A Wimbledon win

For two weeks every summer the UK goes a bit tennis mad as Wimbledon rolls round. I love it; the over-priced strawberries, the tennis whites, the drama on court. Every year fans believe there will be a British winner…


… And this year they were right! Yesterday Andy Murray won his first Wimbledon title in a dramatic victory over the world number one Novak Djokovic. It’s been 77 years since Britain had a men’s champion and no one can quite believe the wait is over.

I love this man

I love this man

Yesterday’s celebrations got me thinking about this time last year, when the outcome was very different, in more ways than one. Not only did a tearful Andy Murray lose to Roger Federer in the final, but I watched the entire match whilst battling one of the worst hangovers of my life. Seriously, one of the worst ever. In fact, on days when I question my alcoholism I try to remind myself of that miserable Sunday last July…

It all started on the Thursday before the final. I was nearing the end of a long week at work and decided to have a few glasses of wine when I got home. Just ‘a few glasses’. I went to the supermarket and on a whim I decided to buy more wine than usual. Perhaps it was on offer – I can’t remember. I never usually kept spare alcohol in the flat. I vowed to put the second bottle of wine in the cupboard and leave it there.

Somewhat predictably I ended up opening the second bottle and I went to work very hungover on Friday. By the time I finally left the office that day I was pretty convinced I deserved a drink. I’d earnt it. So I bought more wine, drank it all and passed out on the sofa.

When I eventually resurfaced on Saturday morning, I felt really depressed. I’d noticed before that I felt a bit down after drinking but this time was exceptionally bad. After moping around the flat, I decided to cheer myself up by shopping for a cheesy rom-com and some nice food. I was in the DVD store, trying to work out if there was anything I hadn’t seen, when it struck me that the easiest way to get over my hangover would be to buy more wine. (There’s a bit of logical thinking for you) I usually tried not to drink two days in a row, never mind three, but I figured that if I just had a tiny bit of wine I could take the edge off my hangover without feeling rough the next day.

Well surprise, surprise, it didn’t work out like that. In an attempt to control my drinking I’d bought two miniature bottles of wine – the kind you get on trains. I guzzled them and wasn’t drunk at all. Yet I suddenly wanted to be drunk again, very badly. The booze monster inside me was awake. I ended up going to the nearby corner shop to get yet more wine, and beer, which I drank into the early hours…

*    *    *

And that is how I ended up watching last year’s Wimbledon final with one of the worst hangovers of my life. I left the flat once that Sunday, to buy a pizza, and I remember wondering whether I smelt of booze because I could taste it in my mouth. I was grey and clammy and felt out of breath. I hated myself. When Andy Murray gave an emotional loser’s speech (he’s normally a man of few words) I cried my eyes out. But my tears weren’t really for him. I was crying for myself, crying over my sad, pathetic life. 

Like I said, a lot has changed since then (thank god!). Part of me thinks that Murray winning this year – the year I stopped drinking – is some sort of sign. At the very least, it must be a good omen? The more sensible part of me knows it is just a coincidence. You make your own luck in life. Murray worked hard to become a better player, just as I have worked hard to stop drinking (and I continue to work on how to stay stopped).   

But still … if Murray could just win again next year that’d be really great …

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10 thoughts on “A Wimbledon win

  1. jamilynaz July 9, 2013 at 1:34 am Reply

    Thank you so much for this post. I try really hard to not to live in the past, but one exception I make is remembering my last drunks. When I look back at the crazy, dangerous, out of control things I did while drinking, it really helps when the cravings come. And the hangovers!!! Oh my gosh, I can’t believe how awful the hangovers were! And yet, so many times, my solution, like yours, was to drink more! Just crazy. I am so grateful that I don’t have to live like that anymore. 🙂

    Thank you so much for the reminder.

  2. Lilly July 9, 2013 at 5:12 am Reply

    Oh god, I can so relate. And this is why it’s so great to come here and read other people’s stories because I totally hear myself in all that – can totally see myself doing the same thing. Have DONE the same thing with minor variations. And it helps remind me too that, yeah, it actually was a problem despite the friends who don’t understand why I’m not drinking or the lack of a clear bottom. Oh those hideous hangovers… shudder… sure haven’t been missing those. Yeah, I think it was the multiple-days-of-bingeing hangovers that were truly the most wretched. There’s some sort of cumulative poisoning effect for sure. So, how great was this year in contrast then? 🙂 And your last line made me laugh. Doesn’t matter if he can do it again next year – YOU can. xx

  3. Mrs D July 9, 2013 at 9:59 pm Reply

    I’ll just quietly say this.. IT IS SO FUCKING GREAT THAT YOU ARE SOBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. John July 13, 2013 at 5:51 pm Reply

    I am just after stumbling onto this blog and omg, how glad I am. Reading through the different threads whilst on my lunch break and just thinking to myself, how much I am reminded of myself. Great blogs, I’m really struggling ATM.

    • soberjournalist July 13, 2013 at 6:21 pm Reply

      Hi John, hope you’re ok. If you’re worried you’re going to drink get to a meeting, phone a friend or go to the gym (I find this helps). I try and remember that whatever it is that’s making you crave a drink won’t go away when you have one; you’re just delaying sorting the problem out. How long have you been sober for? It gets much, much easier as the weeks go by, promise!

  5. John July 13, 2013 at 11:34 pm Reply

    Thank you for your kind words, I have my quit date coming up on this Monday coming. I am really apprehensive and anxious but just reading everything on this sight is really preparing me for a “hopefully” sober existence. I am 36 and just can’t keep going the way I am. I am mostly a secret drinker, not in a relationship and mostly drink alone at home. I don’t have many friends near by and am due to move to another part of the country soon where I won’t know anyone. That alone worries me especially when times alone will be when the temptation will be at it’s hardest. My parents and loved ones are in Ireland and I miss them. They know there is an issue and I know I can lift the phone but I dont want them to worry.

    Thank you again and I’m glad I played about on my phone today on my lunch break as I came across this sight and realise, I’m not alone and help and support is out there.


    • soberjournalist July 13, 2013 at 11:46 pm Reply

      I was a single, secret drinker so i can relate to a lot of what you’re going through. The main thing I want to say is: just do it! My life has changed so much in the past few months. I feel like a new and improved version of myself. Can I make two suggestions. Firstly, read Jason Vale’s book Kick The Drink, because it will help. Secondly try and aim for a 100 days sober, if you can. Belle at Tired of thinking about drinking came up with the idea of the 100 day challenge and it really helped me.
      Good luck! Let me know how you get on x

  6. John July 14, 2013 at 12:46 am Reply

    I will do and thank you. x

  7. soberorbust July 16, 2013 at 5:11 am Reply

    Reading your post brought me back to my last drunk. It was painful reading but I also know I must not forget that wretched place.

    I can so relate, the long week ill have a drink, of course drank a ton, wickedly hungover the next day. repeat repeat repeat. I don’t know when it happened but it did. It was like I was trying to climb back up a SAND hill. of course I couldn’t.

    thank god I am sober today. I seriously thought I was going insane with the obsession to drink and f… the world attitude.

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