I have just realised, oh my gosh, it's the 28th March 2014, exactly one year since I last drank alcohol.
Imagine nearly forgetting after the countdown I've had over the last 2 months! In some ways I'm pleased about that, it shows alcohol is no longer at the forefront of my mind and while I enjoy my sober life very much, it does not define me. Rather it is one of hopefully many positive attributes I have.
The anti-climax feeling comes from relief that I managed to come this far and stay here and also that I will never have to endure the 48 hour hangover from hell that blighted my life this time last year.
So this weekend I will be baking a cake and eating it with my lovely new forks and remembering how bad I felt this time last year……..
March 2013. One Year Ago.
This is an excerpt from Sober is the New Black
In March three things happened that finally brought things to a head. Firstly, a night out for a celebratory dinner with a group of colleagues. I became overly drunk and made a complete fool of myself. I felt so stupid the next day and cringe even now to remember it such that I cannot bear to write it down. Secondly we had arranged to have some good friends around for dinner towards the end of the month, just before our two week break. It was a Friday public holiday and I was really looking forward to their company and the free flow of wine we always shared. I felt the holiday really began for me a day early, on Thursday night. When I finished work, I relaxed with some wine at home. I had more and more, much more than I intended. Too much in fact, even though it was the holidays. My hangover the next day was the worst imaginable and completely ruined my usual enjoyment of preparing for guests. I just wanted to curl up on the sofa, cancel them, and have everyone leave me alone.
When they first arrived around mid afternoon I could not yet face a glass of wine. Only after a couple of hours and a few salty snacks did I tentatively start on the wine, cautiously at first before quickly gaining momentum. And again, once started I could not stop. I was not enjoying it. I felt as if I was poisoning myself. This had happened more than once lately and I now bought more and more expensive wine, thinking I would enjoy it better, it being of a higher quality. Truth be told I was past any enjoyment. I was stuck in a drinking loop of self destructive necessity and I was powerless to extricate myself.
Subsequently I suffered a cumulative hangover that had built up over the preceding 48 hour period. I accepted then that I was failing at any form of moderation and that I needed to stop drinking completely. Things had changed from my vowing never to drink again to knowing that I could not and should not, ever drink. This time, failure was not an option. The consequences were too terrifying. Complete abstinence was the only way out of this situation. I’d tried and failed at everything else and was fed up with it. I was fed up opening wine almost against my will thinking, ‘Here we go again’. I was fed up being unable to do what I wanted. I was fed up making the same mistakes. How could it be so difficult not to do something? Why not just, not do it?
And eventually I did. That day of socialising was, unbeknown to me at the time, the last time I would drink alcohol. I was reluctantly pushed into immediate sobriety by advocates of 'no time like the present' and 'really, will it be any easier in two weeks time?' My mindset gradually changed in the following year leaving me today, convinced it was the best thing I ever did.