Tag Archives: depression

Day 100!

100candle

Crikey. Wowsers. Amazeballs. It has been 100 days since I last had a drink and that feels like a long time and a short time, all at the same time (if that makes any sense).

The first few weeks went so slowly, time seemed to be going backwards. But somewhere around Day 30 things just started to speed up a bit. My sober car moved up a gear. My cravings became a lot easier to manage; they came and went pretty quickly. I was on a high from all the amazing things you notice when you stop drinking: the improved sleep, the weight loss, the sudden ability to Get Shit Done. The money saved. The improved mood. The freedom from all the guilt.

A bit later, maybe around the Day 40 or 50 mark, I started to realise that I didn’t really miss alcohol itself. I didn’t miss the ‘pleasure’ that alcohol supposedly provided — that buzz. No. What I really missed was the escapism and the ability booze gave me to avoid life. The tricky thing about being sober is that you have to deal with everything that’s thrown at you. There’s no running away. You can’t block out or squash down uncomfortable emotions with a bucket of wine. Instead you actually have to deal with stuff.

And this – I realised – this is what is called ‘life’. This is what proper grown ups do.

I am still finding my feet. Alcohol was my comfort blanket, my way of dealing with everything. I’ve had to learn how to survive nights out, sober. Networking, sober. Dealing with stress, sober. Heck, even dealing with success and achievements whilst sober is a bit weird – because that was always a good excuse to drink, right? I’ve been on a couple of first dates recently where I missed alcohol. I didn’t really want a drink but I still couldn’t help feeling that it would be handy to drink. Alcohol helps people bond. It is a social lubricant. I am still jealous of people who can enjoy a few drinks, get tipsy, then put the glass down.

I’ve had to learn what I do and don’t like. Once you take the booze away, a lot of things that seemed fun – clubbing for example – don’t interest me anymore. Looking back I think I only liked going clubbing because it was an excuse drink a lot. 

I feel like this post is taking on a bit of a negative tone and I didn’t mean it to. Let me say this very loudly: I really, REALLY love my life at the moment. The other day Carrie wrote on her blog that “if this is as good as it gets then I still choose this”. I loved that because it summed up how I’m feeling so perfectly. In the last 100 days my life has improved so much that the few ‘downsides’ to being sober don’t really matter. I just love being back in control of my life.

The question now is: what next?

Well … I think another 100 days might be in order. Because 200 days has a pretty nice ring to it.

The things drink makes us do…

keep calm2

I was going into my flat yesterday just as my neighbour was coming out. He caught me by surprise. I’ve not heard a sound from next door recently so I actually thought he’d moved out. I didn’t make eye contact. We don’t these days – not since the night I tried to kick his door in.

Yes, that’s right – well brought up, polite, middle class me, tried to kick his door down a few months ago. I think it was in February. I was, you guessed it, drunkety drunk drunk drunk. He’d been playing his music too loud, again. All I could hear was the pounding bass, booming from a speaker I’m sure he deliberately pointed at my wall. 

During January and February I’d knocked on his door countless times to ask him to turn it down (nicely). He always would, begrudgingly, before eventually turning it back up again. Anyway, this one night I’d been drinking, home alone, and I just lost it. I went absolutely nuts. I banged on the wall that separates our two flats and yelled SHUT UP! To which he replied F**K OFF! So I marched myself round to his door and rather than knocking I started kicking it, again and again and again.

I can only imagine what I looked like, in my spotty dressing gown, pink pyjamas and slippers. When he finally opened the door we had a screaming match in the corridor which ended in me yelling “I HATE YOU, YOU’RE RUINING MY LIFE!”. So, just a tad over dramatic there. 

Maybe he was drunk too. Maybe he’s also ashamed of the way he behaved. But he doesn’t play his music loudly anymore. He doesn’t make eye contact with me either.

Although this particular outburst was very out of character for me, it’s fair to say drinking made me more angry, compulsive, reckless. I did lots of stupid things when drunk. Even when I was sober I was irritable and prone to rash decisions. I used to think I was just being ‘honest’ but actually I was just grumpy and negative. My Dad once said to me that he thought I took after his mother, because I always see the glass half empty. That hurt, particularly as he was right. 

I’m not saying that I’ve come over all zen like and calm since I stopped drinking. Not at all. But I am much better at controlling anger and stepping back. I still bash out angry emails to people when I’m annoyed. I just don’t send them. I wait until the next day, when I’ve calmed down. In general, I feel much more positive about life. Drinking made me feel so depressed the day after. Taking away those dark, hung over days has made a huge difference to my overall mood. Will I ever become a glass half full person? I hope so…