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
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.)