So I have now attended both a hen-party and a university reunion in the month since I made the decision to become tee-total.
Both have been great get togethers with lots of lovely catch ups to be had; the wonderful thing being that I remember all of each of the events,I have woken up the next morning feeling fresh, I have had all bank cards,door keys and mobile phones on my person the next day and I can confidently acknowledge that I gave a socially acceptable account of myself…within the generous parameters of what I consider to be Ok..:)
Although I have only ever really been one some might call a ‘social binge-drinker’ the decision to become tee-total was an easy one and one that I should have made many years ago.
When I was a teenager and at university I drank alcohol to increase my confidence,appear to be the life and soul of the party and to fit in,however it never quite ended that way, and if I’m totally honest with myself, that’s probably part of the reason I drank alcohol up until about 4weeks ago…
Weekends filled with headaches,junk foods,memory loss and nausea will not be missed and I now really wish that I’d realised earlier that if there are any cracks in your publicly portrayed armour,drinking alcohol,particularly to excess, is not going to repair those chinks in the metal..
Don’t get me wrong without alcohol I still thoroughly enjoy dancing,laughing and being silly with my friends..however they know I love and value them already and they don’t need me to drunkenly boast my affection for them, nor do they need me to assume t
he role of weekend millionaire to buy their approval ( I have done both of these things on numerous occasions in the past-how cringe).
More recently I had found myself having a glass of wine or two to dilute stress in the evenings, however the principle behind why I was doing this was ultimately the same as before…a distraction technique to suppress the stress I was feeling,without actually implementing any useful strategies to improve coping mechanisms moving forward, and more often having no useful impact on my thoughts process or actions after said glass/bottle of wine.
4 weeks on from becoming tee-total and I can genuinely say I feel happier and more confident in myself,happy that I made the decision and put it out there to the world and confident that it is a lifestyle choice that I will comfortably maintain.
Removing alcohol from the equation of my life has exposed that I do need to develop productive and robust coping techniques to support me in stressful, new and challenging times,however in the absence of alcohol clouding my decision making, i’m sure these will come to me as and when they are supposed to.
That said,I do totally appreciate that everyone drinks alcohol for different reasons personal and individual to themselves, so my experiences, beliefs and preferences will certainly not apply to all.. I do however believe that happiness should come from within ourselves and not from external stimulus..and for me part of the foundation for developing this,is not drinking alcohol.