“Use, do not abuse… neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy.” -Voltaire

* I am just heading out to work & threw this together quickly in half an hour so excuse the briefness*

I’ve been meaning to write a new post for ages, but I just haven’t been able to gather my thoughts for the last month or so. I’ve had a load of topics I wanted to write about and somehow ended up doing none because I just couldn’t decide.  Life has been pretty crazy and a lot has changed. In a good way. In a really good way.

I’ve made some conscious changes to my life. If you’ve read my blog before you’ll know I’ve mentioned depression in some of my previous posts… It is something that I imagine most people are affected by at some point in their lives and for some it is something that will never go away, but you CAN find ways to cope with it. Ultimately these things make you stronger, and they contribute to life’s unsure nature.

Things are good, things are GREAT, and I can see (& others close to me have commented) that there has been an incline in my mood and general well-being from where I was at just  a month, two months, six months ago, a year ago.

One of the most powerful things that I have done recently is to stop drinking alcohol.

I think it is easy to fall into the accepted social behaviours of our peers and society and there is no doubt in my mind that excessive drinking is not only advocated, but encouraged.

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I am talking as someone who loves a party, I love to socialise, it is my favourite thing, but this always ends up in a good ol’ booze sesh. I think I realised that I was becoming comfortable with using alcohol as a crutch for coping, and scarily I began to believe that I needed to be slightly under the influence to enjoy myself and be interesting and seen as fun by others. You know, that way you think ‘Oh god, tough day, I NEED a wine.’ Thoughts and words are powerful things. You don’t need it, you want it. It’s best to keep it that way.

A year ago I couldn’t have dreamt that I would ever stop drinking, because well why would I? I wasn’t an alcoholic, I didn’t have a drink problem, I was just doing what everyone else was.

But it was negatively affecting my life.

The main things that I really despised about it was my lack of self respect for what I was doing to my body, maybe being a bit wild and then that sense of remorse in my stomach the next day even when there was nothing really out of hand that had happened the previous night. A deep sense of unnecessary guilt, it’s called  the booze blues, right?

The hangovers themselves, feeling dehydrated to the point no amount of tea could ever quench.  Feeling tired and uninspired at work, and layering makeup on my face to cover up the exhausted, dry skin crackling below.

It’s been nearly a month now, and my outlook on drinking alcohol has completely shifted.

I have still been going out as much as I used to: I am still, as much, if not more, fun to be around, my self esteem is much higher, I feel more balanced emotionally, more motivated and ambitious, I have saved loads of money (hello new tattoo), it has helped lift my depression, I have more faith in myself and I have a clearer understanding of WHO I REALLY AM.

The fog’s cleared.

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The strangest thing that I have noticed is how it seems to distress other people around me. Everyone wants you to drink, it’s thought of as really strange and I have experienced a lot of pressure from people around me who feel that I must be missing out on something. I gotta admit, I genuinely used to feel this way about people who weren’t drinking when I was too. It’s almost a bit edgy, like you are a sober spy on the occasion.

I have learnt that I am naturally very hyperactive, in fact I feel almost a bit over the top these days, and definitely not short in confidence. One thing alcohol definitely did for me was to make me doubt myself. To question who I was, what I did, whether I was really a nice person or not. I was never a nasty or sad person whilst drinking, but there was a bitter sweetness to it. I definitely made my fair share of bad decisions.

I’m not saying that I am never going to drink again, I’m sure I will, but this time out has really helped me to take a step back and re-evaluate what I want from life. My dream job is to be self employed and at the end of the day, if you are hungover and there’s no boss to tell you off for being late or tired or shit at your job then it really is down to you to provide the motivation for yourself.

In that sense, I feel like I am definitely moving in the right direction towards the life I want and deserve.

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2 thoughts on ““Use, do not abuse… neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy.” -Voltaire

  1. Gaynor Bonzo McAtear says:

    Oh dear. I literally watsapped you last night saying I NEED this wine hahahaha.

    I know exactly how you feel. When I done sober October last year I realised I was a binge drinker. It changed everything.
    Don’t get me wrong I still go out and get hammered sometimes but I know my limits now.

    I remember moaning on Facebook that I was bored and was hating Sober October and a girl commented that “Being Sober for a month shouldn’t be THAT hard” (fuck you Mrs Perfect haha) I realised I was angry with her BECAUSE SHE WAS RIGHT! Buuuuuut! Alcohol is EVERYWHERE.
    Wedding? LET’S DRINK.
    Birthdays, Dates …basically any kind of social situation LET’S DRINK. We are surrounded by the stuff and you are so right….it is encouraged and expected. Its basically the norm.

    If you feel like keeping going with it for a while we can have a mocktail night where we drink mocktails and mock people. Mostly drunk people doing stupid shit on Youtube 🙂

    I loved how you said about the sober spy thing hahaha that is exactly how I felt!!

    Like

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