Sushi, ice cream and staying up all night

I finished a run of night shifts this morning. I hate working nights but it’s a big part of my job at the moment. I work nights every other week and have been doing so for a couple of years.

In the past, night shifts have been one of the few times you could guarantee I’d be stone cold sober. Staying awake all night is hard enough without adding a hangover into the mix. So no matter what happened, I wouldn’t drink until the last night shift was over.

Of course, the end of that shift could never come soon enough. When 9.00 am finally rolled round I’d go straight home and open the bottle of wine waiting for me in the fridge. I’d stand in the kitchen gulping back my first glass, barely tasting it. Then a second and a third. Then on to something else. I’d have lots of snacks prepared, to soak up some of the alcohol without taking the buzz off.

When you’re trying to get out of night shift mode, the trick is to get just a few hours sleep and then force yourself to stay awake so you can go to bed at a normal time in the evening. It’s not nice – you inevitably feel tired and groggy. I used to think that drinking during this transition period was a good use of my time. Can you believe that?! A ‘good’ use of my time.

My thinking went like this: I’ll have to get shit faced at some point soon, I can feel the need to do that building. I’m so tired that today is going to be a write-off anyway. If I start now I can drink as much as I like and it doesn’t matter if I pass out. When I come round later I’ll have had a bit of sleep and will be sobering up. I could have a takeaway for dinner and then go to bed. By the morning I won’t even have a hangover!

Logical thinking huh? More often than not, I’d resurface mid afternoon and the monster inside my head would still not be satisfied. So I’d end up going to the shop round the corner, drinking all evening and waking up with a hangover the next day, which ruined my day off.

So … this morning I thought I might struggle. Perhaps this was going to be a trigger? But actually, I totally kicked ass. I came home, had a huge breakfast and went to bed for three hours. Got up when my alarm went off and made myself get out of bed straight away. I went into town and ran a load of errands. Stopped by the gym for a yoga class. Bought takeaway sushi on the way home. Watched TV in my pyjamas. Wrote this blog whilst eating ice cream. Life is good.


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12 thoughts on “Sushi, ice cream and staying up all night

  1. Mrs D May 1, 2013 at 2:32 am Reply

    YEAH!!!!!!!! You nail it sister. Fantastic. I used to do ridiculous private deals with myself too. “I’ll drink lots tonight because it won’t matter if I have a hangover tomorrow as I’m not going to the gym. Then because of that hangover I won’t want to drink much tomorrow night so I’ll be able to go to the gym the next morning because there won’t be a hangover”…. what are we like? Hate that sad image of you gulping wine at the bench after a run of night shifts. LOVE that image of you grabbing sushi in your yoga gear feeling all good and together. LOVE that image of you typing while eating ice cream. Love it all xxx

    • soberjournalist May 1, 2013 at 10:17 am Reply

      I used to do the gym/hangover planning too! In fact sometimes I went to the gym with a hangover, just to prove that I could. It seemed to make sense at the time… Xx

  2. carrythemessage May 1, 2013 at 5:36 am Reply

    Pretty cool beans there. We are great at rationalizing and justifying everything when it came to drinking, yes? so I was sort of chuckling at what you wrote because I could identify with it. I made all sorts of “plans” with booze and they always backfired. Booze always took the lead instead of me and things always got sticky. So I was so happy to hear how you shifted things, and they turned out really well. I too can picture you typing away between spoonfuls of ice cream Yum!


    • soberjournalist May 1, 2013 at 10:26 am Reply

      Yes it seems obvious now that if you’re drinking wine by the litre, any so called ‘plan’, that was dreamt up whilst sober isn’t going to last very long!

  3. christinawoods May 1, 2013 at 10:30 am Reply

    Gooooooo soberjournalist! Loved your post:-) Soooo relate! Any excuses were good to take. Keep it up!

  4. carrieonsober May 1, 2013 at 5:03 pm Reply

    Well done for jumping right in there with a new routine. Sounds much more fun anyway…how did we ever think we were having a good time? It’s nuts when you think about it!
    C. X

  5. Mrs D May 1, 2013 at 9:14 pm Reply

    Oh gawd rolling my sick guts over a swiss ball looking around wondering if any of the other women in the class were also closet boozers…..

  6. Drunky Drunk Girl May 2, 2013 at 2:22 am Reply

    I used to work out pre-emptively! Like, if I knew I’d be drinking two bottles that night (um, like I wasn’t going to, like every other night?), I’d try to burn off at least half those calories before drinking! Sooo lame, as, isn’t working out supposed to be cleansing…and then I go and add two bottles of booze on top of it?

    Anyhoo, GREAT work! You’re doing so well getting into a new groove. YES! Sober unicorn parade time! 🙂

    • soberjournalist May 2, 2013 at 7:48 am Reply

      I was obsessed with the calories in alcohol. Drinking made me put on weight really easily and I’m sure I’d have drunk even more, if it wasn’t for the fact that I’m quite vain!! x

      • Drunky Drunk Girl May 2, 2013 at 3:18 pm

        I gained weight when I quit! In fact, the “wine gut” I thought I had? I have it more now than ever. Drinking wine messed with my stomach and/or allowed me to skip meals more–so, I was probably an easy 10 pounds thinner. Oh, well, I’m working it off now and realizing that it’s much better to carry a few extra pounds than have crippling hangovers all the time WHILE I’m on the treadmill…

  7. Debbie May 2, 2013 at 5:31 pm Reply

    Great post! And great job!!

  8. sobermagpie October 5, 2013 at 8:06 pm Reply

    Fantastic post….ah yes planning the hangover day….i know it well. Planning meals and eating them is important. I find it’s better to go to the supermarket in the morning is best when my resolve is stronger…later in the day it was too difficult to pas the wine aisle, and the what the hell’s would come to play. Well done!

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