Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Two months in...

It’s now been about two months since The Big PE of 2010. Which also means it’s been the same amount of time since I said goodbye to my alcohol friend.

To be honest it’s not been that hard. Mainly because I’m your classic binge drinker. I could easily go for a few weeks without touching a drop, but when it came to a night out I’d make it my intention to make up for lost time.

Nevertheless the past couple of months have thrown up a few observations:

1. Company is key
A good friend of mine went through a period of a couple of years where she couldn’t drink because it would make her violently ill. I asked her how she coped with going out and being the only sober one and she said that a lot of it depended on who she was with. She was bang on.

If you’re with people who are nice and you get on well with, you won’t even notice that you’re the only one drinking. If you’re out with people who are awful the night will drag....and drag........and.....drag.

2. There is only so much Diet Coke you can drink
Fact. I’ve had to switch to water at some point in the night, or alternate between the two. There’s nothing that makes you feel like more of a pretentious boring twat than ordering a glass of water at the bar, at least when you have a coke you can pretend that there’s vodka in it and nobody is any the wiser but with water you are laid bare. Of course you could always pretend that you are so drunk you’ve had to switch to water.

3. Being trolleyed isn’t attractive
This has been rammed home to me with a sledgehammer. There’s nothing like cold sobriety to juxtapose extreme drunkenness. I’ve seen people, especially girls, be incredibly drunk and had that horrible feeling in the back of your mind where you think “Oh my god is that what I’m like when I’m drunk?....” It’s not a nice feeling. Whereas before I’d wake up with a stinking hangover and secretly feel a little bit cool for being so drunk the night before I now realise that I most definitely wasn’t cool and was probably more likely a loud-mouthed bint who was staggering all over the place and immensely annoying people with my witty repartee. Not a look I particularly want to go back to. If I ever do get to go out and drink again I’ll be taking a lot of care not to be that person.

4. Watch your mouth
Important to remember. You can’t get away with the old “Oh I didn’t know what I was saying I was so drunk last night” line. Other people’s tongues might be loosened once they’ve had a drink and this might encourage you to do the same. Stop. Think. Because in the morning you might regret being quite so honest with your opinion when you can’t hide behind the Long Island Iced Tea excuse.

5. Being sober is not easier on the wallet...
Seriously. I haven’t saved much more money by being sober. Soft drinks are ridiculously expensive and don’t get me started on the bar that wouldn’t give me tap water meaning I instead had to buy an incy wincy bottle of mineral water for nearly £3. Times like that I really wish I was still drinking. Being hammered meant that I could cope a little more with the rape and pillage of my bank account, when you don’t even have a hangover to show for your night out it makes me perversely resent spending the money that little bit more

Also. I’ve found myself caught up in buying rounds. Tricky because you don’t want to be the tightarse in the corner but does mean that you spend more money than you would like to because everyone else is on the wine. This is exacerbated by the fact that you don’t drink your soft drink/water as quickly as others drink their alcohol so you end up missing out on getting your drink back from someone else.

6. ...but might help your waistline
I don’t really know if this is true or not but it could be a contributory factor to my rather (in my opinion) impressive weight loss as of late (22lbs thank you very much. Man I had to fight with myself not to put that in massive capital letters). In WW speak, alcohol can be pretty hefty on the ol’ points side of things, diet coke and water on the other hand, is zero. Could be something in it.


In summary, I think because my relationship with alcohol was kind of very unhealthy in the past, this experience has been, for the most part, a positive one. A re-education if you will.

But still. Sometimes. I’d give my right arm to feel that familiar dull ache behind my eyes on a Sunday morning which means you’ve had a cracker of a night before.


(My INR rating, in case you were interested, (and obviously you are, why wouldn’t you be?) has been frankly all over the shop. We thought we’d cracked it when I had two readings which were between the correct range of 2 and 3 but my smugness was shortlived as it has since spiked up to a stonking 5.4, making me worried my blood was so thin I was going to start bleeding out of my eyes, before dropping to an annoyingly thick 1.6 in the space of a week. I’m back on Monday and fingers crossed it’s gone up a wee bit because I don’t want to have to start injecting Fragmin again and end up with a stomach looking like this again.)


  1. Well done on the weight loss! Most impressive!!!

    Interesting blog, and quite true for the majority for me. I stopped binge drinking a while back for various reasons somewhat relating to completely atrocious and shameful behaviour on a particular incident, in combination with realising that it's actually quite nice to not have hangovers.

    I don't really like fizzy drinks and I can't deal with more than one glass of juice, so I'm mainly water all night. Often I get other people to order a glass with their drink, or I'll offer to order their drink for them, so it doesn't look so odd. And of course, towards the end of the night, it's not so bad due to the "drunk, need water" excuse. So as for sober being easier on the wallet, I'm never in for rounds and basically stick to water which means going out and spending less than a fiver wouldn't be unheard of.

    On the watch your mouth note: also watch what you remind people about. After all, you may be sober and remember every detail they told you, but they might not want to remember that they told you and in some cases won't have a clue that they did. It's interesting the stuff people say when drunk, though...and oh gawd, what they do. Yes, being trollied is not attractive.

    Finally (I'm going kind of hopping across points) company most definitely is key. Part of the reason I drank more before was in order to force myself to spend time with particular people, because I had to and being drunk made it bearable. Now, I have better friends, i.e. people I actually *want* to spend time with, and somehow, it's so much easier to be mostly sober.


  2. I am so impressed with you, well done on the weight loss side, and the big, huge step at going out and not having a drink. We live in a culture of being expected to drink when out. I am bit like you , in the sense that I am an all or nothing type. I do love a drink, but generally, only go out for a couple these days, and mostly don't drink at all during the week. WHen I was younger though, I can guiltily admit to many an occasion when the old demon drink caused me to do or say something I would painfully regret!

    I really hope that you don't have to do those injections again!

    Love to you. Suzie xxx

  3. I'm trying really hard not to drink for a week. It's already difficult and I last had wine on Monday. I think I'll probably have slipped up by the end of the weekend.

  4. Working behind a bar has a similar effect. Watching how people change the more they drink really brings it home.
    Well done you on the weight loss - I don't know what I'm doing wrong but nothing but the first 2lbs is shifting :( maybe it's cos I'm old and i'm destined to be a wobbly old lady :)

  5. 22lb!!!!!

    Over a stone and a half!!!

    Goodness gracious - that is impressive.

    I drink sparkling water when I go out but I've recently discovered that non-alcoholic lager has improved significantly in recent years. Becks Blue is good, Dreher 24 (possibly only available in Hungary) is OK but slightly watery, 0% San Miguel is fine, 0% Cobra is the most disgusting thing I've ever drunk in my life. My research continues...

  6. Just been catching up with you. I can't believe that so much has happened within such a short space of time. I hope that you get your health sorted out and find somewhere that sell cheap soft drinks!!! x

  7. Ive done a lot of volunteer driving and not drinking lately - in one bar, they gave me my drinks for free all night!! (I was drinking blackcurrant and soda) on the other nights, my mates paid for my drinks as they were getting a free lift home. Well done on the fabulous weight loss. xxxx

  8. Oh! That INR rating sounds like such a ballache! I do pity you on that - how rubbish! As for the weight loss - that is really good. Someone once said wine is like liquid mars bars to me and it is probably very true...and lady! Stop getting involved with the rounds!! Just opt out - come on! If you're not getting wasted then at least find ways to save money if poss... and as for the wasted thing - maybe try e-number drinks like orange fanta? Some people do get a bit giddy on them...ah...perhaps not...the other alternative is drugs but that is less recommended... still every experience a learning experience and all that jazz! xxx

  9. Wow that's an incredible amount of weight loss - well done you!! That's worth capital letter, neon lights and fireworks as far as I'm concerned.
    I can agree with so much of what you say about alcohol - it does so much damage in so many ways and it's good to have a chance and a reason to re-evaluate your relationship with it. And sounds like you've been having lots of wise thoughts!
    I wonder what's going on with your crazy old INR - that's really peculiar! I wonder whether you might be eating something with lots of Vitamin K in which is interfering with it or something...? just a thought. Hope it settles down soon, anyway.

    Company being key is such a good point - I am often surprised actually by the people who I have a great night out with and then NOTHING to talk about when I see them in a normal everyday context. Very odd!

    Congrats again on the amazing weight loss - that's really something to be proud of!

  10. You could pretend your water is straight vodka and that you're actually really hardcore? Can you pretend to be a designated driver and get free soft drinks?

    Also, go read the angels game! Possibly better than the first one


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