🕙 2 min read
Let me set the scene: I wake up on new year’s day, in Hamburg, puffy eyed, clammy and so hungover I could barely move. My boyfriend lies next to me in a similar (if not worse) state. Whilst we had genuinely good intentions of taking it easy on New Year, our worn out livers could not keep up with the frolicks of the evening.
Now I know everyone says “I’m never drinking again” on a hangover. But I said this and I kinda meant it. What started with dry January just ran on and It’s now been 8 months of near enough pure sobriety. The first thing to make clear here is, whilst I used to be quite the… let’s say, ‘party girl’. This, however, is in no way a confession of some dark alcohol problem, sorry guys. But the mishap on New Year shut the tap completely.
Since then, bar 1 accidental drunken night and the odd glass of wine with dinner. I no longer get on le sauce. I am sans-booze and keine piss ups.
And what a journey it is.
So I want to share with you my 5 stages of giving up booze, in case you’re considering it or think I’m weird.
Stage 1: I am a fucking goddess among mortals
I know it’s cliche but it’s true. In the first say, 2 months, when everyone else failed on January 15th but you’re still ploughing into that dry, sober field of life, you feel fucking smug. You of course try and play down how smug you are because feeling in any way proud of one’s achievements is simply not very British. But stage 1 can only be described as the smug months.
Stage 2: Am I more shallow than social?
There are some great side effects of giving up booze. Firstly waking up not feeling like a cat shit in your mouth, then there’s the wine belly which disappears and for me the improvements to my skin were unbelievable. I’ve been on and off a pretty spotty chick, it drives me mental, I’m obsessed. So when my skin started to clear up I fell into the ‘more shallow than sociable’ stage of sobriety. This was a slightly depressing realisation that I was happy to bail at 12 o’clock because I would wake up flawless. I know, I’m a shallow dick, but stage 2 was the selfies months.
Stage 3: Oh god I miss alcohol.
It’s pretty fun being drunk at times, so unsurprisingly, it’s not all smooth sailing. My friends are very fun. Very very fun when filled with gin. The internal battle commences when you just want to get loose and drink all the things. This is make or break period, have you given your liver a nice holiday? Or have you changed your way of life? The dry period will wane thin and it will test you, numerous times.
Stage 4: Accepting I’m boring
When you get to 6 months and you realise you haven’t drunkenly stumbled out an Uber at sunrise all year, you’re officially boring. You have to accept that you genuinely prefer dinner and bed at 12 over long crazy nights.
Stage 5: Compromise
I did 4 months with 0 alcohol at all. Then slowly begun having one every few weeks. If you want to reduce how much you drink, I would say compromise is the final stage. You’re not a nun or a saint, you are allowed to drink whenever you want. But you quickly become very aware of the balance of how much you can drink before you feel grim and unproductive again. Drink more one night = feel less good the next day. Simple.
Most people when I say “I don’t really drink” are like “…but why?” and really the only answer I have is I just prefer not being hungover, tired or spotty. I’m very jealous of those who can stay up all night boozing and still wake up looking like a supermodel and hit the gym. But, at least my liver will thank me in 20 years time.Would you ever give up alcohol? Let me know