Ok. So I haven’t been ‘sober’.
But, I haven’t been drunk in a year.
Is that a huge achievement? No, not really. Not in the grand scheme of things. Not considering people scale mountains and sit in baths full of baked beans (do they still do that?) for charity. I haven’t abstained from being sozzled for any particular reason. I suppose the decision is somewhat subconscious, as yes, the last time I was drunk the hangover was diabolical. But I am not doing it for charity, or to test myself or my willpower. Let me set the scene for you.
It was the Royal wedding. Meghan and Harry were being serenaded by that incredible choir singing ‘Stand By Me’ (now massively overplayed, sorry but its true!). The sun was out and the country was buzzing with happiness and glee. To top it all, my best friend was visiting for the night. She had made the pilgrimage from Manchester and I don’t get to see her anywhere near as much as I’d like to. As much as I deserve to. As much as I should do.
So with the overwhelming need to seize the day washing over me, we ordered some prosecco to accompany lunch. Then we got back to mine and more wine was opened and consumed. It was also enjoyed, I must add. I definitely drink out of habit when I’m with friends, particularly this friend, but some of my best memories with her have revolved around drinking/being drunk/falling over in the street dropping chips and only being worried about the lack of chips, not the lack of skin on our shins. So alcohol is always present when we are together.
As the sun set, so did my sensible judgement. That is something I’ve heard people mention in passing before. Things like ‘when the sun sets the speed limits don’t apply on the roads’. It’s as if the moon is the devil on our shoulders and the sun, the angel.
Once the wine was gone, we moved into dangerous territory.
Then gin pong happened. Now, at this point in the story I would like to share my opinion on this very quickly. The reason the game is beer pong, is beer is relatively weak on the alcohol percentage scale, so you can down it without problem. Gin on the other hand is a cruel vixen who makes you see double and have an incredibly dry mouth and should NEVER be used in a drinking game. Ever.
Okay, anyway the gin pong happened. The next day I was inevitably hungover. I couldn’t eat, I was sweating, I was dizzy. All the usual symptoms. The thing with gin hangovers? They make you rather emotional. I was crying at everything. Anything. I popped out for some fresh air and stopped and saw a long line of ants cross in front of me.
“They’re soo cute!” I exclaimed.
I swear I heard Paul’s eyes roll. “You’re still drunk!” he laughed.
I wasn’t drunk. I was on a gin comedown. Next thing I was weeping at how tiny and organised the ants were.
“Just imagine how big we are to them! What must they think?”
“They don’t think!!” he said as he ushered me back into the house, his arm acting as a Shepherds hook.
After a whole day blobbing around being bloated and miserable (apart from the brief flash of happiness the ants brought me), eating and drinking very miniscule amounts the headache passed and I felt relatively normal again.
Then at 10pm just as I was getting into bed I vomited.
I vomited reeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaal good.
I had an epiphany shortly after. When I was frantically brushing my teeth my boyfriend said to me: “You shouldn’t brush your teeth when you’re sick, it ruins the enamel.”
He’s a grown up.
He’s got his shit together.
He knew that ants didn’t have thoughts.
He knew not to really join in that much with the gin pong.
I’m too old for this. I’m so over this.
So since then, I’ve had no more than 3 alcoholic drinks in one sitting. Sometimes they have been 3 small drinks, sometimes 3 large wines, which is almost a whole bottle.
But I was never drunk. Never really hungover, just a bit tired.
The year has flown by.
What has the year thrown at me? Well, there was the summer, then my birthday, then a holiday to France, a holiday to Budapest, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, new neighbours, a second Royal wedding, stresses at work. Lots of occasions when I would have normally got drunk.
I could never declare I’M NEVER DRINKING AGAIN and mean it.
Some occasions simply require alcohol.
Flights, if someone offers you Champagne (as in proper Champagne) toasting love, commiserating loss. Alcohol is a necessity in some situations.
The challenges I’ve got to face this year? Two weddings, a holiday to New York and my big old fat 30th birthday.
I can’t promise myself I wont have a gin or 3. But right now, the desire to just isn’t there.
I’m getting old guys! And I’m loving it!
Lets just hope when I do drink, I don’t see any ants.