried on drinking more and more. Yes, it’s a drunken anecdote and quite funny, but also…is it? Is getting so drunk that I caused myself real harm that funny? And I’m pretty sure it could have been even worse. When I was in Kavos age 18, I remember face planting a marble floor so hard when I was black out drunk one night that I had a bump the size of a large apple on my head with blood trickling down my face and into my eyes. Rather than go to the local medical centre, I went and bought pizza on the strip instead.
Looking back at these memories is strange; they’re things I once thought were an absolute hoot, but now I see them differently. I was a young girl, and then a young woman, having fun and being wild but as you get older, and I’m sure lots of you feel the same about things you look back on from an older and more mature perspective now, you look at it slightly differently. And you realise how lucky you are to even be alive now with some of the dangerous situations you put yourself in. There are so many people that smash their heads on a rock hard floor, and they aren’t able to just get back up like I did and get on with their night.
This post is not to judge anyone. My outlook on life is that as long as it doesn’t harm anyone, do whatever makes you happy. Drink as much as you feel comfortable with, party as much as you want, do whatever you like. I mean, I’ve done it incessantly for the last decade – and if anyone had told me otherwise I’d of told them where to go. A lot of people can drink a few glasses of wine and stop, or have a few cocktails and stop, or even drink a lot and feel fine the next day and it doesn’t affect their life at all and that’s great, but I’m one of the unfortunate people who alcohol affects in an exceptionally negative way, and right now, there’s not space in my life for it.
I’m sure most people experience ‘the fear’ the next day, and for people who already suffer from anxiety, it can be overwhelming. For me, it’s just not worth it currently. Removing alcohol from my life, my head is clearer, I feel more in control, and a lot less anxious. And for me, that’s worth everything.
So for now, alcohol has been removed from my life, other than if whatever I’m cooking requires some wine or ale or whatever it may be. If that changes, I’ll let you know, but I can’t see that happening for a very long time.
Here’s to something I never thought I’d write…going sober!
All my love BGP xx