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Holidays without wine

We are on the countdown to holidays! This year we are travelling near a famous wine producing region . I made it my business to know a whole lot about wine which was probably just another way of covering up my all too consuming passion for the stuff. .
Anyhow, I am not too bothered about all that anymore and am focusing on booking nicer hotels, using the additional daily budget we will have due to not having a wine with lunch and a bottle with dinner every evening, at hiked up restaurant prices. That shit buys you another star at a hotel! I have had quite a bit of sober dining out recently and every time the bill comes I can’t believe how cheap it is. Sober really is the gift that keeps on giving…

 I’ve been thinking about a trip we took to this same part of the world, many years ago…

I don’t remember being addicted to wine then. In fact, I think it was something I hadn’t even an interest in yet. I was a few beers kind of girl in those days. Sure, I didn’t have the off-switch that normal people have but I don’t remember having the pull towards drinking that I have known in recent years. If beer happened to be on the agenda, then I would happily flick my switch to “drinking” and it wouldn’t go off until someone (never me) decided to call time. I don’t remember being a slave to alcohol back then, I could have a good night out with lots of drinking, then not think about it at all until the next time it was socially appropriate, imagine that?!

 Exactly when or why it changes into an addictive obsession I have not managed to figure out. I haven’t been able to pinpoint the exact time that I crossed over the line. For years I have wrestled with the idea that if I could just go back to being like this then I wouldn’t have to give it up completely…forever. Surely if I did it before, I can do it again.

But moderation is no longer an option once alcohol becomes like a forbidden fruit and accepting I will always drink like time is running out, has been key for me. There is no logic, it just is what it is.

The thought of giving up forever was what kept me locked in a self imposed alcohol prison. I was unable to see what forever actually delivers to you when you switch off the voice of the disease that tells you that you can’t live without it. For me, it’s meant freedom, peace and ok, I can’t drink anymore but it’s worth it. Sure, I crave a boozy beverage every now and then, like a regular person does I suppose, but I pay a different price for drinking than normal people do, so I abstain. 

The holiday will be great despite the lack of booze, or in spite of it, which is how I prefer to think about it now. No hungover, sluggish, grumpy moods. No expensive mini bar charges and I am sure the kids will appreciate not being dragged round the local vineyards for wine tastings etc…can you imagine what a field day I’d have been having there!

If you’d told me six months ago that I would be ok, no, actually looking forward to my holidays without trying to accommodate my drinking habit, I’d have thought it impossible. But it is and I am!

14 thoughts on “Holidays without wine

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it written better, “I pay a different price for drinking than normal people do, so I abstain.” I’m only a few days in on my journey to sobriety… it’s hard to even read about alcohol today. I will keep this sentence in the back of my head for the day.

  2. Wow, I relate to all of this! The money saved, that’s one huge reason I keep on with being sober. The price is just SO not worth it; I don’t think I could handle, actually, another deathly hangover, I just don’t. Sometimes I think about when I crossed that line, too; I don’t know either… xx

    • We don’t write enough about how fucking amazing a life without hangovers is!!!
      I don’t think I could take another one either…what a depressing thought. Please don’t let me ever go there again.

      • Ugh. I mean, I literally don’t know how my body would react if I drank, even a little, again! When I fell off the wagon in March, going on almost 6 months (that was my one slip: one night, two or so bottles)–OMFG, I was hung over for like, 3 or 4 days. No joke. It was horrible. Which is why I just have to take a deep breath, see the wolf voice for what it is, and carry on. You, too. xxx

  3. You fucking rock, you know that?

    I can relate to all of this too, except for me when I look back 15 years I pretty much *always* had that lack of an off-switch and addictive pull. It’s just that it got steadily worse, and the consequences got worse, over the years until it became too hard to ignore.

    Reading this made me think too that for us accepting that *forever* is probably the key to true freedom.

    In recent times drinking has turned out to create the worst holiday memories for me and not drinking has made things sooooo much nicer. Freeer, easier, cheaper, more relaxing. Just – better. You will have a FABULOUS time. xx

  4. Also, here, have some wise words a wonderful sober friend told me when I needed advice about an upcoming sober holiday… 🙂

    Carrie said…

    “I did two foreign holidays last year when I was sober and it was fine. For me it was like, how am I going to refuse all that free booze on the plane and what about the all inclusive? How is it free if it makes me feel like shit as I always land in my destination with hangover already brewing as I have not been able to refuse the free champagne and wine! So much for recharging…more like refilling my glass was the only thing on my holiday agenda.

    As long as you don’t allow the fact that it might not be fine to build itself up in your head into an excuse to drink as it’s just to hard. Know that it can be fine and it will. I knew that I wouldn’t drink when I went away it just wasn’t an option I gave myself. Just don’t let even the slightest bit of doubt in that you can’t do this. Cause that fucking wolf will be in your ear with a loud speaker if you even begin to let on that a holiday might be an excuse to drink and then start over again. It would be just the same after the holiday. Except you would have to start again and there are always going to be holidays and weddings and excuses to drink “just one more time” What is the fucking point, we only land back where we started if we do that. We are slowing escaping from the prison that alcohol was for us. Drinking alcoholically like we do is NEVER going to feel any different or get better. But this, escaping, slowing becoming free, this will grow, and improve and get easier the longer we stick with it. I am excited about THAT. Really, how could going back to drinking ever excite me. It’s just a dead end..

    So, have a fab holiday, with plenty of highs and it won’t be perfect (booze wouldn’t make it perfect) but you will get back and we will all be here waiting to hear about the highs and the lows and we will be so proud of you for facing it, sober.”

  5. Hope that wasn’t too weird. This is what I posted on my blog awhile back from you when I was putting together my own holiday inspiration files to stay sober. It just seemed appropriate. I know you are not going to drink but I thought it couldn’t help to remind you of your own words about how drinking on holidays actually kind of sucked for you in a lot of ways. I don’t know about you but my memory when it comes to these things can be allllll too short.

    Oh, on a side note, I want to know what lovely exotic cordials you have in that wine fridge? I’ve gotten into (good quality) elderflower and I made some raspberry-rose-lime recently too. I think I might stock up on some more of these amazing Belvoir cordials which actually come from the UK so are stupidly expensive here. Soooo good though. http://www.belvoirfruitfarms.co.uk

    • No, not at all! I will always appreciate advice and reminders all the way, they got me this far, can’t do this alone. You are right we don’t know when we might wobble, you will get a text if I do!
      LOVE Belvoir, we have also Bottlegreen do you have those? You will just have to get yourself a work gig in London!!!

  6. I have also done a lot of thinking about when and why it changes into an addictive obsession. I’m not sure when exactly but for a very long time, before I even worried a tiny bit about my drinking, I had this sense of always wanting MORE! I was greedy. I really like what you’ve written here about paying a different price for drinking than normal people do, I think that sums it up so well. Enjoy your holiday and have a fabulous time, you deserve it! Xx

  7. Great post! I have realized that I don’t like drinking in moderation anymore, even if I could. I drink to get drunk! So…it is definitely better to accept the fact that I can’t do it at all. I like the way you put this- that it doesn’t make sense- it just is what it is. Like a gluten intolerance (but way more serious). Peace.

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