11am -Whiskey on the rocks to settle the overwhelming anxiety & panic attacks, 12 pm Bubbles with lunch to celebrate, 1pm White wine offered by Mother in Law (doesn’t she remember I don’t like white wine?) 2pm Whiskey during the suffocation of lockdown, 3pm Red wine to numb the unbearable grief, 4pm Drink at the BBQ because you feel you should, 5pm Wine to liven the monotony of kids dinner, bath and tantrums, 6pm another drink because your husband still ist’ home & your baby won’t go to sleep. 7pm Shots at the bar to get things started, 8pm Espresso martini because you’re tired but want to stay out, 9pm This should be my last drink for the night as I’ll feel terrible tomorrow. 10pm Another wine that takes disgusting ( probably should drink it cos he (cute guy) bought it for me, 11pm one more drink then I’ll go home . Midnight HAPPY NEW YEAR drink to that . That’s over 12 hours of drinking alcohol over the period of my 38 years of life, all with a justifiable reason to drink.
Im not an alcoholic. A drink for me has been a release and an enjoyment or a ceremony, I would drink to feel happier to get a bit silly and laugh but then I would feel low soon after. There would be a release, that ease of the mind, softening of the body as the liquid floods through my veins but soon followed by agitation .
My relationship with alcohol has changed over my life. My first drink being ‘rocket fuel’ my bestie and I concocted together out of Dads cabinet when we were 14. Second during my part time job at a hair salon (the end of year Xmas party), My parents would allow me to have 1-2 drinks when I was a teenager on a special occasion so it was never a taboo or out of reach topic/thing. It was a healthy relationship and I’ve had a good one with alcohol up until I had my first child.
Firstly theres’ the going out socialising with friends and getting drunk cos it feels so damn good to be out of the house, then waking to a crying little one in the night – still a bit drunk. No sleep which leads to a hideous day ahead of sleep deprivation= agitation, guilt, frustration, anger , anxiety and patience – zero!! And all the loveliness of the actual hangover, would you like some fries with that?!
Then there’s the wine in the evenings while I’m making dinner – it becomes a habit. A yummy one – I love red wine. But really is red wine every day that good for you? The French say oui, The Italians say si, it’s got antioxidants in it, it’s organic. See, there’s all the justifications presenting their famous attributes.
‘You have a grumpy liver Simmy.’ my naturopath had said. But what do you mean I don’t drink that much? It’s the accumulation of the alcohol in our system over time that builds up in the liver and the brain. Effecting the gut and our nervous system. In fact all of the endocrine system, homeostasis and our whole ecology.
Before we got married in 2016 I stopped drinking alcohol for 9 months. (my son was 2.5 yo) I also took supplements, Dandelion & Milk Thistle. I felt bloody amazing. People didn’t really understand why I wasn’t drinking anymore. Usually its just the questions during the first drink of the event , then they’ve had a drink or 2 themselves and don’t notice that you’re not drinking anymore. Maybe she’s pregnant? Some people just want you to have drink with them so ‘they’ don’t feel so bad having a drink.
When my beautiful 17 year old boy passed away (Phoenix my precious black n white cat) my heart and soul were so, so broken, even as I write this blog tears fill my eyes. I have not been able to write about his death on November 2 , 2020. The same year my 2nd baby was born my oldest boy had to leave us. I drank, I drank and I drank more. Straight to the supermarket to buy more. Every day for 3.5 weeks I drank red wine & whiskey. It was the only way I could numb the hurt, the loss, the unbearable pain, I would drink so I couldn’t feel, so I would fall asleep, so I could show a little smile to my children. I couldn’t teach yoga and I tried to push clients out by another week.
Then I made the decision I had and to stop. I tipped the half bottle down the sink . I was feeling hideous. Mentally, physically and especially emotionally. That similar hideous feeling to how I felt in 2015 but worse. Irritable, sad, short tempered, flat. But I got it, I understood why people drank every day to soften the heartache, to blur out the misery of their reality, the stress of life and the frustration with the world. Because it worked. It did, all these things but only for a short amount of time. Then things would get worse.
I went back to having the odd drink a month or so later. While out with friends, celebration of the Americas Cup , wine on holiday. Then I noticed every time I had a drink my stomach got bloated and super sore. I just didn’t feel good after drinking. Even after one small red wine with dinner. Vomiting sometimes. I had some tests done – I have SIBO. ( that’s another blog to come my friends) So on Mothers Day 2021 I decided to give up drinking alcohol. I’ve been out to dinner to celebrate our wedding anniversary , we had sodas. I’ve been out for a group dinner , I had tonic water. Ive been out dancing and socialising at a bar and had hot chips and tonic water and I feel fucking fantastic. I can go out late and still wake up feeling good. Ready and present to show up the best version of myself. Im emotionally more stable. My period comes and goes like a tiny blip. I’m more patient with my children and my anxiety has gone. I no longer feel agitated or angry. I wake up happy and calm every morning.
I love a drink don’t get me wrong and I’ll miss the giggles from the champagne with friends and the red wine by the fire at Mum & Dads but it’s just not good for me.
Me and alcohol are saying goodbye to each other – its like a relationship with a lover who is a bloody good time, providing laughter, good chat, holding you close when you are sad or lonely, the person that fills the void on a lonely night, the sex is great but that same person makes your feel like shit the next day, anxious, who brings you down and you know deep in your heart that that person is not good for you.
When will you break up with them……. Only you can make that decision. No-one else can make that choice for you. Its no-one else’s opinion what you do to your body and how you choose to live your life.
This is just the raw scribblings of mine. All I can say is LISTEN.
Today I am 3 months nil alcohol .