We went to a lunch with friends and kids where everyone was drinking. I was a bit worried about the hassle factor but everyone was fairly chilled about it and I had one chat with a couple of girlfriends about me not drinking and that was it. I wasn’t bothered, didn’t feel left out, no cravings this time. The only thing I did notice was how civilised the drinking was. The wine was flowing but nobody was knocking it back like I would have been! There was a 2 hour delay with the food. I would have been hammered and not given a shit about the delay but no one seemed to use this as an excuse to neck more alcohol?
Here’s how I used to approach a social drinking session…
If it was a lunchtime session, I wouldn’t have anything to drink before kick off. The craving would niggle at me, not enough to drink at home at lunchtime before leaving but instead I would literally count the hours until the drinking started. I would be that excited…how sad is that?
I would reward myself for not drinking at home by having the first couple of drinks in very quick succession and if my husband was around to help with the kids there would be no stopping me. Very rarely would I actually plan to get drunk, but inevitably I would end up drinking way too much and not remembering the end of the party. I wouldn’t care about anything else but the wine and refilling my glass again and again. If we got home before the end of the day, I would either have to continue drinking into the evening or go to bed whatever the time as that was the only way to stop the desire for another drink.
An evening social session would definitely begin with a few warm up wines, one in the bath, another with make-up. I think if I could have gotten away with one in the cab, I’d have done that too, anything to avoid stopping once I’d started! Again, once underway, I would forget all other rules that I had chatted to myself about. I would shove my sensible self to one side and ignore my own advice to take it easy. Wine, wine and more wine, I couldn’t turn it down and once it was flowing I didn’t have a care in the world. Nothing else mattered, sweet abandonment, longed for escapism, liquid courage, I loved it and I thought it loved me. I never wanted it to end. More often than not, I wouldn’t be in control of how it would end. There are so many mornings that I woke up in my bed with absolutely no idea how I got there. I count myself lucky that I am usually in the company of such sensible, caring friends that they always poured me into a cab or got me a lift home. Good job no one was ever as drunk as me! There are evenings that I still have black outs from because I was just too embarrassed to ask (again!) what had happened.
So, we ate, some people drank, one guy drank a lot. The food was nice. I had a good time chatting and about an hour after I’d had enough (I need to work on that!) we left. I drove (yippee, love that) had some tea and watched a movie at home before going to bed sober and happy that I’d enjoyed it and hadn’t felt weird or flat about it at all.
The rest of my holiday involves spending time with family members that I don’t see that often and I am getting a bit stressed about it. I have been trying to avoid doing too much that stresses me but after a couple of months it’s not possible to keep avoiding family. I didn’t know I was stressed about it but I had a headache for a couple of days and after a row with my husband over nothing really, I had a mini meltdown about it. I am really struggling with coming out of my shell…I don’t even know that I am struggling, but the headaches seem to indicate when I am not quite right. Shouting, crying, then talking seems to help. Thank God for my husband, who bears the brunt of my stressing and supportively listens to my ramblings. Once we’ve talked, I always feel better, I just don’t seem to have the ability to see it coming?
I thought that when I took the booze away, I would simply have to find the strength to fight the cravings. I didn’t realise quite how gentle I would have to be with myself. I was comfortable in the drinking and all about me phase, when the end result was my pain and self loathing. But putting myself first, doesn’t come easily to this girl who is more partial to a lot of mind numbing and self battering. Luckily, I have my lovely husband, this blog and all of you to remind me that it’s ok to frustrated even when it’s not about wine directly. Ups and downs, nothing worth drinking over, especially not when you’ve got eighty friggin’ days!!